States and hospitals continue to scramble to try to secure the protective gear doctors, nurses, and all hospital personnel need against coronavirus infection, as well as ventilators and other equipment to try to save lives. That’s just a fact playing out on the national and local news on a daily basis. It was also laid out in an inspector general’s report at the end of last month, a report that Donald Trump lashed out against. He attacked Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general whose name is on the report, in a tweet calling her report “Another Fake Dossier!”
Where does Trump get his “real” news on his response to the crisis? Where else: Sean Hannity. He called into the Fox News host’s show Tuesday night, telling Hannity that he had learned from the show that things are going “great” with ventilators and other supplies. That meant he “was right” all along about how the states didn’t need all that equipment in the first place.
“In fact, we just saw your show and a couple of other people just reported back to me that everyone is in great shape from the standpoint of ventilators which are very hard because they were expensive and big and they are very high-tech,” Trump told Hannity, again adopting the royal we while showing his very deep grasp of how things like ventilators work. “But they are very hard to get and we are building thousands of them, and we have that in good shape.”
“We” are not building thousands of them, by the way. But as of Wednesday, GM is under contract under the Defense Production Act to start building them, a $490 million contract for the company. This happened nearly three weeks after Trump “ordered” GM to make them: Without a contract. At a factory GM sold last year. In a tweet directed to some random guy using @generalmotors as his Twitter handle. And he is still playing politics with the states on providing these critical supplies.
Meanwhile, this nugget from the IG report remains true: “Hospitals reported that their most significant challenges centered on testing and caring for patients with known or suspected COVID-19 and keeping staff safe. Hospitals also reported substantial challenges maintaining or expanding their facilities’ capacity to treat patients with COVID-19. Hospitals described specific challenges, mitigation strategies, and needs for assistance related to personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, staffing, supplies and durable equipment; maintaining or expanding facility capacity; and financial concerns.”