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Here’s how Trump’s hunt for medical protective equipment is causing chaos across the globe

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Donald Trump AFP : JIM WATSON

On Friday, Politico examined some of the unintended consequences abroad as President Donald Trump’s administration has scrambled to buy up personal protective equipment and remedy domestic shortages.

“President Donald Trump’s administration stands accused of effectively hijacking shipments of masks and additional crucial supplies meant for other countries, including U.S. allies, and strong-arming private firms to prioritize America over other parts of the world,” wrote Nahal Toolsi. “Developing countries, where Covid-19 has yet to fully wreak havoc, are terrified of being left behind in the race for personal protective equipment, or PPE, and other materials because they cannot match the purchasing power of the U.S. and other wealthy countries.”

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Already there have been several incidents of the United States intercepting supplies meant for other countries. In one case, a shipment of masks going to France from China instead was diverted to the U.S. after officials offered triple the going price.

The report continued: “Independent aid organizations that cater to the neediest corners of the globe are finding themselves competing for attention from medical goods manufacturers. The Trump administration has even asked aid groups to share those supplies with the U.S. government, in a bizarre reversal of the usual dynamic between the world’s leading power and those it typically helps. ‘It’s ‘Lord of the Flies: PPE Edition’,’ said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former U.S. official who specializes in disaster response. ‘We need some global solidarity, and instead we have global competition.'”

Part of the challenge is that the virus is global. If developed countries like the United States so thoroughly outbid the developing world for equipment that the virus can spread unchecked in those countries, it could easily find its way back to parts of the developed world that eradicated it.

“Some inside the Trump administration are keenly aware of the risks,” wrote Toolsi. “In a strategy document obtained by POLITICO and crafted by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. officials argue that mitigating the virus in poorer countries ‘is critical for the safety and security of the American people.’ Failing to do so could derail U.S. efforts to help other countries become more financially sound and independent, they add.”

“There is mounting evidence that the critical shortages of surgical masks and other personal protective equipment are being exacerbated by the unregulated export of such medical supplies from the United States,” wrote Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a recent letter to Vice President Mike Pence, a major official on the coronavirus task force.

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Rick Wilson urges ‘humiliation and incarceration’ for the GOP’s ‘grubby sellouts’ who propped up Trump for 4 years

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Republicans know the end of Donald Trump's presidency is near, despite his increasingly desperate legal challenges, and former GOP strategist Rick Wilson won't be willing to forgive and forget.

Wilson, writing for The Daily Beast, imagines there will be a rush of Republicans to distance themselves from the soon-to-be-former president, but he said there will be copious evidence of lawmakers, governors and political professional debasing themselves for Trump.

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Expert explains why ‘systemic conservatism’ continues to prevail in America

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On the Sunday after the November 3rd presidential election, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, congratulated President-elect Joe Biden but insisted that the overall election was an endorsement of conservative principles. He pointed to the gains Republicans made in the House, though they are still in the minority, and the failure of the Democrats to capture control of the Senate, at least so far. Romney found further evidence in the Democrats' inability to flip GOP-controlled statehouses.

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2020 Election

Expert breaks down the ultimate goal of Trump’s ‘classic Russian-style disinformation campaign’

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Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, spoke with CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday to explain the ultimate goal of President Donald Trump's false accusations of a rigged and stolen election.

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"Is delusion a fair word for these election lies?" Stelter wondered.

"No, actually, I don't think it is," Rauch replied. "It's hard to know what's going on in the mind of the president, but you don't really need to. What you need to know is that what he is running right now is a classic Russian-style disinformation campaign of a type known as the firehose of falsehood. That's when you utilize every channel, not just media, but also the bully pulpit, even litigation to push out as many different stories and conspiracy theories and lies and half-truths as you possibly can in order to flood the zone if with disinformation."

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