For the longest time, US politicians were assuring the US had the best health care system in the world. But the Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how fragile and dangerous our healthcare system is.
With an administration that will not step in to help, it is each man for himself. States are biding against each other and the federal government. Companies such as 3M are selling to the highest bidder - even shipping product to foreign nations instead of meeting the US demand.
A few weeks ago, it was already apparent that the federal response to the pandemic was late, disorganized, and putting large numbers of American lives at risk. What is becoming apparent now is something just as unthinkable: Trump’s reluctance to have the federal government play the role for which it was designed in such an emergency. At his press briefing last week, Kushner introduced Polowczyk, the Navy rear admiral, as “the best man we have in the country for logistics and supplies.” This week, a senior Administration official told me that not only have supplies been flowing from the federal government to where they are needed but the worst-case scenarios of hospitals literally running out of ventilators appear to have been averted for now. But Kushner’s public statements, and those of the President over the past couple weeks, griping about various Democratic governors and complaining about their inflated demands on the national stockpile, suggest states and cities are stuck in a Darwinian competition with one another, and with the federal government, for scarce supplies, and there is little transparency in how or why FEMA's decisions are being made.