Reason Roundup

Trump to States With COVID-19 Supply Shortages: Better Luck Next Time

Plus: Robert Kraft flies supplies to Boston from China, Laredo fines people for going without masks, and more...


Trump tells states to deal with medical supply shortages on their own. The president hit a new low last night in his attempts to rewrite the history of how his administration has handled the COVID-19 outbreak. In his now-nightly televised press conference, Donald Trump told reporters that states seeing a surge of coronavirus cases and a dearth of medical supplies had only their own leaders to blame for not seeing the gravity of this situation as early as he had and prepping accordingly.

That's exactly backwards, of course. Leaders of states seeing early cases (such as Washington and New York) and even some that weren't (such as Ohio) started taking COVID-19 seriously much sooner than the president did. Trump spent the start of the outbreak downplaying it as something Democrats and the media were hyping to spite him. He said on February 10 that "by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away." On February 26, when the U.S. had 15 diagnosed COVID-19 patients, Trump said cases were "going very substantially down, not up."

In response to preparedness concerns, Trump kept saying that a vaccine or treatment was imminent and we had an abundance of tests. (Here he is on March 6: "anybody that needs a test can have a test. They are all set. They have them out there. In addition to that they are making millions more as we speak.") As late as last week, as social distancing was taking off with many state leaders' support, Trump was suggesting that "The LameStream Media" wanted to see America in economic ruins in hopes it would hurt his election chances.

By now we're inured to Trump's narcissistic blame-shifting, but it really is astounding how unflinchingly he's kept it up even in the face of a deadly pandemic that is already cratering the economy and is projected to cost a shocking number of U.S. lives.

Whether Trump believes his blame-shifting or just thinks he can make other people believe it is besides the point. Our president can't stop portraying every new COVID-19 horror here as either a conspiracy against him or somebody else's problem. Meanwhile, people across America are still having trouble getting tested; doctors and nurses don't have personal protective equipment; and both urban and rural areas are woefully short on hospital space and gear.

Which brings us back to Thursday night's press conference. Trump repeatedly touted the one thing he took some early initiative onclosing the border to foreign nationals from China and restrictions on travel from some European countriesas the thing that saved America from seeing 20 times the number of deaths we'll see. (Watch his whole performance here.) The president seemed unconcerned about states having to bid against each for supplies, instead chastising them for not snapping up spare ventilators at some point before this all hit.

"They have to work that out," said Trump. "They should have—long before this pandemic arrived—they should've been on the open market just buying, you could've made a great price. The states have to stock up. It's, like, one of those things. They waited. They didn't want to spend the money because they thought this would never happen. And their shelves, in some cases, were bare."

To those states, Trump essentially said better luck next time. "Within six months, [protective equipment and ventilators will] be sold for the right price and they've gotta stock up for the next time," he said, going on to gripe about hospitals and states wanting "thousands" of ventilators now.

"They call up and say, sir, could you send us 40,000 ventilators?" Trump said peevishly, as if it's somehow unprecedented for states to turn to federal emergency supplies in emergency situations. "Nobody's ever heard of a thing like this," he said.

Yes, there have been plenty of state and local failures during this crisis. But this is what those federal stockpiles are supposed to be for.

As for masks, Trump suggested people could just use scarves wrapped around their faces instead. "In many cases the scarf is better; it's thicker. I mean you can—depending on the material, it's thicker," Trump said Thursday evening.

Thickness is not the issue, of course; the ability of particles to penetrate a barrier is. A makeshift fabric mask may be better than nothing, but it will not do this better than equipment specifically designed for this purpose will.

And whatever good Trump's early travel restrictions may have done is rapidly being outweighed by the damage wrought by our lack of tests and approved masks.

In Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., doctors and public health officials suspect the only reason the number of COVID-19 cases remains relatively low is because people can't get tested.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft just flew a company plane full of personal protective equipment from China to Massachusetts to provide to medical workers there. "It wasn't clear…whether Kraft or the state is paying for the protective equipment being imported from China," reports Politico. But the trip was necessary because Massachusetts has been unable to outbid the Trump administration and other states on the gear available domestically.

