The Trump Administration Didn't Say a Single Negative Word About the Strategic National Stockpile Until This Year

Newest, shiniest White House spokesstooge Kayleigh McEnany is such a fucking liar and a loyal lapdog to whoever has power that it's not surprising when she tells another whopper while leaping into Donald Trump's soft but greasy-smelling thigh cushions. On Saturday, McEnany, whose job seems to be to make Kellyanne Conway seem rational, was asked about President Barack Obama's mild swipe at the "folks in charge" who "aren’t even pretending to be in charge."

In that perpetual huff of someone who just found out that black people are allowed to barbecue in the park, McEnany said, "President Trump’s unprecedented coronavirus response has saved lives...President Trump directed the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War II to fill the stockpile left depleted by his predecessor."

It's something that Trump and his squad of pricks, prostitutes, and panderers have said repeatedly, and it's taken as an article of faith in Trumpistan that Obama left the shelves of the Strategic National Stockpile of supplies for a national medical emergency bereft, as if he looted them himself. "The cupboard was bare," Trump says all the time, like a deranged child with "Old Mother Hubbard" stuck in his Adderall-fried brain.

As many people have pointed out, not only is this not true, but, well, shit, Trump's been president for over three years. If the cupboard's bare, that shit's his fault. Fill the fuckin' cupboard, motherfucker. Of course, of course, of course, we know that Donald Trump avoids blame and responsibility like Alex Jones avoids sanity, and we know that all the MAGA geeks and cretins will blame the black guy for everything because, well, of course they do. This is another of those infinite occasions where you'd think something in the realm of reason would creep into their deluded fantasy world of white victimization and class self-loathing to think that if they owned their fuckin' house for three years and the hot water heater breaks, that shit's on them. It might suck, but that's how it goes.

Still, if you need even more evidence about how much bullshit this allegation about the SNS is, you can look at the fuckin' record. In the first three years of the Trump administration, no one from the White House said a single word about the supposedly bare shelves. You'd think you might have wanna looked into that, huh? But not the Trumpistas. They couldn't have given a single shit about it.

The only thing that White House did was to move the SNS from being controlled by the Centers for Disease Control and to being more directly controlled by the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response at HHS. Like so much in Trump world, this meant it moved from a place of science with fewer political appointees to someone who is more in line with Trump's vision of government as a place for profit and graft.

At a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on Public Health and Biopreparedness in July 2018, which was ostensibly about reauthorizing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, testimony came from both Anthony Fauci and Rick Bright, along with others. While the focus was obviously not on the novel coronavirus (which, you know, wasn't identified until late in 2019), no one talked about empty shelves, bare cupboards, or anything of the like at the SNS. Indeed, that would have been the place to do it because the hearing was partially about funding the SNS. The only substantive questions were about that move of control. (And before you ask about Bright's whistleblower statement, the masks and ventilators that were needed were in addition to what was in the stockpile already. He wanted to ramp up procurement as soon as COVID-19 was starting to crash down on the human world.)

Indeed, so unconcerned was the Trump administration with the tumbleweeds blowing through the empty Strategic National Stockpile's warehouses that Congress has approved more funding for it than Trump has requested every year. Trump didn't give a single shit. The ASPR, Robert Kadlec, saw the stockpile as an opportunity to get contracts to his friends and halted an effort from the Obama administration to work with a company to develop a mechanized way to rapidly turn out a bunch of masks, to, you know, fill the shelves with even more stuff.

There are so many lies from Trump that are repeated over and over until they become a mantra that obliterates facts and reality that sometimes it's hard to parry them all back. It's not just about fact-checking and truth-telling. It's showing that within each lie is another piece of Trump's incompetence and apathy, just another way that he's fucking us over while pretending that he's a hero. Goddamn, when will that bloated myth be punctured like a bazooka hitting a hot-air balloon?