Political News

CNN's Jake Tapper: 'Mr. President, what's the plan?'

Posted April 5, 2020 11:53 a.m. EDT

— To end Sunday's "State of the Union" on CNN, anchor Jake Tapper took a few moments to ask President Donald Trump directly what his plan was to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Below is a full transcript of Tapper's remarks:

"If I can take a moment, I would like to speak directly to one person known to watch this show, or at least clips of this show, President Trump.

Mr. President, I know you, like millions of Americans, are eager to have the nation go back to some semblance of normal. One of the questions the American people need answered for that to happen responsibly: What's the plan?

Is there a plan for widespread testing of every American so as to isolate the virus -- the way other countries have done? When will there be enough tests for that to happen? How will they be administered? Who will pay for the tests and the results? Who will notify us as to whether we've tested positive or not and what to do then?

Is there a plan to make sure doctors and nurses and health care professionals finally are able to get the personal protective equipment or PPE that they need? Those health care workers are quite literally dying while they try to protect our society and save lives and they're -- they are begging for PPE. They don't need to be told that their governors or their hospital directors are doing anything wrong by trying to get those supplies to protect their lives while they try to save our lives. They need to know that there's a plan to get them the supplies they need.

Governors and mayors right now are literally bidding against each other and against the federal government to try to get these supplies. This is escalating the prices and causing confusion and unnecessary bidding competition. Is there a plan to stop that? What is it?

What about ventilators? New York City Mayor de Blasio said today would be the day his city could run out. Governor Edwards said his city or state could run out on Thursday. Is there a plan to expedite the manufacture of ventilators? It's still not clear whether you have fully utilized the Defense Production Act. Have you? Are any companies being compelled by the US government to make ventilators and when will they be made? When can hospitals get them?

What about the cotton masks that the CDC is now suggesting that we all wear when we leave our homes? Is someone manufacturing them? How can we get them? Is there a plan?

Please, Mr. President: The American people, they need answers to these questions. They are less interested in your popularity on Facebook. Thousands of Americans are in mourning. They're horrified when you make leering allusions to your history with models while discussing projection models of mass American deaths. Attacking governors and mayors and journalists for asking questions -- that might please your fans, it doesn't save one life.

This isn't about winning a news cycle on Fox, please. The American people right now need someone to explain what is going to be done to get us out of this. It's a moment that requires leadership. It requires honest information. It requires empathy. And it requires a plan. Do you have one?"

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