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U.S. Looking Like Third-World Country, Bandanas For Health Masks

March 19, 2020

The coronavirus equipment and supply shortages are getting so acute in our nation that the Centers for Disease Control has made a pretty shocking suggestion to medical workers.  If your hospital runs out of N95 masks, which can filter out the coronavirus, use bandanas and scarves instead.

Say what!

The CDC acknowledges that the recommendation isn’t exactly up to the usual standard of care for a nation that is known to have high standards in our medical facilities.  Well, thanks for that heads up!  Hospitals already are running low on the proper masks, with some reporting they have just three days’ worth left.  And now even swabs so to take cultures!

One Georgia hospital has workers in a conference room cutting up surgical sheeting and sewing it onto N95 masks to make the masks last longer. (If N95 masks get soiled, they are supposed to be discarded. This way, the surgical sheeting covering it will get dirty and can be thrown away instead.)   Yikes!  Or yuck!

The lack of protection for health care workers is a national disgrace, as is the pending shortages of ventilators for patients, as well as hospital beds.

The manner in which this entire virus outbreak in the United States has been handled by the Trump Administration has been a complete disaster.  From not allowing for the World Health Organization to provide test kits, to Trump undermining the severity of the health crisis by calling it “a hoax”, and budgeting for severe cuts to the very agencies within government that work to either prevent, or deal, with health emergencies, there is no end to the damage caused by this White House.

That is not a partisan statement, but one of verifiable facts.  To make these offensive actions of Trump even starker, and in light of the meltdown that is now engulfing every sector of the United States, is Trump’s own statement that he knew all along this virus would be a pandemic.

Historians will spend many years looking back on the muddled messages and missed opportunities of the past three months while Trump moved from dismissing the coronavirus as a few cases that would soon be “under control” to his revisionist announcement on Monday that he had known all along that a pandemic was on the way.  (Trump, of course, has no more knowledge of this virus than he has with any other policy that has crossed his desk.  He is not educated.)

The reason for some shortages within the health care system, in the long view, can be explained.

Prestige Ameritech, for example, owns a limited number of machines that assemble, sew and shape the masks. A decade ago, it ramped up production in response to the swine flu outbreak by buying more machines and hiring 150 new workers.

“We made a really big mistake,” Bowen says of that decision. It took about four months to build the new machines, which are as long as a school bus and cost as much as $1 million.  By the time they were ready, the swine flu crisis had ended, demand vaporized, and Prestige Ameritech almost went bankrupt.

But when this White House saw the train coming down the tracks out of China, and South Korea, and across Europe with whistles blowing, alerting all to the crisis afoot, and still did nothing but blame the press for ‘panic reporting’ and claiming Democrats were politicizing it, then we have every reason to blame Trump and this most incompetent White House.  And we also have to add all those Trump supporters who made their ditto remarks on social media.

Whatever lingo Trump wants to use for his campaign slogan there is no credible way he can utter again his mantra from 2016.  It was racist, xenophobic and awful then.  Now it is just sad and pathetic.

As is his time in office.

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