After the governors of multiple states and other leaders made urgent pleas on Sunday for masks and other protective equipment to help fight the swelling outbreak, President Trump listed a number of federal actions in a news conference in the evening.

As the number of known cases in the United States crossed 31,700, California officials told hospitals to restrict coronavirus testing, and a hospital in Washington State warned that it could run out of life-preserving ventilators by early next month. ​Washington State’s Department of Health told local leaders that only the highest-priority areas would have access to the government’s reserves of protective equipment, including N95 masks.

Mr. Trump said that major disaster declarations were in process for New York, California and Washington — the three states hardest hit by the virus — and that they would not have to pay for deploying National Guard units.

“Through FEMA, the federal government will be funding 100 percent of the cost of deploying National Guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus, while those governors remain in command,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump placed National Guard units from California, New York and Washington under Title 32 authority. This means the troops from these states will still be under the control of their state’s governors but will be supporting a federal mission, much like the roughly 2,200 National Guard soldiers currently on the southern border.

Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the head of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters Sunday that the troops will support the Department of Health and Human Services with testing and at medical facilities, as well as provide unspecified support for FEMA.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” General Lengyel said. “It’s a historic event and it’s going to require a historic response.”

Mr. Trump also said during the Sunday conference that he had directed FEMA to supply four large federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California, and three large federal medical stations and four small federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the State of Washington.

The stations for New York, to be built in Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, were announced earlier in the day by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

As Mr. Trump detailed federal activities, he at times repeated facts and appeared halting as he described a complex list of facts and figures in the millions.

Many state and local officials have pressed Mr. Trump to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to mobilize industry to manufacture scarce goods. On Sunday, Peter T. Gaynor, the FEMA administrator, said the president was not doing so, and instead was using the threat of the act as “leverage to demonstrate that we can.”

At the news conference on Sunday, Mr. Trump defended his decision not to implement the Defense Production Act despite an outcry from state governors and Democrats.

“Call a person over in Venezuela,” Mr. Trump said. “Ask them, how did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well. The concept of nationalizing our businesses is not a good concept.”

The president’s top trade adviser said that, in fact, the act had spurred the country’s “industrial base” to voluntarily mobilize, allowing for the quick conversion of corporate production facilities to produce medical supplies.

“We’re getting what we need without putting the heavy hand of government down,” Peter Navarro, the president’s top trade adviser, told reporters.

Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Committees said on Sunday night that the country will not send teams to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed by a year.

A sharp increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State on Sunday indicated that the state now accounts for roughly 5 percent of coronavirus cases worldwide.

The jump stemmed from both the rapid growth of the outbreak and a significant increase in testing in the state. Health officials emphasized that testing was revealing how quickly the virus had spread.

There are now 15,168 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, up 4,812 since Saturday, and 114 deaths, Mr. Cuomo said. About 13 percent, or 1,974 people in New York who tested positive for the virus, were hospitalized, he said.

The governor took issue with what he called the “insensitive” and “arrogant” behavior of New York City residents who continued to gather in parks and other public spaces. Mr. Cuomo indicated that he would give the city 24 hours to come up with a plan to reduce density in these spaces, which he would need to approve.

“I don’t know what I’m saying that people don’t get,” Mr. Cuomo said, suggesting that city officials could close some streets to traffic to give residents more outdoor space.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York warned that the city’s hospitals were straining under a deluge of cases, and he again called on Mr. Trump to send more help.

“April is going to be worse than March,” he said. “And I fear May will be worse than April.”

Reporting and research by Ian Austen, Mariel Padilla, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Katie Van Syckle, Jesse McKinley, Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley and Jeanna Smialek

source: nytimes.com

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