DNC on IG Report Confirming Trump’s Failed Response

In response to the first independent government report confirming that hospitals face severe supply shortages and that confusing guidance from the federal government has only made this crisis worse, DNC Deputy War Room Director Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“For months, Trump downplayed the severity of this crisis and failed to prepare, allowing the coronavirus to spread rapidly and undetected. Now we’re seeing the consequences. Our country leads the world in confirmed cases, supply shortages ravage our health care system, workers are losing their jobs at an unprecedented pace, and more Americans are dying. The crisis is worse because of Trump.”

From the HHS inspector general report:

“Equipment provided to hospitals from the federal government fell far short of what was needed and was sometimes not usable or of low quality, said the report, which was based on interviews with administrators from 324 hospitals and hospital networks of varying sizes.”

“According to the report, one hospital received two shipments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with protective gear that had expired in 2010. Another hospital system received 1,000 masks from federal and state governments, even though it expected a much larger delivery, and ‘500 of the masks were for children and therefore unusable for adult staff,’ the report said. Elastic on N95 masks from one state government reserve had ‘dry-rotted’ and could not be used, it said.”

“According to the inspector general’s report, hospitals told investigators that thermometers were in short supply, undermining hospitals’ ability to check temperatures of staff members and patients for indicators of the coronavirus.”

“Diagnostic testing kits to identify patients or staff members with the virus were also in short supply, according to the inspector general. Hospitals said they were struggling with ‘a severe shortage of test kits,’ limiting their ability to monitor the health of patients and staff members, the report said. There were also problems with incomplete testing kits missing nasal swabs or reagents to detect the virus.”

“One of the biggest challenges, hospital officials told the inspector general, was securing ventilators, given the machines’ necessity in treating COVID-19 patients. With the supply of standard ventilators uncertain, some hospitals reported jury-rigging other equipment — including anesthesia machines — to serve as makeshift ventilators. In other cases, ventilators were adapted to serve two patients instead of one.”