The former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency removed his earpiece and stormed off a live MSNBC segment on Thursday, saying he didn’t “have time to listen to bulls–t.”
“The myth of a single person in charge taking control and running this is a myth,” Craig Fugate, who served as the head of FEMA under President Barack Obama, said during a panel discussion centered around dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“This is going to be dealt with on the front lines and local and state levels, and each state is going to be addressing this unique to their systems,” he told MSNBC host Katy Tur and fellow guest Andy Slavitt.
Fugate said the best way for the federal government to support state governors is to “get out of their way.”
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“As we’re running out of stuff, I’m asking the question, why are we not looking at idle capabilities now and governors just go contract for that resource? Why wait for the federal government to do it?” he said.
Slavitt, the former acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Obama, disagreed.
“What your other guest is suggesting here is not helpful,” he said. “We need a great partnership between the federal and state government.”
Fugate responded by taking off his earpiece and leaving the interview.
“I don’t have time to listen to bullshit, people,” he muttered before storming off.
Later in the day, Fugate addressed the incident on Twitter.
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“At the point I’m not helping, time to step back. Never was good at the talking head thing anyway. This is too critical of a time to let emotions get in the way. My apologies to you and your audience,” he tweeted.