The last 36 hours.

Holding funding for the World Health Organization during a pandemic. Delaying relief checks to desperate people so they can feature his signature. Unemployment currently the worst since the Great Depression at 13% -- and that's just for the people who have been able to file because offices are overwhelmed and understaffed. Almost 30,000 Americans dead. Propaganda videos played in the White House briefing room, meltdowns at the podium, declaring he held ultimate power over the states but had no responsibility to help them and that's just the last 36 hours.

And this from the Wall Street Journal (a Murdoch property): Veterans Affairs Hospitals Will Give Masks Only to Some Employees, Memos Show. This article is behind a paywall, so I'm including the whole thing below - unethical? Maybe. No worse than encouraging others to give money to the Murdochs.

This is, in order, dangerous, unconscionable, devastating, tragic, scary, unconstitutional and horrifying.

If you know or love someone who still supports Trump, please forward these articles -- each from a different source -- and ask them to read them.

If you are represented by a Republican in the House or Senate, it's time to flood their offices with calls. Find their home numbers. Do whatever it takes.

It's unprecedented. There's no clear path. But the President needs to be removed. These are not normal times, and there is grave danger in behaving normally.

Wall Street Journal: Veterans Affairs Hospitals Will Give Masks Only to Some Employees, Memos Show


A shortage of face masks and N95 respirators amid the coronavirus pandemic has led the Department of Veterans Affairs to tell hospitals to decide which employees get masks and which don’t, according to internal memos reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The department has about two weeks’ worth of masks on hand and is facing problems getting more, according to a briefing given to Congress on Wednesday and reviewed by the Journal. Health-care workers treating likely coronavirus patients are now told not to change masks as they move between patients to swab them for tests.

N95 respirator masks filter out 95% or more of particles of all sizes and are generally worn in health-care settings where workers are exposed to a high number of infectious people. Experts say they need to be fitted to be effective, and cleaned and maintained properly.

“The fear is palpable,” a VA health-care professional said. “For five days after each shift, I’m wondering if I’m developing a cough any time I clear my throat.” Five days is the average incubation period for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“The premise of your question is false,” VA spokeswoman Christina Noel said when asked about shortages and rationing of masks. “All employees who need PPE have it,” she added, referring to personal protective equipment.

The VA is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Noel said.

That CDC guidance is for extraordinary situations though, when facilities face shortages, internal memos show. The VA has instructed hospitals to “adopt CDC conservation and crisis strategies.”

Top officials at the sprawling medical system, including Secretary Robert Wilkie, have been briefed several times on systemwide shortages, according to internal memos.

As of Friday, 1,281 VA staff have tested positive for Covid-19 and nine have died, according to the VA.

On Tuesday, top officials at the department’s health-care arm, the Veterans Health Administration, or VHA, received a memo detailing how they should deal with shortages of face masks, including which employees qualify for masks and which don’t.

“Mask supply levels in VHA do not support providing masks to all other employees not working directly with Covid-19 infected Veterans,” the memo said, adding that allowances should be made for employees working with veterans at high risk of infection.

Officials told hospitals they need to begin collecting used masks “amenable to re-use strategies.” Officials said masks can be decontaminated and used again, in a “crisis/last-resort strategy until additional supply is available” and can use a system that has been given emergency use authorization by the FDA to help prolong mask life.

Officials warned that decontaminated masks “might not perform at the same level as advertised by the manufacturer.”

They also told hospital administrators that the department will allow staff to bring their own masks or respirators when hospitals don’t have them available and said faceshields and homemade masks may be used in lieu of masks if necessary.

The Strategic National Stockpile of medical equipment was stretched thin weeks ago, leaving the Trump administration and governors to scramble to stock up on crucial supplies like masks and ventilators and to prompt industries to ramp up production.

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