Trump admits his virus spat with GM is because of old grievances with the company

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Donald Trump has been doing everything he can to dodge the blame he so deeply deserves for his top to bottom botching of America’s coronavirus response. When the outbreak first began to spread throughout the United States, the president downplayed the risks it posed and even alleged that it was nothing more than a “Democratic hoax.”

Now that upwards of 80,000 Americans have contracted COVID-19 he can no longer pretend it’s not a problem. No, now his strategy is to find scapegoats when what he should be focused on is harnessing the federal government to get aid and materials to the states who need them.

Add your name to tell Congress: Say NO to Trump’s $500 billion slush fund for corporations in the emergency relief bill!

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For the past week, Trump has been trying to pin blame on the governors.  Last night on Hannity, he said that he doesn’t believe New York really needs the 30,000 additional ventilators it’s requesting, meaning he either thinks state officials are lying or overreacting. Either explanation is stunning and proves that Trump is quite literally going to get people killed through his own inaction.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) was asked about Trump’s shocking remarks and didn’t hold back.

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“Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t operate here on opinion, I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections,” said Cuomo.

Apparently though, Trump realized his mistake at some point between his Hannity conversation and this morning, because he woke up and ran to Twitter to start assigning blame for the lack of needed ventilators. The president tore into General Motors, claiming that they promised to deliver the 40,000 of the devices “very quickly” but can only provide 6,000.

He took a shot at the company’s CEO Mary Barra and floated the idea of invoking “P,”  without explaining what the letter stands for.

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While a massive corporation like GM doesn’t really need to be defended from the president’s petty Twitter attacks, the president himself deserves to be criticized for his pathetic inability to lead. If he really thinks GM can do more to help fight the pandemic he should be on the phone convincing them of that fact, not whining about it on Twitter like a junior high student.

Trump followed the attack up with an even more unhinged, caps-lock sprinkled tweet calling on General Motors to reopen a “stupidly abandoned” plant that the company has already sold. He ordered GM to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!!” and told the Ford Motor Company to do the same.

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The frantic tone of the tweet was disturbing coming from the man who is supposed to be leading us through this pandemic and again it must be pointed out that if he really wants to accomplish these demands he can pick up a phone and talk to the companies directly instead of performatively screaming into the digital void.

Finally, it dawned on him that nobody could tell what “P” stood for in his original tweet so he explained that he was referring to the Defense Production Act. Trump previously stated that he would activate the 1950 measure which allows the federal government to take control of industrial production facilities in case of emergency.

For some reason, he still hasn’t followed through on the promise despite increasing calls for him to do so immediately. As usual, we see Trump promising to do something to help the country and lacking the follow-through to actually do it. It’s been said before and will be said again, but people are dying because of this man.

Now, Trump has outright admitted that his spat with General Motors is in fact predicated on past grievances.

“I wasn’t happy where General Motors built plants in other locations over the years, not so much during my term but they built a lot of plants in other countries. I won’t name the countries but you can imagine. And so I didn’t go into it with a favorable view,” he admitted.

“I was extremely unhappy with Lordstown, Ohio where they left Lordstown, Ohio in the middle of an autoboom. Because we had seventeen car companies coming in and then they were leaving one plant in Ohio. I love Ohio,” he went on.

“And what happens? That became the story. Not that all these plants are moving in but that you had one plant they were leaving. And frankly, I think that would be a good place to build the ventilators but we’ll see, we’ll see how that all works. But uh, so I wasn’t too thrilled,” said the president, making it clear that his animus towards the company comes from what he perceives as a business decision on their part that made him look bad.

As always, Trump proves to be an incredibly vain, petty man willing to neglect the common good to settle personal scores. This is an utter disgrace.

Join millions calling for AG Barr to resign after he defied his constitutional obligations to protect Trump!

Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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