FACT CHECK: Fact Check Falsely Accuses President Trump of Lying About Empty Stockpile
This is a fact check of Fact Check: a project of a left-wing foundation whose origins date back to organized crime. The "fact checker" here is D'Angelo Gore, who previously worked for the Washington Informer. What you haven't heard of the Washington Informer?
Anyway, the issue is pretty straightforward.
The Bush administration had planned for a pandemic by assembling a massive amount of supplies, including masks, for the Strategic National Stockpile. The Obama administration depleted the masks and didn't replace them.
USA Today had already conducted an awkward and circuitous fact check of this same issue. Eventually it concedes that it was true.
During the presidency of Barack Obama, the national stockpile was seriously taxed as the administration addressed multiple crises over eight years. About "75 percent of N95 respirators and 25 percent of face masks contained in the CDC's Strategic National Stockpile (∼100 million products) were deployed for use in health care settings over the course of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response," according to a 2017 study in the journal Health Security.
Again according to NIH, the stockpile's resources were also used during hurricanes Alex, Irene, Isaac and Sandy. Flooding in 2010 in North Dakota also called for stockpile funds to be deployed. The 2014 outbreaks of the ebola virus and botulism, as well as the 2016 outbreak of the zika virus, continued to significantly tax the stockpile with no serious effort from the Obama administration to replenish the fund.
Fact Check's response is, "Hold my beer."
D'Angelo Gore, a veteran of the Washington Informer, falsely claims that, "Trump Falsely Claims He Inherited ‘Empty’ Stockpile." A point that he sets out to prove by quoting people who had been to the stockpile... and seen that there was some kind of stuff there.
But NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce was allowed to visit one facility in June 2016 — only months before Trump was inaugurated in January 2017. In her article about the warehouse she toured, she described the shelves as being the opposite of bare.
“A big American flag hangs from the ceiling, and shelves packed with stuff stand so tall that looking up makes me dizzy,” Greenfieldboyce wrote.
The inventory includes millions of doses of vaccines against bioterrorism agents like smallpox, antivirals in case of a deadly flu pandemic, medicines used to treat radiation sickness and burns, chemical agent antidotes, wound care supplies, IV fluids and antibiotics.
Well there you go. There's a bunch of stuff. It's just not the stuff we currently need. Like PPEs. That's the point President Trump was making.
But wait, D'Angelo Gore and Fact Check then concede that maybe the stockpile doesn't actually have masks...
For example, the Washington Post reported on March 10 that the reserves of the N95 respirator masks were not “significantly restored” after tens of millions of the devices were distributed from the stockpile during the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009. Medical personnel wear the respirators because they can “filter out at least 95% of airborne particles,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Greg Burel, who was the director of the Strategic National Stockpile for more than 12 years until he retired in January, recently told CBS News: “We didn’t receive funds to replace those masks, protective gear and the anti-virals that we used for H1N1.”
In other cases, the Obama administration’s attempts to add more equipment, such as ventilators, to the stockpile were not successful.
So Fact Check is claiming that President Trump is lying because he complained about empty shelves, when there may be stuff on the shelves, just not the stuff we need in this pandemic.
Meanwhile dot com monopolies like Google and Facebook continue to embed Fact Check's nonsense and lies onto their platforms, while using them to censor legitimate news sites like Front Page Magazine.