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Fri Mar 27, 2020, 12:08 PM

Trump Is Haggling Over Ventilator Prices While Coronavirus Patients Die


the national interest Mar. 26, 2020
Trump Is Haggling Over Ventilator Prices While Coronavirus Patients Die
By Jonathan Chait

Hospitals in New York, Detroit, and Atlanta are at or above their capacity, with growing numbers of coronavirus patients pouring in. Hospital staff and governors are begging for more protective equipment and ventilators. The Trump administration, after doing nothing for weeks to prepare, is still refusing to treat the matter with the proper urgency.

The New York Times reports the Trump administration was set to order a crash production of ventilators from General Motors and Ventec Life Systems. Then the administration paused the deal. “Some government officials,” reports the Times, “expressed concern about the possibility of ordering too many ventilators, leaving them with an expensive surplus.”

Too many ventilators. It sounds insane that the Trump administration would be concerned that it would be left with a supply of excess machine when, at the moment, governors are pleading with them to send as many machines, as quickly as possible before bodies begin piling up in American cities.

Yet, as incomprehensible as this sentiment may be, Trump himself is now saying the same thing in public
. In a Thursday night interview with Sean Hannity, Trump dismissed the pleas for more ventilators by governors like Andrew Cuomo. “A lot of equipment is being asked for that I don’t think they will need,” Trump said. “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they are going to be. I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go to major hospitals, sometimes they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”


Maybe Trump is right. Maybe the coronavirus will not prove as deadly as public-health officials and hospitals warn, and maybe the desperate pleas by New York and other states for more ventilators will prove unnecessary. But it seems quite likely that the Trump administration is haggling over relatively trivial sums, denying a crisis, and sending Americans whose lives might have been spared to horrible deaths.

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Reply Trump Is Haggling Over Ventilator Prices While Coronavirus Patients Die (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 2020 OP
underpants Mar 2020 #1
mitch96 Mar 2020 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 27, 2020, 12:28 PM

1. It's my understanding that the DPA has pricing controls in it.



In addition to requiring that its orders be given priority, the government can create incentives for manufacturers, such as providing them with direct loans or loan guarantees; buy equipment for them; and waive antitrust restrictions that could discourage industry cooperation. The law allows the government to control the use of scarce resources, such as by requiring companies to reserve materials to fulfill federal orders. Hoarding and price gouging are barred for materials the president designates as scarce. Failing to comply with the law can lead to financial penalties or imprisonment.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 27, 2020, 12:30 PM

2. Can we impeach him again for incompetence in the face of a national emergency?

Incompetence that led to the deaths of Americans??? Murder if you will?
We need more nails in this sob's coffin....

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