White House economic and trade adviser Peter Navarro argues with CNN's Brianna Keilar over the history of what the Trump administration "inherited" from the Obama administration in regards to stockpiles. Navarro and Keilar went at it for 7 minutes after the CNN anchor admonished the adviser over "your government" and accused the Trump administration of being "clearly ill-prepared" for the coronavirus.
At the conclusion of their clash, Navarro said, "as a country, got dealt a bad hand by China."
"Peter, that is just a waste of time to say that," Keilar responded. "I'm going to leave it there."
The question from Keilar that set off the argument:
KEILAR: The government was clearly ill-prepared for this. This is not something that, you know, these viruses happen and how awful they are. But they are things that happen. Your government knew in the summer when they did a drill if this happens, this would be a problem and there was a lack of preparation which was why we have you onto talk about the supply chain. Right now, it looks like the capacity for the U.S. is going to be about 200,000 ventilators and what experts are saying is there could be a million needed. Are you going to be able to meet that demand?
Navarro's initial response:
NAVARRO: You won't let me talk. May I speak, please?... You started by saying this administration was ill-prepared. Let me explain to the American people. This whole stockpile which was engineered for basically a 100-year flood and we got here with the coronavirus to 500-year-flood. That's the problem. We have woken up to the fact that we did not have adequate material in our stockpiles and more importantly all of our supply chains is spread out in the world at a time when 10 out of the top 20 countries providing us with pharmaceuticals are imposing export restrictions. We are running as fast as we can to get the people of America what we need. We are searching for incredible amounts of materials in places like New York. As we speak, we are having the most rapid industrial mobilization since World War II. We are doing the best we can. Don't tell me we were ill-prepared for this because he inherited the system of testing and inherited of stockpiles that was woefully inadequate for this and there was plenty of people to the last two administrations who had wake up calls and they went back to sleep. That's not what we are doing. we'll fight this and after this is over we will be stronger and better prepared.