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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why is the federal government seizing medical supply orders?

Trump news conference
Jared Kushner, the White House advisor coordinating medical supply assistance, listens as President Trump takes a question during a coronavirus task force briefing on April 2.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

To the editor: Confusion continues to reign as we get deeper into the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are learning that the federal government is seizing, without warning or explanation, orders of desperately needed medical supplies placed by hospitals and clinics.

This leaves the hospitals and clinics empty-handed and having to find another way to get what they need.

I suppose the federal government has the power to jump to the front of the line to redirect these supplies, but why would it do that when President Trump already said the states should get their own supplies and not beg Washington for help?

We should be able to count on the president to lead a coordinated national response to this crisis. Instead he claims no responsibility for any of the problems but thinks he rates top marks for what he is doing.

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Thank goodness for the great governors who are providing real leadership during these trying times.

Joanna Ryder, Hermosa Beach

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To the editor: Our federal government’s diverting of life-saving supply orders from medical providers, under the rules of the Defense Production Act, reminds me of T.S. Eliot’s observation that mankind searches for “systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

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Wendell H. Jones, Ojai

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To the editor: When medical supply czar Jared Kushner says that the federal stockpile of medical supplies is “ours,” he means “What’s yours is ours.” Here’s how it works.

Kushner’s supply chain task force is like a pirate flotilla, using its “data-driven approach” to locate and plunder scarce medical and personal protective equipment, bought by supply-strapped hospitals and health-provider organizations. These supplies were bought at exorbitant prices from for-profit corporations, whose merchandise was air freighted to them on government-chartered air cargo jets.

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This is truly breathtaking lawlessness. Hoist the Jolly Roger!

Stuart Sheldon, Murrieta


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