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Medical equipment market ‘descends into chaos’ as Trump insists it’s not his problem

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President Donald Trump is still refusing to use the Defense Production Act to force private businesses to build badly needed medical equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic — and the Washington Post reports that it has created massive problems for states seeking medical supplies.

In particular, the Post reports that the medical equipment market has “descended into chaos” as states are competing with one another in “a mad scramble for masks, gowns and ventilators” to respond to the pandemic.

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Desperate hospitals are asking sources such as “construction companies, nail salons and tattoo parlors” for masks and gloves, and are also considering using ventilators typically used for large animals to treat humans.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker describes to the Post how the completely decentralized process of buying equipment has set up a dog-eat-dog competition between states that only increases costs at a time of limited supplies.

“I called another manufacturer of ventilators, and he pointed out to me that I would be competing with countries other than the United States… I better put in as big an order as possible in order to put myself higher on the list of priority,” Pritzker explained.

Rhonda Medows, president of population health management at Providence St. Joseph Health, tells the Post that she’s been shocked at the lack of coordination in getting equipment out to hospitals.

“We have Third World countries who are better equipped than we are now in Seattle,” she said. “For weeks we have been asking the federal government to compel manufacturers to produce more because we knew from our own modeling that there would be a serious shortfall.”

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WATCH: Video shows pack of police forcibly remove man from a city bus — for not wearing a mask

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Shocking video from Philadelphia shows multiple police officers forcibly removing a man from a city bus -- reportedly for not wearing a mask.

"A video that went viral Friday shows what appeared to be four police officers, backed by about six more, forcibly pulling a man not wearing a face covering off of a SEPTA bus. After the uniformed and masked Philadelphia Police Department officers lift the adult man off the bus and engage in a brief confrontation, he walks away. No arrest. No ticket," WHYY-TV reports.

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REVEALED: White House pushed FEMA to give its biggest coronavirus contract to a company that never had to bid

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Last month, as a deadly new virus swept over the globe, one Canadian defense contractor predicted on an earnings call that it would lead to a big business opportunity in the U.S. Thanks to the White House, that bet paid off just a few weeks later in a $96 million no-bid deal.

In an unusual move, even in times of disaster, the White House stepped into the federal purchasing process, ordering the Federal Emergency Management Agency to award a contract to AirBoss of America. The Trump administration has rushed through hundreds of deals to address the pandemic without the usual oversight, more than $760 million reported as of this week, but the AirBoss transaction is the single largest no-bid purchase, a ProPublica analysis of federal purchasing data found.

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Trump mocked as a ‘gibbering lunatic’ for continuing to lie about how tariffs work at latest coronavirus briefing

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At Friday's coronavirus task force press briefing, President Donald Trump repeated, for the umpteenth time, his false claim that the government of China is paying the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in the United States, as opposed to American businesses and consumers — something that he has repeatedly been corrected on. This time, he even went out of his way to note that people have debunked this claim, but saying that he still believes it anyway.

Commenters on social media exploded in frustration at the president's refusal to understand basic concepts of world trade.

Trump is repeating his false claim that China is paying most of the tariffs, specifically noting that people say it's not true and then rejecting this true point.

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