Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been trying desperately to acquire ventilators for his state's hospitals, even getting on the phone with manufacturers personally. But in one recent conversation, Pritzker said, a CEO told him that Illinois might have to wait for the life-saving breathing machines - not because the company wasn't producing them, but because the company might sell the newly assembled units to a foreign customer first.

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"We need the product now," Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, said on Sunday. "We have cries from hospitals around the state. I've spoken to governors around the country, and they're in the same situation."

The federal government could intervene using its authority under the Defense Production Act, a 1950 law that gives the president legal power over industrial production like Franklin D. Roosevelt had in World War II and Harry Truman wanted during the Korean War. But the decision to use that authority would have to come from President Donald Trump, and so far he has mostly resisted, saying the private sector is doing enough on its own.

An increasingly loud chorus of officials and public health experts disagree. They say the federal government needs to take more control over the production and supply of medical equipment and some wonder why Trump didn't take this action weeks ago when it could have had a much bigger impact.

What This 1950 Law Actually Does

Through a series of reauthorizations and executive actions, the Defense Production Act has evolved so that presidents can now use it for all kinds of crises, including natural disasters. In 2001, for example, President George W. Bush used some of its powers to make sure material for power generation and transmission got to California during a wave of blackouts.

In popular lore, the Defense Production Act lets the federal government commandeer factories so that they start churning out equipment for war or some other kind of emergency. But that's not quite how it works.

Instead, the law gives the president a set of narrow but powerful tools for organizing and increasing the production of goods necessary to address a national crisis.

These tools include emergency authority for the federal government to make purchases, or offer loan guarantees for purchasers, in order to create a demand for goods that manufacturers might not otherwise produce. This is precisely the sort of financial commitment that many experts have said would give industry incentive to ramp up production of the medical equipment in such short supply right now.

Under another part of the Defense Production Act, the president can issue a declaration that certain goods are essential, which gives federal contracts priority over other orders. This is precisely what Pritzker couldn't do when he was on the phone with that ventilator manufacturer.

The same provision also protects against price gouging, by allowing the federal government to insist that manufacturers sell goods at no more than the production cost plus a modest markup.

Even so, the prospect of giving the federal government more control over production ------ the corporate community and its allies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have lobbied the Trump administration not to use the Defense Production Act, according to reports in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.


OCU

#1 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-03-25 01:14 AM | Reply

Why Trump Has Resisted Using The Law

Last week Trump announced that he was invoking the law, in apparent defiance of the lobbying from business. But "invoking the law" means nothing if the president doesn't actually use the authority or direct federal agencies to do so.

For the most part, Trump hasn't taken these steps. As of Tuesday, the administration had announced only two moves: one authorizing the Justice Department to crack down on hoarding of supplies to jack up prices, and another to obtain 60,000 COVID-19 tests.

"The Defense Production Act is not self-executing," explained Katrina Mulligan, managing director for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress. "Invoking it doesn't on its own accomplish anything. You have to have another set of orders."

Trump on Monday said he was reluctant to use the act to obtain medical supplies because "we're a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela. Ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out. Not too well. The concept of nationalizing our business is not a good concept."


OCU

#2 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-03-25 01:15 AM | Reply

Thanks, Capitalism!

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-03-25 01:19 AM | Reply

Under the 1950 Defense Production Act, Trump can force these American companies to sell their medical equipment to US hospitals and state health services, but if he does they're limited as to how much profit they can earn. However, if they're allowed to sell to whomever they want, they can charge whatever they can get away with, even if it's to a foreign country. Trump knows this, but the US Chamber of Commerce is pressuring him to NOT invoke the act because it would prevent these companies from making the extra money they can get from overseas customers, or by pitting one state's health service against another, forcing-up the prices that they're paid. So, as long as Trump refuses to invoke the act, they can continue to sell to whomever they want, for whatever they want.

Capitalism at it's finest.

OCU

#4 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-03-25 02:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Trump approval rating at all-time high: Poll - www.washingtonexaminer.com

The poll released Tuesday by Gallup shows Trump has a 49% approval rating, which ties his highest approval rating from January of this year.

The president received high approval numbers for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The poll found 60% of voters approved of Trump's response to the pandemic. 94% of Republicans approved, along with 60% of independents and 27% of Democrats.

A recent poll from Monmouth University showed that more of the public approves of Trump's behavior during the public health crisis than they do of the media's behavior.

LOL

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2020-03-25 02:28 AM | Reply

The only poll that counts will be taken on November 3, 2020. Of course, we can only hope that Trump will abide by the results.

OCU

#6 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-03-25 02:36 AM | Reply

More on this situation:

Corporations Successfully Lobbied Trump Not to Use Defense Production Act to Fight Coronavirus

lawandcrime.com

OCU

#7 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-03-25 02:44 AM | Reply

All-time high
49%
This reminds me of the stock market for some reason...

