Ever since President Trump raised the point that the Obama administration failed to replenish the national stockpile with medical masks, the media have been accusing him of partisan politics.
Some in the media have even accused Trump of lying.
The USA Today, however, conducted a fact check on the claim and declared that it was "true" that the Obama administration failed to restock N95 masks in the medical stockpile.
The previous administration had raided through the masks for the swine flu crisis, but there was no indication that they attempted to replace them.
Proper protocol indicates that the masks should have been replenished or replaced every 5 years, which would have been the responsibility of the Obama administration.
More details on the fact check by USA Today below:
Democrats and their allies in the media blame the Trump administration for not bolstering the national stockpile, but they conveniently fail to report that the stockpile was depleted in the first place.
The AP, for example, complained that the stockpile is nearly depleted as the U.S. approaches the peak of the pandemic in New York.
But by all available accounts, the stockpile was depleted by the Obama administration and hadn't been replenished.
The AP decided to cite Kathleen Sebelius, who served as the health and human services secretary under Obama:
As the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.
A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.
By that time, hospitals in several states were treating thousands of infected patients without adequate equipment and were pleading for shipments from the Strategic National Stockpile. That federal cache of supplies was created more than 20 years ago to help bridge gaps in the medical and pharmaceutical supply chains during a national emergency.
Now, three months into the crisis, that stockpile is nearly drained just as the numbers of patients needing critical care is surging. Some state and local officials report receiving broken ventilators and decade-old dry-rotted masks.
“We basically wasted two months,” Kathleen Sebelius, health and human services secretary during the Obama administration, told AP.
While conservative outlets such as the Daily Wire reported that the stockpile of N95 masks were depleted under the Obama administration, very few mainstream outlets reported the story.
Despite calls to replenish the national stockpile, there is no indication that the Obama administration did so.
Now, the USA today has fact checked the statement and rated it as "true."
More and more media outlets are beginning to report on it, but Democrats continue to downplay the role the previous administration had in unintentionally handicapping current efforts to fight the novel coronavirus.
Democrats have been accused of using the crisis to attempt to pass partisan policies, including solar panels and pro-abortion language in the coronavirus stimulus package.
Nancy Pelosi has already authorized investigations into the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus response.
Instead of unity and supporting the adminsitration's efforts to protect Americans, the Democrats appear intent on scoring political points in an election year.
USA Today has angered many Democratic activists by doing research on why the N95 mask shortage exists today:
As the novel coronavirus pandemic strains health care systems, questions around the U.S. government's response have circulated in the media and online.
On March 26, The Daily Wire published an article centering on the Obama administration’s role in using and allegedly failing to replenish the federal stockpile of N95 masks.
“The Obama administration significantly depleted the federal stockpile of N95 respirator masks to deal with the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009 and never rebuilt the stockpile despite calls to do so,” the piece begins.
We rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research. There is no indication that the Obama administration took significant steps to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it was depleted from repeated crises. Calls for action came from experts at the time concerned for the country’s ability to respond to future serious pandemics. Such recommendations were, for whatever reason, not heeded.
This is no time to cast blame.
We're not pointing fingers at the Obama administration.
We're simply reporting the facts to combat the efforts by radicals in the media to undermine the current administration during a time of national crisis.
There will be a time later to politicize and analyze everything.
However, in the midst of a pandemic, we should all be focused and united on saving lives and protecting the health of our economy.