During a conference call with House Democrats on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly bashed President Trump’s coronavirus response multiple times.
Multiple sources on the call told Politico that Pelosi repeatedly returned to the subject of bashing Trump. In particular, the House Speaker took issue with the Trump administration’s promise to provide widespread coronavirus testing, and its alleged inability to ensure ample supplies of personal protective equipment across the country. The news agency reports that, during the call, Pelosi referred to the administration’s actions as “almost sinful.”
“The more misrepresentations he puts out there, the more it obscures the truth,” said Pelosi. “We have to insist upon the truth — what they’re saying is not knowledge, is not facts, is not real.”
While the United States lagged behind other countries with respect to coronavirus testing, The Washington Post reports that approximately 147,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted each day for the last seven days.
The Federal Agency for Emergency Management expects to receive 600,000 additional tests this week from South Korea, a country whose coronavirus response the president has lauded, reports CNN.
As far as personal protective equipment shortages, evidence suggests that the availability of masks is highly dependent on distribution, location, and even the definition of who qualifies as an employee in need of a mask.
Late last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) addressed a viral claim that nurses in New York were so desperate for PPE that some were resorting to wearing black trash bags.
Holy freaking hell. A nursing manager at Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC just died from coronavirus. Nurses at the hospital have been wearing trash bags because of the lack of protective gear. https://t.co/DSkHKVECmE pic.twitter.com/gl3w7ksPog
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) March 26, 2020
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Cuomo chalked up the allegations to “distribution” issues, and told the public that there was no shortage of PPE at the hospital. A staffer for the governor confirmed with the hospital the center of the viral claim that there was not, in fact, a shortage.
The Wall Street Journal has since reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instructed hospitals to decide which employees will receive masks, on account that the department has only two weeks of supply remaining. A spokesperson for the department rejected the notion that there were any mask shortages, remarking that “all employees who need PPE have it.”
But the Journal reports that the department is currently operating under the CDC’s “conservation and crisis” strategy, which means that employees who do not work directly with coronavirus patients may not have access to masks.
USA Today reports that many hospitals have adopted similar strategies, calling the policy “right mask for the right task.” These guidelines have been opposed by nursing unions, reports the news agency.
Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced last week that California would make bulk purchases of 200 million masks a month, 150 million N95 masks and 50 million surgical masks, and provide them to hospitals and medical centers around the state, reports The Los Angeles Times.
“It’s not an indictment. It’s not a cheap shot. At the end of the day, they don’t have the masks at the national stockpile,” said Newsom. “We decided enough of the small ball. Let’s use our purchasing power. Let’s go at scale.”
The LA Times reports that the governor has agreed to consider sending masks to hospitals in other states if needed. The New York Times reported last week that Newsom sent ventilators to both New Jersey and New York, as California is currently only using 32% of its supply.