Rep. Katie Porter has been all business since being elected to office. Today, Rep. Porter released a report showing that in spite of growing concerns and warnings about the potential oncoming pandemic threat of the COVID-19 virus from top officials and experts, Donald Trump not only did nothing about it, he allowed ramped up exportation of much-needed medical supplies. The report, titled “EVERYONE BUT US,” charges Donald Trump with misapplying and mismanaging our nation’s medical supplies in the months leading up to our current crisis.
Rep. Porter, like many Democratic officials, has long pleaded with Trump to use the powers afforded him under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up production and supply chains for much-needed medical supplies. These essential medical supplies were needed weeks ago at the front lines of the battle to save lives. Trump has instead been stingy in his application of the DPA, trying to gaslight away the death count under his watch.
But while Trump’s incompetence and criminal negligence has been well covered, Porter’s team has analyzed “previously unreported government trade data” that paints an even darker picture of how complicit in our country’s misery Donald Trump is. According to the report, the United States was not simply ill-prepared for the coming pandemic—they were actively making big money depleting our medical resources, making us even less prepared: “The value of U.S. ventilator exports jumped 22.7% percent from January to February.”
And it wasn’t only ventilators. Porter says her team “found that in February 2020, the value of U.S. mask exports to China was 1,094% higher than the 2019 monthly average.” Think about that every time you read a pick-me-up story of some designer creating PPE masks for ER staff, or some grade-school kid donating their mask. And to be clear, during this same time the U.S. imported fewer PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as fewer ventilators.
It is clear that one of the fundamental tragic flaws of conservatism in America is how shortsighted its greed for money and power is. By not being more serious in January and February, and even in March, the Trump administration and the Republican power apparatus in general has worsened the economic problems we now face, and will continue to face in the not so distant future. What this report shows is that this short-sightedness is pathological in nature, like a fish with a seven-second memory, wondering why it keeps getting hooked in the mouth every time a worm miraculously appears from the sky.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.