How Is Trump F*cking Up The Coronavirus Ventilator Situation Today?

We knew it was bullshit when Donald Trump, freelancing like he so often does, lied at one of his corona-pressers and said all kinds of companies were right now starting to manufacture much-needed ventilators for COVID-19 patients. We knew it was bullshit when, after being pressed by a reporter, Trump said, yes, well, General Motors is doing it! No, they were not.

We knew it was bullshit when he said it again a couple day later at another one of his Dow-killing "briefings." Turns out that, according to facts, and also common sense, you can't just retool an entire auto factory overnight to make an entirely different product. It takes months.

And we also knew that whatever plan the White House had for getting much-needed ventilators to over-run hospitals, the Trump administration would fuck it up, and that Jared Kushner would somehow be involved in fucking it up.

Right on cue, the New York Timesreports on one way they're fucking it up. Turns out they were going to announce an Art Of The Deal on Wednesday with GM and a company called Ventec Life Systems, to make "up to 80,000 ventilators." But then they called off the announcement, because FEMA needed more time to find out if TOO 'SPENSIVE, because it was going to cost more than a billion American dollars! And they'd have to put hundreds of millions down too, you know, to actually retrofit a factory to manufacture them! No fair!

Now, maybe they will still make this Art Of The Deal happen, but they need to look at a bunch of other bids, which they definitely have.

No, it gets better, because guess who's directing FEMA?

At the center of the discussion about how to ramp up the production of ventilators is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a senior White House aide, who has told people that he was called in two weeks ago by Vice President Mike Pence to produce more coronavirus test kits and who has now turned his attention to ventilators.

He has been directing officials at FEMA in the effort. Two officials said the suggestion to wait on the General Motors offer came from Col. Patrick Work, who is working at FEMA. Some government officials expressed concern about the possibility of ordering too many ventilators, leaving them with an expensive surplus.

Oh no, too many ventilators! Every country's worst nightmare!

Anyway, hi Jared!

You see, they thought GM and Ventec could make an initial run of 20,000 ventilators very quickly, but then it turned out maybe they couldn't make that many that fast, because, as the Times quips, it turns out "auto transmissions and ventilators [have] very little in common." THE FUCK YOU SAY.

But at the same time, things are difficult because "the White House cannot decide how many ventilators it wants." The Times also notes that the original price tag they were quoted was about the same as buying 18 F-35 airplanes, and (Trump thinks) those are LITERALLY INVISIBLE, so the Trump administration is just not that impressed yet. Y'all got any MAGIC INVISIBLE GOLD-PLATED VENTILATORS? Those would be neato.

(You remember that, despite his gaudy displays of tasteless wealth, Trump is really cheap and doesn't pay his bills, right? Seems like that might be pertinent right now.)

The Times has the whole tick-tock of all the ways the Art Of The Deal with the GM and the ventilators is falling apart, so read it if you'd like.

Meanwhile, Trump whined to Sean Hannity last night that he just doesn't think people need that many ventilators. New York Governor President Andrew Cuomo has been saying his state alone needs 30,000 of them, and he went OFF the other day about how he was supposed to be giving the federal government "a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators."

But Trump in his infinite wisdom, peace be upon him, who knows more than the generals and the governors and the scientists and the doctors, just thinks NOBODY needs that many ventilators, what are you going to do with that many ventilators?

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday night. "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they're saying can we order 30,000 ventilators?"

Trump also complained to Hannity that a ventilator is a very big purchase — "that's like buying a car!" — and so we guess he just doesn't know if Andrew Cuomo is ready for that kind of responsibility. Is Andrew Cuomo going to feed and walk those ventilators by himself, or is Donald Trump going to have to to it?

And he's not sure he wants to help keep Michigan dying of coronavirus either, because he doesn't like the "woman governor" Gretchen Whitmer, who is bad. He also told Sean Hannity that, during his whine-session. (They need at least 5,000 ventilators in Michigan. Right now. They have received none.)

There is no part of this pandemic response Donald Trump cannot fuck up. If he touches it, he will fuck it up, or Jared will fuck it up for him.

Jesus effin' Christ.

UPDATE: As we published this, Grandpa Failboat went on a Twitter tirade, because OH SHIT, AMERICA FOUND OUT HE'S NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT VENTILATORS!

Those are tweets from the actual president of the United States during a global pandemic. This is all real.

[New York Times / HuffPost]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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