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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania: President Donald Trump says he intends to prepare for future pandemics by replenishing the national stockpile and bringing manufacturing of critical supplies and equipment back to the US His comments came the same day a whistleblower told Congress the Trump administration had failed to properly prepare for the current pandemic.
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” Trump said Thursday during a visit to a Pennsylvania distributor of medical equipment. “My goal is to produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world, including medicines.”
Trump had complained about supply chains in a television interview that aired before he left Washington for the trip to Owens and Minor Inc. in Allentown.
“These stupid supply chains that are all over the world — we have a supply chain where they’re made in all different parts of the world,” Trump said in the interview with Fox Business Network. “And one little piece of the world goes bad, and the whole thing is messed up.”
“We should have them all in the United States,” he said.
It was Trump’s second trip outside Washington in as many weeks as tries to convince the public that it’s time for states to begin to open up again, even with the virus still spreading. Trump’s remarks came as federal whistleblower Rick Bright testified before a House panel on Thursday about his repeated efforts to jump-start US production of respirator masks that he says went nowhere.
Trump said he wants to ensure that the next president doesn’t inherit an empty stockpile and will build up a three-month supply of items like ventilators and N95 respirator masks that have been in short supply. He said he’d like many of these items to be American-made.
Trump repeatedly has complained about inheriting a depleted stockpile from the Obama administration, glossing over the fact that he’d held office for three years when the coronavirus reached the US and had ample time to replenish equipment and supplies if doing so were a priority.
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