If you speak the truth, tell the facts, but your facts are not what Trump wants the people of this country to believe, you will be punished. If your position is within Trump’s reach, you will be fired. At the very least, your voice will be stifled, and you will be publicly denigrated by Trump. This is the new reality in our government … you either agree with all that Trump says or pay the price.
The latest casualty of Trump’s war against We the People is Christi A. Grimm, the inspector general with the Department of Health and Human Services. Her ‘crime’? She told the truth. She issued a report chronicling testing delays — up to seven days in some cases — as well as severe shortages of supplies in hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic. Part of her report states …
“Hospitals reported that they were unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing demands because they lacked complete kits and/or the individual components and supplies needed to complete tests. When patient stays were extended while awaiting test results, this strained bed availability, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, and staffing.”
Trump’s response was to falsely claim that the report was not only wrong but was politically motivated. Say WHAT??? He demanded to know the name of the Inspector General who wrote the report, then demeaned her on his favourite venue, Twitter …
“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!”
Just as an aside, if 17,000 people died from the H1N1 flu, how does that compare to the 70,000+ dead already in the U.S. alone, with another 100,000 or more projected in the next few months? Not even in the same ballpark.
Ms. Grimm is a career official, not a political appointee, and began serving in the Office of the Inspector General in 1999, ten years before President Obama took office. She is the third inspector general that Trump has fired in just over a month. In early April he fired Michael Atkinson for his proper handling of the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment. Then just a few days later, he fired Glenn Fine, the inspector general at the Department of Defense, who had been chosen to lead the newly formed Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. The committee was to oversee the disbursement of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress.
Three inspectors general fired in a month’s time. A U.S. federal inspector general (IG) is the head of an independent, non-partisan organization established within each executive branch agency assigned to audit the agency’s operation in order to discover and investigate cases of misconduct, waste, fraud and other abuse of government procedures. So, in essence, Trump is removing all oversight of his administration, replacing men and women of conscience with his own hand-picked people. This is akin to the fox guarding the henhouse. And it poses a danger to this nation, for it evades all accountability by this administration.
Who will be next on his hit list? When the U.S. Senate failed miserably to do their job on February 5th, they unleashed a monster. They essentially told Trump just what Attorney General William Barr told him last year, that there is no law that applies to Donald Trump, that he is free to do as he wishes. He began his purge with Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his brother, then Admiral Joseph Maguire. There may have been others that just didn’t cross my radar … almost certainly were. And there will be more.
To date, every single senate-confirmed person has been removed from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. All that remain are appointees or ‘acting’ officials, none approved by anyone other than Trump himself. It is also worth noting that Trump’s purging isn’t just retaliatory, it’s forward-looking, too. By removing officials who committed the sin of trying to defend the rule of law from his efforts to corrupt it, Trump sends a message to others about what awaits them if they try to stand in the way.
These are the moves of an autocrat, folks. This reeks of corruption, and it sets off warning bells, at least in my head, that Trump is setting the stage, making sure there are none left who will stand in his way. His way of what? Think about it.