Good Friday morning.
Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:
- President Trump receives his intelligence briefing
- The president participates in a roundtable with energy sector CEOs
- 5:00PM Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing
The latest episode of “Happy Hour” with Julie and Liz is available! This week we talk to investigative journalist, Jordan Schachtel.
What the **** is going on with person protective equipment (PPE)?
On Thursday, Trump used the Defense Production Act to “push 3M and six major medical device companies to produce protective masks and ventilators needed for the coronavirus outbreak, bowing to weeks of pressure to expand the federal government’s use of the emergency statute.” The companies involved include General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, Phillips and Vyaire Medical. He also signed “an element of the [DPA] against 3M” that would allow FEMA to obtain as many N95 masks as they determine is necessary. We don’t know who was “pressuring” him, we never learn that of course, it seems Trump was trying to make deals with the companies before using the jack boot of the fedgov and when they didn’t play ball, he put on the smack down.
“Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives,” Trump said in a statement.
So what’s the deal with 3M?
“For the last several weeks, we have had a boiler room chasing down 3M authorized distributors [and] brokers representing that they sell the N95 masks, only get to warehouses that are completely empty,” Jared Moskowitz, head of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management said. “[We are] being told that our shipments are on cargo planes and the flights don’t even appear. We are chasing ghosts. I just decided to turn up the heat and tell people what is actually happening in the N95 mask space.”
It appears that 3M is selling their masks to foreign countries rather than American hospitals and heath services in need. “I can’t, other emergency management directors, CEOs of hospitals can’t get this life-saving PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] because a company decided to make a globalist decision and not put America first,” said Moskowitz.
“I thought perhaps maybe what 3M would finally say to me is that they have masks to sell me, but what I actually found out is even more frightening,” he explained. “… Which is that the system is completely broken. 3M has lost total control. What I asked 3M is, are they aware they’re authorized distributors — U.S. companies — are telling me the reason why our orders are being pushed down is because foreign countries are showing up with cash to purchase the orders … not only did they not dispute it, [but] I asked them if they put out any guidance to prevent the behavior and the answer was no,” Moskowitz added.
It seems like depending on foreign revenue has always been the business model for the medical supply industry.
American companies sold more than $17.5 million worth of face masks, more than $13.6 million in surgical garments and more than $27.2 million in ventilators to China during the first two months of the year, far exceeding that of any other similar period in the past decade, according to the most recent foreign trade data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“I’m now hearing from distributors that foreign governments are showing up with cash at these factories and bumping everybody else down the line who had orders pending,” Moskowitz told USA TODAY, referencing conversations with brokers who serve as supply chain middlemen.
Trump administration moving swiftly to address ventilator shortages
New York hospitals rationing ventilators, retrofitting equipment amid crush of coronavirus
FEMA tells lawmakers most new ventilators won’t be ready until June
Fauci and Birx help the dumb orange man with science
CNN has a story describing how our CHINA VIRUS duo Fauci & Birx have helped our poor, stupid president use “science” to make decisions, complete with colorful charts and pictures.
Still, the charts — printed in color and blown up for effect — seemed to work, even as some of Trump’s advisers now question their accuracy. Trump announced hours later he was extending his coronavirus guidelines another 30 days, despite a strong inclination to open the nation for business.
But in myriad ways, Fauci and Birx have succeeded where so many in Trump’s ever-rotating cast of aides have not: convincing the President to abandon his instincts, quietly contradicting him in public and remaining — for now — in his good graces. At a post-impeachment moment when the White House appeared intent on elevating loyalists while sidelining careerists, the longtime government officials entered Trump’s orbit and managed to out-argue those with years of experience managing a mercurial boss.
Abandon his instincts? Elevating loyalists? He was elected for his instincts. Do they think Obama didn’t jam loyalists all over the government? All presidents do that. CNN, you are so transparent.
Pelosi, Democrats tired of being side-lined, scheme to dial up resistance with new “task force”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a bi-partisan task force “to oversee the Trump administration’s distribution of more than $2 trillion in coronavirus relief funds over the next several months.” Croaked Pelosi in a press call, “Congress has taken an important step in meeting this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”
“The panel will root out waste, fraud, and abuse and will protect against price gouging, profiteering, and political favoritism,” Pelosi said.
