Colorado governor Jared Polis, leader of a state that welcomes illegal aliens with open arms, had a question for President Trump: How could the leader of the free world fail in the simple task of stockpiling medical supplies?
Hospitals around the country are struggling to obtain N95 respirator masks. It’s the President’s fault, whined Democrats. One snarky reporter even fired off an implied accusation that President Trump should take personal responsibility for the lack of preparedness in the coronavirus pandemic.
Well, there was another pandemic over ten years ago. It was the 2009 swine-flu outbreak. Known as the H1N1 virus, over one billion people worldwide caught it, and estimated deaths were in the hundreds of thousands.
Health authorities reacted then, as they are doing now, with determination and in everyone’s best interest. The main difference was that nothing about that pandemic was political. No one asked President Barack Obama whether he took personal responsibility for wrecking the pork industry or for not shutting down the country as the virus spread.
In the end, 60 million Americans were estimated to have been infected by H1N1 swine flu. Hospitals cared for approximately 274,000 and nearly 12,500 Americans died. As we all moved on, the bureaucrats in charge of medical stockpiles knew that about 75% of the government’s supply of N95 respirator masks were used up during the swine flu epidemic. Those stocks, according to Bloomberg News, were never replenished.
Another news organization, the Los Angeles Times, not known as a friend of conservatives, reported that after Obama’s own Department of Health and Human Services urged a replacement of those stocks, no one did anything.
Fast forward to the coronavirus. The Trump administration inherited a depleted stockpile of 12 million masks. Healthcare experts estimate that the need could be as high as 300 million. Despite multiple warnings, President Obama’s administration caused the current shortage we are facing during this pandemic.
The foregoing illustrates something conservatives know: government, despite what our political leaders insist, is not the solution. As Ronald Reagan said years ago, government is the problem.
President Trump knows the solution. He is encouraging private businesses—whom his deranged opponents despise to the core of their being—to either make or donate masks for their local hospitals. As a worst-case scenario, the President is prepared to require American industries to do what is necessary to combat China’s latest gift to humanity.
Governor Polis’s complaint is in stark contrast to his state capitol’s attitude toward the federal government’s role in keeping the public safe. Denver is a sanctuary city. Denver’s mayor and police force openly defy federal immigration enforcement in a passive-aggressive attempt to make illegal immigrants feel safe and welcomed. They advocate free medical care for illegals, and the coronavirus could well be an ironic payback to their misguided flouting of federal law.
Nancy Pelosi, in the meantime, is experiencing a well-deserved political hit. Socialists, it seems, never want to waste a crisis. As the Senate was coming together with a relief package for small businesses and an unemployment insurance scheme on steroids, Nancy had other ideas.
Why not inject the bill with her own virus?
Yeah, we need to include provisions for clean air, implement new voting rules and forgive student loan debt. Sure, none of that had anything to do with fighting coronavirus, but let’s stash it in the legislation like we always do.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have none of that. He won another one. Nancy backed down and shut up after mumbling tepid support for the Senate bill.