Mask thefts and the anti-laser-pointer effect

When you play around with a laser pointer, cats (and dogs) will chase after the red dot. President Trump’s remarks that people may be stealing surgical masks from hospitals caused the opposite effect among the media — people immediately run as far away from the idea as possible. So after reporting on the possibility, they fling themselves into denying it as soon as the red dot appears on the story.

There are tons of reports about people stealing medical masks, but the media only turned it into something controversial after President Trump brought it up.

During his Sunday night press briefing, Trump remarked on the incredible news that at some hospitals, orders for masks have jumped from 10,000 and 20,000 to 300,000.

“How do you go from 10 to 20 to 300,000? 10 to 20,000 masks to 300,000 — even though this is different. Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going?” he wondered. “So somebody should probably look into that.”

Britbart.com

If these numbers are correct, and during the briefing, a mask manufacturer backed them up, something is obviously amiss. But because the national political media are unserious and pretty much useless, instead of looking into what could be a growing black market at the expense of human lives, they decided to freak out like the babies they are.

The far-left Washington Post shrieked (without evidence): “No, Mr. President, healthcare workers aren’t stealing masks. You failed them.”

The far-left MSN harrumphed: “President Trump … insinuated that staff may be stealing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

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So how far out of line is he? Turns out, it’s not that far.

To begin with, and without the media freaking out even a little bit, New York’s very own governor, one Andrew Cuomo, said the exact same thing more than three weeks ago:

“As fear over the new coronavirus in New York spreads faster than the outbreak, people have started to steal masks and other medical equipment from local hospitals,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Friday.

“Not just people taking a couple or three, I mean just actual thefts of those products,” Cuomo said at a press conference from the state capital in Albany. “I’ve asked the state police to do an investigation, look at places that are selling masks, medical equipment, protective wear, feeding the anxiety.”

News & Observer, March 19: “Hospitals across the Triangle say thieves are stealing masks, gloves and hand sanitizer by the box due to anxiety over the nationwide shortage of medical supplies.”

Business Insider, March 7: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that his administration had directed state police to investigate cases of the theft of masks and other equipment from hospitals and medical facilities, putting healthcare workers at risk.”

New York Times, March 19: ““We’ve experienced outright theft, with the general public walking into our building and walking right out,” said Bruno Petinaux, the hospital’s chief medical officer.”

And on and on and on, and not just in America…

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TIMELINE: Trump Administration’s Actions To Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic

December 31: China reports the discovery of the coronavirus to the World Health Organization.

January 6: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Wuhan, China due to the spreading coronavirus.

January 7: The CDC established a coronavirus incident management system to better share and respond to information about the virus.

January 11: The CDC issued a Level I travel health notice for Wuhan, China.

January 17: The CDC began implementing public health entry screening at the 3 U.S. airports that received the most travelers from Wuhan – San Francisco, New York JFK, and Los Angeles.

January 20: Dr. Fauci announces the National Institutes of Health is already working on the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

January 21: The CDC activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response.

January 23: The CDC sought a “special emergency authorization” from the FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test.

January 27: The CDC issued a level III travel health notice urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to China due to the coronavirus.

January 29: The White House announced the formation of the Coronavirus Task Force to help monitor and contain the spread of the virus and provide updates to the president.

January 31: The Trump Administration:

Declared the coronavirus a public health emergency.

Announced Chinese travel restrictions.

Suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

January 31: The Department of Homeland Security took critical steps to funnel all flights from China into just 7 domestic U.S. airports.

PJ Media

February 3: The CDC had a team ready to travel to China to obtain critical information on the novel coronavirus, but were in the U.S. awaiting permission to enter by the Chinese government.

February 4: President Trump vowed in his State of the Union Address to “take all necessary steps” to protect Americans from the coronavirus.

February 6: The CDC began shipping CDC-Developed test kits for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to U.S. and international labs.

