“The Five” hosts responded to the latest on the coronavirus outbreak after Democratic governors criticized President Trump’s handling of the situation, and questioned the role that local and state governments should play in combating the spread of the deadly virus.
“America is trying to do things that are smart but the state and local governments still have a lot to do,” co-host Dana Perino said, adding: “I think that most of them are trying to be cooperative with the federal government because they need President Trump and he seems to be helping them.”
TRUMP, DEM GOVERNORS CLASH OVER CORONAVIRUS SPREAD
On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has declared a state of emergency, specifically accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of having “handcuffed the states” by not allowing New York and other state labs to test for coronavirus, or COVID-19, for “a period of time.”
Cuomo, who is dealing with one of the biggest clusters of COVID-19 in New Rochelle, N.Y., said that he needed the freedom to handle the issue on his own.
“The federal government, I think, in large measure is leaving it up to the states,” Cuomo said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today.” “Just take the handcuffs off of me and let New York state do what New York state can do. Let the other states take their own path forward, and we’re going to ramp up as quickly as possible now that the federal government is giving us some leeway.”
INSLEE ON TRUMP CORONAVIRUS FEUD: ‘I DON’T CARE WHAT DONALD TRUMP THINKS OF ME’
Co-host Juan Williams called for leaders on both sides of the aisle to stop politicizing the virus, and to unite in an effort to combat the “common enemy.”
“The virus will attack me or you, Republicans, Democrats, independents, male or female, black, white … I just think we need to see it as a common enemy for us all,” Williams said, adding “it’s better to pull the politics.”
Guest host Nancy Grace said The World Health Organization’s decision to declare the novel virus a global “pandemic,” will only “add fuel to the flames” of chaos, but did not reflect the administration’s efforts to contain the virus.
“We already knew it was a pandemic,” Grace said. ” … but I think that’s going to add to the hysteria … whoever is sitting in the White House, regardless of who it is.”
INSURANCE COMPANIES TO WAIVE COPAYS FOR CORONAVIRUS TESTING: WHITE HOUSE
Perino later applauded Vice President Mike Pence and the White House’s coronavirus task force for continuing to update the public on their efforts and reiterated her call for local governments to step up and work with the White House as the virus continues to spread.
“I think he’s done a great job,” Perino said of Pence. “He’s out there every single day and they take questions…”
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“Remember,” she added, “it is a federal system, so your state and local governments are the ones that will make these decisions. The president can’t say unless it was in the most extreme circumstance, I am canceling … school in Denver, Colorado, tomorrow. That would be absurd.”
President Trump is scheduled to address the public from the White House at 9 p.m. ET.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.