Blunders by the Trump administration resulted in American companies shipping massive amounts of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to China during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"U.S. manufacturers shipped millions of dollars of face masks and other protective medical equipment to China in January and February with encouragement from the federal government, a Washington Post review of economic data and internal government documents has found. The move underscores the Trump administration’s failure to recognize and prepare for the growing pandemic threat," the newspaper reported on Saturday.
"In those two months, the value of protective masks and related items exported from the United States to China grew more than 1,000 percent compared with the same time last year — from $1.4 million to about $17.6 million, according to a Post analysis of customs categories which, according to research by Public Citizen, contain key PPE. Similarly, shipments of ventilators and protective garments jumped by triple digits," the newsppaer explained.
Trump's administration even published a flier guiding businesses on selling PPE to China.
"On Feb. 26 — when total deaths had reached 2,770, nearly all in China — the Commerce Department published a flier titled “CS China COVID Procurement Service,” guiding American firms on how to sell “critical medical products” to China and Hong Kong through Beijing’s fast-tracked sales process," The Post reported.
The flier was obtained by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).
“Instead of taking steps to prepare, they ignored the advice of one expert after another,” Doggett said. “People right now, as we speak, are dying because there have been inadequate supplies of PPE.”