Donald Trump keeps alternating between falsely claiming that he’s delivering more coronavirus medical supplies to states than he really is, falsely claiming the states already have all the coronavirus medical supplies it needs, and asserting that he’s refusing to give supplies to some states because he doesn’t like their Governors. So what’s the real truth.
As always with Trump, the real story ends up being even worse than what we imagined. Seven weeks ago, in a move that was overlooked at the time, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo oversaw an effort to ship coronavirus medical supplies from the United States to China. He bragged about it on Twitter. His press release says that 17.8 tons of medical equipment were involved.
To be clear, helping out another nation in a humanitarian crisis is the correct thing to do. But Trump and Pompeo knew that the coronavirus was going to end up hitting the United States hard. Once they decided to ship seventeen tons worth of emergency medical equipment to China, they had a responsibility to make sure those supplies were replaced with new ones by the time they were needed in the U.S.
Yet Donald Trump is still refusing to invoke the Defense Production Act for the most part. He’s sent New York about one-seventh of the ventilators it needs. He shipped a bunch of broken ventilators to California, forcing the state to get them repaired in Silicon Valley. Trump and Pompeo were trying to gain some kind of personal favor with China by sending our coronavirus supplies there, leaving the United States caught with its pants down in this crisis.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report