“One little piece of the world goes bad, and the whole thing is messed up,” he added. “I said we shouldn’t have supply chains, we should have them all in the United States. We have the companies to do it. And if we don’t, we can do that.”
The Trump administration has struggled badly at times to meet surging demand among health care workers and the general public for coronavirus testing equipment and personal protective equipment such as face masks and gowns.
The president has managed to spur production of ventilators and some other sorely needed medical equipment, but hurdles remain, including the need to scale up production for a yet-to-be-discovered vaccine in order to generate hundreds of millions of doses to inoculate Americans.
Trump made a similarly self-congratulatory statement later in the interview, when he asserted that the far-reaching public health crisis would result in a large-scale return of industrial jobs to the U.S.
“It’s all going to be back together, and in many ways, we’ve learned a lot,” he said. “And we’re going to bring back manufacturing that we could never have done without this, as bad as this has been, because now people agree with me. A lot of people are saying, ‘Trump was right.’”
The latest remarks from the president, a self-described nationalist, represent a reinforcement of his largely isolationist foreign policy outlook and well-documented disdain for international institutions.