Boner of the Day

Boner Fight for April 2nd, 2020

Boner Candidate #1: WE HAVE PLENTY OF VENTILATORS; BROKEN VENTILATORS

WASHINGTON — President Trump has repeatedly assured Americans that the federal government is holding 10,000 ventilators in reserve to ship to the hardest-hit hospitals around the nation as they struggle to keep the most critically ill patients alive. But what federal officials have neglected to mention is that an additional 2,109 lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government’s stockpile lapsed late last summer, and a contracting dispute meant that a new firm did not begin its work until late January. By then, the coronavirus crisis was already underway. The revelation came in response to inquiries to the Department of Health and Human Services after state officials reported that some of the ventilators they received were not operational, stoking speculation that the administration had not kept up with the task of maintaining the stockpile. In fact, the contract with a company that was maintaining the machines expired at the end of last summer, and a contract protest delayed handing the job to Agiliti, a Minneapolis-based provider of medical equipment services and maintenance. Agiliti was not given the $38 million task until late January, when the scope of the global coronavirus crisis was first becoming clear. It is not known whether problems with the ventilators predated the contract lapse, but maintenance of the machines did halt. That delay may become a potentially deadly lapse. Read More

Boner Candidate #2: OH, HE’S JUST A COCK-EYED OPTIMIST

Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is merely being “optimistic” with remarks that downplayed the coronavirus outbreak. Pence was pressed during an appearance on CNN by politics anchor Wolf Blitzer to explain why Trump hadn’t ordered a national lockdown in the days since he had stopped “belittling the enormity of this crisis.” New White House projections, Blitzer noted, suggest as many as 200,000 people may die from COVID-19 in the U.S. if the current state-by-state advisories and restrictions are maintained. Pence rejected the criticism. “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus,” Pence said, adding: “He expressed gratitude and confidence in health care workers in this country, and the American people can be assured President Trump is going to continue to be confident that we will meet this moment.” Trump, however, has repeatedly contradicted public health officials about the threat of the coronavirus. Even this week, after acknowledging the seriousness of the pandemic, he has attacked state governors asking for equipment and suggested that hospital staffers are squandering masks or stealing them “out the back door.” Earlier, the president repeatedly compared the outbreak to the seasonal flu, which has a much lower fatality rate and is much less contagious.  “We lose thousands of people a year to the flu. We never turn the country off,” Trump said at a briefing last week when he argued for a loosening of national social distancing guidelines. Read More


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