NPR reminds us that Trump declared a national emergency a month ago on March 13.

In a Rose Garden address, flanked by leaders from giant retailers and medical testing companies, he promised a mobilization of public and private resources to attack the coronavirus.

“We’ve been working very hard on this. We’ve made tremendous progress,” Trump said. “When you compare what we’ve done to other areas of the world, it’s pretty incredible.”

But very little of what he promised actually happened.

NPR’s Investigations Team dug into each of the claims made from the podium that day. And rather than a sweeping national campaign of screening, drive-through sample collection and lab testing, it found a smattering of small pilot projects and aborted efforts.

In some cases, no action was taken at all. Target did not formally partner with the federal government, for example.

The remarks in the Rose Garden highlighted the Trump administration’s strategic approach: a preference for public-private partnerships. But as the White House defined what those private companies were going to do, in many cases it promised more than they could pull off.

It’s like socialism turned inside out. Say the capitalists will do the heavy lifting, then look fixedly in the opposite direction while the capitalists do no lifting at all.

Drive-through testing? Nope. Walmart opened two, Walgreens opened two, CVS opened four. Not quite enough to do the job.

The president also welcomed Bruce Greenstein, an executive vice president of the LHC Group, to the microphone.

Greenstein’s organization primarily provides in-home health care, and he pledged that it would be helping with testing “for Americans that can’t get to a test site or live in rural areas far away from a retail establishment.”

NPR called more than 20 LHC sites in 12 states, and none of them is doing in-home testing one month following the Rose Garden address. Employees at the LHC sites said they lacked both testing kits and the training to administer kits.

So Trump gave them a nice free ad, and they’ve paid us back with…bupkis.

There’s much more.

Comments are closed.