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Nurses in garbage bags, and no federal plan on testing: The nightmare continues

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

[Regarding this story: How Did the U.S. End Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags?]

This goes deep into the whys and hows of the federal failure to assume a leadership, or practically any role on getting hospital workers the PPE equipment they needed for their own protection.

It would have been better if Trump, Pence, and Kushner had said up front that the federal government wasn’t going to lift a finger on supply chain issues, because they instead created expectations before doing the minimum weeks later and then finally just walked away.


It’s just stunning that anyone is willing to defend what happened here.

[Regarding this story: Trump says widespread coronavirus testing ‘would never happen’ and isn’t needed to reopen the country]

You get the sense that the administration sees New York cresting and impatiently views the crisis as nearly over and things can soon return to normal, willfully ignorant that but for the shut down, the infection rate and death toll would still be climbing.

The countries that got ahead of this virus did so by aggressively testing even the asymptomatic. Trump wants to skip that step, ignoring the consensus scientific and medical advice because he (probably rightly) sees his re-election chances tied to the economy.

But the economy is driven largely by blue states whose governors aren’t going to treat its citizens with the same neglect Trump would prefer. Trump can’t order businesses to reopen, they’ll reopen when it’s safe to do so.

This fractured, federalized response will only prolong the crisis. Travel between the states is a necessary component of the economy and right now we’re 50 nation-states, without a national testing strategy, which should include not only the diagnostic testing but surveillance testing and tracing of positive clusters.

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