Politics

USA Today: ‘True’ – ‘No Indication’ Obama Admin Replenished Mask Supply

USA Today conducted a fact check Friday in which the media outlet declared as “true” the claim that the Obama administration failed to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it had run out in the wake of past health crises. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said during the White House coronavirus daily briefing that the nation’s Strategic National Stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, had been nearly depleted when he assumed office. In the previous week, the Daily Wire had published an article that claimed the Obama administration had failed to restock the supply of masks after the H1N1 health emergency: The Obama administration significantly depleted the federal stockpile of N95 respirator masks to deal with the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009 and never rebuilt the stockpile despite calls to do so, according to reports. According to USA Today: ” We rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research. There is no indication that the Obama administration took significant steps to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it was depleted from repeated crises. Calls for action came from experts at the time concerned for the country’s ability to respond to future serious pandemics. Such recommendations were, for whatever reason, not heeded.” On Sunday, however, the Associated Press (AP) continued to blame the Trump administration for having “squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal [sic] of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.” “Now, three months into the crisis, that stockpile is nearly drained just as the numbers of patients needing critical care is surging,” AP stated, and received comment from former Obama Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who told the wire service, “We basically wasted two months.” As USA Today noted, however, on Friday, progressive media outlet ProPublica reported funds that were available to the Obama administration were not used to restock the national supply of masks. Though ProPublica blames some of the issues surrounding the depletion of the Strategic National Stockpile on “Tea Party budget battles” at the time, the article stated: With limited resources, officials in charge of the stockpile tend to focus on buying lifesaving drugs from small biotechnology firms that would, in the absence of a government buyer, have no other market for their products, experts said. Masks and other protective equipment are in normal times widely available and thus may not have been prioritized for purchase, they said. As USA Today observed, a 2017 study in the journal Health Security found nearly: … 75 percent of N95 respirators and 25 percent of face masks contained in the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (∼100 million products) were deployed for use in health care settings over the course of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also stated the country’s stockpile of PPE was taxed during hurricanes Alex, Irene, Isaac, and Sandy, and then later during the 2014 outbreak of Ebola and the 2016 zika virus crisis. These situations “continued to significantly tax the stockpile with no serious effort from the Obama administration to replenish the fund,” reported USA Today.

Thanks to Dr. Susan Berry for that excellent historical assessment which puts this whole issue into context.  To be clear, and USA Today (a VERY liberal news media) confirmed, the national stockpile of 3M N95 masks were seriously depleted, and the OBAMA Administration was told, and did NOTHING to fix that.  So, next time you hear some Democrat governor, Biden (who is running to replace Trump), or any other lying Democrat legislator somehow pin that on Trump, you now know better.

Opinion/Analysis: Former Acting AG Whitaker: Coronavirus is China’s latest affront – US must demand these changes

