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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, April 04, 2020

About two weeks ago, Illinois officials tracked down a supply of 1.5 million potentially life-saving N95 respirator masks in China through a middleman in the Chicago area and negotiated a deal to buy them. One day before they were expecting to complete the purchase, they got a call in the morning from the supplier informing them he had to get a check to the bank by 2 p.m. that day, or the deal was off. Other bidders had surfaced. Realizing there was no way the supplier could get to Springfield and back by the deadline, Illinois assistant comptroller Ellen Andres jumped in her car and raced north on I-55 with a check for $3,469,600.

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As [Gov. J.B.] Pritzker has made clear at his daily briefings, it's an effort made all the more difficult by the absence of a strong, coordinated White House response. That's left Illinois competing against other states, foreign nations and even our own federal government for the same materials. They're all looking for what we have come to know as PPE or personal protective equipment -- masks, gloves, gowns and face shields -- plus coronavirus testing kits and swabs and, most prized of all, ventilators to help those most seriously ill keep breathing.

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Welcome to the Ununited States of America. Pretty sad.

#1 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2020-04-05 04:57 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

We deserve it all.

#2 | Posted by fresno500 at 2020-04-05 05:33 AM | Reply

How many stories like this before we start to suspect that Trump wanted some future pandemic to kill as many people as possible?

#3 | Posted by Zed at 2020-04-05 09:21 AM | Reply

...states rights...

#4 | Posted by contrecoup at 2020-04-05 09:28 AM | Reply

Complete and total failure of the federal government thanks to Trump and his supporters.

You people suck.

#5 | Posted by Angrydad at 2020-04-05 11:17 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Always remember this: Donald Trump was told to do this by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Direct your anger and animosity towards them, Trump is just a puppet doing what the big donors tell him to do.
Did anyone really believe that a clown with orange makeup was really dictating policy?
Hilarious. He is a puppet, Putin's puppet, Chamber of Commerce puppet, oil industry puppet or a blend of the above.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-05 12:03 PM | Reply

Chamber of Commerce is an organized, dues-paying 'Union' of corporations, working to expand their political voice and make as much money as possible.

A Labor Union is an organized, dues-paying Union of laborers, working to expand their political voice and maximize worker earnings, and benefits, and improve working conditions.

One is evil. The other is sacred. Your political leanings will inform you of which is which.

#7 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2020-04-05 01:27 PM | Reply

Cate Eland
@RomancingNope

Apr 3

Just so we're clear on how Trump is handling distributing PPE and ventilators:

1) States are buying PPE and ventilators for themselves because they can't get them from the federal government.

2) The federal government is stopping planes on tarmacs to confiscate these shipments

3) The federal government is then allowing private distributors like McKesson to transport those confiscated PPE on FEMA planes to recipients determined by federal government. It's unclear what the profit mechanism for these private distributors is or how recipients are chosen.

4) States who had their ordered supplies confiscated turn around and start asking the federal government for supplies, since theirs were confiscated.

5) The Trump family goes on TV to say "it's the FEDERAL stockpile, not the STATE stockpile, you should have planned ahead."

6) States have to go to extraordinary means (like using NFL planes and covertly coordinating with other states) to finally get PPE and ventilators.

7) People die due to lack of needed medical resources.

8) Trump keeps killing people, because no one will hold him accountable.

9) Trump, in fact, blames healthcare workers stealing PPE (which isn't happening) for the shortage.

10) Said healthcare workers are coming to work in homemade masks, getting sick, and dying too.

11) Trump keeps killing them, because no one will hold him accountable.

#8 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-05 06:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Citations:

* PPE/ventilator shortage, Trump's stinginess with the federal stockpile, and homemade PPE: www.nytimes.com

* More on why there's a shortage: www.vox.com

* State governments in bidding wars for equipment: abcnews.go.com

* Federal government confiscates PPE purchased by states: www.wcvb.com

* States get creative in getting PPE around the feds: www.bostonglobe.com

* Project Airbridge, aka corporate vultures circling: www.cbsnews.com

Trump family declares the federal stockpile "ours", not the states': abcnews.go.com

* Nurses protest over lack of PPE: www.democracynow.org

* People sew facemasks to donate to hospitals: www.today.com

* Healthcare workers are dying: amp.usatoday.com

* Ventilator shortage in NY means doctors have to let people die: www.buzzfeednews.com

* Trump says he doesn't think NY needs more ventilators: www.cbsnews.com

* Trump calls states requesting more "complainers" with "insatiable appetites": m.huffpost.com

#9 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-05 06:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Why doesn't the National Governor's Association get involved to coordinate the actions of the governors. Let the NGA be the purchasing / distribution agent for the states.

#10 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2020-04-05 06:25 PM | Reply

#10

I'm not sure what power the NGA has.

Can they challenge the federal government?

Do you need a majority (26 governors) or a 2/3s majority (34 governors)?

I don't have faith in Republican governors to do the right thing.

#11 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-05 06:41 PM | Reply

#10

I don't believe individual states can designate their tax money to an interstate entity. Don't state constitutions and regulations mandate how and in what manner appropriations are funded independently from every other state outside of the federal government itself?

