Governors are concealing incoming shipments of desperately needed PPE out of fear the federal government will swoop in and steal them. That's it, thats the tweet.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the state of Illinois is keeping mum about two charter jets of masks and gowns from China "out of fear the Trump administration might seize the cargo for the federal stockpile, sources said Tuesday." The state has a new digital portal documenting expenses for the pandemic response, which shows two payments of $888,275 each on April 8 for "Aircraft charter flight to Shanghai, China for COVID-19 response. Prepayment required." But when asked about details of the flights, Governor J.B. Pritzker's spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh was deliberately fuzzy because, as a source told the Sun Times, "we've heard reports of Trump trying to take PPE in China and when it gets to the United States."

That's right, after Trump spent the past two months saying the governors need to stop being such whiny little bitches and go get their own medical supplies, states are hiding their shit because they're worried Trump will steal it for the nation's strategic national stockpile.


"The supply chain has been likened to the Wild West, and once you have purchased supplies, ensuring they get to the state is another herculean feat," Abudayyeh said. "These flights are carrying millions of masks and gloves our workers need. They're scheduled to land in Illinois in the coming weeks and the state is working to ensure these much needed supplies are protected and ready for distribution around the state."

And she ain't wrong! Last month, Massachusetts ordered three million N95 masks from BJs Wholesale Club, only to see its order impounded by the feds at Port Authority. Which is why that state then turned to the New England Patriots to help get gear from China. Earlier this month, the team's jet hauled in a load of 1.2 million N95 masks from Shenzen to Boston's Logan Airport, presumably safe in the knowledge that Donald Trump would never disrespect his pal Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, by messing with his airplane.

See this tweet from the Massachusetts State Troopers official account about escorting a Patriots truck full of PPE from JFK airport to Boston? Charlie Baker, the state's Republican governor, refused to say exactly whom the truck needed protection from. And he didn't have to.

Thank Heaven for the Pats! But more to the point, this is INSANE.

Donald Trump refuses to step up to the plate and invoke the Defense Production Act in any meaningful way to ensure an efficient supply chain, forcing the states to bid against each other and FEMA for lifesaving ventilators and PPE. Defense Department jets cost $10,000/hour to run, meaning a roundtrip supply run to China should cost less than $500,000. Forcing the state of Illinois to pay a commercial hauler an extra $800,000 for just those two flights is disgracefully wasteful. (Also disgracefully wasteful: Jared Kushner's Bro Posse is using FedEx flights anyway. Because there just wasn't enough profit for all his pals.) The fact that the state has to take evasive maneuvers when it gets here to stop Trump from stealing it is just the cherry on top.

"In Illinois, the governor couldn't do his job, so we had to help him," Trump said on April 5 of Pritzker's desperate imprecations to invoke the DPA already and save American lives. And amazingly, lightning failed to strike him on the spot.

[Chicago Sun Times / WBUR]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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