As a country, we will get through this unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. We are strong and our best days as a nation and as a people are ahead of us. But as we head into a brave new world of living with the novel coronavirus, leaders in Washington need to take a hard look at re-setting our relationship with China for the benefit, health and safety of the American people. This current situation has highlighted several issues that policymakers in Washington, D.C., and around the world must focus on once this current unimaginable crisis subsides. The issues include: America’s reliance on Chinese manufacturing for critical health care items like active pharmaceutical ingredients and personal protective equipment China’s inability or unwillingness to close and regulate “wet markets” within its borders The on-going illicit production of the deadly fentanyl despite promises to end it The continued piracy of intellectual property. Due to decades of globalization and offshoring, much of the manufacturing of critical health care items, including medicines, are made in China. Eighty percent of the basic components used in U.S. drugs, known as active pharmaceutical ingredients, are made in China and a “vast majority” of all medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, are made in China. This cannot continue. The very national security of the United States is at stake. It is believed that this current coronavirus, COVID-19, originated in the “wet market” in Wuhan, China. To read descriptions of how these wet markets operate makes my stomach turn. Basic sanitary protections are too often ignored or unenforced. This leaves the Chinese people, as well as the entire world, vulnerable to contagious outbreaks of novel diseases. In this regard, China is acting like a third world country that is unwilling or unable to follow widely accepted first world practices. Unfortunately, China behaves like a third world country in many other dangerous regards as well. China has been at the epicenter of at least two other third-world actions that have had a devastating effect on the United States and our allies – illicit fentanyl production and intellectual property piracy. The number of Americans dying from COVID-19 continues to increase and the ultimate numbers will be tragic and heartbreaking. The number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses is also devastating and in 2018 resulted in over 45,000 deaths. Many of these opioid deaths were from the very deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl, often manufactured in China. President Trump has been at the forefront of this issue, working with China to change its policies. This is also an issue that I worked on at the Department of Justice, traveling to China in 2018 in order to seek cooperation from Chinese law enforcement. Despite the Chinese government’s assurances to end illicit fentanyl production, it appears that they have not lived up to their promises. American ingenuity drives world markets and propels the advancement of science and technology. Chinese economic aggression, exemplified by intellectual property piracy, threatens American industry and is another illustration of China behaving like a third world country. A prime example is the decades-long effort by Huawei to misappropriate intellectual property from U.S. technology companies in an effort to expand its business and gain an unfair competitive advantage. The Chinese government is complicit in refusing to enforce world copyright and trademark rights that every first world country enforces. Intellectual property theft is just another shameful act of defiance of world commercial norms. The case to reevaluate our relationship with China is strong. These violations cannot be ignored by the United States. China should Close all wet markets immediately to end the deadly spread of novel diseases End the illegal production of fentanyl and significantly regulate its precursor chemicals End intellectual property piracy and manufacturing of counterfeit goods In the midst of this global pandemic, instead of working to solve these issues, the Chinese government has reacted by instituting a campaign of disinformation and diplomatic sleight of hand from the highest levels of the Chinese political structure. Audaciously, China’s Foreign Ministry has claimed that the U.S. Army deliberately infected Wuhan with the epidemic. The ever-expanding campaign by the Chinese government to change the origins and details about COVID-19 puts additional lives at risk. Accurate data is essential to stopping the spread and saving lives. If China is unwilling to commit to accepted international norms and to playing by the rules, we must reevaluate our relationship with them, including our policies on trade and travel. Their actions are detrimental to our citizens and to our economy. It is unfortunate that the Chinese people will bear the consequences of the third-world policies of their communist government but allowing the Chinese government to take advantage of the United States certainly won’t ensure our children have a better life than we have had ourselves. The United States has been a fair partner to China. It’s time we demand the same from them.

Agreed, and well said, Matthew.  Matthew G. Whitaker is a former acting Attorney General for the United States.  We agree wholeheartedly with everything Matthew just outlined.  China has not been acting in good faith for a very long time.  It’s time we used whatever leverage and pressure we can to get them to change that behavior.  To that end, we also agree with former National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the UN John Bolton’s idea of a “Black Book” on China.  Read the following article for more on that, and our comments at the end/bottom.  And, again, we implore you to NOT buy anything made in China whenever possible.  If there are two choices and one is made in China, and the other product costs a couple extra bucks, but is made in America, then BUY AMERICAN!!  Support U.S. companies and American workers; not sweatshops in China.  There is a whole list of them we mentioned (scroll down about 16 articles).  But, here are a few American companies supporting the fight against this Wuhan virus and hope you will consider supporting in return:  Ford, GM, Apple, New Balance, Honeywell, MyPillow, Hanes, Jockey, Brooks Brothers, McDonald’s, Tesla, Anheuser-Busch, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, Denver Ralph Lauren, Hooters, Mattress Company, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Amway, Johnson & Johnson, Krispy Kreme, etc.  Again, whenever possible, please consider supporting American companies and those products that say Made in the USA; NOT those made in China.  If we ALL do this, it’ll help send a message to the communist regime in Beijing, and reinforce whatever pressure being exerted by our political leadership.