#12 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-05 06:55 PM | Reply

I don't believe individual states can designate their tax money to an interstate entity.

I'm not sure that the NGA currently has that authority but these are strange times. Perhaps it's time to think "outside the box".

I'm not thinking that the governors can designate their tax money to the NGA; just have the NGA act as an agent on their behalf so that orders for critical medical supplies are coming from a single source and the governors aren't bidding against each other. Who knows, they may be able to get discounts by buying in bulk! The states would still have to write the checks for the supplies and the states would own those supplies. However, the governors could then turn around and lend those supplies to another state with the promise that they will be returned as was done when the state of Oregon loaned the state of NY 140 ventilators.

I wouldn't be surprised if some republican governors objected to a coordinated governor response because it would make the federal response seem inadequate. However, if such a sharing scheme were possible, the NGA could establish a rule that non-participating states would be prevented from receiving the benefits of such a sharing arrangement.

In this regard, I agree with Trump: It is time for governors to stop looking to the feds for help and try to solve more problems on their own. Their collective action, in the short term, might pay big dividends. However, over the long term, an empowered, emboldened NGA might present a problem for federal authorities.

#13 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2020-04-06 12:43 PM | Reply

In this regard, I agree with Trump: It is time for governors to stop looking to the feds for help and try to solve more problems on their own.

I couldn't disagree more. Even Republican governors are cryptically critical of the federal government's ongoing actions precisely because FEMA is big-footing state governments and bidding limited supply prices higher by competing for the same resources.

This is why FEMA exists. Let's be clear, it is not the state government's responsibility nor priority to act as the procurement director for resources largely going to private healthcare entities. This is not what state government is tasked with. This is a global pandemic, not a local, nor a singular time-limited event such as other natural disasters.

The virus is a threat to every single person in America, hence it is a national defense/security issue that has to be led from the top on down, not by 50 different state governments trying to jerry rig international supply chains on the fly at the same time the feds are confiscating the very resources the White House told them to get on their own.

So it's undoubtedly the federal government's responsibility to warehouse, distribute and resupply the states in the time of any 50-state crisis, while of course the state itself is responsible for utilizing whatever preparations and assets they have to tackle the problem too. Covid didn't attack the states, it attacked the nation.

#14 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 01:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"The virus is a threat to every single person in America, hence it is a national defense/security issue that has to be led from the top on down, not by 50 different state governments trying to jerry rig international supply chains on the fly at the same time the feds are confiscating the very resources the White House told them to get on their own."

You'd probably have better success talking to a wall, TR.

#15 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-04-06 01:17 PM | Reply

Rather than moving immediately from very early January to do the things that we know we have to do, get in place the testing capacity, scale it up so that it's widely available. Surge the purchase and the distribution of personal protective equipment, ventilators, masks, gloves, gowns, and get that to our hospital systems, build out a bed capacity, call back medical professionals. All these things that states and locals are now doing on the fly. These are the things that we know we needed to do and do at the outset. And so, they didn't do that. They waited two months. It's not the one month that the New York Times had a headline, A Wasted Month,' it was a wasted two months, Jonathan. And those two months have meant the difference between many tens of thousands of Americans dying who might otherwise not have died.

Susan Rice

It is the federal government's responsibility to foresee national threats and to prepare responses that will support whatever the states will likely need to meet their citizens' needs.

State government's had no responsibility for making sure widespread testing was available to minimize the need for and usage of scarce healthcare resources. This was not done and this federal oversight now stands as the biggest reason for America's outsized need for reactive resources since they failed in delivering preventative resources that would have lessened this need.

#16 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 01:41 PM | Reply

#16

You would think they would heed the notion of 'National Security' versus 'State Security,' the latter of which I've never heard before.

#17 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-06 01:51 PM | Reply

You would think they would heed the notion of 'National Security' versus 'State Security,' the latter of which I've never heard before.

Maybe some masochistic reporter might ask the Stable Genius about his thoughts on the topic at today's Trump/2020 press conference.

#18 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-06 01:59 PM | Reply

#14

For the most part, I agree with what you are saying. However, the Feds should not be the only entity trying to solve this or any cataclysmic event e.g. states allow people to develop in flood plain areas and along water fronts when they know that homes and businesses are subject to flooding. Why don't the states restrict development in those areas? When states don't act responsibly, the feds have to come to the rescue.

In the case of the coronavirus, Cuomo seemed to be late in mobilizing all hospitals in NY to come to the aid of the people of NYC. Why was he looking for help from the feds before first exerting every iota of power at his disposal? Why was he not first pleading with other states for aid? Why was he not first asking for volunteers? Why? Because states have come to expect that the feds will always come to the rescue. "Let the feds handle it" is an attitude that has made the states efforts to plan for disasters just barely adequate if that.

When your house is on fire, call 911 but don't sit on your thumbs waiting for the fire trucks to show up.

#19 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2020-04-07 09:24 AM | Reply

What other national emergencies do Republicans think the states should compete to resolve on their own?

If ISIS was dropping teargas in NY and CA should those states be competing for gas masks?

How about if Iran nuked the midwest? Should the survivors in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin battle over access to shelter, food and healthcare?

Why do we have a federal government at all, if not to take the lead in battling a pandemic?

#20 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 09:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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