Gov. Charlie Baker "told the president the federal government was outbidding Massachusetts on equipment—even after advising states to work on getting their own supplies," says Politico. "A week later, the Bay State was still being outbid and had only received a fraction of what it requested from the Strategic National Stockpile. Baker grew increasingly frustrated at a recent news conference, saying he'd seen confirmed orders for millions of pieces of gear 'evaporate' before his eyes."

These are just two of many examples of the shitshow state and local leaders are facing trying to get COVID-19 tests and hospital supplies for their communities. As Trump continues to portray tests as readily available, treatments coming soon, and things mostly rosy but for his pet saboteurs, his words still (as NBC's Shannon Pettypiece wrote on March 20) stand "in sharp relief to the reality being described by the experts on the ground involved in the response."


  • Banks aren't ready to do what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said they're ready to do in terms of small business lending.
  • Coronavirus is giving "the illiberal right fever dreams of power," writes Reason's Matt Welch.
  • Yikes:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is thwarting distilleries that want to make hand sanitizer.
  • Beware maps shaming certain areas of the country for traveling more than others:

  • PSA:


NEXT: The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Exposing Government Follies on Many Levels

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  1. Better Luck Next Time


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  2. If you like your ventilator, you can keep your ventilator.

    1. Now that Ford is making them, you can get them in any color as long as it's black.

      1. Do they have to be push-started every few days?

        1. No, they come with a crank starter.

  3. How dare those slack jawed rubes in the south live more than 2 miles from a store.

  4. Coronavirus: NJ Gov. Orders State Police To Commandeer Needed Medical Supplies

    I mean Jesus, these state tyrants are not even trying to hide it anymore.

    1. I'm fantasizing NJSP seizing truckloads of masks bound for NY and vice versa.

    2. There is a reason I call it The People's Republic of NJ. 🙁


    Trump called Russia’s coronavirus aid to U.S. "very nice." Putin may use it as a propaganda coup.

    If Putin stands to gain anything from the deal, then cancel the deal. And if that doesn't happen, Mueller needs to investigate.


    1. IT’S A TRAP!

      1. Yes, some kind of finger trap I suspect, but I don't dare name the origin of the finger traps. That would be racist.

  6. Perhaps in the future we will come to not depend on the government so much.

    1. This will only be seen by most as a sign we need MORE government, not less.

      The amount of freedom people are begging their “leaders” to remove is astounding.

      1. If you're astounded, you haven't been paying attention. Few Americans place any value on liberty.

  7. Trump tells states to deal with medical supply shortages on their own.

    You wanted to be governors. BE GOVERNORS. They've gotten used to crying to the feds for everything.

    1. The problem is that they are being tyrants, not governors.

    2. to be fair - the feds have utterly perverted their Art1 Sec8 responsibilities - To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress

      This epidemic is not remotely an issue where the NG would be federally deployed. I'd argue it's not even constitutional to do that. But the feds have exclusively viewed the org/arm/discipline responsibility to enable the NG to carry out duties when federalized. So it is organized into 27 brigade combat teams with mainly the support/logx/etc units to support those BCT's. Rather than the reverse - mostly support units like logx, engineering, medical, CCC, signal, bio/chem, etc - which is what the states need when deployed at state level.

      So it turns out even when the feds aren't dicking around and deploying the NG overseas, they are organized mostly to engage citizens as the enemy with way too much military weaponry. And the federalized shit like FEMA, DHS, etc - is not in the form of an interstate compact (where states would have spent decades involved in its management) but in the form of the usual corrupt DC shit.

