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By Adrian Horton

On Thursday’s Late Night, Seth Meyers turned his trademark Closer Look to the dire shortage of ventilators and the negligent federal response, advised by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to address the problem. “We have a situation where states are begging for life-saving ventilators and the Trump team is in disarray,” Meyers explained.

“Governors are literally outbidding each other on the open market, and dealing with shady middlemen and price gouging to buy ventilators wherever they can get them,” Meyers said. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, compared the experience to eBay; Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont, said it was like Uber surge pricing, except “at the last moment, the car drives away because somebody has outbid you”.

“That’s right, governors are comparing buying life-saving ventilators for a pandemic to surge pricing,” Meyers said. “This is capitalism at its absolute worst. While Trump waits for the market to decide, people are literally going to die, and states are getting ripped off like they’re trying to call an Uber in the rain in midtown after a Broadway show.

“And you’ll never guess who’s in charge of this shitshow,” Meyers continued. “The guy Slenderman has nightmares about: Jared Kushner.” Kushner reportedly pushed back on Cuomo’s request for 30,000 ventilators; he called Cuomo an alarmist and said in a White House meeting: “I have all this data about ICU capacity. I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.”

“Oh, you’re doing your own projections? Did your parents just buy you a TI-84 [graphing calculator]?” Meyers retorted. “You’re not qualified to do anything, let alone tell New York how many ventilators they need. You’re a nepotism case, and you only got the White House job because you married into the family, and because the security guards believed your fake ID.

“I hope when the time for accountability comes, we can all remember that it didn’t have to be like this,” Meyers concluded, noting that countries such as South Korea and Iceland have contained their coronavirus outbreaks better than the US. “Other countries responded to this pandemic with competence, and they avoided the worst. Now, we’re bracing for an unimaginable tragedy and as we speak, the president is leaving besieged states and hospitals to fend for themselves, putting lives at risk.”

THE GUARDIAN

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