Even for Trump this is a little startling.
Courtesy of Newsweek:
President Donald Trump said Monday during a coronavirus task force briefing that a report from an Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) which showed a lack of coronavirus testing supplies and long wait times may have been politically motivated.
“Hospitals reported that severe shortages of testing supplies and extended waits for test results limited hospitals’ ability to monitor the health of patients and staff,” read the Monday report by Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm. Personal protective equipment was also found to be in short supply, as were other basics such as food and toilet paper.
Trump cast doubts upon the veracity of the report. “That’s just wrong,” Trump said.
President Trump then asked a reporter to identify the person who wrote the report.
“Did I hear the word Inspector General? Really?” Trump asked. “It’s wrong. Where did it come from, your Inspector General? What’s his name? Find me his name. Let me know, okay? If you could find me his name, I’d appreciate it.”
“We’ve had more testing and had more results than any country anywhere in the world,” Trump continued. “They’re doing an incredible job. Now, [other countries are] all calling us. They want our testing. What are we doing? How do you do the 5-minute test? How do you do the 15-minute test?”
“Give me the name of the Inspector General,” Trump added. “Could politics be entered into that?”
This was what happend when Trump learned that the Inspector General had also worked in the Obama Administration.
Donald J. Trump lashed out on ABC reporter Jonathan Karl after he asked a question about a Federal IG report that found hospitals across the country face severe shortages of vital medical equipment. pic.twitter.com/6B5AJjND8d
— Politics Cut (@PoIiticsCut) April 7, 2020
After being informed that Grimm had served during the Obama administration, Trump told Karl he was a “third-rate reporter.”
“See, there’s a typical fake news deal,” Trump said. “You’re a third-rate reporter and what you just said is a disgrace, okay? You asked me. You said, ‘Sir, they just got appointed.’ Take a look at what you said. Now I said, ‘When did they, when did this person, how long in government?’ Well, it was appointed in the Obama administration.”
“Thank you very much, Jon, thank you very much,” Trump added. “You will never make it.”
Clearly to Trump’s thinking being associated with the Obama Administration immediately discredits somebody.
But is the Inspector General wrong?
Of course not.
Courtesy of CNN:
There’s no evidence to suggest anything about the report is wrong, or that it was somehow politically motivated. The report was independently launched by the HHS OIG and based on interviews conducted between March 23 and 27 with administrators at more than 300 hospitals across 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. The report found hospitals faced testing shortages and longer than usual wait times for coronavirus test results.
The report’s findings of shortages at key hospitals also corroborated previous press reports from hospitals in New York and elsewhere, which are facing severe shortages of vital medical equipment. According to the HHS report, its purpose is to provide a snapshot of hospitals’ experiences amid a growing number of coronavirus cases and doesn’t serve as a review of the department’s response to the outbreak.
The senior HHS OIG officials who oversaw this watchdog report are both women: Ann Maxwell, the assistant inspector general for evaluation and inspections, and Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general. Grimm, whose name is on the report, is a career official who entered her current role in January but has been with HHS since 1999, serving under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
This is just more Donald Trump projecting.
Clearly the person trying to politicize all of this and shaping information to fit a predetermined partisan narrative is Trump himself.
And in so doing is dismissing important information that people need to know.