      Yeah - governors bitch and moan and look for freebies. But we voters are the ones who've chosen this path of centralized government with no citizen engagement

      1. Just to give one example:
        The 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of Illinois comprises engineers, CBRN, signal, and MP. That's a pretty useful setup for state level deployment
        The 157th MEB of Wisconsin comprises - artillery and more artillery. WTF

        1. You don't need to worry about a virus in Michigan if there's nothing left in Michigan

      2. Those duties you listed are the purview of the Army Reserve forces. Army Reserve does combat support, National Guard does combat arms. The militias from 1636 on have been focused almost entirely on combat arms (infantry, artillery and cavalry). Learn some history. The state militias have never focused on combat support. In fact that is the reason the federal government first created the Army Reserves at the start of the 20th century, lack of combat support, specifically medical. The first reserve units were exclusively focused on medical. During the interwar period and for a couple decades after the second world war the Army Reserve did begin to expand into combat arms. But this was all a budgeting gimmick. It allowed the military to expand combat capacity but not pay full active duty pay, and allowed them to call up reservist without having to federalize the guard. During the 1990s the military realigned back to it's original configuration.
        The Governors and state legislatures also have a say in what the guard units are tasked with. They almost unanimously choose to have their guard units geared towards combat arms whenever they can.

  8. Last laugh: Feds distribute coronavirus supplies seized from hoarders to first responders

    Tyrants. This is how this Constitutional Democratic Republic dies.

    1. Taken from the wreckers and kulaks, so nobody cares.

      1. I've seen many a cheer in comment sections. And cries of "name them!" "show us their faces!" "tell us where they live!!"

    2. I used to think that the future would dissolve into some dystopia out of 1984, where government surveillance dominates.

      It turns out that Atlas Shrugged might have been more prescient. The government is making slaves of corporations, for the good of the state. Am I the only one hoping there's a John Galt and a Ragnar Danneskjold out there?

      1. Elon Musk might turn space privateer.

        1. But will he commit treason like Dr Fauci?

          Or did nobody say that and you’re a liar?

    3. The problem is that they are being tyrants, not governors.

    1. Crime of the century.

    1. Are those bandanas n95 rated?

    2. So that seems like an easy lawsuit. Ignoring that the government can't force people to wear certain clothes (and I wouldn't be surprised if Texas had an anti-mask law from the KKK days), WHO and the CDC have gone on record that masks as mentioned above don't prevent you from getting sick, they only work if you're already sick. So this law can be proven to have no effect beyond harassing people.

  9. Anyone out in public, or in an office, must wear a mask, bandanna, scarf or any fabric to cover both mouth and nose. Anyone found without one could face a fine of up to $1,000.

    Also, it's a $1,000 fine for wearing a mask in public.

  10. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is thwarting distilleries that want to make hand sanitizer.

    No virus is going to kill the bureaucracy.

    1. I got some of the Jim Beam hand sanitizer, just because I was curious. It tasted horrible. I wouldn't recommend it.

  11. I wish we would focus on criticizing the big government things that Trump has done in all of this, instead of the big government things he hasn't done.

    Trump imposed the DPA again, this time on 3M. He's mad at them for shipping masks overseas, presumably to the highest bidders. That's what pricing signals are for, of course. Meanwhile we flush $2.3T down the drain and expect 3M and GM to be slaves to the state. Where's the article on the free market solution to supply shortages, instead of the big government solution that we're actually seeing?

    1. There isn’t one, only big government ham fisted “solutions” can save us.

      1. It turns out that not even government can change the law of supply and demand.

        1. Too bad Trump didn’t say “ Hey, let me pull a ventilator out of my ass for you”.

          1. He's bound and determined to pull one out of GM's ass.

    2. Let's put this in proper context. Did the country that 3M was shipping to have export controls on PPE, masks, etc? Hmm...does Leo even know? Newsflash: The application of a reciprocal export control by the US to that same country is justified. You know, turnabout is fair play, and that thing.

  12. Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted

    But restricting travelers entering the USA is Xenophobic and Racist.

    1. Interesting how ENB handwaves attempts at restricting travel from China and other hotspots back in January, by far the biggest issue, and ignores how Pelosi and the media went nuts with the racism talk, instead implying that Trump personally handles ventilator orders.

  13. Reverting to the laziest form of pre-lockdown partisan politics won't make the #coronavirus end any sooner.

    Gillespie forgot it's an election year.

  14. As media layoffs grow, industry pleads for urgent relief

    HAHA. Lefty Propagandists fuck up so bad that nobody wants to buy their lies. Then Lefty media hacks beg for bailouts to spread more lies.

