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Is Supply Chain Management the Next Victim of COVID-19? (Opinion)

A question we need answers to…

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Let’s start with the biggest myth in supply chain management for COVID-19 medical supplies, “The warehouses are full of material just waiting on an order.” Not true. Just recently, I was on a phone call with a company that has been in the supply chain management business for medical supplies for 10 years, and they told me that they were talking about a possible order for 10 million N95 masks. On the call were 12 brokers who all wanted a piece of the deal and 4 law firms who also wanted a part of the business. The phone call ended because the supplier, in reviewing the financial demands of all the players, had to raise the price to what he considered to be a gouging price. He turned down the deal because he did not want to sullen his reputation, and to boot, the phone call cost him over $4,000.

I spoke to a supplier that I have been working with for years in getting MP3 systems from China for my “Songs and Stories for Soldiers Foundation.” I asked him if he could get N95 masks. He said, “Do not let anybody tell you they have what you need in their warehouse, because they are lying to you. I can take your order and put you in line with the rest of the companies, and based on our backlog and pending orders, it will take at least 3 weeks, perhaps even longer to get you the items you want.”

We hear about all the stories as to the tens of millions of masks ordered, but the lead time is getting longer and longer. In many cases, orders placed in early March are only now shipping. We hear the officials tell us that they have ordered millions of masks, but the reality is that the whole world is ordering masks and other supplies. In fact, the world is really short of critical supplies.

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Now think about the hospitals, both public and private, the state and local governments, and the Veterans Administration, all wanting medical materials. I made a call to one of my VA contacts, and he told me that his procurement staff is working 14 to 16 hours a day trying to find supplies. As the pandemic expands, the need for ever-increasing supplies puts exploding pressure on the procurement staffs of all the agencies and health centers. My concern is that this important part of the supply chain is becoming more and more exhausted, both physically and mentally, in the desperate searches to find supplies.

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If the people who order and distribute the needed supplies can’t function, then they put the entire healthcare system and, in turn, us in danger. The longer the pandemic continues, I have real apprehension as to the risk of the supply chain failing. Recently, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) issued a comprehensive report on the dangers in the supply chain.

A recent article in the New York Times entitled, “At War With No Ammo: Doctors Say Shortage of Protective Gear Is Dire.” One hospital may be breaking the ice and admitting it is taking too much risk for the medical staff and the patients. The Open Cities Community Health Center in St. Paul, MN, is considering shutting down because it doesn’t have enough face masks.

“There’s absolutely no way to protect myself,” said Dr. Faezah A. Bux, an anesthesiologist in central Kentucky, who in recent days had to intubate several elderly patients in respiratory distress without the respirator masks and protective eye gear. 

One of the things that make the purchasing of medical supplies expensive and very time consuming is the explosion of brokers. As discussed in our example in the first paragraph, there were 12 brokers in the deal. Examples abound of the numbers of shady middlemen who only have been in the business for scant weeks and who are looking to make a quick buck, or should I say millions. The market is rife with phantom shipments, prices soaring by the hour, and goods even flown in on private planes.

What sounds like an organized-crime thriller in this pandemic is now the new reality for governors desperately trying to find the medical equipment their states need. With the federal stockpile dwindling fast, and the Trump administration limiting access to what’s left, state leaders are going to extraordinary measures on their own to secure face masks, ventilators, gloves, and other equipment essential to fighting the outbreak.

These public officials have ventured into a global market-place one governor described as the “wild, wild west,” where they compete against each other and their own federal government. They’ve watched the price of ventilators double, and masks go for 10 times their original price. Every time you add a middleman, you add to the cost of the product. It is the middlemen that are continually pressuring the procurement personnel, wearing them down until they accept the exorbitant prices.

As we head into what the president has described as the most challenging time ahead of us, we need to stop for a moment and look at how we are buying what we need. My greatest fear is the unscrupulous broker who is demanding millions of dollars of down payments and who will never deliver the goods and could very well escape with millions of public money.

