Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, an Obama administration official, was not in the mood on Thursday to deal with the faux outrage and “gotcha questions” from the media.
During an interview on MSNBC with host Katy Tur, Fugate was brought on to discuss the coronavirus with former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt — and it ended with Fugate storming off the set and saying, “I don’t have time for the bullsh*t people.”
Slavitt argued that the federal government needed to be more involved in responding to the outbreak while Fugate argued that state and local governments needed to take the lead.
“The myth of a single person in charge taking control and running this is a myth,” Fugate said. “This is going to be dealt with on the frontlines at local and state levels, and each state is going to be addressing this unique to their systems.”
“But I’ve always believed the best way the federal government can support our governors is to get out of their way, get them funding, use CDC to give guidance,” Fugate continued. “As we’re running out of stuff, I’m asking the question, why are we not looking at idle capabilities now and governors go contract for that resource? Why wait for the federal government? If they will go to 100% on protective measures and reimburse them, how much more can states do so we can focus the few federal resources we have on the hardest-hit areas.”
“So with all due respect to your other guest, there’s not a governor in the country that’s waiting for the federal government right now,” Slavitt said, later adding, “So, what your other guest is suggesting here is not helpful. We need a great partnership between the federal and state government.”
“I don’t have time to listen to bullsh** people,” Fugate responded.
Obama-era FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate storms off MSNBC over debate on how the government should respond to the coronavirus: "I don't have time to listen to bulls**t people." pic.twitter.com/C7xu1VOfdr
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 20, 2020
The interview comes as the Trump administration has been making big moves to combat the coronavirus.
The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation on Wednesday providing billions of dollars to limit the damage from the coronavirus pandemic through free testing, paid sick leave, and expanded safety-net spending.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper revealed this week that his department is making 5 million N95 masks available to health workers, including 1 million immediately, and freeing up 2,000 ventilators from its stockpile.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the administration is working to get checks to Americans in two weeks to help workers cope with the economic effects of the crisis.
Trump has decided to suspend all travel from the European Union as well as the U.K. and Ireland.
The president also declared a national emergency over the weekend.
A major report out of South Korea should also give hope to the United States during this crisis.
As lawmakers come together to hash out the details, we also just learned that two members of Congress have self-quarantined after testing positive for contracting the coronavirus.