Donald Trump has caused outrage after he suggested that healthcare workers in hospitals are stealing face masks and then selling them "out the back door".

Speaking to the press at the White House on Sunday, the president was seemingly baffled as to the lack of protective masks in New York hospitals and urged the press to investigate unverified illegal activity, which he had no evidence of.

In a shocking moment, the president said:

For years [suppliers] have been delivering ten to twenty thousand masks. OK, it’s a New York hospital and it’s packed all the time but how do you go from ten to twenty thousand to 300,000?

Something’s going on and you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door?

And we have that in a lot of different places so somebody should probably look into that because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible.

Trump's claim appears to be based on absolutely nothing and comes at a time when New York has become one of the prime epicentres for the outbreak as more than 8,000 people have no been hospitalised.

Needless to say, Trump's completely unfounded claim has caused an outburst of rage from his critics on Twitter.

Even care workers have lambasted Trump for his comments.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi also reprimanded Trump for his comments.

If that wasn't enough, Trump also accused hospitals of hoarding ventilators, without any evidence.

At the time of writing, there have been 965 deaths in New York state.

The masks that Trump is questioning are single-use only. As an example, New York Presbyterian Hospital employs 20,000 people.

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