If you watched 60 Minutes on Sunday, you heard the desperation in the voices of medical professionals who are having to treat #Covid19 patients with what one nurse declared was “medical waste.” She was referring to the inadequate PPEs they have to keep reusing because of Trump’s failures.
Over 50 medical professionals in the US have died as a result of not having the protective gear necessary to treat this highly infectious virus.
If Peter Navarro is any indication, arrogance and denial must be qualifications to be part of the Trump administration. Don’t blame us, Navarro said. We aren’t responsible.
Like hell you aren’t.
I worked alongside FEMA for years as a reporter covering one of the nation’s largest stores of Chemical weapons. I attended more emergency preparedness meetings than I care to recount. I was also on the ground in NOLA about 8 weeks before Katrina and 3 months afterwards.
It is not the job of FEMA to take taxpayer money, buy emergency supplies, then dole those emergency supplies out to the president’s business partners for them to resell.
Imagine if FEMA had come into NOLA or Gulf Shores, MS. and said to those folks: “Look, we had trailers and emergency supplies for you but we sent them to Seattle instead because that’s where our business partners are located. If you want a trailer, call our distributor in Seattle and make arrangements to buy one.”
That’s basically what Trump and his administration are doing with PPEs and all the others medical gear needed to treat #Covid19 patients.
This is not only highly unusual; it is an epic failure on Trump’s behalf.
This is what happens when you put a soulless individual in charge of the federal government. Trump’s only interest is in making money. He could care less who dies in the process.
As NPR reports Trump has basically turned FEMA into an illegal cartel.
FEMA’s whole job is to act as the venue to get emergency supplies into hard hit regions, whether that is a tornado in Chattanooga or a hospital in New York City. Those supplies have already been bought and paid for by US taxpayers – you and me and our friends. To then funnel those emergency supplies into corporations so that they can then turn around and sell them to the highest bidder, or in some cases their most loyal customers, is just flat-out wrong. If it isn’t criminal, it damn well should be.
According to NPR, this administration funneled the much-needed PPEs and ventilators (the ones they didn’t sell overseas) to major medical distributors, primarily McKesson, Cardinal Health and Medline Industries. Some enterprising reporter needs to figure out how many of those CEOs have memberships at Mar-A-Largo.
Corporate distributors are deciding who is going to get the emergency supplies, but mind you “emergency” isn’t part of their equation. They are funneling these taxpayer-funded emergency supplies to their already existing accounts first. Some of them aren’t even accepting orders from new accounts.
Thus governors like Cumo and Newsom are having to scramble to find suppliers to meet their needs, rather than relying on FEMA. This is why FEMA was bidding AGAINST the very states they were supposed to be serving.
Make no mistake about it, that New York and California are regarded as Democratic states is all part of Trump’s FEMA plan. Trump and the GOP Congress would rather see innocent people die than to help out what could very well be Joe Biden voters. Don’t miss the fact that Florida has gotten every request for emergency supplies that they have uttered. If you don’t think Trump is punishing Democrats and rewarding Republicans, critical thinking probably isn’t your strong suit.
As I type this the US has 22,000 deaths from #Covid19. Michigan, which has a Democratic governor that Trump refers to as “that woman” has as many confirmed cases as California, and twice as many deaths. I hope that voters in Michigan remember who screwed them over with emergency supplies when they head to the polls in November. I hope they remember that Trump was willing to let folks in Detroit die because he figured they weren’t going to vote for him anyway.
Trump is treating FEMA like his own personal store of emergency supplies. He is doling them out to his friends as he sees fit. As NPR reports, he chartered private jets to deliver the supplies to private companies, then told the charter folks they could keep half the supplies to sell to whomever they saw fit.
Trump is treating emergency supplies like a shipment of cocaine. He’s off-loading it to his personal pimps and giving those who transport the cocaine a cut of the deal.
By the time you read this, New York will have surpassed over 10,000 dead. Some of them medical professionals who treated #Covid19 patients.
This weekend, Trump took to Twitter to brag that he had signed a “Presidential Disaster” order for all 50 states. Not that any of us needed an official reminder of what a presidential disaster he is.
We have mass grave burials to remind us daily.
Karen Spears Zacharias is an author and journalist. Her work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.