The Atlantic

Trump Leaves States to Fend for Themselves

The coronavirus is America’s first 50-state disaster, and each governor is dependent on outside help that may never come.
Source: Vladimir Sviracevic / Shutterstock / The Atlantic

The United States is about to find out whether the Articles of Confederation would have worked. The nation’s Founders scrapped that early charter because it left states to fend for themselves in moments of crisis. The Constitution that replaced it created a stronger federal government. But yesterday, President Donald Trump seemed to turn back the clock. In a conference call with the nation’s governors about the coronavirus pandemic, the president declared, “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment—try getting it yourselves.”

Until now, our country has not faced a disaster that directly threatened all 50 states at the same time.

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