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Cockburn

What if all that 2020 campaign money had gone on medical supplies?

Michael Bloomberg could have bought 10 hospitals

April 7, 2020

5:33 PM

7 April 2020

5:33 PM

Wanting to be president is a psychiatric disorder and should be treated as such. When an ambitious congressman declares an interest in the land’s highest office, rather than nodding, smiling and phoning donors, Cockburn wonders why most self-respecting political advisers don’t alert the local loony bin. It would save us all a lot of time, effort and most of all, money.

Just think of the gregarious amounts of cash the egotists of the 2020 race scrounged from the public. In what’s now a time of dire national need, isn’t there something grotesque about the sheer sums that filled no-hope candidates’ coffers a few months back?

Take Beto O’Rourke for example. His campaign committee raised $17.5 million. For that money, you could buy a N95 mask for everyone in the top 12 most populous counties in Texas. Or you could have, back when they were in stock.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s inspiring yet insipid bid for president raised $15.8 million. With that amount, you could pay 45 ER doctors in New York City for a year. But who needs them, right?

The damp squib that was the Kamala Harris presidential campaign raised $41.1 million across all its committees. Or, to put it another way, 12,843 of these Puritan Bennett premium ventilators.

Elizabeth Warren’s effort focused a lot on healthcare, before eventually fizzling out on Super Tuesday in early March. Perhaps she would have been more popular in one of those states if she’d spent the $136 million she raised on something practical like this state-of-the-art North Carolina hospital? Just a thought.


Bill de Blasio’s short-lived and misguided campaign may have only raised $1.8 million. But with that money, you could buy three pencils for everyone in New York City, which would really come in handy during home-schooling. If only the mayor was a bit more long-sighted!

Supporters of Andrew Yang have been complaining that the coronavirus has created the perfect circumstances to test his universal basic income policy. Given that his $39.3 million campaign went nowhere, wouldn’t that money have been better spent proving his theory somewhere like Culver City, California (population 39,295)?

Cory Booker, like Yang, was a happy warrior on the 2020 trail. If he divided the $27.8 million he raised for his campaign among everyone in his home state of New Jersey, he could buy each of them a 15oz can of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli in Tomato Sauce. In these trying times, they would surely appreciate that much more than his candidacy.

Pete Buttigieg tried to become president without bothering to develop a single policy to which he was prepared to fully commit. With the $99.7 million he raised from Stephen Colbert fans, iPad moms and evil tech geniuses, he could pay 1,909 nurses in the city of South Bend, Indiana for a year.

His best friend Amy Klobuchar took in $52.8 million throughout her time in the race. In today’s money, that’s 311,504,425 surgical gloves. Almost enough for everyone in the country to have one!

John Delaney made his millions in healthcare before becoming the first, and most pointless, candidate in the 2020 race. The $14.1 million he splurged on dumb bus trips around Iowa could have bought a thermometer for all 2.3 million prisoners in the US. We don’t want our jailbirds getting hot-headed, now, do we?

Embarrassingly, businessman Tom Steyer spent $270.8 million to come third in the South Carolina primary. Instead, he could have paid for the University of South Carolina’s new medical school, and still had $70 million in change.

Best of all perhaps is Michael Bloomberg. Since flopping out of the 2020 race, the former New York mayor has pitched in $40 million to a global coronavirus fund. Seems nice, but it pales in comparison to the $936.2 million he spent trying to be president. He could have built 10 of these 175-bed hospitals in New York State. But he didn’t.

Then you’ve got to remember that he cut off campaign staffers’ health insurance after he dropped out, despite promising them coverage until November regardless of who won. And they’d been exposed to COVID-19 as well!

Great judgment is required to lead a nation through trying times. On that front, the Democrats, like our hospitals, have a supply problem.


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