I’ve been spending some time in the comments section at foxnews.com, and it is an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I have been trying to persuade the small percentage of people who are receptive to logic and facts that the COVID-19 situation is serious. It’s a rewarding experience in such back and forth common sense discussions, but sifting through the much larger number of highly partisan commenters saps my energy and I need long breaks from the website.
Many of the things that the president says about the pandemic precede him by a week or two in the Fox News comments section. The comparisons to flu and car accident deaths were there. But there’s something else that has me wondering if Trump’s odd behavior regarding ventilators might be more purposeful than it seems.
Many of the comments last week went along the lines of, “Why do anything about the virus? It only affects the democratic areas of the country.” If the president feels the same way, there’s a reason for his ventilator madness – kill off the Democrats.
Why do I call it madness? On Thursday, the president reportedly planned to announce the GM-Ventec joint venture to produce 80,000 ventilators at a cost of around $1 billion, but the plan was scrapped because of that price tag. They were just too expensive.
That evening, Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s show and said that he doesn’t believe New York needs the 30,000 ventilators that Governor Cuomo claims are necessary. He went on to say that New York had the opportunity to buy 16,000 ventilators in 2015 “at a great price and [Cuomo] didn’t buy them.”
Let’s look at that great price.
President Trump was referring to a 272-page report produced by the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and the New York State Department of Health in 2015. That report noted that in a severe pandemic similar to the 1918 flu, there would likely be a shortfall of 15,783 ventilators during the peak week of demand.
Syndicated columnist Betsy McCaughey – a critic of the governor – noted that Cuomo could have purchased those 16,000 ventilators at a cost of $36,000 each, but he chose not to do so.
But the president’s decision not to push through with the GM-Ventec option a couple days ago was reportedly based on costs. He apparently though the $1 billion price tag was too much.
On a per unit basis, however, that comes out to just $12,500 per ventilator – an extraordinarily good price when compared to the $36,000 “great price” from five years earlier that he mentioned on Hannity.
The only way this madness makes sense, it seems, is if the president was thinking of a different cost. Perhaps it’s not the cost of each ventilator that was on his mind. Perhaps – as with many of the people who comment at foxnews.com – it’s the cost of having too many viable democratic voters in November that’s the real area of concern.