In an op-ed for The Bulwark this Wednesday, A.B. Stoddard argues that President Trump's failure to get an early handle on the coronavirus outbreak has left America's Armed Forces and veterans vulnerable.
"The novel coronavirus is currently spreading among active duty military with more than 3,000 positive cases documented," Stoddard writes. "Meanwhile our veterans are being put in vulnerable positions in facilities susceptible to spread for the virus as their healthcare providers have been forced to ration personal protective equipment at the same time that staffing shortfalls and vacancies threaten the ability to serve increasing numbers of infected patients and staff. As of April 17, the VA system had 5,468 documented positive cases and 339 veterans had officially died from COVID-19 in addition to 10 VA healthcare workers."
According to Stoddard, the Trump administration is well aware of the damage coronavirus is inflicting on America's military institutions.
“He has created a leadership climate that stifles the kind of transparency, communication and truth telling that’s required in a crisis like this,” Michèle Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, said of Trump. “What we have learned about pandemic response is that it’s impossible to over-communicate, even with imperfect information. It’s important to be as truthful as possible and communicate as clearly, consistently and as frequently as possible.”
Read the full piece over at The Bulwark.