Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Friday, April 3, 2020

Orange abomination

I don't know if you have noticed but I am taking the gloves off. It is too hard to not call them as I see them in these incredibly difficult times. You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. If you are offended by my rank partisanship I certainly apologize.

But I must say there is something so incredibly rich and ironic in Trump today forbidding the export of certain types of medical equipment overseas, including to Europe, Canada and Latin America. This is happening the same week it was discovered that his own USAID was sending protective masks overseas gratis while we were rationing them here at home at the Veterans Administration. Palm meet forehead.
“To ensure that these scarce or threatened PPE materials remain in the United States for use in responding to the spread of COVID-19, it is the policy of the United States to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting such material overseas.”
3M thinks the move is inhumane and incredibly shortsighted.
“The idea that we’re not doing everything we can to maximize deliveries of respirators in our home country – nothing is further from the truth,” Roman said.The company said in a response to the president’s executive order that the Trump administration “requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets.”But “there are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies” to health care workers in those countries, where 3M is a “critical supplier of respirators,” 3M’s statement said.“In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” the company said.
This is so typically Trumpian, so reflexive, reactionary and short sighted. Alienate an American company that has ramped up production and is doing their best so that you can look decisive. A company that makes two thirds of its masks overseas. Limited attention span, just grab for the nearest hanging fruit and try to hang on. Find a new enemy at every opportunity. For a supposed great businessman, he shows such a lack of preparedness, a complete lack of self awareness and an inability to either get along with others or to multitask. No wonder so many of his companies and ventures went bankrupt.

I rarely agree with conservative columnist Marc Thiessen. But he has a recent spot on column about the pandemic that asks some very important questions about how we were so utterly unprepared to deal with the crisis we find ourselves in today. The problem started long before Trump.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

One thing I have noticed is that Mr. Trump likes to sit atop a bunch of aides, have them slug it out rhetorically and then pick a winner. That is not an unheard of thing, FDR used it also. The difference is that Mr. Trump thinks this method allows him insulation from responsibility for failures, all he has to do is fire the unlucky sod that advised him and he (Trump) is squeaky clean. What he misses is that in a severe national emergency the government needs to use a modified military model in which the Commander in Chief is fully responsible for everything. She or he is charged with getting good advice and making the best of what is available, the executive needs to be fully engaged and communicating clearly with the public and with the government. Trump's style with its inherent avoidance of responsibility can not be modified to the military model with success. Trump would have to change to succeed, something that is looking very unlikely. The final irony that Trump seems to missed it that government is immortal. If he messes this up, he can't just declare victory and walk away as he has with his past private business failures. The country knows he is the captain of the ship and this captain will go down with the ship if things continue as they are going. Mass death and bereavement on a nationwide scale is so very much more consequential than screwing up a Casino. It is immensely sad.