The Trump admin has awarded 2.6B in coronavirus contracts to first-time bidders, many of them unqualified grifters who played Trump and his administration for suckers and got away clean.
Exhibit A: Fillakit LLC, who got $7.3m to provide sterile test-tubes. Instead, they shipped FEMA soda-bottle "preforms" - these are miniature soda-bottles that you fit into a pressure blower that inflates them up 2l bottles.
Not only are these miniature soda-bottles and not test-tubes, they are also in NO WAY sterile. Here's how they were packed:
"Fillakit employees, some not wearing masks, gathered the miniature soda bottles with snow shovels and dumped them into plastic bins before squirting saline into them, all in the open air."
Writing for Propublica, J David McSwane and Ryan Gabrielson paint a picture of a semi-competent conman who made a fortune while helping to destroy America's capacity to fight the pandemic of the century, abetting mass murder and economic collapse.
It's not surprising Fillakit had never earned a federal contract prior to coronavirus. The company was formed "just six days" before it won its contract.
Its founder? Paul Wexler, "an ex-telemarketer repeatedly accused of fraudulent practices over the past two decades."
But, you know, maybe tiny, contaminated soda bottles have some medical value?
"They’re the most unusable tubes I’ve ever seen. They’re going to sit in a warehouse and no one can use them. We won’t be able to do our full plan." - "top public health official," unnamed state.
"Wexler, Fillakit’s owner, has a background in law and real estate, not medical supplies. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission accused Wexler and his telemarketing firm of illegal robocalling, making unauthorized charges to consumers’ bank accounts and falsely claiming to be a nonprofit org. Wexler’s firm allegedly misrepresented itself as a credit counseling service for several years, charging customers for work it did not do, according to court records."
"Wexler denied a request to tour the warehouse. Asked about the lack of sterile conditions and the use of soda preforms, Wexler screamed, 'What’s your problem, man?'"
(He seems nice.)
To recap: a telemarketing grifter with a background in real estate sold Trump $7.3m worth of fake, contaminated test-tubes that undermined multiple states' covid testing capacity.
Ladeez and gennulmun, I give you: THE ART OF THE DEAL!
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!