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Monday, December 09, 2019

Trump Threatens Inspector General Who Reported Virus Test Shortages

@KailiJoy

Donald Trump is attacking a report released Monday that found hospitals are the country are "unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing demands" and experiencing "severe shortages."

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services conducted phone interviews with administrators from 323 hospitals across 46 States to prepare its report.

Asked about the report's findings at his daily coronavirus press briefing, Trump immediately launched into an attack on report because it was prepared by an inspector general.

"It's just wrong," Trump said of the report's finding on testing shortages. "Did I hear the words 'inspector general'? Really? It's wrong. They'll talk to you about it. It's wrong."

When the reporter noted that the report came from Trump's "own government," Trump repeatedly demanded to know the inspector general's name.

"Give me the name of the inspector general," Trump said. "Could politics be entered into that?"

Last Friday, Trump fired another inspector general: Michael Atkinson, who had served as inspector general of the intelligence community and had notified Congress of the anonymous report detailing Trump's pressure on Ukraine that led to his impeachment. Over the weekend, Trump called Atkinson "a disgrace to IGs."

Later in the Monday briefing, ABC reporter Jon Karl did provide the inspector general's name: Christi A. Grimm. Trump then demanded to know when she was appointed. Told that she was appointed earlier this year, Trump was demanded further information about how long she had served in government.

When Karl confirmed that Grimm had served in the previous administration, Trump launched into a lengthy attack on Karl, calling him a "third-rate reporter" for not stating that Grimm had served in the Obama administration.

Grimm has served in various roles in the federal government for more than two decades, under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Trump never addressed the substance of the inspector general's report about the shortage of testing around the country.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation

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