Amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of over 4,000 Americans and counting, the Trump administration has been struggling to appropriately and effectively lead crucial supply distribution across the country. States have been left bidding against each other for supplies like ventilators in the private market. In the wake of a CNN report that emerged this week indicating that the Defense Department had offered some 2,000 ventilators that had not yet been utilized by the Department of Health and Human Services, Hillary Clinton publicly called out the Trump administration — again — for their ineptitude.
‘Two shocking facts of this administration’s failures to lead on COVID: 1. The Pentagon offered HHS 2,000 ventilators but haven’t been told where to send them 2. The DOD offered 16 labs for processing tests two weeks ago, still not in use.’
Two shocking facts of this administration's failures to lead on COVID:
1. The Pentagon offered HHS 2,000 ventilators but haven't been told where to send them
2. The DOD offered 16 labs for processing tests two weeks ago, still not in usehttps://t.co/Co5emWg5oU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 1, 2020
On Tuesday, the Defense Department’s top logistics official Lt. General Giovanni Tuck told CNN:
‘We were asked to just wait while there was just some sorting through on that. And I won’t speak on behalf of them, but we were in a position to provide 2,000… we haven’t provided any, because as of last night, we were asked to just hold on the ones that we have, and then we will push them when they’re ready for them.’
The ventilators, it’s worth noting, are apparently mostly of a special type that’s made for deployment with military units. As such, they need apparent special training prior to their effective usage — but there are clearly plenty of officials who could provide that training, just like they could provide a bulk-up of testing capabilities.
Tests have been sometimes difficult to come by around the country as the Coronavirus crisis has raged, and as for ventilators, the University of Washington estimates that over 30,000 ventilators will be needed across the country as a whole on the day that Coronavirus cases peak. In some individual states, projected need vastly overshadows actual capacity. In Michigan, for example, there’s a projection for a shortage of over 5,000 hospital beds on the peak date of infection with current capacity in place.
Check out Twitter’s response to Hillary’s call-out below: