Trump decries IG report on hospital shortages as ‘another fake dossier’

President Trump on Tuesday ripped into a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general over a report that found hospitals faced a shortage of protective equipment and testing to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after blasting the report as “wrong” and attacking its author, Trump likened it in a tweet to “another Fake Dossier,” a reference to a compilation of allegations about his connections to Russia.

“Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 12,469 people in the U.S. died of swine flu. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 11,000 people have died of coronavirus as of Tuesday morning.

The report from the HHS inspector general released Monday found “severe” shortages of tests for hospitals to use and “widespread” shortfalls of protective equipment to keep health workers safe. 

Hospitals said they are turning in some cases to construction masks or homemade masks, which they worried put staff at risk. One hospital said it is accepting homemade cloth gowns from a quilter’s guild to try to address supply problems.

States have repeatedly urged the federal government to take the lead in providing and distributing supplies like masks, gowns and ventilators needed in hospitals across the country. But Trump has maintained the federal government should be playing a supporting role with states in the lead.

The president has also been fiercely defensive of the White House’s performance thus far, describing it as “incredible” and “fantastic” at various points in recent days. Asked about the inspector general’s report on Monday, Trump targeted its author.

“Where did he come from, the inspector general?” Trump said, adding, “What’s his name?” He expressed exasperation upon learning the individual was promoted during the Obama administration.

The office is currently led by Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general. She joined the inspector general’s office in 1999, according to her online biography.

Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, noted that the report’s survey of hospitals was conducted March 23-27, and he questioned why the inspector general did not come to him with concerns before issuing the report.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Inspector General

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