Perhaps knowing that they only have a few more months to steal billions from American taxpayers, the president and his allies have used the pandemic to award huge no-bid contracts to their friends:
Several weeks ago, President Donald Trump forced the Food and Drug Administration to reverse a safety ruling and clear the way for one of the nation's premier defense contractors to sell, service and operate new machines that reprocess N95 face masks for health care workers.
Within two weeks, Battelle, the company that makes the machines, had a contract from the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency to recycle masks for up to 20 uses each at locations across the country. The no-bid deal, ordered up by the White House coronavirus task force, is worth up to $600 million.
But nurses, doctors and scientists who have spoken to NBC News about Battelle's hydrogen peroxide vapor chambers said the process it uses remains unproven over long-term use and using masks cleaned by it more than a couple of times could leave front-line health care workers vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus.
There is effectively no independent oversight of the Battelle deal or others like it.
The lack of oversight means voters will have less information by which to judge the president when they go to the polls. Trump surely understands that.
But because Trump has effectively gutted oversight of his administration, only voters can hold him accountable if his decisions were bad — or made for the wrong reasons.
And the money came rolling in from every side. Reminder: populists are corporatists first. It's about the money, not the politics.