TAPPER: “What are you hearing from your constituents and health care workers in your district about what they need?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: “I have several major hospitals in my district from Jacobi medical center to elmhurst hospital. There are not enough face masks, gloves, ventilators, hospital beds to get us through this. Many hospitals are already at capacity or are approaching capacity. And there is kind of new real stream in sight from the federal government on where these materials are coming from. Companies are donating what they can. That is great. It is not enough. And the fact that the president has not really invoked the defense production act for the purpose of emergency manufacture is going to cost lives.”
TAPPER: “The FEMA administrator, I asked him about that, he said it’s not needed because so many American companies are stepping up to the plate and volunteering to do the right thing. Your response?”
OCASIO-CORTEZ: “It is absolutely needed. We are thankful to anyone who is pitching in on this effort. But we are nowhere near the beds, the capacity, that we need in this country. And, you know, we’re hearing every step of the way from this administration, first we were hearing it was a hoax, then we were hearing everything was fine, then we were hearing that the fundamentals of the economy was okay, until the crash comes. And we cannot wait until people start really dying in large numbers to start production, especially of more complicated equipment like ventilators and hospital beds. We need to start this production right now to get ready for the surge that is coming in two to three weeks.”