CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta said President Trump is not grasping the reality that he has been wrong and the scientists have been right in commentary delivered Friday night on CNN. Acosta said while Trump blames the Obama administration for not having a stockpile of medical equipment he has had 3 years to restock.
"This administration did not prepare when it had a chance," Acosta said.
COOPER: Yes, Jim Acosta, we're now in a situation if -- I mean, again, the models that were presented at the White House, you know, based on all states doing this. If all states aren't doing this, those models could actually go up. That 100,000 to 240,000 could go up.
ACOSTA: That's exactly right, Anderson. And, you know, that has been the fear expressed by public health officials all along. We know Dr. Deborah Birx expressed this in the briefing yesterday. She said communities just aren't doing enough.
And so, you know, I think, just towards the end of that briefing, the president, Dr. Birx were pressed on whether or not they're still sticking with these models that were offered up earlier this week. And they were sort of hedging on that answer.
I think, as Sanjay was saying, we don't know what we don't know. And, you know, you would think, at this point, Anderson, the president would be humbled somewhat by being wrong so many times. I pressed him, you know, at one point, I said it's April. You said this was going to be over by April. And he says well it is going to be over. He's just not dealing with the reality of the fact that he's been wrong, and the scientists and the health experts have been right. And he just can't grasp that reality.
COOPER: Jim, let's talk about the supply problem because, clearly, there is a supply chain issue here that's been longstanding now. The president blaming previous administrations for lack of supplies, and there's certainly blame to go around. There's an argument that after I think it was the swine flu, I think, 2009 or 2009 pandemic that they didn't restock some of the -- the stockpiles.
But that was, you know, ten years ago. This administration has had several years and warnings, we now know, about a pandemic just like this one to stock up and supply and -- and they haven't. What's the latest?
I mean -- I -- I have yet to see some sort of breakdown of, you know, there's a billion masks coming by this date. There is X number of ventilators that will be made by the end of this month and by the next month. And I -- I hear piecemeal things of, like, oh, we got all these things, you know, being made and a lot of folks working on it.
I have yet to see any kind of breakdown of what is actually coming down the pike and when.
ACOSTA: I think part of the reason why, Anderson, as you recall a couple weeks ago when therapy saying that they were saying there would be millions of test kits sent out by the end of this week or by the end of next week. And they just couldn't hit those benchmarks.
And so I think they're reluctant to do that. And one of the things we're saying -- and I brought this up at the briefing, and so did other reports -- is you know, why is it that the president is shifting the blame? Why is he blaming other states when he, also, had the opportunity to fill the national stockpile? To make sure that their shelves weren't, quote, empty.
And the president just doesn't have a good answer to that. He blames the Obama administration for it. And as I told him during the briefing today, Anderson, he's been president for three or four years.
He's had plenty of time to prepare. He put out this notion we couldn't have seen this coming. This was an unforeseen problem. That's just not the case. As our Andrew Kaczynski was reporting earlier today, Secretary Azar at HHS was talking about the -- the potential for a pandemic flu in April of last year. More than one year ago.
When I asked the president about that, he said, well, he was aware of the possibility of a pandemic as a concept. And he knows pandemics are a problem.
But, Anderson, the -- just the flat-out truth of the matter is this administration did not prepare when it had the chance.