February 9: The White House Coronavirus Task Force briefed governors from across the nation at the National Governors’ Association Meeting in Washington.

February 11: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expanded a partnership with Janssen Research & Development to “expedite the development” of a coronavirus vaccine.

February 12: The U.S. shipped test kits for the 2019 novel coronavirus to approximately 30 countries who lacked the necessary reagents and other materials.

February 12: The CDC was prepared to travel to China but had yet to receive permission from the Chinese government.

February 14: The CDC began working with five labs to conduct “community-based influenza surveillance” to study and detect the spread of coronavirus.

February 18: HHS announced it would engage with Sanofi Pasteur in an effort to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and to develop treatment for coronavirus infections.

February 24: The Trump Administration sent a letter to Congress requesting at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

February 26: President Trump discussed coronavirus containment efforts with Indian PM Modi and updated the press on his administration’s containment efforts in the U.S. during his state visit to India.

February 29: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed certified labs to develop and begin testing coronavirus testing kits while reviewing pending applications.February 29: The Trump administration:

Announced a level 4 travel advisory to areas of Italy and South Korea.

Barred all travel to Iran.

Barred the entry of foreign citizens who visited Iran in the last 14 days.

PJ Media

March 3: The CDC lifted federal restrictions on coronavirus testing to allow any American to be tested for coronavirus, “subject to doctor’s orders.”

March 3: The White House announced President Trump donated his fourth-quarter salary to fight the coronavirus.

March 4: The Trump Administration announced the purchase of $500 million N95 respirators over the next 18 months to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

March 4: Secretary Azar announced that HHS was transferring $35 million to the CDC to help state and local communities that have been impacted most by the coronavirus.

March 6: President Trump signed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The bill provides $7.76 billion to federal, state, & local agencies to combat the coronavirus and authorizes an additional $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions.

March 9: President Trump called on Congress to pass a payroll tax cut over coronavirus.

March 10: President Trump and VP Pence met with top health insurance companies and secured a commitment to waive co-pays for coronavirus testing.

March 11: President Trump:

Announced travel restrictions on foreigners who had visited Europe in the last 14 days.

Directed the Small Business Administration to issue low-interest loans to affected small businesses and called on Congress to increase this fund by $50 billion.

Directed the Treasury Department to defer tax payments for affected individuals & businesses, & provide $200 billion in “additional liquidity.”

Met with American bankers at the White House to discuss coronavirus.

March 13: President Trump declared a national emergency in order to access $42 billion in existing funds to combat the coronavirus.

March 13: President Trump announced:

Public-private partnerships to open up drive-through testing collection sites.

A pause on interest payments on federal student loans.

An order to the Department of Energy to purchase oil for the strategic petroleum reserve.March 13: The Food & Drug Administration:

Granted Roche AG an emergency approval for automated coronavirus testing kits.

Issued an emergency approval to Thermo Fisher for a coronavirus test within 24 hours of receiving the request.

March 13: HHS announced funding for the development of two new rapid diagnostic tests, which would be able to detect coronavirus in approximately 1 hour.

March 14: The Coronavirus Relief Bill passed the House of Representatives.

March 14: The Trump Administration announced the European travel ban will extend to the UK and Ireland.

March 15: President Trump held a phone call with over two dozen grocery store executives to discuss the on-going demand for food and other supplies.

March 15: HHS announced it is projected to have 1.9 million COVID-19 tests available in 2,000 labs this week.

March 15: Google announced a partnership with the Trump Administration to develop a website dedicated to coronavirus education, prevention, & local resources.

March 15: All 50 states were contacted through FEMA to coordinate “federally-supported, state-led efforts” to end coronavirus.

March 16: President Trump:

Held a teleconference with governors to discuss coronavirus preparedness and response.

Participated in a call with G7 leaders who committed to increasing coordination in response to the coronavirus and restoring global economic confidence.

Announced that the first potential vaccine for coronavirus has entered a phase one trial in a record amount of time.

