Trump dismissed a government report — based on surveys from more than 300 hospitals — detailing 'severe' shortages in COVID-19 tests and protective equipment
A new report, from the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, is based on a survey of more than 300 hospitals. It details a "severe" shortage of COVID-19 testing supplies and a "widespread" lack of personal protective equipment. President Donald Trump dismissed the findings and suggested, without evidence, that the report was politically biased — while also blaming state and local governments for the problems it describes.
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President Donald Trump on Monday responded to the critical shortage of medical supplies at many US hospitals by dismissing a new inspector general report — based on testimony from hundreds of the nation's front-line medical facilities — as "wrong." According to the report, released earlier Monday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, hospitals are reporting a "severe" shortage of testing supplies and a "widespread" lack of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment. The inspector general, an independent oversight official within HHS, issued the findings after interviewing staff at 323 hospitals. Trump was asked about the findings at a press briefing on Monday afternoon. "Did I hear the word 'inspector general'? Really? It's wrong," the president responded. "Give me the name of the inspector general. Could politics be entered into that?" Last week, Trump fired another inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who lost the president's confidence by revealing the existence of a whistleblower concerned about the White House's dealings with Ukraine, as required by law.
Video of President Trump lashing out at Fox News correspondent @KristinFisher after she asked about coronavirus testing. Reminder: Trump lashed out at Fox News' @johnrobertsFox recently for asking about how uninsured Americans will be helped with treatments for coronavirus. https://t.co/fWYo8xxDp4 — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 6, 2020
"We're the federal government. We're not supposed to stand on street corners doing testing," he said. State and local governments, "They do the testing," he asserted. A month ago, March 6, Trump himself touted the federal government's role in testing. "Anybody that wants a test can get a test," the president said while on a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "That's what the bottom line is." As the inspector general noted, hospitals have been "unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing demands" due to a lack of kits and other supplies. Trump ended Monday's exchange by berating the reporter who asked about the report. "You should say, 'Congratulations, great job,' instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question," he told the reporter, an employee of Fox News. Have a news tip? Email this report: email@example.comJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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The shattered health system is unable to cope with the pandemic, and we are scared to...The shattered health system is unable to cope with the pandemic, and we are scared to speak out about its spread I am a frontline healthcare professional working in a large public hospital in Syria. The country is facing an overwhelming but under-reported Covid-19 crisis among a population already beaten down by almost a decade of conflict and economic turmoil. I and my colleagues feel helpless and expect the worst.Our nurses and doctors are suffering from a dangerous shortage of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing. Hospitals in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and other cities across the country are overcrowded and lack the basic instruments to deal with a pandemic at such scale due to the long war, poor planning and mismanagement. Continue reading...
'We follow the facts wherever they lead': Inspector general who was demoted after Trump attacked her speaks out on the importance of independent oversight
Christi Grimm, the former acting inspector general (IG) of the Department of Health and Human Services...Christi Grimm, the former acting inspector general (IG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), spoke out Tuesday about the importance of independence for the US oversight community. Grimm angered President Donald Trump when she released an independent report that found there were "severe" and "widespread" shortages of masks and other critical supplies across the US in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Trump suggested Grimm's report was politically motivated and replaced her shortly after. "I view, and the community views, independence and effectiveness of an IG as a key safeguard for the programs that we oversee," Grimm said Tuesday while testifying before the House Oversight Committee. "We follow the facts wherever they lead, we are impartial in what we do, and really anything that is done that could impair independence, I think, compromises the effectiveness of oversight of programs that are there to serve the American public." she added. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Christi Grimm, the former acting inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), spoke out Tuesday about the importance of the independence of the US oversight community. Grimm served as the HHS acting IG until May 2, when President Donald Trump announced he would replace her with Jason Weida, an assistant US attorney in Boston following a slew of public attacks against her. During a briefing Tuesday before the House Oversight Committee, Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia asked Grimm whether she was "concerned professionally that the independence of IGs or your own independence are at risk, or might be compromised, by recent statements and actions taken by the executive." "Chairman Connelly, I would like to address your question by just talking about the importance of independence for inspectors general, generally," Grimm said. "I view, and the community views, independence and effectiveness of an IG as a key safeguard for the programs that we oversee. It's a cornerstone of the IG Act and it's a foundational element of the work of any IG." She added that this independence "allows us to bring our objective judgment to bear on problems without worrying about whether those that run the programs are hearing what they want to hear, or what they want to see the programs be doing." "We follow the facts wherever they lead, we are impartial in what we do, and really anything that is done that could impair independence, I think, compromises the effectiveness of oversight of programs that are there to serve the American public — in our case the 300 programs within HHS," Grimm said. Grimm angered Trump after she released a report in March that said there were "severe shortages" of testing kits in the US, "widespread shortages" of masks and other personal protective equipment at hospitals across the country, and significant delays in getting coronavirus test results. The deficits hampered the US's ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak and curb its spread, the report found. Trump tore into Grimm during an April 6 news conference and accused her findings of being politically motivated. "Where did he come from, the inspector general? What's his name?" Trump said when asked about the HHS report. He later attacked Grimm on Twitter as well, writing, "Why didn't the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report." (Grimm joined the inspector general's office in 1999 during the Clinton administration and served under both Democratic and Republican administrations. She was not a political appointee.) Grimm is one of four inspectors general Trump has pushed out in recent weeks. On April 3, the president fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general who provoked Trump's ire when he alerted Congress about an anonymous whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of trying to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 US presidential election. The whistleblower complaint became the catalyst for Trump's impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Trump of both charges earlier this year. On April 7, Trump abruptly removed the Pentagon's acting watchdog, Glenn Fine, who had also been tapped to oversee the execution of the $2 trillion package Congress passed for coronavirus relief. And on May 15, the president fired the State Department inspector general, Steve Linick. Reports in the days after indicated that at the time of his firing, Linick was said to be investigating whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a staffer walk his dog and pick up his dry cleaning. The Washington Post later reported that Linick was also investigating Pompeo's decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia last May. The Trump administration circumvented congressional authority on the matter at the time by citing heightened tensions with Iran.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
The president announced the nomination of an inspector general for the Department of Health and Human...The president announced the nomination of an inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, who, if confirmed, would replace an acting official whose report embarrassed Mr. Trump.