San Antonio Police Department Reports Infected Officer
The news alerted us yesterday, about a police officer with the San Antonio Police Department Texas having tested positive for COVID-19. Very little information is being given out about the officer other than he is a 7-year veteran who works traffic and is believed to have contracted the virus due to travel, not community spread. SAPD is not releasing information regarding what substation the officer worked out of. In part, this would be to avoid creating panic in the area in which he worked but also to avoid people being lax with safety measures because they are not in that area. Two other San Antonio Police officers have been determined to be at high risk of infection and are under quarantine.
Houston’s Efforts to Test Being Hamstrung by the Government
The City of Houston has been attempting to increase their testing to find out how many people are actually infected with COVID-19 and where those people are. They’ve had plans for a while to open two testing sites that can process up to 250 tests a day for a total of 500 tests a day. Those plans hit a major bump in the road. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said they will only send enough protective equipment to supply one of the locations. Houston leaders were told that any expansions beyond the one testing site that is currently functional, would have to be funded at a local level. Houston saw their number of infected people more than triple on Saturday, from 69 to 232. This is a concern for all of us. Texans are very mobile. We have close ties with other cities in Texas and visit them often. What happens in one will eventually happen in others. And don’t forget, Houston is close to the border with Louisiana, a state that has a very high infection rate. See Houston Chronicle article for more info.
Trump Administration is Killing Americans
The United States functions under the principles of federalism. That means that the states and our federal government share power. This is extremely important during a crisis. It is the job of the federal government to step in and coordinate responses, supplies and support. If that doesn’t happen then you have 50 different entities (states) fighting for needed resources, which can leading to bidding wars, leaving some people without the needed resources.
This is exactly the position that Trump and Republicans have placed us in. Trump has ignored the responsibility of the government, at the request of corporations, and told the governors that it’s their job to handle the problem. When pressed for help with needed supplies, Trump’s response was, “We’re not a shipping clerk.” And he was absolutely wrong. That is exactly one of the roles that the government should be assuming.
Instead, we have states ordering supplies only to find out that someone outbid them and those supplies will not be coming. All the while Americans are dying. Large corporations are raking in profits from the bidding wars between the states which is no doubt why they told Trump not to step in. All the while Americans are dying. Surgical masks that doctors and nurses need to stay safe usually wholesale for 50 cents a piece. They are now at $5.00 a piece because of the bidding wars. Our medical staff are becoming infected and are dying.
To make matters worse, Trump is using his authority to reward his supporters and hurt his opponents. He is having FEMA withhold needed supplies from states if there is someone there he doesn’t like or who he feels has not fed his petty ego. And all the while, Americans are dying.
We’re On Our Own
This is not how things were supposed to be. Our government is specifically designed to take over during times of crisis but not only is the Trump administration an abject failure, they actually made this so much worse by ignoring the situation when we should have been planning and preparing for it, and by sending over 17 tons of medical supplies and equipment that the government had stockpiled for an emergency, to China. Yes. He gave items we were going to need, that he knew we were going to need, to China. And Americans are dying.
We can’t expect any help from the sociopath in the White House. We are on our own. It is imperative that people follow the social distancing guidelines and the stay at home orders to try to flatten the curve. Do your best to stop Americans from dying.