Illustration for article titled The Trump Administration Just Canceled an Order for 80,000 Ventilators to Haggle Over the Price
Photo: JIM WATSON (Getty Images)

If there is a woman in your neighborhood who has ventilators, you might as well go on and get you one to bring to the hospital in case of an emergency because if you are waiting for the president of the United States or his bumbling band of yes-men disguised as an administration to save you, then God bless you.

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On Thursday, it was reported that the United States officially has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, despite the virus originating in China. This basically confirms that the Trump administration doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing, and to that end, the United States is winning at losing.

Oh, and get this shit: On the same Thursday that it was confirmed that we are now the New England Patriots—or is it the Cleveland Browns?—of confirmed coronavirus cases, the White House was haggling over prices to get desperately needed ventilators because they want to shop around for a better price.

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From the New York Times:

The White House had been preparing to reveal on Wednesday a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems that would allow for the production of as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators to respond to an escalating pandemic when word suddenly came down that the announcement was off.

The decision to cancel the announcement, government officials say, came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it needed more time to assess whether the estimated cost was prohibitive. That price tag was more than $1 billion, with several hundred million dollars to be paid upfront to General Motors to retool a car parts plant in Kokomo, Ind., where the ventilators would be made with Ventec’s technology.

I’m a dad. I totally understand where the White House is coming from. When I go to get diapers, I am often confused by the brands, strength of diaper, number of diapers for the price and that sort of thing. Now, if my son or daughter has shit themselves and we don’t have diapers anymore, guess what I do? I buy whatever diapers are closest to the register that are in their size and hurry home.

America has shit itself and the Trump administration wants to talk to the manager about the price and whether it’s worth it to spend this amount of money at this time.

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I tried to find a better way to put this so that it isn’t jarring, but people are going to die while the president is busy haggling over prices for desperately needed ventilators.

If only there were some government official, some head of state, some person in charge of a large group of people who told the president how badly ventilators are needed.

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Someone like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He did. He has. Several times.

Here’s how CNBC explains it:

The state has about 3,000 to 4,000 ventilators on hand and has purchased about 7,000 more, but it needs a minimum of 30,000 additional ventilators within the next two weeks, when the outbreak is expected to peak, Cuomo said. Even if GM and Ford can repurpose their auto factories to build ventilators, Cuomo said, they won’t arrive in time: “It does us no good if they start to create a ventilator in three weeks, or four weeks, or five weeks. We’re looking at an apex of 14 days.”

He said the state is now projecting it will need more hospital beds a lot sooner than thought, estimating it will need 140,000 hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients in as little as 14 to 21 days. The state, which currently has just 53,000 hospital beds, previously said it would need 110,000 beds for COVID-19 patients by early to mid-May.

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Surely these numbers have to push President Trump to understand the urgency of what’s needed? Nope. In fact, Trump thinks Cuomo’s numbers are being exaggerated.

“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. “You know, you go into major hospitals, sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

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Ummm, can someone undo South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s ball gag so he can tell the president that we are experiencing a fucking global pandemic, which means, we are going to need...forget it. It’s pointless.

Maybe someone could place stock prices on humans so Trump could pay attention to the dropping numbers since all he seems to care about is shoring up the economy.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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