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Lotta holes in that backstop, bub

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020

* Ben Orner at Capitol News Illinois

As state leaders try to gather as much personal protective equipment (PPE) as possible to distribute to health care workers treating COVID-19 patients, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the federal government sent Illinois 300,000 of the wrong type of mask.

In his daily press briefing about the novel coronavirus disease outbreak Monday in Chicago, Pritzker said the state’s third shipment of relief supplies from the feds arrived Sunday, but likely includes 300,000 surgical masks instead of the N95 respirator masks Illinois requested.

“While we do not have a final count on this yet, I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised, but instead were surgical masks, which is not what we asked for,” Pritzker said.

Made of thin fabric and held loosely onto the face, surgical masks do not provide as much protection against COVID-19 as N95 masks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surgical masks create a loose barrier for the mouth and nose against coughs and sneezes, while tight-fitting N95 masks are able to “filter small particles from the air and prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.”

Pretty big difference between a surgical mask and an N95 mask…

* Baltimore TV

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan asked for the federal governments help coordination efforts to combat coronavirus — by supplying more tests to states, coordinating access to supplies and more in a op-ed he co-wrote in The Washington Post Monday.

The Republican governor co-wrote the piece with Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. […]

They also said FEMA needs to do a better job coordinating the distribution of supplies.

“Right now, there is no single authority tracking where every spare ventilator is or where there are shortages,” they wrote. “The lack of any centralized coordination is creating a counterproductive competition between states and the federal government to secure limited supplies, driving up prices and exacerbating existing shortages.”

Centurion, an auction company based in Franklin Park, just concluded an auction this morning of dozens of ventilators to the highest bidders. FEMA should’ve seized those ventilators.

* If the feds want to act as a backstop, then they need to actually, you know, adequately backstop the states

As the virus spreads across the U.S. and new hot spots emerge in states such as Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas, senior administration aides have privately argued the coronavirus response is a test of local politicians’ leadership and resourcefulness — with the White House acting as a backstop for the front-line state-by-state efforts.

The strategy is built on the idea that state leaders have the greatest familiarity with residents, hospitals and public health departments, as President Donald Trump and his allies argue. But it has a political subtext: The approach could give the White House an opportunity to extract Trump from future criticism as the virus spreads throughout the nation and threatens to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. It also could backfire among Americans who prefer to see a firm national response to a disease that does not respect state borders.

“That is a Darwinian approach to federalism; that is states’ rights taken to a deadly extreme,” said Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who served for eight years on the Homeland Security Task Force of the National Governors Association. “The better read of federalism is that the states and federal government work together when the U.S. is attacked, whether it is by imperial Japan or a pandemic.”

Caterpillar just shut down a plant near Peoria. A proper use of the Defense Procurement Act could prevent that sort of thing from happening (not specifically with that plant, necessarily) and get our supply system in order.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:02 am:

    Who can people contact in the administration if they have surplus supplies?


  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    ===The approach could give the White House an opportunity to extract Trump from future criticism===

    I am racking my brain to think of any national emergency where the President of the United States wasn’t the focal point of blame or credit.


  3. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    It’s reasonable to assume that the Trump Administration is hording N95 masks for predominantly Trumpian counties and states.

    That does not seem like a good plan.

    The best survival strategy right now is to try to halt the pandemic spread in the cities to give time for us to ramp up production for the rest of the nation, and then use the health system in cities to support rural areas as the infection eventually reaches them in July-August.


  4. - Fixer - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    When you have a president implying that if you’re not nice to him, you’re not getting help… that’s a problem. Yes, I prefer Gov. Nice Guy but this does need to be called out openly as much as possible. This kind of incompetence is going to kill people.


  5. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    In response to my question above this site by IDPH is very helpful:

    http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus


  6. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    ==Centurion, an auction company based in Franklin Park, just concluded an auction this morning of dozens of ventilators to the highest bidders==

    How despicable. They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. How those people can look themselves in the mirror is beyond me. Those looking to make a buck during this crisis should be thrown in jail.


  7. - JoanP - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    I guess “the buck doesn’t stop here anymore”.


  8. - lazaraga - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    Covfefe is gonna make covid much worse than it needed to be


  9. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    The buck would stop at Trump’s desk if it referred to money. When it refers to being responsible for doing his job, that’s another matter.


