Today, Govs. Jay Inslee and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan issued the following statement after reports that the Trump administration rejected a plan to send hundreds of millions of cloth face masks to every U.S. household in April -- starting with especially hard-hit areas in their states -- to help families and frontline workers save lives and fight the spread of COVID-19:
“This new revelation is just further proof that the president has failed to take this crisis seriously from the beginning, despite knowing how dangerous and deadly COVID-19 is. At a time when COVID-19 was ravaging our states and preying on our most vulnerable communities, especially seniors and people of color, the president had an opportunity to take quick, decisive action that could have saved thousands of lives, but chose not to. The Trump administration struck down a plan that could have saved countless lives in the midst of our battle with this virus, during a period when governors across the country were working around the clock to secure PPE, build adequate hospital and ICU capacity, safeguard seniors in nursing homes and save lives. As we continue to face the biggest public health emergency of our lifetime, we may never know the number of lives that could have been saved if the national mask plan had touched every person in the country.
"With nearly 200,000 lives lost and rising, we can’t afford to wait. Once again, we call on President Trump to do the right thing and develop a national strategy, including a nationwide mask mandate, so we can protect our families, our frontline workers, our educators and our small businesses. It’s time for him to start treating this as the crisis he has known it to be from the very beginning.”