A building tension between President Donald Trump and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer may be behind a lack of supplies flowing into Michigan.
MICHIGAN — Mounting tension with the White House has meant shipments of essential medical supplies have been delayed getting to Michigan in the midst of a crisis that has now killed almost 100 residents, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“When the federal government told us that we needed to go it ourselves, we started procuring every item we could get our hands on,” Whitmer said Friday on WWJ 950AM. “What I’ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we had contracts are now being told not to send stuff here to Michigan. It’s really concerning.”
Whitmer alluded to her recent escalations with President Donald Trump. Just this week he publicly blasted her on FOX TV, calling her a “young” and “woman governor,” refusing to use her name. During a Friday evening press conference, Trump then said he instructed Vice President Mike Pence, “don’t call the woman in Michigan.”
“We’ve entered into a number of contracts and as we are getting closer to the date when shipments are supposed to come in, they’re getting canceled or they’re getting delayed,” Whitmer said in a CNN interview on Friday. “We’ve been told they’re going first to the federal government.”
Whitmer told WWJ that she reached out to the White House on Thursday night, asking “for a phone call with the president.”
Trump on Thursday had bashed Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
“Your governor of Michigan, I mean, she’s not stepping up,” Trump said, who referred to Whitmer as “a woman governor” and not by her name. “I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done. And we send her a lot.”
“If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said of Whitmer. “(Pence) is a different type of person. He’ll call quietly anyway.”
Crain’s Detroit reported that on Monday, Whitmer said one unnamed hospital received a shipment last weekend from the federal government of 747 N95 protective masks, 204 gowns, 40,467 gloves and 64 face shields.
“With the exception of the gloves, that allotment of PPE didn’t cover one shift,” Whitmer said Thursday.
Crain’s reported that the state needs 400,000 N95 protective medical masks each day for the next several weeks to keep up with demand.