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Trump put American lives in China's hands

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks with Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo about his move in bringing 1.2M N95 masks from China to the US using the Patriots plane.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 9:23 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2020 5:48 PM


American lives are in China's hands.

China: A country that the White House has called a 'strategic competitor'; a country engaged in active influence operations against us; a country the State Department describes as an authoritarian state that engages in gross human rights abuses; a country that the White House said has 'consistently taken advantage of the US economy'; a country whose leadership Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as a 'substantial threat to our health and way of life'; a country Trump administration officials are blaming for covering up the truth about the coronavirus outbreak.

China: The country the United States is relying on to supply equipment to save American lives.

In a perverse -- and avoidable -- twist of fate, the country that was arguably responsible for the virus' spread because of its attempts to cover up the initial outbreak is now the one best positioned to profit from its fatal impact.

The US intelligence community has warned that China is intent on expanding its global economic reach. Now, as the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted to the United States with more than 300,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of April 4, Trump's lack of preparation has given China an opening to expand that reach quickly.

The Trump administration should have had a strategy in place to adequately stockpile and distribute key supplies before the pandemic hit the homeland. It did not.

To make matters worse, President Donald Trump hesitated for weeks to use the Defense Production Act, which he finally invoked to help direct materials and other resources to domestic manufacturers to produce ventilators and N95 masks. On Friday, he moved to curtail the export of lifesaving personal protective equipment -- after more than 7,000 Americans already died.

Despite Trump's latest moves, the United States is still not producing enough equipment to meet the needs of health care workers and the sick.

The administration's failure to prepare for the pandemic has left people with no other choice than to find supplies where they can. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said Saturday that the Chinese government helped facilitate the donation of 1,000 ventilators to the state, already ordered 17,000 ventilators from China. Meanwhile, private citizens such as Patriots owner Robert Kraft have desperately sourced masks from China.

China's top medical device maker said that the demand for ventilators, for example, is now 10 times higher than what's available at hospitals globally. While data from Chinese sources is far from reliable, a Chinese government official indicated that China has 21 invasive ventilator makers and that Chinese manufacturers have orders for 20,000 ventilators from abroad. At this rate, orders for Chinese products will continue to surge.

China is cashing in on a crisis they played a large part in creating.

This is both a boon to China's economy and a great propaganda point for the Chinese Communist Party. Their disinformation attacks of late have tried to paint the Party as a global leader when it comes to crisis response, despite the fact it is directly responsible for suppressing information about the outbreak, which allowed the coronavirus to spread for weeks.

While the United States is struggling to contain the virus, treat those who have been infected and get enough medical supplies, China, claiming to be 'post-virus,' is manufacturing supplies at a rate we can't. After months of lockdowns, China can start to bounce back by filling the economic void while we scramble just to contain the virus. They have a strategy -- and we don't.

They also have more foreign policy leverage now than any time in recent history.

We've already seen this play out. The war of words between US officials and the Chinese has quieted down in the past few days. Pompeo has rightfully called out the Chinese for their culpability in this crisis. But his -- and the President's -- insistence on referring to the virus as the 'Chinese virus' or 'Wuhan virus' was a misfire on multiple fronts.

Not only because it may have unnecessarily fueled racist attacks against Asian-Americans, it also sent mixed messages to the rest of the world, especially since Trump praised China's efforts to contain the virus back in January. To top it off, US insistence on calling it the 'Wuhan virus' in a G7 statement -- which other members wouldn't agree to -- meant that the G7 put out no statement at all. We fractured the group at a time when unity is sorely needed.

Now, with American lives depending on the Chinese Communist Party agreeing to export medical supplies to the United States, the war of words has cooled. We don't know whether China may have eked out of the Trump administration in return. But what's clear is that China knows the Trump administration has a critical interest in saving American lives -- and that the United States needs to keep the Communist Party happy to fulfill that objective.

Because the CCP has a finger in the Chinese economy, it has the ability to manipulate trade and manufacturing to serve state needs.

We've seen this play out in the past during the trade war when the government engaged in retaliatory measures such as unnecessary government inspections and slower customs clearance against US companies operating in China, for example. The same applies during the pandemic -- China has the ability to cut off or slow the export of supplies from China that American lives depend on. They have us over a barrel.

We are not the only country in this position. China has the upper hand as countries scramble to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CCP is trying to do abroad what it does at home -- sell a false narrative. They're using all the tools at their disposal to spread disinformation about their role in addressing the virus, its origin and more.

The Trump administration and other officials need to do what it takes to save lives right now. But it should be aware that the reliance on China comes at great cost.

The terrible reality is that the administration has put American lives in Chinese hands.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
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