Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chad Wolf speaks during a meeting of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the White House complex, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Hollowed-out Trump administration was not ready and now it’s shopping for medical supplies on Amazon


Here’s one of the worst sentences I have read even during this terrible time for our nation: “At the Department of Veterans Affairs, workers are scrambling to order medical supplies on Amazon after its leaders, lacking experience in disaster responses, failed to prepare for the onslaught of patients at its medical centers.”

They were unprepared for a pandemic even with months of warnings, so they’re trying to shop on Amazon, which is swamped with orders and notoriously running low on key supplies for the pandemic. And it’s the Department of Veterans Affairs, which runs its own major health care system. That right there tells you so much of what you need to know about this administration when it comes to basic competence and preparedness.

Not that we lack other examples: Take Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s inability, in late February, to tell a Senate committee how many cases of coronavirus there were in the U.S., how many respirators and ventilators were available, or how the disease was even transmitted. Or the hours-long lines at airports as Wolf’s department was unprepared to handle the flood of people trying to get home from Europe after Donald Trump’s hasty and unclear announcements of travel bans.

Then again, even an administration fully staffed with competent people might have been unable to overcome the lies and denial at the top.

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