Last Week, USAID Was Sending Masks Out of the Country as Foreign Aid

The United States government is a giant, broken machine run by corrupt ideologues. No one knows what's going on in a fraction of it.

That's why things like this happen.

Last week, a Trump administration official working to secure much-needed protective gear for doctors and nurses in the United States had a startling encounter with counterparts in Thailand.

The official asked the Thais for help—only to be informed by the puzzled voices on the other side of the line that a U.S. shipment of the same supplies, the second of two so far, was already on its way to Bangkok.

Trump aides were alarmed when they learned of the exchange, and immediately put the shipment on hold while they ordered a review of U.S. aid procedures. 

Last week. This is a current article.

People are being screamed at on the street for wearing masks instead of donating them. We're frantically searching for masks in Thailand, meanwhile USAID was sending them to Thailand. 

At no point in time did it occur to anyone in USAID to stop the insane, horrible thing that they were doing.

But then, in all fairness, State was sending tons of protective gear to China earlier in this pandemic. 

The incidents have spurred the Pence-led coronavirus task force to scrutinize all of USAID’s deliveries to countries requesting personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to fight the outbreak, according to people directly involved in the discussions, causing tensions between aid officials and task-force members.

The administration has also placed a moratorium on overseas shipments of USAID’s stockpiles of protective gear and is asking that the equipment be sent to the U.S. instead, other officials said.

Cue the inevitable lawsuits and orders by Democrat judges.

Officials close to USAID say the ongoing review is more akin to a hold, as the task force examines the aid agency’s procurement of supplies and asks aid officials to alert them if there are other such shipments in the works.

That assumes USAID officials will comply. Much as the White House assumed that a branch of the State Dept wouldn't bring infected people to the United States over President Trump's explicit orders.

Though some requests have already been processed and supplies were delivered, the review process has effectively frozen already-approved coronavirus-related PPE aid to at least 13 countries, including Vietnam, Bangladesh, Honduras and the Philippines.

Vietnam? Bangladesh? Honduras? The Philippines?

Do we have some desperate need for relationships with any of these countries? The latter government gave us the boot not long ago. 

In the last two months, at least five U.S. embassies, including in Myanmar, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Laos, all announced in press releases that the U.S. government had given protective gear to their host countries, sometimes including pictures of boxes of the donations. U.S. embassies in Kazakhstan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan also announced support for fighting coronavirus.

Pakistan? We're sending protective gear that American medical personnel need to Osama bin Laden's hosts.

The government has yet to curtail exports by U.S. companies, however—roughly 280 million masks in warehouses around the U.S. were purchased by foreign buyers on Monday alone, according to Forbes. A FEMA spokesperson said the agency “has not actively encouraged or discouraged U.S. companies from exporting overseas,” noting that various U.S. agencies are coordinating their activities with their overseas counterparts.

If we can curtail oil exports, why not protective gear?

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