I understand that all of our governments want to do the best they can for Americans. However, the harder they push to buy these needed materials, the more danger there is for them effectively to do their jobs. The job of procurement is not something where one can go to the local temp agency and get a replacement. I think procurement managers need to look at more alternatives including more scrutiny in securing medical supplies. In the next installment I will have some suggestion on supply chain management that won’t include 12 brokers.

Dan Perkins is a published author of 4 novels on nuclear and biological terrorism against the United States and is a current events commentator for over 20 news blogs. He appears on radio and TV between 40 and 60 times a month, depending on the news cycles, and on about 1,400 radio stations and TV networks. He is either a guest host or host on 4 weekly syndicated talk shows. Dan’s newest show is called “America’s Cannabis Conversation” on the W420radionetwork.com, a new show that broadcasts Saturday each week at 4:20 PM local time. More information on Perkins can be found at his web site danperkins.guru.

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Here Is A List Of President Joe Biden’s Day 1 Executive Orders

And it begins…

John Salvatore

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President Joe Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris. Both titles have a certain ugliness when put in front of those two names. My goodness, America. What have we done? From The Daily Wire: Future White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain released a memo Saturday detailing President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to make good on his campaign promises in the first few hours of his presidency. The memo, sent to incoming senior staff and obtained by The New York Times, states that Biden will address the “four crises” facing the nation: Covid-19, the economy, the climate and racial inequity. The actions expand on the Biden campaign’s message of “build back better” and claim to “reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration” while moving the country forward. CONTINUED: On Inauguration Day, Biden will sign twelve executive orders that directly respond to these four “crises,” with additional directives spread out over a ten-day period. Included in this group are plans to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, reverse the so-called “Muslim Ban” restricting travel from certain countries, extend the pause on student loan payments and continue current restrictions on foreclosures and evictions. The first day of Biden’s presidency will also mark the beginning of the “100 Day Masking Challenge,” with a mask mandate taking effect for people traveling between states and visiting federal property. LOOK: https://twitter.com/HotlineJosh/status/1345827990521999364?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1345827990521999364%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2021%2F01%2Fpaul-ryan-blasts-republicans-challenging-biden-electors-joe-bidens-victory-entirely-legitimate%2F

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McConnell to Trump: If You Pardon Julian Assange, We’re ‘More Likely to Convict You’ [Report]

He said what!?

John Salvatore

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As soon as it was learned that President Trump had no chance of being re-elected, Mitch McConnell started bashing POTUS pretty hard. Heck, the Kentucky Republican even blamed Trump for the Capitol riot. But if what Tucker Carlson is saying is true, it goes to show that the Senate Majority Leader was never really in Trump’s corner to begin with. WATCH: https://twitter.com/danielchaitin7/status/1351704268563075072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1351707348373557253%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es2_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2021%2F01%2Fmitch-mcconnell-reportedly-threatened-president-trump-pardon-julian-assange-much-likely-convict-impeachment-trial-video%2F https://twitter.com/danielchaitin7/status/1351707348373557253 https://twitter.com/adamgoldmanNYT/status/1351721466803445762?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1351721466803445762%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2021%2F01%2Fmitch-mcconnell-reportedly-threatened-president-trump-pardon-julian-assange-much-likely-convict-impeachment-trial-video%2F Despite everything POTUS accomplished in just four years, Trump still gets little to no respect from members of his own party. From Fox News: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supports Democrats’ move to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump and is “done” and “furious” with him, sources familiar told Fox News. It is unclear how McConnell would vote in an impeachment trial, should House Democrats vote to impeach Trump. It is not clear at this point whether McConnell would vote to convict. CONTINUED: One source told Fox News that McConnell has not made up his mind about what to do about impeachment, and does not see this as a partisan exercise like the previous impeachment effort against Trump. Another source told Fox News that McConnell told associates that impeachment will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement. Sounds like things are shaking up to be a little crazy before Trump leaves office. The guy can’t have a moment of peace. History will remember everything the Trump Administration accomplished in a positive light, though. Disagree?

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