A day few could’ve imagined

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered state police to requisition personal protective equipment — like N95 masks — and ventilators that are used to combat coronavirus.

“While we look forward to these facilities cooperating with us and providing this equipment as needed, this order gives (police) the express authority to requisition it for distribution to our acute care hospitals and other healthcare facilities,” said Murphy in his daily COVID-19 briefing. “And needless to say, they badly need the equipment.”

“We also all certainly hope that (New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan) doesn’t have to use this authority,” said Murphy. “We would hope that folks would step forward and do the right thing but if need be, we will use this authority.”

Did you ever think you’d live to see a time such as this in America? I’ll admit: I didn’t.

It’s one thing to debate the constitutionality of forced quarantines and shelter-in-place policies. But for police to be commandeering supplies?

Incredible. It’s hard to see how that would stand up in court. Doesn’t the Bill of Rights have something to say about this?

Unfortunately, this thing is just getting started. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. A lot worse.

These next two weeks are going to be a dark time in America’s history.

And I’m not even necessarily talking about overwhelmed health care capacity. It’s going to be the associated panic, the faltering of America’s mental health, the gloom-and-doom that permeates, endlessly.

It isn’t going to be pretty.

Update: New York becomes the latest state to commandeer medical supplies.

Ben Garrett

Ben Garrett is a journalist from East Tennessee. He is publisher of the Independent Herald, a weekly newspaper serving the Big South Fork region of the Cumberland Plateau, with a sideline in website development and digital marketing. He is also an erstwhile blogger.

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