Why is the US Running Out of Coronavirus Masks?

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cwbullet

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It is despicable that we did nto listen to Bowen during H1N1. It may have saved lives.
 

Buckeye

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Well, duh. It wasn't too hard to figure out that relying on a menace like China for medicine, masks, and every day Walmart crap was a bad idea. The feds and chamber of commerce dorks sold us out to China for decades. At least one guy in office advocated to buy American and hire American before this **** hit the fan.
 

Winston

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Well, duh. It wasn't too hard to figure out that relying on a menace like China for medicine, masks, and every day Walmart crap was a bad idea. The feds and chamber of commerce dorks sold us out to China for decades. At least one guy in office advocated to buy American and hire American before this **** hit the fan.
Here's an old Marxist adage found in various forms and proved to be so very true by the CCP: "A capitalist will sell you the rope you hang him with." What can fix this inherent flaw of capitalism since the bottom line is profit AND there is even a LEGAL fiduciary requirement for corporations to provide the maximum return for their investors? Governments............ just not bought ones.
 

boatgeek

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Well, duh. It wasn't too hard to figure out that relying on a menace like China for medicine, masks, and every day Walmart crap was a bad idea. The feds and chamber of commerce dorks sold us out to China for decades. At least one guy in office advocated to buy American and hire American before this **** hit the fan.
Just curious, do you shop at Walmart? Their drive to lowest possible price was a fairly big factor in manufacturing moving to China.
 

Buckeye

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Just curious, do you shop at Walmart? Their drive to lowest possible price was a fairly big factor in manufacturing moving to China.
No, but that isn't the point. Target and CVS are full of the same Chinese stuff. The consumer can't avoid it. It is pretty sad that the US can't even rely on itself for critical medical supplies and medicine, not to mention every household item.

This crisis should be a wake-up call for every Western company, university, and government agency doing business with the scoundrel Chinese communists. I am not hopeful, though. My employer is rather gleeful that the China operations are up and running, while Americans are out still of work.
 

Buckeye

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Don't forget that Obamacare imposed a tax on medical equipment and supplies, further pushing manufacturers to set up shop in China. This tax was not repealed until Dec 2019.
 

boatgeek

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No, but that isn't the point. Target and CVS are full of the same Chinese stuff. The consumer can't avoid it. It is pretty sad that the US can't even rely on itself for critical medical supplies and medicine, not to mention every household item.

This crisis should be a wake-up call for every Western company, university, and government agency doing business with the scoundrel Chinese communists. I am not hopeful, though. My employer is rather gleeful that the China operations are up and running, while Americans are out still of work.
I do my best to avoid those stores as well, but you're right, that isn't the point. I brought up Walmart because they were a major factor in shipping all of those jobs to China, both by driving cost-cutting from their suppliers and driving mom and pops out of business. Target and CVS would likely have more US-made goods if they didn't have to compete on price with Walmart and Harbor Freight.

On the other hand, if we want to turn that around, it will take a massive intervention in the economy from the federal government. Is that what you'd like to do? Are you really willing to have the feds say that retailers must sell at least X% US-made goods? We can't do that job on tariffs/trade wars alone or our farmers won't have anywhere to sell their pork or soybeans. Not to mention that the trade deficit with China in the 2019 trade war was within 0.3% of the deficit in 2016. If that's not how you want to change the amount of Chinese-made stuff in our stores, what's your solution?
 

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I do my best to avoid those stores as well, but you're right, that isn't the point. I brought up Walmart because they were a major factor in shipping all of those jobs to China, both by driving cost-cutting from their suppliers and driving mom and pops out of business. Target and CVS would likely have more US-made goods if they didn't have to compete on price with Walmart and Harbor Freight.

On the other hand, if we want to turn that around, it will take a massive intervention in the economy from the federal government. Is that what you'd like to do? Are you really willing to have the feds say that retailers must sell at least X% US-made goods? We can't do that job on tariffs/trade wars alone or our farmers won't have anywhere to sell their pork or soybeans. Not to mention that the trade deficit with China in the 2019 trade war was within 0.3% of the deficit in 2016. If that's not how you want to change the amount of Chinese-made stuff in our stores, what's your solution?
I used to buy a lot of 3d printer parts from China through eBay and AliExpress. I will think twice from now forward. I doubt you can find a part not made in China, but at least if I buy from the manufacturers of the printers, I am funding the US, British, or Czech company to import them from China. :eek:
 

cwbullet

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Don't forget that Obamacare imposed a tax on medical equipment and supplies, further pushing manufacturers to set up shop in China. This tax was not repealed until Dec 2019.
Although probably true, let's avoid or ignore the political side of the comment.
 

afadeev

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Here is something to chew on - In the early days of the pandemic, the U.S. government turned down an offer to manufacture millions of N95 masks in America.
That decision still hasn't been reversed!


In case the article above shows up as being behind a paywall for some, here is the short excerpt:
"It was Jan. 22 [...] Prestige Ameritech, could ramp up production to make an additional 1.7 million N95 masks a week. He viewed the shrinking domestic production of medical masks as a national security issue, though, and he wanted to give the federal government first dibs.​
“We still have four like-new N95 manufacturing lines,” Bowen wrote that day in an email to top administrators in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive but could be achieved in a dire situation.”​
But communications over several days with senior agency officials — including Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and emergency response — left Bowen with the clear impression that there was little immediate interest in his offer.​
“I don’t believe we as an government are anywhere near answering those questions for you yet,” Laura Wolf, director of the agency’s Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection, responded that same day.​
Bowen persisted.​
“We are the last major domestic mask company,” he wrote on Jan. 23. “My phones are ringing now, so I don’t ‘need’ government business. I’m just letting you know that I can help you preserve our infrastructure if things ever get really bad. I’m a patriot first, businessman second.”​
In the end, the government did not take Bowen up on his offer. Even today, production lines that could be making more than 7 million masks a month sit dormant."​
Still want to blame China for our own government's ineptness?
 
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