Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., President Donald Trump has still failed to gain pretty much any apparent self-awareness. Over the weekend, he delusionally suggested that there’s some kind of conspiracy on the part of medical personnel to hoard medical equipment that they have been seeking, because, he indicated, he couldn’t understand how they could need so much, even as confirmed U.S. cases climb quickly approach 150,000, a point the count seems likely to hit on Monday. This week, a CNN panel including emergency room physician Dr. Leana Wen and network contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta hammered the president’s supply hoarding conspiracy theory as “insulting” to those on the front lines working against the virus.
‘We can look at the numbers of patients coming in, and we can easily see how much equipment is needed. Not only that, but it’s not just the equipment that we’re using right now. We also have to be prepared for the equipment that we’re going to be needing in the months to come, because this is not a one-time event… We need to be preparing for months or years, and frankly, it’s insulting to suggest that hospitals are somehow keeping equipment away from health care workers, and jeopardizing their lives.’
Noting that in communities in which the virus has spread, medical personnel have had to use protective gear for even those patient interactions in which a Coronavirus infection is not confirmed, Gupta added:
‘The idea they’re being told they’re hoarding this stuff is a little insulting. These guys are showing up to work, not sure they’ll have the personal protective gear, they’re risking their lives, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that, and then they’re going home and potentially exposing their families to this… To suggest they’re hoarding it, stealing it, taking out the back door, I think that was the rest of that quote, I think that is insulting to these workers that are risking their lives.’
Trump, at a Sunday press conference at the White House, had commented:
‘Something’s going on, and you oughta look into it. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? Somebody should probably look into that. I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how it’s possible to go from that to that.’
And of course, to Trump, if he doesn’t understand something, then that must mean that there is some kind of nefarious plot to make him look bad.
Trump seems to be questioning how hospitals’ demand for masks has skyrocketed so much recently. “Are they going out the back door? … Somebody should probably look into that. I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how it’s possible to go from that to that."
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 29, 2020
This situation is not the first in which he’s suggested that authorities didn’t really need the volume of medical equipment that they have been requesting. During a recent appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, he insisted that he dd not believe that New York really needed the tens of thousands of ventilators that they’ve been requesting.
Trump’s assistance in dealing with medical supply shortages has been repeatedly requested amidst his incompetent rants. Recently, he did invoke the Defense Production Act to order General Motors to produce ventilators, but there are still many other needs around the country that have yet to be fulfilled.