‘It’s fatal’—Rachel Maddow rips Trump’s response to coronavirus. ‘Please could we have a new federal government.’

  • 04/02/2020 3:49 pm ET Sabrina Matthews


"It’s insane. It’s fatal." Rachel Maddow rips federal response to coronavirus. "The states basically continue to muddle on alone."

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Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow searched for any hint of a coordinated federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, or even a competent one, and she just couldn’t find it. “There is no national policy but at least there is some stuff they’re supposed to be running.”

Who is minding the store?

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The Strategic National Stockpile maintains supplies which would be needed in response to an infectious disease outbreak, as well as events such as natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Previously under the control of the CDC, which had maintained it for nearly forty years, the Trump administration shifted oversight of this stockpile in 2018 to the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR).

Members of both parties worried this change would disrupt an established process between federal and state agencies. These worries may have been very well-founded.

Location, location, location: there is no method to the madness of where National Stockpile supplies are sent.

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As supplies are sent out “hither and yon,” Maddow points out that there seems to be no logic to apportionment.

Now the Stockpile is almost empty.

Angry Emoji Phone

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There is just a “tiny slice” of the federal reserve of Personal Protective Equipment left.

And what’s left may not work

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Donald Trump has repeatedly mentioned thousands of ventilators in the National Stockpile that will be made available when they are needed. What he has not mentioned is that over 2,000 of these machines do not work  because the Trump administration allowed the contract for maintaining the complicated machines to lapse last summer.

Because of course, they did.

 “Please could we have a new federal government. At least just for this.” - Rachel Maddow

The Trump administration finally issued a new maintenance contract in January of this year—after COVID-19 was known to be spreading through China. Thousands of functioning ventilators remain in storage, begging the question of what will it take for the administration to decide there is an urgency of need to distribute these remaining ventilators?

“The states basically continue to muddle on alone,” Maddow notes.

Wait, the Pentagon has some ventilators…but they don’t know where to send them?

"It’s insane. It’s fatal." Rachel Maddow rips federal response to coronavirus. "The states basically continue to muddle on alone." 1


“The Trump administration has left that stuff just sitting.” - Rachel Maddow"It’s insane. It’s fatal." Rachel Maddow rips federal response to coronavirus. "The states basically continue to muddle on alone." 1

Over two weeks ago, the Pentagon informed the Trump administration that they had 2,OOO ventilators available for civilian use. This is the Pentagon; they could load this equipment into a big plane and fly it anywhere in the country—but nope. Why?  No one has told them where to send them.

“There was discussion with HHS on where to send them,” according to Lt. General Giovanni Tuck. “And then they said hey…just wait while there was just some sorting through on that.”

We got your labs here. Where should we put them?

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The Pentagon has also offered a dozen of their labs for civilian use to process coronavirus testing, but they have received no response from the Trump administration.

PPE is STILL being exported

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Maddow rages that US manufacturers are still selling medical equipment and supplies to other countries. At a time when cities and states are desperate to protect their health care workers, American manufacturers are still exporting these supplies.

Maybe we still have some in…Thailand?

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Source: U.S. Dept of Defense

The best it seems we can hope for is for Mike Pence to step in.

When an administration official contacted the Thai government to ask for potential help with supplies, they were informed that the US had already shipped those very supplies to Thailand.

Although there is still no freeze on exports, USAID’s shipments of these supplies have been stopped until the federal government can figure out who is sending what to where.

“It’s a good thing that we’re taking a holistic look at where and when we’re sending PPE as we’re looking to fulfill needs here at home,” said Pence. Yeah, Mike. Right on time.

“We’re the citizens of the nation with the worst coronavirus outbreak on Earth; where our death toll and our case numbers are skyrocketing out of control. As far as we know, there’s no national policy in this country to try to slow that down.” - Rachel Maddow

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