Remember how on March 30 Donald Trump held his daily coronavirus press conference in the White House Rose Garden and MyPillow founder Michael Lindell spoke? It was strange and disturbing and unhelpful. Three days later, the number of Americans dying every day from the novel coronavirus went from around 500 per day to over 1,000 per day. About two weeks later, well over 2,000 Americans are dying every day from COVID-19. Why the hell was the MyPillow guy praying on television during a goddamn coronavirus press conference?
The day after the press conference/infomercial for MyPillow, Lindell announced that his company would begin making medical masks. Unfortunately, Mr. Pillow could only produce cloth masks, and so he needed to contract out, and his promises of 50,000 masks by the end of the week came to a halt. But never you fear, Politico is reporting that the Department of Veterans Affairs is ponying up $75,000 to help Lindell along. And the delay? Well, “the order has not been filled yet because the company has yet to find a subcontractor to actually make the masks, since the VA wants KN95 and disposable masks and MyPillow only makes cloth masks.”
So, let’s be clear: instead of the government paying a company that can and does produce the required masks, they are going to pay a guy who cannot produce the masks and will now act as a go-between to contract a company that will produce the masks. No matter how you cut that, this is inefficient, wasteful, and so silly it’s hard to not shake with anger while typing.
Lindell says that he won’t make “a dime” on this coronavirus mask deal. However, considering that it was less than five years ago that Lindell and his company was settling with ten California district attorneys for being fraudulent in his advertising, I find it hard to believe much of anything Lindell asserts.
Lindell has paid to play with Trump, and one thing we know about Trump is that he is transparently corrupt. According to 1100 Pennsylvania, Lindell has contributed around $628,000 since 2015 to various Republicans. Politico reports that the Republican Party plans to use the freshly negotiated coronavirus relief bill as a political attack on the Democratic Party—saying that Democratic officials delayed the process and it’s somehow their fault that unemployment is skyrocketing.