In an op-ed titled “We face a wartime supply shortage. Where is Trump’s wartime response?” the Post’s board noted how looming shortages of medical supplies (such as masks and chemical reagents) threatened to undermine the hard work of health care workers who are on the front lines.
“The dimensions of the supply problem approach wartime in size and scope,” it wrote. “No one was prepared for a pandemic; now everyone must shoulder extra effort.”
The board chided Trump’s confusing messaging on the Defense Production Act that allows “the government to address supply shortages by giving directives to industry to ramp up production” and the president’s suggestion that state governors should solve supply issues themselves.
It then urged Trump to “deploy every tool at his disposal to address the shortages now.” “If this is a wartime scale of a problem, where is the wartime response?” the column concluded. On Tuesday, the Times’ board similarly called on Trump to put the country on a wartime footing.
The virus has so far sickened more than 270,000 people worldwide, killing almost 11,500. In the U.S., there have been almost 20,000 confirmed cases and 275 deaths.