Announced “15 days to slow the spread” coronavirus guidance.

March 16: The FDA announced it was empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by labs in their states.

March 16: Asst. Secretary for Health confirmed the availability of 1 million coronavirus tests and projected 2 million tests available the next week and 5 million the following.

The Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus

10. Trump downplayed the mortality rate of the coronavirus

9. Trump lied when he said Google was developing a national coronavirus website

8.  Trump ‘dissolved’ the WH pandemic response office

7. Trump ignored early intel briefings on possible pandemic

6. Trump cut funding to the CDC & NIH

5. Trump ‘muzzled’ Dr. Fauci

4. Trump didn’t act quickly and isn’t doing enough

3. Trump told governors they were “on their own”

2. Trump turned down testing kits from WHO

1. Trump called the coronavirus “a hoax”

Source

More Lies From the New York Times

(John Hinderaker) The Democrats are desperate to blame President Trump for the Wuhan coronavirus, and to criticize any measures his administration may take. They are shameless, too; at first, his response–an early ban on travel from China, which undoubtedly saved lives–was racist and xenophobic, while now anything he does is too little.

More Lies From the New York Times

The New York Times bashes the president daily, usually by peddling fake news. The latest example comes from Editorial Board member Mara Gay, the same one who said on MSNBC that 500 is one million times 327. Here, she simply misquoted the president. Dan Bongino has the story.

First, Gay’s tweet with its alleged Trump quote:

Trump told governors this morning they are on their own: 

“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times. https://t.co/K0sont7MBc

Bongino’s response, which has been echoed by many:

Do you EVER tell the truth? 

Let us help you with the rest 

“We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

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SHOCKER: No, The White House Didn’t ‘Dissolve’ Its Pandemic Response Office. I Was There….

SHOCKER: No, The White House Didn’t ‘Dissolve’ Its Pandemic Response Office. I Was There.

Source: SHOCKER: No, The White House Didn’t ‘Dissolve’ Its Pandemic Response Office. I Was There….

Power Line has commentary, and a few paragraphs not behind a paywall:

As part of the effort to make the NSC more effective, the Trump administration created the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, a consolidation of three directorates into one (the three were arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense, which obviously overlap). Morrison says “it is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented.” (Emphasis added) But, “if anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.”

In short, the “pandemic response office” was not “dissolved.” It still exists and, in Morrison’s judgment, its current staffing level is “fully up to the job.”

….

Morrison concedes that some of the criticism of the president’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is “warranted,” though “much [is] not.” (The odds are strongly against any leader not making mistakes in responding to something as unprecedented as this pandemic.) But the claim that Trump dissolved the pandemic response office isn’t just unwarranted. It is fake news.

Power Line Blog

RedState has its own post on the matter, including a link to FactCheck.org.

Claims About Trump Administration Having Dissolved Its Pandemic Response Office

[guest post by Dana] Four days ago, Beth Cameron, who previously served as the senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council, wrote in The WashingtonPost : When President Trump took office in 2017, the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense survived the transition intact.

Source: Claims About Trump Administration Having Dissolved Its Pandemic Response Office

The Media Has “Reported” A Hundred Times that Trump “Dissolved” the NSC Epidemic Unit. This Is a Lie.

Shocking, I know. Tim Morrison is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council. President Trump gets his share of criticism — some warranted, much not.

Source: The Media Has “Reported” A Hundred Times that Trump “Dissolved” the NSC Epidemic Unit. This Is a Lie.

Do you remember the MSM announcing the death count every day during H1N1 epidemic, death by death by death?

I don’t recall it, and you probably don’t either, because I don’t think it ever happened. The pandemic was covered by the press, but not in anything like the way the COVID-19 illness is being covered now. Because Obama was president, and therefore there was no need to intentionally stir up alarm and panic in order to hurt him.

Source: Do you remember the MSM announcing the death count every day during H1N1 epidemic, death by death by death?