Step up, feds: We need gloves, masks now

President Trump's laissez-faire approach has left states vying against one another in a needlessly expensive bidding war for supplies.

By

Opinion

March 24, 2020 - 10:06 AM

Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for COVID-19 at St. Barnabas hospital on Friday in New York City, N.Y. The Bronx-based hospital set up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area. Photo by (Misha Friedman/Getty Images/TNS)

How bad does a national emergency have to get for President Donald Trump to use the extraordinary power he already possesses to increase production of protective equipment and ventilators in dangerously short supply, and prioritize their distribution to areas most in need?

We were shocked Sunday to hear President Trump and his economic policy adviser Peter Navarro say their reluctance to utilize the Defense Production Act comes from a purely ideological opposition to “big government.” They’re satisfied that haphazard corporate donations and businesses’ voluntary efforts are good enough to meet the national need for millions more face masks, gloves and respirators. “We’re a country not based on nationalizing our business,” Trump said.

“We’re getting what we need without putting the heavy hand of government down,” Navarro insists.

Related
May 6, 2020
April 8, 2020
March 24, 2020
March 23, 2020