During a rambling press conference about the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, Donald Trump accused healthcare workers in New York of stealing and selling face masks “out the back door.”
Trump held the press conference in the White House’s Rose Garden. During his speech, he asked reporters to look into the supposed illegal activity. He provided no evidence to back up his claims.
“For years [suppliers] have been delivering ten to twenty thousand masks. OK, it’s a New York hospital and it’s packed all the time but how do you go from ten to twenty thousand to 300,000?” Trump stated.
He then added, “something’s going on and you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? And we. have that in a lot of different places so somebody should probably look into that because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible.”
Trump’s statements made it appear that he was suggesting that there was some type of widespread theft going on in association with medical supplies and New York hospitals.
New York state has become the United States epicenter for the coronavirus. Right now, New York has 8,500 residents in hospitals with 2,000 in intensive care. There have been nearly 1,000 deaths.
What Trump does not seem to comprehend is that the masks he is referring to are single-use masks. The New York-Presbyterian Hospital alone employs more than 20,000 people.
When asked by a reporter to clarify his comments about the masks, Trump stated: “I don’t think it’s hoarding, I think it’s worse than hoarding. I don’t know, I don’t know, I think that’s for other people to check out.”
Earlier in the day on Sunday, Trump had accused hospitals of hoarding ventilators, but he again offered no evidence to back up his allegations. His critics believe that these latest claims are meant to be a distraction from his poor handling of this medical crisis.
You can view the entire press conference below.