    1. Without giant owners with deep pockets using the papers as preemptive shielding, they would have been broke long long ago. Maybe the CCP will buy them up so they can keep spouting propaganda.

  15. This map is meaningless and the Times should be ashamed of publishing it. All this shows is rural v. more populated areas where rural people must drive further even for necessities.

    In their defense, the hicks don't write for nor do they read the Times.

  16. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $48.9 billion

    We Koch / Reason libertarians consider the economy bad when our benefactor's net worth is around $60 billion. And now it's below $50 billion. This country needs unlimited, unrestricted immigration ASAP to bring us out of this #DrumpfDepression.


  17. Deaths in the US yesterday both lagged model predictions and the prior day's totals. Which is fantastic. Let's hope this trend continues.

    In other news, the Venezuelan Navy tried to hijack a cruise ship yesterday. They tried warning shots from an 80 meter patrol boat, and then thought nudging the cruise ship in the desired direction would be a good idea.

    What they failed to take into account when ramming the cruise ship, was that the cruise ship had been designed to go to the Antarctic, and had a reinforced structure and bow for coping with sheet ice. Venezuelan naval steel is evidently weaker than pack ice, and the patrol boat sank. The cruise ship was nice enough to rescue the Venezuelan crew.

    Lot of noise down there, all of a sudden.

    1. They wanted the food and toilet paper that was on board.

    2. So, the Venezuelans do know that acts of piracy aren't gonna make them any friends in the international committee and could very well help drain away what support they have from nations like Russia, right?

      1. You'd think so. As I wrote earlier, it's a whole lot of noise---declaring Maduro a terrorist, basically; leading off a Covid press conference with talking about how the US military readiness hasn't been impacted, and oh, we're sending some reinforcements to Southcom----for a part of the world the US hasn't made a fuss over in awhile. Stuff like Venezuelan military members being reduced to piracy or banditry, doesn't help.

  18. 'Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier!': Videos show sailors sending off ousted USS Roosevelt commander with cheers

    The US Navy has gone to shit.

    This ship Captain does not prevent infection by keeping this crew onboard ship but gets cheers for taking an entire US Navy aircraft carrier out of commission to weaken national defense?

    Who are these lunatics running our states and commanding our ships?

    1. Because we need all those aircraft carriers why? So we can go mess with countries like Iraq and kill thousands of their people? Give it a rest. We can defend American soil with 1/10 of what we spend very easily.

      1. Said the guy who wasn’t in the service and thinks government is efficient.

        1. That's the one thing government is efficient at, killing people.

          1. Efficient? Have you seen what it costs them per body?

            1. Wasn't it 100k per soldier killed in WW2?

              1. Other countries spend men. The US spends bullets. And shells, bombs, and other materiel. I like the US method.

                1. Wouldn't peace be even cheaper?

    2. They caught the bug from a port visit to Da Nang, Vietnam. Given the 4 star head of Pacific Command was at the visit, I'm guessing saying, 'no, we're not going to have a port stop', was a non-starter.

      COs of CVNs aren't dummies, and don't nuke their careers without reason. I guess he tried going through the CoC, and they told him no big deal, stop whining. Of course, when he would later report 25 percent of the crew catching this shit, the Navy would hang him out to dry.

      Pretty rare to find an O-6 on the short path to stars, to put his Sailors ahead of his career.

      1. good point. Never served but I have more than my share of friends in service, from what I hear from them, sounds like a real waste to be getting rid of him.

        1. I have not served either. But I read, and talk to plenty of people who have served. Including people with personal knowledge of the principals here.

          All of them have said the O-6 here was a stand-up guy, and the kind of guy who should get an Admiral's flag, but never seems to end up with one. They have less praise for members of the CoC in question.

          There's some debate how this letter managed to get out of the Pentagon and into the wild. CDR Salamander's blog is a great place to read about it. (And naval issues in general.) The thought is that the Captain didn't leak it, although there's a bit of speculation that, "You CC that many people, you should know it won't stay confidential, and that's a severe lack of judgment."

