Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had the audacity to join Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union program and blame his failed handling of the coronavirus pandemic on President Donald Trump. He said this as if his decisions have not directly resulted in LA’s surging cases and a corresponding rise in homicides.
Garcetti started out the interview by saying that the city “was left on their own” when they should have had help. But did the Mayor completely forget that President Trump, at the request of Governor Newsom, sent the USNS Mercy to the Port of Los Angeles early in the crisis, which provided 1,000 additional hospital beds to the region? This is in addition to the $894.7 million in federal support sent to California, which included $501 million to cover the costs associated with managing the pandemic, like the purchase of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.
Did President Trump tell Garcetti to close testing sites over the Fourth of July weekend? Nope. And did the President encourage Garcetti to switch vendors and the registration process for coronavirus testing slots mid-pandemic? No again. Yet these decisions directly led to testing slots being full and unavailable for Angelenos, which had a direct impact on the rise of coronavirus cases in the city.
We have been told repeatedly that identifying cases is critical in mitigating the coronavirus. If people cannot get tested, as many in LA were unable to as a direct result of decisions made by Mayor Garcetti, then they are far more likely to pass the virus on to the people around them. Contract tracing of those infected is also key, but again, if people are unable to get tests, then there can be no contact tracing.
And when it comes to masks, we have seen the hypocrisy of the mayor in full force. Garcetti has said 'No mask, no service' should be the policy for LA businesses amid COVID-19, and urged residents to wear masks. But at the same time, Garcetti was photographed protesting without a mask on, surrounded by people, not social distancing. Did President Trump force him to make this photo-op appearance? I don’t think so.
Even the far-left LA Times called out the fact that the city reopened too soon, which has exacerbated the current surge in coronavirus cases. Shockingly, Garcetti agreed, but not without passing the blame on to state and county-level elected officials. Obviously Garcetti could not take any accountability himself.
It's unfortunately not just coronavirus cases that are on the rise. LA has seen double-digit increases in homicides over the past two months. And did Garcetti, during his self-promotional interview on CNN, explain that this is an issue he is taking seriously? Of course not. Instead, he pointed out that the overall violent crime rate will “likely” to be lower at the end of the year. But people are dying in the streets now, and the city needs serious leadership to protect LA residents. Instead, Garcetti is supporting the LA City Council in cutting $150 million from the LAPD budget.
While Garcetti might want to throw stones at the President because it is the easiest and most celebrated thing to do in liberal circles, however, President Trump has taken the murder rate increasing rapidly in major cities seriously.
Mayor Garcetti also supported the decision by the LA’s Unified School District to keep schools in the city closed in the fall, whereas President Trump is fighting for a way to keep our kids in school and on track with their education while keeping the students and teachers safe. The President admits this is no easy task, but knows we should not relegate our students to fall further behind in their education and putting an impossible burden on working-class families to juggle full-time homeschooling and work.
To add insult to injury for Angelenos, Mayor Garcetti closed out the interview with Tapper by saying he is focused on making sure Trump loses re-election. Really? That is what the mayor of one of the hardest-hit cities in the country is going to focus on? As if coronavirus cases aren’t surging alongside homicides, homelessness, and job losses. It's no wonder why there is a growing effort to recall Garcetti due to his failed tenure as mayor.
Garcetti should be focused on fixing problems, not blaming President Trump for all the issues he created himself. But, in a desperate attempt to raise his profile, which previously resulted in him gallivanting across the country wherein one years time he spent 112 days (or over 30 percent of the year) away from LA, it's no surprise that “taking on Trump” is his priority- not helping the people he is supposed to represent.
Corrin Rankin is the Founder of the Legacy Republican Alliance and an Advisory Board Member for Black Voices for Trump.