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He uses the Defense Production Act selectively, once only, to punish a company he doesn’t like: GM

2020-03-28

(photo courtesy of pixabay)

Once again, the Incompetent Narcissist shows his true colors.  Despite signing and supposedly putting the Defense Production Act into motion, our Fearless Leader has used it only once: to force GM into a contract to produce ventilators at scale.  He claimed the dispute was over the premium price supposedly demanded, but other reporting shows that negotiations over various options to produce over 10,000 ventilators a month in the next couple of months were ongoing before he broke them off.  As usual, he revealed his true motivation by complaining about a US auto manufacturing plant that GM had closed and sold to another automaker a year ago: a sore point that he still hasn’t gotten over and probably never will.  Since the jobs done by that shuttered plant were shifted to Mexico, he thought he could browbeat GM into bringing the jobs back to the US.  This could only have been done by raising the price of popular GM vehicles, particularly those that are sold at the lowest price point to poor people.

In fact, any fool can see that he should have signed up a supply chain expert a month ago to comprehensively promote the development and production, followed by distribution, of multiple pieces of protective gear, such as N95 masks and rapid diagnostic tests.  All this could have been done under the Defense Production Act from 1950– an act signed at the beginning of the Korean War emergency by President Truman and put to good use as recently as the previous administration.

Like my previous post, I say (from Theodore Roethke and Allison Glock) to those who still support this narcissistic sociopath or are wavering:  “In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”

PS another report says that a company has been developing a ventilator that can sell for as little as $10,000– a stripped-down, bare bones version, but better than a CPAP machine.  No word on how long it would take to bring this to scale, but one would imagine that the Defense Production Act administered by a competent supply chain expert could do this quite quickly.

PPS a diagnostic company announces the FDA approval (expedited) of a fifteen minute diagnostic test for novel coronavirus that can be done on a table-top machine that is now used to give rapid tests for influenza and several other viral diseases.  Since this is being done independently of government support, its introduction will depend on the profit motive for individual laboratories– hardly the best motivation for universal use across the US and the world.

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