“Where there’s money there’s also frequently mischief,” the California Democrat added, saying, “We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there.”
Pelosi has named James Clyburn (D-SC), recently in the headlines for saying the deadly pathogen crisis was “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” So, you see where this is going, right? “I have a couple of concerns about this: one who she’s naming, Clyburn. It’s concerning to me because Congressman Clyburn is the one who thought this crisis was an opportune time to restructure government,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “That’s not what you should be doing,” he said. “You should be taking care of the American public, keeping an economy strong just as it was before and moving forward.”
Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) knows what’s going on. “You would think after three years of failed investigations and a sham impeachment that resulted in an acquittal would be enough for Democrats to learn their lesson and move on, but apparently even a global pandemic and crisis the likes of which our country has never seen before isn’t enough to stop House Democrats from finding any excuse to continue their harassment of President Trump,” he said.
McCarthy also pointed out: “In the bill that we just passed we had the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, now this is a group of IGs [inspector generals] headed by [acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense] Glenn Fine. We also created the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, and Treasury gave it a $25 million dollar budget, we created the Congressional Oversight Commission inside here where you get an appointment by all the leaders,” he said.
But they have to get back into the news cycle, they need to find their fresh new crop of “whistleblowers” and scandal mongers.
Miscellaneous coronavirus news
Trump officials privately question White House coronavirus death toll estimate: WaPo
States are supposed to handle this, not the fedgov. Governors win high marks for coronavirus response, outpacing Trump
Why Trump took another coronavirus test
Samaritan’s Purse NYC field hospital already treating 12 patients, nurse says: ‘We are giving it 110 percent’
University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they found potential coronavirus vaccine
Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds
Inside the National Security Council, a rising sense of dread
I hope this isn’t a disaster. Banks warn of chaotic launch of small business lending program
Washington gun shops defy coronavirus orders, stay open without ‘essential’ designation
March Sets Record For NICS Background Checks
This is not the time to be a political jerk. ‘Wrong In Every Way’: Trump Sends Vicious Letter To Chuck Schumer Over Coronavirus Response
Trump tangles with Schumer all day over coronavirus response
Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders
Trump administration issues guidance scaling back paid leave requirement for small business employees
Why? Kushner makes first appearance at coronavirus briefing
This better not happen in my state. Michigan restricts veterinary procedures to save medical supplies
Coronavirus forces San Francisco to put homeless into hotels
New York reels at center of pandemic as home-bound Americans feel economic pain
Rikers Island jail officers union sues New York City over coronavirus
Reporters Express Frustration After OANN’s Chanel Rion Attended Briefing Despite Being Kicked Out For Violating Social Distancing Rules
Hospitals and doctors battling coronavirus already bracing for lawsuits
Facebook pledges $40M for small businesses, introduces new fundraising tools and digital gift cards
Trump campaign donating meals to hospitals during coronavirus crisis
USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer relieved of duty, acting Navy secretary announces
California’s Newsom says coronavirus provides ‘opportunity’ to push progressive agenda
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos donates $100M to food banks as unemployment soars during coronavirus outbreak
Only 20 patients currently being treated on USNS Comfort in NYC
Some Americans could wait 20 weeks to receive stimulus checks, IRS tells House Democrats
FEMA still pushing back on taking a leading role in coronavirus supply chain
Everybody is locked up, when is this happening?!? Yang says Asian Americans being attacked over coronavirus is ‘a heartbreaking phenomenon’
FDA changes blood donation guidelines amid urgent need for blood during coronavirus pandemic
Cyber criminals are trying to wreak havoc during global pandemic
Ships with coronavirus patients dock in Florida
Colorado AG steps in after Hobby Lobby defies COVID-19 stay-at-home orderDisaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted
Colorado hospital calling for donors to help with experimental, ‘promising’ coronavirus treatment
GOOD. FISA reauthorizations in doubt after findings that FBI surveillance was riddled with major errors