When Donald Trump was president, thousands of doctors and nurses could not get equipment to protect them from COVID-19.
Kellyanne Conway claimed in a Fox News interview that she "never heard" about issues with supply chains when former President Donald Trump was in office. But Americans saw widespread shortages — from medical equipment to toilet paper — during Trump's presidency.
Conway, who served as Trump's senior counselor, was a frequent source of misinformation during her time in the White House. She made her claim about the supply chain in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday night.
"I worked in that White House for four years, we never even heard of such a thing, there wasn't a supply chain crisis," Conway said.
Olivia Troye, who advised former Vice President Mike Pence on the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, disputed Conway's version of events.
"My recollection is quite different than Kellyanne Conway’s, especially when it comes to the 2020 crisis," Troye tweeted on Tuesday. "I seem to recall being in the same room with her at A LOT of White House discussions w/ the former guy about supply chain shortages ranging from PPE all the way to TP."
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it became clear almost immediately that the national stockpile of personal protection equipment (PPE) was not meeting demand from health care workers. As a result, frontline medical workers were forced to ration and reuse equipment including N95 face masks.
Because the viral outbreak started in China, where much of the world's medical supplies are manufactured, the virus disrupted the distribution of supplies.
When asked about the PPE shortage, Trump told reporters it was not the government's responsibility to ensure medical workers had the equipment they needed to fight the virus' spread.
"The federal government’s not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping," Trump said at the time. "You know, we're not a shipping clerk."
American consumers also faced widespread shortages of groceries and other household goods while Trump was president.
In October 2020, USA Today reported that consumers were having difficulty purchasing goods like toilet paper, diapers, soda, various frozen foods, chicken, cereal, ice cream, and candy as a result of supply chain disruptions.
On Jan. 21, President Joe Biden signed an executive order using the Defense Production Act to increase domestic production of PPE and other equipment to make up for the shortfalls created by problems with the supply chain.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.