Trump blames hospitals for mask and ventilator shortages

Trump’s boldest claim was about masks. He noted that current demand wasn’t commensurate with what hospitals typically use and suggested that masks were “going out the back door.”

“It’s a New York hospital, very — it’s packed all the time,” he said. “How do you go from 10 to 20 [thousand masks per week] to 300,000? Ten [thousand] to 20,000 masks, to 300,000 — even though this is different? Something is going on, and you ought to look into it as reporters. Are they going out the back door?”

Trump added: “How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000? And we have that in a lot of different places. So somebody should probably look into that, because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible to go from that to that.”

It wasn’t clear exactly what Trump was suggesting hospitals had done with the masks, given that demand for them has understandably increased exponentially during a global pandemic involving a respiratory disease.