      2. We were told ALL THE FUCKING TIME that port call was canceled and we bitched about it but sailors are supposed to be professional and live with it.

        This Captain nuked his career for numerous reason and one was going outside the chain of command. You might not know that but being relieved of command is a career killer 99% of the time. Absent war.

        This Captain fucked up and he was no friend to sailors in his command. He endangered all their lives for a port call in fucking Asia which China was locked down.

        1. When a 4 star says your boat goes to Vietnam, you go. Regardless of whether it's a good idea or not for maintaining mission readiness on one of the two or three CVNs the US can get operational at any one time.

          The Captain wanted to not go to port in Da Nang. He got overruled, for what I'm sure seemed like great diplomatic reasons at the time. They went, a decent amount of ship's company got sick, and the virus spread.

          I'm also guessing he asked for help between Da Nang and Guam, and the same Navy that thinks it was fine to replace a conning and training school for new SWOs, with a sack of CD-ROMs with a 'Learn this by X date' sticker, told him it was no big deal. He disagreed, didn't feel like potentially losing 1-5 percent or more of his force to sickbay or the mortuary, and wrote a letter to the head of his CoC.

          Which is where we are now. Only now without a carrier for who knows how long until they can disinfect the thing, isolate the infected, and maybe put back to sea at some point.

          1. Your citation fell off. Commanders of fleets make certain decisions but captains can still order no liberty (Navy term for not getting off the ship).

            Either way, Admiral and or Captains should learn a lesson and toughen up sailors in case there is war.

            1. Look. I don't know how else to tell you. The commander of Indo-Pacific Command was at the dock along with the US Ambassador to Vietnam. It was only the 2nd port visit for either a carrier (Vinson went two years ago) or a US warship period since the fall of Saigon. The diplomatic and geopolitical effects of closer military ties to Vietnam, thumbing our nose at China by steaming all around the South China Sea, outweighed the risk of ship's company catching some flu or another.

              Given all that, it wasn't up to the CO whether they stopped in Vietnam or not. Make a note in the log, or letter to the file, but regardless, the Big Stick was still going to Vietnam. Me, I'd have had a bunch of steel beaches, resupply underway only, and Lysol the crap out of every supply shipment possible. Treat it like a multi month decontamination exercise.

              'Toughen up sailors.'? Idiot. Its combat power is in its air wings. Flyers can't fly with the efficiency required for naval aviation if many/most of them are fighting off a nasty respiratory bug. Never mind TR probably doesn't have the sick bay space to cope with the percentage of cases requiring more care than two motrin and change your socks.

              The CO needed resources by the time they got to Guam that the Navy wasn't willing to expedite giving to him. Which was stupid (though not if you think this is only another flu, I guess) because unless the Navy wants to pull Truman and Ike from the Arabian Sea, TR is it for the Pacific. Everything else is in training, overhaul, or 'selective availability.' Dicking around with giving the operational commander the resources he says he needs, means you just lost 1/3 of your potential carrier combat power.

  19. So did he exactly say it, according to the headline, or did he essentially say it, a la the article.

    You're fucking hacks ENB and reason.

    1. She’s told at least one blatant, easily refuted lie every day in roundup for awhile now. Might as well move it to the title.

    2. Doesn't Reason have an editor? Oh...nevermind.

    3. Brown needs to go and free a nipple somewhere, the birdbrain.

    1. Let's try this again.

      "By now we're inured to Trump's narcissistic blame-shifting, but it really is astounding how unflinchingly he's kept it up even in the face of a deadly pandemic that is already cratering the economy and is projected to cost a shocking number of U.S. lives."

      Serious question ENB are you retarded ?

      1. This article is one of the worst I've seen from Reason. She's practically begging for government to do something, anything!

        It's the very meme that we make fun of the statists for.

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  21. Testees...Testees...1...2..

    1. Three?

  22. >>>Leaders of states seeing early cases ... started taking COVID-19 seriously much sooner than the president did.

    seems they'd be prepared now then.

    1. funny, I thought at least one or two told their constitutes that everything was fine, and that they should all come out to party together.


