Lest Jerry Shenk's circumlocution (Prospective please, 4/5/20) cause some of your readers to forget, budgets and expenditures for emergency medical personal protective equipment (PPE) is the president's only to propose: the legislation which sets expenditures has been the responsiblity of the Republican Congress since 2010; Shenk's (and Trump's) representation that Obama bears sole responsibility for the lack of masks and ventilators in the government's emergency storage, three years into Trump's four-year term is poppycock of the first order.

You may recall the scandal that the Reagan Administration encountered (known as Iran-Contra) in which the president directed expenditures on a private army to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, when faced with an explicit prohibition by Congress which forbade him from doing so.

The only reason that George H W Bush avoided impeachment was the broadly worded pardon he himself issued to Caspar Weinberger, allowing Weinberger to destroy evidence uncovered by the Tower inquiry, before the matter was open to an impeachment hearing, or to criminal prosecution.

As for Trump's cuts to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the disbandment of Obama's NSC task force on pandemics, all of Shenk's false claims should not be allowed to divert attention from the current president's terrible judgments in managing the current pandemic, and his miserable effort to eviscerate government agencies charged with intelligence and scientific analysis of strategic government efforts.

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park 

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