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-03-25 02:45 AM | Reply

"Corporations Successfully Lobbied Trump Not to Use Defense Production Act to Fight Coronavirus"

Well there you go.
Trump consulted the People That Matter, and he listened to their sound national security advice.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-03-25 02:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Murder is the word that comes to mind for any American who dies because of the lack of a Ventilator. Trump trying to put ideology before human life is disgusting and should not be tolerated. We want him gone and we want him gone now.
Sheeple is a piece of filth, always has been but today his true colors show more than ever before.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-25 07:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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A recent poll from Monmouth University showed that more of the public approves of Trump's behavior during the public health crisis than they do of the media's behavior.
LOL

It's funny until it's not. This was brought home to me a few days ago when one of my sisters praised Trump and made fun of the media for its handling of the coronavirus crisis. This same sister works in retail and is handling money daily without gloves and is planning on taking our 84 year old mother grocery shopping today, also without gloves or a mask and not during a designated seniors only shopping time at the store. At my urging, she promised to have our mother use hand sanitizer, which she doesn't have a lot of, the minute they leave the grocery store.

#11 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-03-25 07:48 AM | Reply

"Murder is the word that comes to mind for any American who dies because of the lack of a Ventilator."

Really?

But it's not murder if a needed ventilator is hijacked from the purchaser for use on an American? Even though it results in the death of individual in the country that actually purchased it?

You ------- suck at life.

#12 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-03-25 02:10 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

This is why Fat Nixon constantly crowing about his activating the wartime powers is such --------.

He could force these companies to sell to America and put Americans first but his mango lameo buddies want to maximize profits.

#13 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-03-25 06:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

For once I agree with madbomber, never thought I'd say it. You're dead on dude. If the foreign buyers had a contract, they come first.

#14 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-03-25 08:17 PM | Reply

#14 Contracts can be re-negotiated at any time.
Just ask President Donald J. Trump!

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-03-25 08:21 PM | Reply

I was in a couple grocery stores two days ago and none of the staff I saw were wearing any PPE whatsoever.

It's inevitable that some stores will become contagion. like Amazon warehouses, or UPS/FedEx centers.

#16 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2020-03-26 12:40 AM | Reply

"You ------- suck at life."

No, you insults are absolutely meaningless to me. I couldn't care less what you think about anything. I believe Americans should be helping Americans, don't actually give a crap what you think about that.

" If the foreign buyers had a contract, they come first."

Remember when these idiots were screaming "Make America Great Again"? Now it's make America dead again. If you actually believe some other nation would put our citizens before their own you have rocks in your stupid head. This is a time for strong unions who could and would tell the company to take care of Americans first or else there would be no production.

#17 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-26 07:43 AM | Reply

#17 | Posted by danni

Pay no attention to that half-wit.

He's a Ferengi.

#18 | Posted by Angrydad at 2020-03-26 07:58 AM | Reply

It's the miracle of the marketplace!
It's so efficient!

#19 | Posted by anton at 2020-03-26 09:20 AM | Reply

If the foreign buyers had a contract, they come first

You can breach the contract, pay the damages and do whatever you want.

#20 | Posted by JOE at 2020-03-26 09:50 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Globalization, amirite? When did Trump-haters suddenly become nationalists and isolationists?

#21 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2020-03-26 09:50 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Lets say i grew fields of vegetables. And everyone in my town was starving. But i had a contract to sell all my vegetables to a guy in Brazil, and i had to drive my truckload of vegetables past all my starving townspeople on my way to the post office to ship my veggies off to Brazil.

"I had a contract," i told the mother as she carried her starving child in her arms and begged me for a carrot. "Nothing i can do."

#22 | Posted by JOE at 2020-03-26 09:56 AM | Reply

Lets say I grew fields of vegetables. And lots of people in my town was starving. But I had a "moral obligation" to give all my vegetables to a bunch of guys who came to my town from Mexico, and I had to drive my truckload of vegetables past all my starving townspeople on my way to give my veggies to the outsiders.

"I needed the votes," I told the dirt poor rural kid who begged me for a carrot. "If you disagree, you're a racist."

Well this is fun.

#23 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2020-03-26 10:14 AM | Reply

"Globalization, amirite? When did Trump-haters suddenly become nationalists and isolationists?"

We were anti-globalization long before Trump was President. We called for tariffs long before Trump. We've been screaming about American jobs since Ronald ---- Reagan. Many of us still consider him to be the President most responsible for destroying our middle class. He was a traitor during the Iran hostage crisis and he will always be remembered as such.
You Trumpaholics think you invented the idea of bringing jobs back to America. Sorry by all of you were very late to the party.

#24 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-26 10:36 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

#23 Go take a remedial logic course, your brain is broken.

#25 | Posted by JOE at 2020-03-26 10:40 AM | Reply

Under the 1950 Defense Production Act, Trump can

www.npr.org

I thought they already did invoke it...

The administration's response seems like it's a facade, like everything else they do.

They acted worried just enough to get $2 trillion in spending passed, the vast majority of it going to businesses who planned too poorly in the past to weather this.

