Thank you to the people of Colorado for the warm and gracious notes and letters sent to me for all of the Ventilators we got for you. It was my great honor! @SenCoryGardner
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020
This morning, President Donald Trump posted the Tweet you can read above, thanking the people of Colorado for our “gracious notes” of appreciation to Trump for 100 ventilator machines delivered to the state from the Strategic National Stockpile last week.
As anyone who has followed the story of Colorado’s failed attempt early in April to purchase 500 ventilators on the open market knows, the 100 ventilators Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado prevailed on Trump to send in a “personal request” amounts to a dubious consolation prize–an attempt to paper over stories across the country of vital medical supplies being snatched up by federal officials in a chaotic free-for-all. Colorado’s experience trying to obtain ventilators makes a cruel mockery of Trump’s previous suggestions that states buy this equipment ourselves on the open market, and demonstrates how crucial supplies are being distributed based on political instead of medical necessity.
The Denver Post’s editorial board summarized the truth of all of this in their April 9th editorial, titled “Trump is playing a disgusting political game with our lives.”
Trump had only days before prevented Colorado Gov. Jared Polis from securing 500 ventilators from a private company, instead, taking the ventilators for the federal government. Polis sent a formal letter pleading for medical equipment, but the president took the time to make clear he was responding to a request from Gardner. We are left to believe that if Colorado didn’t have a Republican senator in office, our state would not be getting these 100 ventilators. How many ventilators would we be getting if we had a Republican governor and a second Republican senator? Would that indicate we had more Republican lives in our state worth saving for Trump and resources would start flowing? Should Utah be concerned that Sen. Mitt Romney voted to remove the president from office?
This behavior comes, of course, weeks after Trump informed states they would have to compete against one another in the procurement of medical supplies at a time of global shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Notwithstanding a lame attempt by a local FEMA official to not-really deny the facts of the story along with so many other similar ones across the country, there’s been very little in the way of concerted pushback from either the Trump administration or Sen. Gardner against the damaging nationwide coverage of Colorado’s ventilator snatch-and-switch. Our story has added significantly to the nationwide perception that incompetence and. cronyism is driving the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. With polling continuing to show the public doesn’t trust Trump to tell the truth, bullheaded insistence that what happened here was somehow a good thing for Colorado is insult heaped upon injury.
And it doesn’t help Cory Gardner even a little.