Wednesday night owls: Sen. Warren blasts Trump regime for outbidding states on medical supplies

Wednesday night owls: Sen. Warren blasts Trump regime for outbidding states on medical supplies

Night Owls is a themed open thread at Daily Kos.

Julia Conley at Common Dreams writes—‘Massachusetts Is Not Happy’: Warren Condemns Trump for Outbidding States, Seizing Key Medical Supplies:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding to know why the Trump administration earlier this month seized at least two shipments of badly-needed medical supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic headed for her state of Massachusetts and accused the federal government of continually outbidding states as officials try to procure life-saving equipment.

After President Donald Trump on March 19 scolded governors for expecting the federal government to take responsibility for the spread of the coronavirus and ensure that states have ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers—saying states should “try getting it” themselves—the administration outbid Massachusetts officials and kept the supplies out of the state’s reach, Warren said in a tweet on Tuesday. […]

In a letter (pdf) sent Monday to FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor, Warren called the government’s interdiction into her state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus—officially known as COVID-19—”a new and inexplicable obstacle.”

Warren described a recent phone call Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker had with Trump, in which the governor said he had heeded the president’s call to obtain ventilators and PPE directly from manufacturers instead of relying on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), only to be outbid by the federal government.

“If states are doing what the feds want and trying to create their own supply chain, then people should be responsive,” Baker told Trump.”I’ve got a feeling that if somebody has a chance to sell to you or to me, I’m going to lose every one of those.”

According to Business Insider, the president laughed at Baker’s concern, agreeing that the federal government’s ability to pay more for supplies was “probably why” they didn’t go to Massachusetts.

TOP COMMENTS

QUOTATION

“Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency. We will need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatization, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back long-term planning, heavily regulate and tax corporations, maybe even nationalize some of them, cut military spending, and recognize our debts to the Global South. Of course, none of this has a hope in hell of happening unless it is accompanied by a massive, broad-based effort to radically reduce the influence that corporations have over the political process. That means, at a minimum, publicly funded elections and stripping corporations of their status as ‘people’ under the law.”
       
  ~~Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (2019)

TWEET(s) OF THE DAY

JESSE WATTERS on March 3: “I’m not afraid of the coronavirus and no one else should be that afraid either.âÂ�Â� JESSE WATTERS on April 1: Democrats and the media repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus threat pic.twitter.com/4F4Phnw8WD

— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) April 1, 2020

After that BS, you all need something to lower your blood pressure:

This is just a bear… being a good citizen. pic.twitter.com/OCqnUwioFZ

— Bryan Leblanc (@bryan_leblanc) March 31, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2013—Sequester will zap long-term unemployed right in the wallet:

As of the jobs report the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued March 8, there were 4.8 million Americans counted as long-term unemployed. That is, Americans who have been without work for more than half a year. The lucky ones, if you can call them that, about two million people, are receiving federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Most states provide only 26 weeks of jobless benefits (although some have reduced that duration to as few as 18 in the past year).

But the sequester, which will hack $85 billion out of the federal budget this year if Congress doesn’t act, means those Americans receiving EUC benefits will lose 10.7 percent of their average $300 a week benefit starting this month. That’s an April Fools’ joke not in the least bit funny.

“Cutting benefits will have real effects on people’s consumption,” said Jesse Rothstein, an associate professor of public policy and economics at the University of California (Berkeley). “That 300 bucks a week or so goes a long way when you don’t have anything else.”

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