Republicans just can’t do anything right for some people in Colorado.
As we reported, Gov. Polis complained to CNN on Friday he had a lead on where to buy 500 ventilators, but FEMA got there before him and bought the available devices.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was the only member of the delegation to step up and ask the Trump administration to share that purchase, and the president personally pledged to send us100 ventilators.
As we’ve also reported, hospitals won’t say how many ventilators they have, but several media outlets report hospitals have enough devices to serve the need right now, but might need some more in the future.
And for Gardner’s effort, the media sneered, as Gov. Polis barely managed to acknowledge during a Wednesday press briefing, “We’re grateful for 100 ventilators if Coloradans are successful at staying at home in very high numbers.”
Democrat U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter, who failed to raise a finger to negotiate the mess or go to bat for Colorado, had the gall to complain the shipment of 100 ventilators is just Republicans playing politics.
“It’s 100 more ventilators than we had but it’s also woefully short of the 10,000 requested by the Governor and what our state needs,” Perlmutter tweeted. “The Trump administration should not be playing politics with the health care equipment desperately needed to save lives.”
That’s right, Polis requested 10,000 ventilators for the federal stockpile that contained a total of 9,500 ventilators.
As if Polis was ever going to get the entire nation’s supply, especially when 14 states are ahead of us in terms of the number of cases being treated.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said she believed Trump was “playing politics with public health” by singling out Gardner, who is up for re-election in November, as being responsible for the ventilators.
“Governor Polis and our Congressional delegation have been working to get more ventilators to Colorado for weeks. In fact, Colorado was set to receive 500 ventilators until FEMA blocked the shipment. Now, President Trump says we will get 100 as a courtesy to Senator Gardner,” she said in a statement. “That means, because the president is playing politics with public health, we’re still 400 ventilators short from what we should have received.
If DeGette was really working with Polis to get ventilators, she would know that Colorado was never set to receive 500 of the devices.
Polis told CNN he had a lead on where to buy them at a good price. But, FEMA had already bought the devices. FEMA did not block a sale, they got there first because states like Colorado are demanding the feds send them 10,000 ventilators — a number that seems wildly exaggerated.
The governor now says just over 800 people are hospitalized with the virus. If Polis and the state really believe that number is going to dramatically escalate to more than 10,000 in the next couple of weeks when the virus peaks here, we’ll be in worse shape than New York.
And we doubt that’s the case.