One of the most mind-boggling aspects of the coronavirus crisis in America is the fact that one of the wealthiest countries in the world doesn’t have the basic medical supplies necessary to deal with the situation. In addition to a lack of beds, hospitals across the nation have nowhere near the number of ventilators and masks doctors require to both do their jobs and protect themselves.
While governors have pleaded with Donald Trump to help them obtain such equipment, he’s literally told them they’re on their own, seemingly forgetting the fact that he’s the one with the power here. For instance, Andrew Cuomo can’t invoke the Defense Production Act, which allows the federal government to take some control of the private sector to ensure production of materials relevant to national defense, but Trump can. And yet he’s chosen not to. Why? Because corporate CEOs don’t like the idea, and the president is more concerned with keeping big business happy than keeping Americans alive
Yes, according to the New York Times, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heads of major corporations have “lobbied the administration against using the act,” arguing that it could impose “red tape” on companies at a time when they need the government out of their hair.