      Mayor Bill de Blasio has blamed President Trump for the city’s severe shortage of COVID-19 supplies even though City Hall didn’t put in its first order for emergency protective gear until March 6, The Post has learned.


  23. The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!

    ----President Trump

    "By now we're inured to Trump's narcissistic blame-shifting, but it really is astounding how unflinchingly he's kept it up even in the face of a deadly pandemic that is already cratering the economy and is projected to cost a shocking number of U.S. lives."


    On one hand, President Trump is being unfair in his characterization of the news media, but on the other hand, I'm gonna write this shit to prove him right?!

    One of the dominant media narratives right now is about President Trump's supposed failure to have a national policy on the virus, by which they mean that President Trump should decide to shut-down the whole country and then open the whole country for business when appropriate. Even beyond the obvious arguments against central planning that way, however, there is no good reason why suburban Orange County, CA or resort oriented Las Vegas, NV should have the same policies as a mega-city with an extensive subway system like New York--much less why North Carolina should have the same same shutdown policy as a rust-belt manufacturing state like Ohio.

    The explanation that the news media is pushing this national policy narrative because it wants President Trump to lose in the upcoming election is actually giving them the benefit of the doubt. The simplest explanation is that the journalists who cover our news are so ignorant and stupid that they think setting policy for the whole country as if it were all just like New York City is an appropriate thing to do.

    If people aren't already more afraid of losing their jobs, their homes, and their standard of living than they are of the virus, that day is soon approaching, and when that day gets here, the news media better hope the American people have forgotten all the stupid shit they've said. They're destroying their own industry. I suspect average Americans hate journalists, now, more than they hate Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the cable company, or Congress. I just hope when this is over, it doesn't usher in a new era of open hostility to the First Amendment.

    1. While I have no doubt that most journalists are ignorant enough to believe that a one-size-fits-all centralized federal approach is the right way to do most things, we shouldn't forget that fear sells. It sells even better than sex sells. The newspapers and 24/7 news networks want eyeballs, because eyeballs mean advertiser dollars. Sure, journalists tend to be credulous, but they also tend to be crass.

    2. No. Till not that long ago, Trump ignored all the experts and information that it was going to be bad. The downplayed the risk and lied about it to the public. He did not push to get massive testing that would have helped. And worst of all he provided shit leadership. People tried to look to him for guidance and all they got was him blaming others, lying, and downplaying. He deserves to lose because his incompetence will cost countless lives.

      1. Citation fell off.

  24. As a libertarian who believes in state sovereignty, I have a hard time blaming the feds for these shortages. States don't need any direction from the feds to act. They could have had their own stockpiles of masks years ago. Everyone knew this was going to happen eventually.

    1. Yes. The blaming of the feds is simply shifting the blame for political purposes. The buck stops... over there.

      1. I’ll repeat what I said yesterday in response to a comment about Whitmer.

        I live in Michigan, and she was criticizing Trump’s lack of assistance during all of her press conferences for about a week before she actually officially requested aid from FEMA.

  25. Wait a minute, the leaders in New York were taking it more seriously earlier than Trump?

    I thought I had seen about a thousand mashups of statements proving otherwise. From everything Trump did was racist, to don't skip out on New Year in Chinatown, to the virus isn't contagious, to go about your lives and here are my pics for the theater this weekend...

    1. shhhh, who are you going to believe, the Glorious People's Democratic State Media or your own lying rube eyes?

  26. My county has the highest rates of the virus in the state and they've ordered a bunch of tests on their own volition to start randomly testing residents
    I'm all for it. It seems better than, I don't know, arresting people who dare to go out their own front doors.

    1. Proper testing of random population samples for SARS-CoV-2 (and better yet, when a test is available in large volume, having survived COVID-19) is long overdue and one of the most necessary actions before loosening various restrictions on public activity and commerce. It is the only way other than a cumulative confirmed case count north of 175,000,000 or so that we can be reasonably sure the epidemic will not take off again shortly after resumption of normal activities. It is not an alternative to social distancing, lockdowns, and a degree of coercive or punitive enforcement of such measures.

