Catch-22: Trump’s Dysfunction

“A “Catch-22” is “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.”[13] For example, losing something is typically a conventional problem; to solve it, one looks for the lost item until one finds it. But if the thing lost is one’s glasses, one cannot see to look for them — a Catch-22. The term “Catch-22″ is also used more broadly to mean a tricky problem or a no-win or absurd situation”

You mean there’s a catch?”

“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”

Or as in the current covid-19 response by federal and state governments there is an inherent contradiction……a catch 22. In its attempt to avoid responsibility Trump’s administration has forced the 50 states, each alone, to seek and purchase medical supplies to fight the coved-19 pandemic, often in competition with each other. This, instead of a federally organized more centralized purchase and triage of resources–the approach used successfully in the past.

However there is a catch….. and this is actually happening

“But what I’m more interested in are reports of federal authorities confiscating physical shipments en route to states, local governments or regional hospital systems. The most publicized case of this came at some point in March when, according to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a shipment of 3 million masks ordered through BJ’s Wholesale was seized by federal authorities in the Port of New York. Baker did not say which agency confiscated the goods or under what authority. That incident was what led to the widely reported and successful effort to fly goods in from China using the New England Patriots jet.”

Medicynical note: in its embarrassing response to the coved-19 pandemic the government under Trump has gone full schizoid. On one hand the states and municipalities are told by Trump and his feckless son-in-law that they are on their own and must seek resources without federal aid– a totally chaotic (read that Trumpian) approach. And on the other hand, simultaeously Trump’s government blocks and seizes those purchases.


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