Governors across the curve speak out on coronavirus response

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Governors from across the U.S. whose states are at various points in the coronavirus pandemic response spoke out on Sunday, with some critical of the absence of a sweeping federal policy and many in the process of setting up field hospitals for an anticipated rush of patients.

Washington state:

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said “It’s ludicrous that we do not have a national effort” against the coronavirus.

“Can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘I’ll be right behind you, Connecticut. Good luck building those battleships,’” Inslee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Washington saw the first Covid-19 deaths in the U.S., in late February, but has had success in flattening the curve of the virus. “We’re one of the most aggressive stay at home, stay healthy initiatives in the United States…this has a reason to believe it’s been demonstrably successful,” Inslee said.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said he’d “like to see a better way” to procure needed medical equipment. “It is a global jungle that we’re competing in now,” he said on NBC.

“We’re trying to collect our PPE, our protective masks and we’ve been outbid by another state after we had the order confirmed, so yes, that has been challenging for us.”

Arkansas is one of the remaining states without a stay-at-home order. “We have a targeted approach that is very strict,” Hutchinson said. “We’ve closed bars, restaurants, schools, some of our park lodges. We’re emphasizing the social distancing and we will do more as we need to.”


Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN that “the president doesn’t understand the word federal…We have a state Emergency Management Agency, but if he were right, why would we ever need a Federal Emergency Management Agency?”

Regarding the Republican-led states that haven’t issued stay-at-home orders, Pritzker, a Democrat, said leadership from President Donald Trump would have made a difference.

The Land of Lincoln is “less than two weeks away from the beginning of peaking,” when the state’s health care system is at greatest risk of being overwhelmed, he said.

Illinois’ version of New York City’s Javits Center field hospital will be Chicago’s massive McCormick Place convention center, Pritzker said. “We’re going to have 3,000 beds in that facility soon. And then we’re adding perhaps another 1,500 around the state.”


Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke on CNN about the state’s pressing shortages of critical supplies for an outbreak that has engulfed New Orleans. Louisiana will run out of ventilators by Thursday, and of intensive care unit beds by April 11, he said.

The Democrat also discussed evangelical pastor Tony Spell’s move to continue holding church services in the Deep-South state. “We’re not going to enforce our way out of this,” Bel Edwards said. “I’m calling upon those parishioners to not go, because it is grossly irresponsible.”


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer criticized Trump’s “patchwork” strategy on “Fox News Sunday.” She said not having one federal policy “is creating a more porous situation where Covid-19 will go on longer.”

Coronavirus cases in the Detroit area are rising “exponentially,” the Democrat said. “This is something that is aggressively growing in all age groups all across our most populous part of the state.”

Michigan has “a number of hospitals that are already at capacity” Whitmer said. It’s set up a field operation at the TCF Center, which typically holds the Detroit Auto Show.


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