The Democrat governor of California is praising President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Gavin Newsom remarked Wednesday that he would be “lying” if he said that Trump has not been responsive to California’s needs, Breitbart reported. Newsom was responding to CNN’s Jake Tapper, who questioned whether Newsom felt pressured to flatter Trump.
“Let me just be candid with you. I’d be lying to you to say that he hasn’t been responsive to our needs. He has,” Newsom said of Trump on Wednesday’s episode of The Lead, according to Breitbart. “And so, as a question, as a sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly.”
Newsom touts Trump’s response
In recent days, the media has pushed a narrative that Trump is punishing governors who are ungrateful for his coronavirus mitigation efforts. Trump had said last week that he wanted governors to be “appreciative,” the Chicago Tribune reported, as states engage in a bidding war for medical equipment from the federal government.
Some took Trump’s comments as a threat to praise him — or else. In an interview with Newsom on Wednesday, Tapper asked whether the governor felt it was necessary to be “tempering what you say” to get help from Trump, noting that he had spoken with other officials who said it was. But Newsom didn’t take the bait, saying that he would be “lying” if he said Trump wasn’t responsive.
“And the fact is, every time I called the president, he’s quickly gotten on the line,” Newsom added, according to Breitbart. “When we asked to get support for that Mercy ship for Southern California, he was able to direct that in real-time. We have 2,000 of these field medical sites that are up, almost all operational now in the state because of his support. Those are the facts.”
“They’ve done a good job”
Besides New York’s Andrew Cuomo (D), Newsom has received arguably more attention than any governor in the country throughout the coronavirus crisis. His state was one of the first to implement the kind of social distancing restrictions that a majority of Americans are now living under, and some — Trump included — have said that Newsom may well have “flattened the curve” successfully.
“They’ve done a good job, California. Now let’s see what happens, because we could see a spike,” Trump said Tuesday, according to The Sacramento Bee. “I mean you don’t know. They could have a spike where all of a sudden it spikes upward.”
Trump has not been so warm with other governors, like Washington’s Jay Inslee (D) — who he called a “snake” — and Michigan’s “failing” governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), the New York Post notes. These and other governors have complained about a lack of federal coordination in supplying critical equipment, but Trump has said that “complainers” in state governments should have prepared their own stockpiles.
Like Newsom, Cuomo, for his part, has been mostly positive in his rhetoric toward Trump, although the two have notably feuded over who is at fault for a shortage of ventilators in the state, which is now the epicenter of the American outbreak. Newsom has also urged Trump to help with supplies, according to The Sacramento Bee, but his tone has been largely positive.
“We always want more. I could criticize this or that. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to focus on developing a relationship of trust as a matter of course because there’s too many Americans, 40 million, that live in this state that deserve for to us get together and get along,” Newsom told Tapper, Breitbart reported.
The apparently positive relationship between Trump and Newsom is a change from their past feuding over the Golden State’s “sanctuary” policies, homelessness crisis, and other issues — and it comes just in time. As of Thursday afternoon, California had about 10,000 cases of COVID-19 and some 200 deaths from the disease, according to the Los Angeles Times.