March 29, 2020
Having learned two very important pieces of information regarding the COVID-19 virus pandemic since my post last week, that further supports my argument that this administration is the most ill-prepared and least capable of containing the coronavirus that is devastating many parts of the nation and planet, I must update my rant.
From January through August 2019, this administration conducted a military-style exercise with the objective being to determine the nation’s readiness to handle a pandemic caused by a viral infection. Led by the Department Of Health And Human Services, involving at least twelve federal agencies (among them the Pentagon and the NSC) and twelve states, the exercise was carried out over four phases. Crimson Contagion, the name of both the exercise and hypothetical virus, began in China, just like COVID-19.
Sadly, the results of this exercise are eerily similar to what is being reported daily by the media, among them lack of vital medical equipment and supplies, ranging from medications and N95 respirators to ventilators, soon became a major problem. The end results were nearly eight million Americans hospitalized and half a million dead.
Another interesting fact is that this nation has something called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), an emergency inventory agency, part of the Center Of Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). The $8 billion secretive inventory is stored in warehouses strategically located throughout the country, and contains everything from pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to three different types of ventilators (Covidien LP10, Vyaire LTV1200 & Zoll). We are told that four thousand ventilators have been shipped to New York from the Stockpile, but that’s it? All day and all night, medical personal around the country are on television begging for medical supplies, especially N95 respirators, face shields and gowns.
Four-star admiral Brett Giroir of the U.S. Public Health Service Corps, while also serving as Assistant Secretary Of Health and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has said New York has everything it needs to fight the virus. However, New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily plea for more than the four thousand ventilators that are said to be on the way suggests otherwise. I have a personal stake in this as my daughter is a nurse, however, these brave people are putting their lives, and their families as well, on the line and America, the richest country in the world cannot provide them something as simple and cheap as N95 respirators?
Until Friday, this administration kept saying there is no need to enact the Defense Production Act Of 1950, which gives a president the right to force corporations to start manufacturing needed supplies, that Big Business has taken it upon themselves to do so. The president changed his mind Friday, when he announced that he is requiring General Motors to start producing ventilators. Judging by his comments toward GM CEO Mary Barra, not to mention there are ten US companies that manufacture ventilators, this seems more an action of spite, than one of necessity, especially since GM has to retool one of its factories before beginning production. Three American companies are in the top ten in the world in manufacturing ventilators, #1 Becton Dickinson, #7 General Electric Healthcare and #9 ResMed.
According to the SNS’s official web-site, their mission statement is “Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, the repository contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously.” Judging by the constant begging for medical supplies, the Strategic National Stockpile is failing dreadfully at its mission. The SNS seemingly cannot provide enough supplies in the event of a single large-scale emergency, let alone multiple ones simultaneously.
Some people might say you should never criticize a president at a time of disaster, however, when I hear this president say no one could ever imagine a pandemic such as COVID-19 coming to America, as he did during this past Thursday’s press briefing (one of the items the Obama administration warned the incoming administration about seven days before transfer of power was a viral pandemic), not to mention the other lies being told every single day, it is my duty to speak up.
As the father of a nurse, it is my moral obligation to speak truth to power.
Steven H. Spring
Note: the following is my original post;
March 21, 2020
As an American, I find this administration’s preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic appalling. As the father of a daughter who is a nurse, I find this nation’s lack of basic medical Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), such as face masks and shields disgusting.
How is it that China built two mobile hospitals (a total of sixteen hundred beds) in ten days, and yet we cannot provide enough N95 face masks or virus tests, telling medical personnel that they should use bandanas to cover their mouth and nose, only weeks into the virus coming ashore? Or that, in a pinch re-use their PPEs. How is this possible?
Why is it that this administration had nearly three months’ notice of the pending viral attack, but it seems more and more likely that it is the most ill-prepared (pardon the pun) and least capable of containing it? Maybe we should create some sort of government agency to handle such extreme circumstances. Oh wait, we did. However, this administration shut down the National Security Council’s Global-Health-Security unit (created by the Obama administration) and slashed Center For Disease Control And Prevention funding.
However, lets not place all blame on this administration. Does the health care industry, which is the most profitable industry in America, accept some responsibility as well. I’ve long said the health care industry should not be for-profit. My accounting degree from OSU reminds me that inventory cost money, not only the initial cost, but to store it as well. Just ask the Detroit auto industry, which found out the hard way. The Japanese standard is the just-in-time (JIT) method, eliminating costly inventory. This is evidenced by all the Japanese factories located throughout central Ohio in outlaying villages and towns, supplying Honda of America up in Marysville. This method works great when all is well, however when you throw a pandemic into the supply chain, problems arise, as we are desperately finding out.
America, and especially this administration, likes to pride itself with constant boasting of being the greatest nation of all-time, yet cannot provide paper face masks or cotton swabs to conduct testing. This is disgraceful.
Steven H. Spring