Shakedowns of materiel like PPEs that demonstrate abuses of federal power are now de rigueur and should not be confused with fiscal policy or even neoliberal austerity. Disaster hides much venality.

It’s about rank kleptocratic crony-capitalism in the form of market-cornering or cartelization. For example, Trump’s brag about ventilators is no different than a drug kingpin, especially as he distributes them for favors..


States have been forced to resort to smuggling shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) after federal officials seized supplies ordered by hospitals without informing officials.

Governors have long complained that the Trump administration has left them to bid against each other on the open market for critical supplies for health workers. However, numerous officials recently claimed that the federal government had seized supplies ordered by the states.

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, told CNN that the state bought 500 ventilators before they were “swept up” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said the Trump administration “confiscated” its order of 3 million masks.

Now, states and hospital officials are concealing shipments of supplies from the federal government in order to avoid detection. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, recently secretly bought millions of masks and gloves from China. He kept the details under wraps, “because we've heard reports of Trump trying to take PPE in China and when it gets to the United States,” a source familiar with the situation told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The governor has clearly outlined the challenges this administration has faced as we've worked around the clock to purchase PPE for our health-care workers and first responders,” a spokesperson for Pritzker told the outlet. “The supply chain has been likened to the Wild West, and once you have purchased supplies, ensuring they get to the state is another Herculean feat.”

Dr. Andrew Artenstein, the chief physician executive at Baystate Health in Massachusetts, revealed in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine that he was questioned by the FBI after the hospital staff worked “around the clock” to secure a shipment of PPE.…


Trump is stockpiling PPEs to profit “his” partners and red states when the second COVID wave appears.

On ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday, Hogan also denounced Trump’s encouragement of protests against stay-at-home orders and labeled the president’s temporary ban on immigration “a distraction.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expressed confusion on Tuesday after President Donald Trump targeted him a day earlier for taking his state’s coronavirus testing into his own hands ― per the president’s advice.
“I’m really not sure what he’s upset about,” Hogan said during an interview with “America’s Newsroom” host Sandra Smith on Fox News. “We did what he told us to do, which was go out and get our testing. And we had a great call with his entire team yesterday, and I was leading the call on behalf of all the governors.”
On Monday, Trump took a swipe at Hogan, who is chair of the National Governors Association, after Hogan sourced 500,000 extra test kits for his state from South Korea. His wife Yumi Hogan, who is a Korean immigrant, worked with him to negotiate the shipment.
Trump subsequently singled Hogan out during a press briefing. “He really didn’t know about the federal laboratories,” Trump said, referring to a call Vice President Mike Pence held with governors earlier on Monday to address testing. “He didn’t really understand too much about what was going on, so now I think he’ll be able to do that; it’s pretty simple.”
Hogan has actually been pushing for extra testing for weeks. After the briefing, he thanked Trump for providing Maryland access to federal labs to process the test kits acquired from South Korea.…


— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) April 21, 2020


— Emily Salazar (@LuvvvMusic) April 22, 2020

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is defending his decision to secure half a million coronavirus test kits from South Korea instead of waiting for assistance from the federal government



— 😷Please Stay Home😷 (@Bill_Maxwell_) April 17, 2020


— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) April 21, 2020


— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 21, 2020


— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 22, 2020


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