Documents obtained by NBC News indicate that the federal government ordered more than 100,00 body bags even as President Donald Trump projected only 60,000 people would die from COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic.
“That batch is a pending $5.1 million purchase order placed by the Department of Homeland Security on April 21 with E.M. Oil Transport Inc. of Montebello, California, which advertises construction vehicles, building materials and electronics on its website,” the outlet pointed out.
Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened up bidding to provide about 200 rented refrigerated trailers for locations around the country around the same time.
Coronavirus deaths in the United States now stand at nearly 64,000, according to the most up-to-date statistics.
Despite these facts, the president has signaled he will not extend social distancing guidelines.
“They’ll be fading out, because now the governors are doing it,” Trump said.
And according to Vice President Mike Pence, the existing guidelines were being applied to new White House guidance on how states can reopen safely.
“Every state in America has embraced those guidelines at a minimum, or even done more, and now our focus is working with states,” Pence said. “The current guidelines, I think you can say, are very much incorporated in the guidance that we’re giving states to open up America again.”
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told “Fox & Friends” that the tide appears to be turning, even as the death toll continues to climb with no end in sight.
“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this, and I think we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed, so the federal government rose to the challenge and this is a great success story,” he said. “And I think that that’s what really needs to be told.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.