Bolton calls for ‘black book’ on China’s ‘atrocious’ conduct on coronavirus

Former national security adviser John Bolton on Thursday tore into China’s “atrocious” handling of the coronavirus crisis and called for a “black book” similar to “The Black Book of Communism,” which tracks the deaths caused by communism. “China’s falsehoods and concealment of data about coronavirus are dangerous to America and the whole world. We need the equivalent of ‘The Black Book of Communism’ to document for history the almost-incalculable human cost China’s atrocious behavior on coronavirus,” he said in a series of tweets. Bolton, who left the Trump administration last year, zeroed in on what the Trump administration has described as a secretive approach by Beijing that left the world blindsided by the virus and unable to stop it from turning into a global pandemic at the beginning of the year. “Untold numbers of people have died needlessly because of the authoritarian Beijing regime’s conduct,” Bolton said. “The global economy has suffered a catastrophic setback that might have been substantially mitigated had China just been honest.” The administration has been pushing for the United Nations and G-7 leaders to state specifically that the virus originated in China. President Trump has repeatedly called it the “Chinese virus” while others, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have called it the “Wuhan virus.” Trump has played up his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping while also pointing the finger at China for not giving the world enough warning or information about the virus. “China was very secretive. OK, very, very secretive. And that’s unfortunate with that. I have great respect for that country. I have great respect for the leader of that country,” he said at a press briefing last month. “He’s a friend of mine. But I wish they were able to. I wish they would have told us earlier. On Wednesday, three U.S. intelligence officials accused China of underreporting the number of patients and deaths and said in a report sent to the White House that China’s public record of COVID-19 infections was deliberately deceptive and incomplete. Bolton on Thursday said that the U.S. must gather the facts about the outbreak “before China’s government erases them, not to mention the doctors, officials and average Chinese citizens who know the truth.” He also called for the U.S. to adopt new policies to stop “over-reliance” on China in the supply chain “especially for key items like vaccines and any products from which China steals our intellectual property. ” “’The Black Book of China and the Coronavirus’; we need to start the project now. Who will fund it? Who will write it? Self-starters welcome,” he said.

Unfortunately, we don’t see this idea, as good as it is, going very far.  Former National Security Adviser and Ambassador John Bolton is exactly right, though.  What China did needs to be investigated and thoroughly documented.  It was nothing short of a crime against humanity.  And our government needs to press the UN to FINALLY, PUBLICLY say that this pandemic originated in Wuhan, China, and that the Chinese communist regime covered it up for months.  That needs to happen.  We shouldn’t settle for anything less.  Thanks to John for saying what needs to be said, and pushing this issue.

Opinion/Analysis: Latest genius Democrat plan: Make the election about Wuhan virus

