Friday, March 27, 2020

We don't know whether Abraham Lincoln actually remarked "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time.... However, we do know that Donald J. Trump can fool some of the people all the time.

On Tuesday, the child President whined Democratic governors "have to get that gear themselves" and moreover "they have to treat us well, also. They can’t say, ‘Oh, gee, we should get this, we should get that.’”

It's evidently working because in Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner of

Houston is facing a shortage of N95 masks and turning to the private market, Turner said.

The city has placed multiple bids with private companies for healthcare supplies. After one deal fell to a higher bidder, Turner said the city placed a $2 million bid for N95 masks. Each mask is priced at $5, while it usually costs 50 cents.

In the Midwest, too (video below from 3/16/20):

states and hospitals are describing extraordinary efforts to secure equipment. In a briefing this week, (Illinois governor JB) Pritzker said he had a team of people working the phones seven days a week trying to buy medical supplies all over the globe. He asked nail salons, tattoo parlors and elective surgery centers to donate their stockpiles of masks and gloves while they are closed for business.

Pritzker said his team has made progress, including a big purchase of 2.5 million N95 masks, the government-certified masks that can screen out small particles and that are favored by health-care workers dealing with the virus. But he said his team is “running up against obstacles that shouldn’t exist,” including orders by other states and the federal government....

In conversations with ventilator makers, one company “told me I was competing with FEMA to get ventilators,” Pritzker said. “I called another manufacturer of ventilators, and he pointed out to me that I would be competing with countries other than the United States. … I better put in as big an order as possible in order to put myself higher on the list of priority.”

Pritzker also called on the White House to use the Defense Production Act to centralize the buying process....

Soaring demand and competitive bidding is driving prices up. Premier, a health-care company that purchases equipment and supplies for 4,000 acute-care hospitals, used to pay about 30 cents for an N95 mask but is now seeing prices between $3 and $15 per mask, Group Vice President Chaun Powell said in an interview.

And yet

A majority of Americans approve of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey, although an even larger number say he acted too slowly to halt the public health crisis in its early days.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Friday reports that 51 percent of respondents view Trump's management of the outbreak in the United States favorably, with 36 percent approving strongly and 15 percent approving somewhat.

Here is a safe bet: if Donald Trump were only a little more obvious, appearing on Fox News and proclaiming "I want many, many people to die," more than one-third of poll respondents would approve of the President's management of the outbreak.

New York governor Cuomo already has implied that President Trump is practicing a sort of social Darwinism. He's the governor of the state with the largest number of confirmed victims of the Trump Virus and thus dependent on assistance from the federal government. Thus, he fears he can do no more than subtly suggest that a powerful figure may want the less fit of Americans to die.

Political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, however, is under no such constraint. Of the Defense Production Act, whose implementation the President is avoiding because it would save lives:

It may not be "crazy." But it is deadly, and at least 51% of the American people are unaware of what is being played out in full view. Or, like Donald Trump, pleased that it is.

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