The media is lying about Trump again. This time they are accusing him of saying that doctors and nurses are stealing N95 masks.
He said no such thing.
Here are the remarks he made at a March 29th Press Briefing that took place immediately after the conclusion of a meeting with supply chain distributors:
TRANSCRIPT (emphasis added):
I bring that up because when we discussed back in a room, we were in a conference room, a very nice one actually, it’s called the Cabinet Room. That statement was made. That they have been delivering for years, 10 to 20,000 masks. Okay. It’s a New York hospital. It’s packed all the time. How do you go from 10 to 20 to 300,000? 10 to 20,000 masks to 300,000. Even though this is different, something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000? And we have that in a lot of different places. So somebody should probably look into that, because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible to go from that to that. And we have that happening in numerous places, not to that extent, that was the highest number I’ve heard. That’s the highest number you’ve seen I would imagine right? But this man, makes them and delivers them to a lot of hospitals, he knows the system better than anybody. And I think, you were more surprised than I was when you saw that number, so thank you very much. I hope that I didn’t get any of your clients in trouble. But it could be that they are in trouble. So they have to look at that in New York.
Notice the words doctors, nurses, healthcare workers don’t appear nowhere in Trump’s remarks. You may have also noticed that the words stealing and theft are also absent.
Here is how FactCheck.org explained what prompted Trump to make the above remarks (emphasis added)::
Trump’s claim about masks came after Edward Pesicka, president and CEO of Owens & Minor, said during the press conference that despite his company ramping up its production of masks, “One of the issues we’re struggling with is the demand increase.”
Pesicka then cited “an anecdotal example of one hospital in New York that traditionally uses roughly 10- to 20,000 masks a week are now using 2- to 300,000 masks a week. So you multiply that times … the entire U.S., let alone the same demand outside of the U.S. That’s part of the issue we’re running into, is even with a significant ramp-up in supply, you know, there’s still that demand that is — that is much greater than that supply.”
Trump said those figures were discussed in a private meeting prior to the press conference.
Pesicka didn’t raise the idea that these masks were being stolen by hospital staff either. He was merely pointing out an anomaly. It’s this anomaly, and the questions it raises that prompted Trump’s remarks about the need for someone to look into what is causing the huge spike in mask demand.
Now that you have the full context of the remarks, which was easily discoverable, take a look at how various news outlets decided to characterize Trump’s statement:
If mask theft is a conspiracy theory, then Cuomo is the one who is spreading it.
Gee Newsweek, I wonder why doctors are upset? Could it be that they have read the headlines run by other outlets that are pushing the false narrative that Trump said doctors and nurses were stealing N95 masks?
This is all so disgustingly disingenuous. It reeks of malice, and serves only one purpose; destroy people’s faith in the Trump Administration’s ability to effectively handle the Coronavirus crisis. They want chaos and fear to spread throughout the country, because they believe it’s their best shot at taking out Trump.
We must not allow them to continue to play this reality distortion game. Encourage anyone who will listen to tune into at least one of the Coronavirus Task Force’s daily briefings. Doing so, without a doubt, will expose them to the unfiltered reality they so desperately need to see.