As in life, in politics you should be careful what you ask for. Some Democrat politicians appear hellbent on turning the 2020 election into a referendum on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. They lash themselves to the splintered mast and accuse political enemies of being racist for uttering the place whence the pandemic emerged. They use the global crisis as a diversion to loot the federal treasury for expensive and unpopular proposals that could never survive an open political debate. And they mock, distort or plain silence President Trump and the team of medical, scientific and economic experts he has assembled to combat this once-a-century calamity. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden — the party’s presumptive nominee to replace Mr. Trump — takes to the airwaves from his basement home-studio to berate President Trump. On late-night comedy television, naturally. “The president waited too long to start taking it seriously,” Mr. Biden complained this week — again, on late-night comedy television. From his basement home-studio. “You know, all the way back in January, I went on in major newspapers saying that we got to get moving,” Mr. Biden spun. “This is a real problem. We know what’s coming.” It is truly quite the contrast between Mr. Biden playing for sad laughs and Mr. Trump addressing the country from the White House surrounded by a phalanx of experts with which only the most ridiculously partisan hack would quibble. Yet, here we are. This is the field on which Democrat politicians in Washington apparently want to wage the 2020 election. In the first place, regular Americans of every political stripe see a crisis like this and simply want to find a constructive solution. They want government leaders to do what they need to do. They want their neighbors to do what they need to do. And they themselves want to do whatever they can do to get past the crisis. It is precisely this kind of spirit that makes Americans the most generous people on earth. They see a disaster somewhere on the planet and they ask themselves: “What can I do to help?” And they give. Generously. Nothing is more disgusting than watching a bunch of politicians in Washington scrambling up the greasy pole in times of genuine crisis to score naked political points. This is why the national political media has never been held in lower regard than it is today. Day after day watching live, televised briefings from the White House as government officials struggle to work through an epic crisis while reporters bleat on and on from the lazy bleachers about whether it would be racist if somebody called the coronavirus from China “Kung Flu.” And, of course, the coronavirus political timeline. Who knew what when? To be sure, this is a dangerous game for anybody to play. As the Wuhan virus was marching across China, the World Health Organization soothed the world that it was nothing to fear. Officials all up and down the New York City government urged residents to party it up in Chinatown in order to show solidarity against the racists who were warning about this latest superbug from China. What were Democrats in Washington doing? Oh right, they were hellbent on impeaching Mr. Trump on charges so ridiculous that even they knew he would never be convicted. But it was politics over the pandemic for them. Just as it is today.

Thanks to columnist Charles Hurt for that biting, spot-on analysis.

Brent Bozell slams $75M spent on public broadcasting in coronavirus bill

One veteran media watchdog is not happy that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — CPB — received a tidy $75 million grant from the federal government as a part of the recent CARES Act, designated for coronavirus relief around the nation. “We believe this was misguided. Just as Amazon, Microsoft, Ford Motor Corporation, and Starbucks have given so generously to help in the fight against COVID-19, so should the CPB give,” wrote Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, in an open letter to President Trump. “The CARES Act is already law and the money the government issued to the CPB is unlikely to be returned. Regardless, it is worth noting what this money could have been spent on instead,” he said — noting that the grant could have instead purchased the following medical items: 300,000 Covid-19 test kits or 21,428 hospital beds — even 357,483,318 pairs of medical safety gloves or 12.5 million bottle of hand sanitizer “At this point in our country’s history, all of these things are infinitely better uses of taxpayer money than giving it to left-wing outlets like NPR and PBS, both of which attack you and your administration continuously,” Mr. Bozell said, adding that the organization behind public broadcast already has an annual budget of $445 million. “The CPB produces programs promoting values which many Americans just don’t agree with. The federal government, by funding CPB, is forcing Americans to support values they oppose,” he noted. “No amount of classical music, Ken Burns documentaries, or ‘Morning Editions’ is worth one saved human life,” Mr. Bozells said

Agreed!  Unfortunately, this is the kind of liberal agenda nonsense that we can expect will be packed into ANY so-called “stimulus” piece of legislation coming out of a Democrat-controlled House.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is essentially PBS and NPR, receives millions and millions of dollars from we-the-taxpayers.  It needs to stop.  PBS/NPR should get its funding like every other channel or network does; advertising, fund-raising, etc.  That all aside, this shouldn’t even be IN any of these so-called “stiumulus” bills intended to address the public health crisis we’re all in.  And, to include $75 MILLION dollars (which, again comes from hurting American taxpayers in need of financial help; NOT a bill!) for CPB is incredibly offensive.  Shame on Speaker Pelosi and the other Dems in the House pushing this political “porn,” as Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) calls it.  Awful..

