Politics

Mike Pence puts America first in virus supplies

He has held up foreign shipments when there were issues of legitimate receipt.

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Vice-President Mike Pence is not the kind of guy who plays games. His whole Race Bannon look and demeanor speaks of a man who gets down to business and has a low tolerance for folderol.

Last week Pence got reports that American efforts to help other nations with supplies that are surplus to our efforts against the virus may have been going to others than the intended recipients. In this case it was Thailand who had problems on their end.

When a country under attack takes what little it has to spare and gives it to another nation, it recalls the British Murmansk convoys of WWII, you would think the receiving nation would insure the integrity of the gesture. Thailand did not. As such, the veep’s office is scrutinizing every medical shipment going outside the country now and has placed a stop on all overseas shipments of protective gear.

Pence cares about American first.

But there are people in the world who don’t see it that way. They are using precious American supplies to fill black markets, for political ends, even as military weapons.

Most of us are not too old that we weren’t around in the 1970s when Marxist Ethiopian dictator Mengistu allegedly said, “You can’t throw a decent famine without good scotch.” His dark humor obscured a sad fact. His regime was using Western food aid to famine-ravaged Ethiopians to kill off his rebel provinces by withholding the aid and staving them to death. Stalin did the same to Ukrainians in the 1930s.

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States like Belarus, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela are no doubt making sure elite government leaders are getting tested and treated. But their people? What was that about scotch?

As Pence’s office gets down to work to save vital American equipment for Americans, he is right to take a jaded eye to requests from some regimes. Sending them anything would be merely abating the oppression they mete out to their own people.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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