  10. - WeAreAVillage - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    There should be an executive order directed at eminent domain over lifesaving medical equipment. Shame on Centurion and the rest of that ilk!


  11. - Jimmy H - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    “- lazaraga - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:39 am:
    Covfefe is gonna make covid much worse than it needed to be”

    He already has, from the get-go. He’s only concerned with how he can game it for his own benefit.


  12. - Thin and Crispy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:02 pm:

    TP - any evidence to back up any of what you just said ?


  13. - Pundent - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    A strategy that’s underpinned by protecting the political interests of one individual is doomed to fail. This disease doesn’t discriminate. It will take it’s toll on democrats and republican, red states and blue.


  14. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:11 pm:

    The irony is if Trump had used the two month lead time to massively ramp up testing in the US and we had more of a South Korea type response, that would have served his political interests better than any scheme they are cooking up now.


  15. - ExpletiveDeleted - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:12 pm:

    First, @Thomas Paine “It is reasonable to assume…” NO, IT IS NOT REASONABLE.” It is a hateful thing to say, and you should be embarrassed. We are all Americans and basic civility to the 50 million people who didn’t vote the way you would have preferred shouldn’t be beyond you.
    Second, to the larger topic. Those of us fortunate enough to live in Springfield area might want to consider the ramifications of using words like “seize” and “force.” Last I checked, NYC was operating their healthcare system basically at capacity prior to the COVID-19 crisis (approx 75% of hospital beds in use at any given time.) As Springfield healthcare availability was the inverse, with close to 75% available, the “forcing” and the “seizing” are not likely to work out the way you would want.


  16. - Rex the wonder dog - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    == It’s reasonable to assume that the Trump Administration is hording N95 masks for predominantly Trumpian counties and states.==
    I hope not. That would put Trump up there with Stalin with his notorious 1937 order No. 00447 as a mass murderer. And even though I hope this isn’t true, if it is it WILL come out.


  17. - ChimneySweep - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:35 pm:

    Reporting on preferential treatment by the federal government. From the article linked below:

    “President Donald Trump has been critical of Whitmer’s requests for aid, and her criticism of his administration’s response, referring to her as “the woman in Michigan.” By contrast, he has praised Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, where Trump resides, and that state has received multiple shipments of everything it has requested, and is awaiting another, according to FEMA data.”

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/29/21198704/emergency-covid-19-supplies-fema-states-federal-government


  18. - Jimmy H - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    “- ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 12:11 pm:
    The irony is if Trump had used the two month lead time to massively ramp up testing in the US and we had more of a South Korea type response, that would have served his political interests better than any scheme they are cooking up now.”

    Exactly. It would have served his political interests. But not necessarily his monetary interests. Somewhere in the 2 Trillion package he’s likely doing very well, as are his corporate buddies. Chaos is his best friend. Covid is creating all sorts of opportunities for him. Remember what he said during the housing crisis?

    Trump- “The real estate markets crashed. Now, I don’t want to blame the real estate markets, because I always made a lot of money in bad markets. I love bad markets. You can do very well in a bad market,”


  19. - JudgeDavidDavis - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Source of the problem…. USA has sent too many prescription drug manufacturers & medical equipment suppliers from USA to China. Downside of that is kicking in now.


  20. - JudgeDavidDavis - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    More info here….US gets 95% of surgical masks and 70% of its respirators from overseas, and China a major producer. And, China is hoarding them(per Wired and NY Times). https://www.wired.com/story/surreal-frenzy-inside-us-biggest-mask-maker/

    3M doubled their domestic production in South Dakota and Nebraska, as of mid Jan 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-03-25/3m-doubled-production-of-n95-face-masks-to-fight-coronavirus


  21. - anon, - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    there is quite of bit of flu research that suggests that there is no statistical difference between N95 and surgical masks in protecting health care workers–interesting that this info
    has not come out yet.


  22. - Fishingvest - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 5:32 pm:

    @Anon, please cite the research supporting you claim.


  23. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 8:50 am:

    ===Caterpillar just shut down a plant near Peoria. A proper use of the Defense Procurement Act could prevent that sort of thing from happening (not specifically with that plant, necessarily) and get our supply system in order.===
    Rivian has shut down too.


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