New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on President Trump to expand coronavirus testing efforts there, days after helping paint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower.
The Democratic mayor has called on Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to create more medical supplies, including masks, to combat COVID-19.
But Trump, during a phone interview with Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity last Thursday night, blasted de Blasio for being ungrateful for the previous federal assistance that was sent to New York during the pandemic.
“I was very nice to Mayor de Blasio,” Trump said, referencing ventilators, masks, and hospital resources.
“I got that man everything, I spoke to him many times,” he told Hannity. “He couldn’t have been nicer — and then he throws a big ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign right down in the middle of Fifth Avenue.”
Trump has already denied a federal assistance request from Minnesota’s governor for $500 million intended to go toward repairing damage resulting from the anti-police brutality riots in late May.
This, however, did not deter de Blasio from putting forth his request.
“Mr. President, all you have to do is say, ‘I am now invoking the Defense Production Act’ to expand lab capacity in the United States of America to make sure we have everything we need to get tests to people quickly,” de Blasio said on Monday during a press conference at City Hall. “You can do that with a stroke of a pen. We need it not only here in New York, we need it all over this country.”
Trump previously invoked the Defense Production Act early on during the pandemic to help cities like New York receive personal protection equipment and ventilators, de Blasio noted.
“Well, now we need it again, because we need the lab capacity. We need the chemical reagents, we need the different pieces that allow these labs to do their work and do it quickly. And that will only happen if the federal government steps up. So Mr. President, again, the Defense Production Act is there,” de Blasio said.