At a recent Coronavirus Task Force briefing, President Trump had a salty exchange with journalists over a report from an Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS). The president made clear that he saw the report as politically motivated saying it was “…just wrong.”
ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl, stated to the president that the author of the IG report – a phone survey of hospitals nationwide that described delays in testing and supply shortages – had been named to her post in January 2020, but did not mention she had been originally appointed during the Clinton Administration and served through both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Admiral Brett P. Giroir, HHS Assistant Secretary, also took issue with the report, saying that the survey was conducted between March 23-27, making it out-of-date; Admiral Giroir said that he was not informed about the survey until he saw it in the media.
An appointee from a previous administration causing political mischief with inaccurate data. Where have we seen this before during the Trump Administration? Here are two whopping examples:
First, President Obama holdover Sally Yates caused serious damage at the Department of Justice (DOJ) with outright insubordination. Yates’s malfeasance at the DOJ was astonishing. She objected to “an executive order temporarily restricting the admission into the United States of aliens from various Muslim-majority countries, as well as aliens from Syria and elsewhere who are claiming refugee status.” The order triggered Democrats and the media because the Left wrongly claimed that the president’s executive order violated the Constitution. Yates went the way of the politicized mob and violated her oath of office, blatantly putting party above country.
Second, at the Department of Labor (DOL), an out of control agency: the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has pursued an Obama-era agenda to prosecute government contractors who progressives believe have discriminated in promotions and hiring. The problem with these lawsuits is that none contain any evidence of actual discrimination. “The OFCCP relies on statistics in promotions and hiring to prove discrimination. This is a strategy that would give the government unbridled power to second guess corporate governance and put the private sector under constant fear of prosecution if they did not hire and promote using statistical data, as opposed to education, performance, and leadership capabilities.”
Whatever rogue vestiges that remain from the Obama years at the HHS, DOJ, OFCCP, or any other agency must be eradicated. Today, right now, is the time to do it. Too much is at stake as we fight the COVID-19 crisis. Our public health and economic recovery depend on all cylinders—public and private— operating in sync. The president should not – cannot – tolerate progressive schemes to remain embedded in his administration.
Unfortunately, the national news media has decided to stay mired in its pre-crisis, anti-Trump hysteria of misreporting on a range of issues; from the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus therapy, to China’s culpability in allowing the spread of the coronavirus. The media is the last hold-out refusing to join the effort to combat America’s invisible enemy – every other sector of American life has decided to advance a Whole America approach to defeating COVID-19, including the Feds, state and local governments, store clerks, truck drivers, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, the scientific and medical communities, first responders, school teachers, neighborhoods, families, and on and on.
As the Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock wrote in City Journal: We are truly witnessing the spirit of Tocqueville. “Tocqueville praised the self-governing character of American communities, which provide a framework not only for governors and mayors to step up and lead but also for residents to work together and create their own initiatives. The large contributions that major corporations have made to combat the coronavirus—195,000 masks donated by Goldman Sachs, JetBlue’s free flights for medical workers, the Four Seasons luxury hotel’s donation of lodging to nurses and doctors—reflect this old story: American self-organization.”
America is All In – except for a shameless national media and a remnant of Obama-era holdouts in the administration.
President Trump can handle the media (witness the Coronavirus Task Force briefings) and he dismissed Sally Yates; however, the president needs to deal with the remaining rogue elements within his administration with the same determination.
Straight-away, the president needs to drain the Department of Labor’s OFCCP of left-wing Obama holdovers to free up companies from the prospect of frivolous lawsuits. These Obama-era lawsuits based on bogus discrimination charges against America's struggling private sector – companies like Oracle and Google – cannot continue. America will need these companies – the entirety of the private sector – for the great American recovery.
Jerry Rogers is the founder of Capitol Allies and the host of “The Jerry Rogers Show” on WBAL NewsRadio. Twitter: @CapitolAllies.