It is astounding what someone can find when the threat of severe punishment is levied against them.
That is precisely what happened in California after Attorney General William Barr threatened anyone hoarding medical supplies that the Department of Justice would come after them.
Sadly in situations like this some unscrupulous people will exploit a situation to make themselves rich and Barr wanted to prevent that.
And wouldn’t you know it, days after Barr issued the threat a liberal California union “found” 39 million N95 masks, NBC Bay Area reported.
Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West announced Thursday that it located 39 million N95 masks and will make them available to state and local governments and health care systems that are fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The union found a distributor with the masks, which are cleared for surgical use, after pleas from health care workers as new coronavirus cases surge across the state and the country as a whole.
Union officials said they also found a supplier that can produce some 20 million protective masks per week and another that can supply millions of protective face shields.
What a coincidence. It is uncanny that they found these masks and a supplier to produce more after they were threatened.
Here is a good question. How precisely does one lose 39 million of anything? Where were they hiding?
“We are continuing to turn over every rock to see if we can find more personal protective equipment to make sure that healthcare workers, who are heroically putting their own health on the line to care for patients, can do their jobs as safely as possible,” Dave Regan, the union’s president, said.
The supplier has begun selling the masks to “the state of California, the Greater New York Hospital Association, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health and Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Clara counties.”
The union has now connected the institutions that need the masks directly to the supplier so that they can make the deals on their own.
Arizona hospitals have been offered two million of the masks but have not yet accept, the report said.
“While we are pleased with these initial results, we recognize they are stopgap measures in light of the estimated 3.5 billion masks that could be needed during this pandemic,” the union president said.
“We urgently need the federal government to step in and drive a coordinated national response to the PPE (personal protective equipment) shortage.”,” he said.
The union wants to act like the hero now but consider this. They are not giving these 39 million masks they supposedly did not know they had, to those who need them.
They are selling them, presumably for a profit, to the institutions in desperate need. They may not be price gouging, but they are taking advantage of the situation.