We should all be wary of public-private relationships

To the editor:

An excerpt from a story published on ProPublica.com on March 30:

“Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tried to plug a crucial hole in its preparations for a global pandemic, signing a $13.8 million contract with a Pennsylvania manufacturer to create a low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ventilator that could be stockpiled for emergencies. This past September, with the design of the new Trilogy Evo Universal finally cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, HHS ordered 10,000 of the ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile at a cost of $3,280 each. But as the pandemic continues to spread across the globe, there is still not a single Trilogy Evo Universal in the stockpile.”

Republicans and some Democrats have for years pushed public-private partnerships, like the four-years-behind, over budget Bloomington-to-Martinsville leg of Highway 37.  The above report shows us how these “good deals” very often work out. Taxpayers get screwed and corporations are enriched.  And now, taxpayers are being suffocated in their own blood and body fluid.

Read the report and decide for yourself.  I find myself wondering if The Donald or Kushner or any of the individual stock owning members of Congress have shares in Trilogy Evo Universal or Royal Philips N.V.  Or in any of the corporations that are now promising to make ventilators out of thin air in exchange for some red hot government direct deposits.  “Sure, we can make ventilators out of pickup truck parts, heh, heh.”

Privatize profit and socialize (soak taxpayers for) risk and loss, as in a two trillion dollar spending package that could have been avoided or minimized.  While slumlord and beneficiary of the Quatar Investment Authority Kushner negotiates with your borrowed money, you decide if public-private partnerships and the self proclaimed “King of Debt” pretending to be President are a good idea.  Ain’t that America? 

—David Dudine

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