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Demands ‘Critical’ Racial Data of those with Coronavirus

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is demanding the racial data of those contracting the novel coronavirus, contending that it is “critical to ensuring an equitable and just response to this crisis across the board.” While the virus appears to be no respecter of persons, infecting more than one million people globally, Warren believes it is “critical” to have racial data to properly respond to the pandemic. “Our health care system is rife with racial disparities. Racial data on coronavirus will be critical to ensuring an equitable and just response to this crisis across the board,” she wrote in a tweet, referencing an article from the Atlantic. “But we don’t have that data—yet,” she added: Several people dismissed Warren’s plea. “OMG do we really care what color the person was who died? We are all Americans,” one user wrote. “Really? Even a global pandemic has to be about race?” another asked. “So the virus discriminates??” another inquired. “The coronavirus is infecting and killing Americans of all races. But there’s little public data on whether the virus is having a disproportionate impact on some communities,” Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, wrote in the Atlantic piece Warren touted. Kendi, in the piece, lamented the lack of racial data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, as well as the Johns Hopkins University database. “Few states, municipalities, or private labs are releasing their data by race,” Kendi wrote, citing data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which provides a bit of racial-based data:

As we often say here at The Daily Buzz…  When Democrat politicians have nothing, they go back to their playbook, and right at the top is race.  In this case, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who misses being the center of the universe, is looking for a way to somehow inject herself into this crisis.  So, she seized on this race-baiting, racial agenda driven idiot Ibram X. Kendi’s (he’s black, and changed his last name from Rogers to Kendi, a Kenyan name) whining about the fact that the CDC doesn’t have much in the way of racial data as it relates to the Wuhan virus.  Probably, they’re too busy trying to execute the President’s directive to find a cure for the damn thing, and don’t have time for such irrelevant nonsense.  The virus doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t care if you’re white or black or brown.  It doesn’t care if you’re male or female.  The only demographic it seems to be more prevalent in is the elderly and those with medical conditions, which of course makes sense.  That’s it!  But, in Sen. Warren’s mind, there MUST be some racial angle she can exploit for her own self-serving political agenda.  What a nauseating bitch.  Thank God she’ll never be President.

China lied about coronavirus, putting world in jeopardy, US intelligence agents say

As coronavirus cases have jumped in recent days, China misled the world by purposely underreporting its numbers of patients and deaths, three U.S. intelligence officials say. In a classified report sent to the White House, the officials said that China’s public record of COVID-19 infections was deliberately deceptive and incomplete. Bloomberg, which first reported the news, cited three U.S. intelligence officers who said they alerted the White House last week to Beijing’s misleading numbers. Two of the three sources called the numbers flat-out fake. While there have been skeptics all along, China’s decision to downplay its numbers could have deadly consequence for the rest of the world. Deborah Birx, the State Department immunologist advising the White House on its response to COVID-19, said Tuesday that China’s numbers influenced assumptions in other countries about the nature of the contagion. “The medical community made — interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected because I think probably we were missing a significant amount of data, now that what we see happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, China has been accused of multiple coverups. It has shifted its timeline on what it knew and when it knew it and has gone after critics, doctors and whistleblowers trying to sound the alarm. In recent weeks, China has launched a coordinated campaign to boost its global image. It has rebranded itself, tried to restart its economy and sold supplies to hard-hit countries struggling to contain the virus within their borders. “The only thing better than playing themselves as a victim is showing that they can emerge as a resilient hero,” Greg Barbaccia, an expert in counterintelligence, insider threat and corporate espionage, told Fox News. Barbaccia, who spent five years on active duty as an intelligence sergeant in the U.S. Army, said China is taking advantage of the current economic landscape and using it to their advantage as other countries like Italy and Iran struggle. Not only has China clogged up its own airwaves with propaganda touting the country’s success in taming COVID-19, it has also pledged millions of dollars to the World Health Organization and in return has received public accolades. A U.N. report released Wednesday praised China for sharing the genetic sequence of COVID-19. What it didn’t highlight was that Chinese officials didn’t report the first case of coronavirus until forced to and that documents later revealed that China knew about the dangers of the virus two months before reporting it. Had China been forthright, COVID-19 could have been contained. On Wednesday, there were more than 847,081 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. The U.S. surpassed 200,000 cases Wednesday. Globally, the number of those infecting will likely hit the million mark by Friday. In the United States there have been 4,417 deaths. The body count globally stands at 45,497.