  27. There is plenty of blame to go around. Some of it surely belongs to President Trump (and the executive branch under his supervision, such as it is), but just as surely not all of it, and maybe not the largest part. Among the others:

    the Congresses and administrations past and present that preferred showy handouts to their various supporters to the drudgery of (and diversion of resources to) proper contingency planning and stockpiling of materials for which needs were easy enough to anticipate;

    the Obama administration, which cancelled a contract for some thousands of ventilators, apparently supporting the convenience and profitability of the company that acquired the provider;

    Many state governments that, similar to the federal government, failed to plan, prepare, and establish reserves adequate to this and doubtless many other contingencies;

    County and municipal governments, as well as hospital groups and hospitals across the country, ditto;

    again, government entities at all levels, and medical insurers (including Medicaid and Medicare) that squeezed hospital systems, hospitals, drug manufacturers, and medical practitioners relentlessly to reduce costs;

    Individuals who did not put aside resources, financial or otherwise, preferring in many cases to spend their money on current consumption and shiny new gadgets;

    and more.

    Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and unless the lesson is truly learned, this will repeat in a different and unknown way, probably not in my lifetime - I'm 77 - but likely enough in those of my children and very probably those of my grandchildren.

    1. Also worthy of mention in the blameability catalog are government entities, mostly at the federal level and for the most worthy purposes, that enact laws and issue regulations that slow creative private sector action to mitigate or in some cases maybe solve problems associated with this and similar events. It will be a serious deficiency if after action analysis and follow-on planning for future national emergencies overlooks the effect of such laws and regulations, and fails to provide for prioritizing and relaxing them at need.

    2. Well said, the parasitic exploitation of health can't systemic corruption need eradicated & held accountable.

  28. Trump to States With COVID-19 Supply Shortages: Better Luck Next Time

    Libertarians to Individuals Asking the Government For Help: Better Luck Next Time

    Most libertarian president ever.

  29. Coronavirus is giving "the illiberal right fever dreams of power," writes Reason's Matt Welch.


    It's every executive at every level, from every political persuasion, who is drooling over this moment to enforce martial law with iron fist. They are jacking their power-boners feverishly right now no matter which letter comes after their name.

    1. It is the nature of those in public office to seek to increase their authority and power to carry out what they consider their official duties. The designers of the US government knew that well, far better than most of their successors. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic increase their awareness of limitations imposed by constitutions and customs, and of the arguably true proposition that those limitations get in the way of doing the right thing. They rarely think, at such times, about the fact that if they, with their good motivations and intentions have the power, so will their successors, whose motivations and intentions may be quite different.

      1. they, with their good motivations and intentions

        This is an extremely generous view of their thought process here.

        1. While I can't fully disagree with this evaluation, I think it probably is true that events like the COVID-19 pandemic cause many of them to divert their attention, if only for a short period, from the nearly ceaseless striving for election to the same or a higher office and, instead, toward an acceptably honest effort to do the Right Thing (if only they can figure it out).

          There is a problem with this, of course, that even where that is true, it often is too late for effective action, as it was and is in this one. A lot of what is left is the traditional approach of pouring money on the injured.

  30. Trump was suggesting that "The LameStream Media" wanted to see America in economic ruins in hopes it would hurt his election chances.

    They might not be hoping for "ruins" exactly, but the President is right that the Left is not letting this crisis go to waste. If that's what Trump was suggesting, he's correct.

    The risk is low to the average American.

    Correct. An understatement, even—the risk is very low for almost everyone.

    The states have to stock up.

    Great advice.

    Within six months, [protective equipment and ventilators will] be sold for the right price and they've gotta stock up for the next time

    That's right—now we know. Let he who had a warehouse full of masks, gloves, and ventilators before the epidemic started cast the first stone at the federal government.

  31. Blah, blah, blah.

    Now, the Reason Foundation does a lot of good work. Reason magazine is informative. But this newsletter is pathetic. But it could be excused if it weren't so damn derivative.

    Try to make it weekly, and come up with a few original angles or ideas.

  32. Why aren't health can't systemic corruption held accountable? Insurance & administrator parasites who profit from exploiting & neglecting illness, injury, & misfortune?

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