comScore Jake Tapper Grills FEMA's Peter Gaynor on Mask Numbers

CNN’s Tapper Grills FEMA Chief for Not Giving a Number on Circulation of Medical Supplies: ‘Doesn’t Fill People With Confidence’

CNN’s Jake Tapper put FEMA chief Peter Gaynor under significant pressure for his reluctance to estimate how many masks and medical supplies the government is shipping across the country to counteract the coronavirus.

Gaynor joined Tapper on Sunday for State of the Union, where the conversation focused on what the government is doing to address equipment shortages reported at local hospitals. Gaynor argued that the government has been actively involved in efforts to secure supplies amid global demand, but Tapper asked him if he had “any specific numbers” on how many masks the federal government has been able to acquire and ship out.

“It is a dynamic and fluid operation,” Gaynor deflected. “The president appointed FEMA five days ago to manage federal operations, and since I’ve been here, we’ve been shipping continuously from federal warehouses, and again, connecting, you know, those governors that need supplies to those who have it in the commercial sector.”

Tapper repeatedly asked Gaynor for a rough number, but since he couldn’t give one, the CNN host remarked that “the inability of the federal government to give a number in terms of masks alarms people.”

“It makes people concerned that there aren’t masks going out the door,” Tapper continued. “I’m not saying that that’s the case, but without a number, that doesn’t fill people with confidence.”

This was a recurring topic throughout the interview since Tapper asked Gaynor for his response to multiple officials talking about their need for more supplies to meet health and safety demands. Gaynor continued to insist that government is doing everything it can in light of global demand, but Tapper continued to note that “the lack of numbers is alarming because it makes people think maybe we don’t have a full understanding of the problem.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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