Once that giant wave of corporate welfare is released expect the administration to go back to normal, worrying solely about the economy and the PR aspect of it while people get sick and die.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2020-03-26 10:52 AM | Reply

#23 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

I'm starting to think you're a spoof account who's using very subtle satire to show how twisted "c-c-conservatism" is.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2020-03-26 10:53 AM | Reply

Sadly, it's too late to invoke the act for this round, and we will likely see a lull in the virus over the summer, but short of a vaccine, it will come roaring back in the fall and be twice as bad just like the Spanish flu. Dr. Fauci said yesterday that they're now seeing cases in Africa where they are heading into their winter season, so it wasn't malaria drugs that kept the virus out of the Southern hemisphere, it was summer. Fat Nixon should still invoke the act to have those factories re-tool and start cranking out PPE and ventilators, not because they'll save lives now, but so that they'll be ready to save lives in September. But of course for issues that don't directly effect his life or his money, Combover Quisling can't see past his voluminous belly.

#28 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2020-03-26 11:58 AM | Reply

When did Trump-haters suddenly become nationalists and isolationists?

#21 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

When you are under attack from a hostile invader everyone becomes a nationalist.

When did trump lovers suddenly become socialists?

When the American death toll started to climb exponentially.

#29 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-03-26 12:07 PM | Reply

Well this is fun.

#23 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

I have heard that ignorance is bliss.

Is it true?

#30 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-03-26 12:08 PM | Reply

#25/#27 Can you say with a straight face that the US doesn't spend money on aliens when citizens are left wanting? No, of course not.

Here's the thing, Joe. I agree with you. We DO need to take care of Americans first. The difference between us is that I didn't need an epidemic to nudge me to become that way - and I'll believe it when this is all over.

#31 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2020-03-26 12:11 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

I agree with you. We DO need to take care of Americans first. The difference between us is that I didn't need an epidemic to nudge me to become that way

I didn't either. Nice lies.

#32 | Posted by JOE at 2020-03-26 12:31 PM | Reply

How many do they need? There are a million millionaires in NYC. How many in Hollywood?

Just offer more $ to buy them. Supply and demand.

Why wont the rich make counter offers?

#33 | Posted by Petrous at 2020-03-26 12:37 PM | Reply

"The difference between us is that I didn't need an epidemic to nudge me to become that way"

We know.

It took a pandemic to wake you deplorables up.

#34 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-03-26 12:39 PM | Reply

It took a pandemic to wake you deplorables up.

#34 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY AT 2020-03-26 12:39 PM | FLAG: ... and it took a pandemic to show how DESPICABLE libbies are as evidenced by Pelosi's placing party agenda over the welfare of the people.

#35 | Posted by MSgt at 2020-03-26 07:06 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

"It took a pandemic to wake you deplorables up."

They woke up? Who knew? When?

#36 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-26 08:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Can you say with a straight face that the US doesn't spend money on aliens when citizens are left wanting? No, of course not."

Where are citizens left wanting? If there are such situations then tell us why the right hates Medicaid, Obamacare, Medicare, just about everything to help citizens?
It's a very false and stupid equivalency anyway. When you start arresting employers for hiring illegals let me know.

#37 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-26 08:08 PM | Reply

"We DO need to take care of Americans first."

Yeah.
About that.
Turns out the best way to do that would have been to fight the virus over there, so we don't have to fight it here.
That opportunity was squandered, before it even arose, because or President is a White Nationalist. Better luck next time, Americans!

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-03-26 08:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Turns out the best way to do that would have been to fight the virus over there, so we don't have to fight it here

You're just trolling, right?

#39 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2020-03-27 08:46 AM | Reply

#39 what are you talking about?

Give me your reason for allowing the virus to come here.

Include an example from war.

#40 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2020-03-27 11:38 AM | Reply

Globalization, amirite? When did Trump-haters suddenly become nationalists and isolationists?

#21 | POSTED BY MUSTANG

I get that its hard being this stupid so I'll use little words for you.

You are confusing Globalization with Capitalism.

Globalization means everything is connected.

Capitalism means the market gets to sell the ventilators to whoever they want.

Honestly, if you can't figure this out yourself, I'm not sure there are enough crayons in the world to explain it to you.

It's nice to see you've become a Socialist though!

#41 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-03-27 12:27 PM | Reply

How many do they need? There are a million millionaires in NYC. How many in Hollywood?
Just offer more $ to buy them. Supply and demand.
Why wont the rich make counter offers?

#33 | POSTED BY PETROUS

Why aren't you? Why isn't Trump?

Texas is about to get hit hard. We have lots of Conservative millionaires here. Why don't we just have them pony up every penny they have?

Seriously, this is how dumb your comment sounds.

You should go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.

#42 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-03-27 12:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Not only are we selling badly needed American made equipment to other countries but Trump's tariffs against China continue to disrupt US providers access to healthcare equipment. The Health Industry Distributors Association warned them in 2018 before the tariffs were still under discussion that products on the list are critical components of our nation's response to public health emergencies and then in Congressional testimony in 2019 stated "Tariffs on critical health care products put a risk to our nation's public health preparedness."

Trump is lying when he says things like it snuck up and no one could have expected this.

thehill.com

#43 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-03-27 03:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Just like eminent domain seize the equipment and give the company fair market value. After this corona goes away we need rethink manufacturing as a whole. Go back to building products in America for Americans.

#44 | Posted by byrdman at 2020-03-27 04:08 PM | Reply

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