Just hours after President Trump, General Milley, and now the mainstream US media, increase the rhetoric volume on the source of the "Chinese Virus", with questions about leaks from the Wuhan Lab growing louder, American firms producing medical goods in China have been slapped new export restrictions, stranding much of the supplies in warehouses across the country.
This new hurdle comes at a time when shortages of masks, test kits, and other medical equipment have materialized in many hospital systems across the US.
Suppliers, brokers, and State Department memos reveal that large sums of protective gear lay on pallets in Chinese warehouses, unable to receive necessary shipping authorizations to the US, reported The Wall Street Journal.
For example, 1.4 million COVID-19 test kits sit in a warehouse in China, unable to ship from PerkinElmer Inc.'s Suzhou factory because "it lacks certification required by the new rules," a State Department memo read, first reviewed by The Journal.
Another memo said Shanghai officials told 3M that the city is overly reliant on 3M-95 masks, and it would be up to Beijing to lift export restrictions.
State Department memos said the new restrictions had created "bottlenecks" for the US at a time when medical supplies are urgently needed.
The export restrictions have "disrupted established supply chains for medical products just as these products were most needed for the global response to COVID-19," according to a memo this week.
"Every single day we don't have the proper protective equipment is a new health-care worker exposed, is a new hole in the ship that is our current hospital system and ICU bed structure," said Illinois Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, who leads the state's efforts in acquiring medical supplies.
The Journal notes how China has created fresh "logjams" for companies trying to export medical supplies to the US.
"The export restrictions then followed. Chinese customs prohibited the export of medical products without certifications from China's National Medical Products Administration, even if the goods had been registered with the US Food and Drug Administration. On Friday China added another hurdle, subjecting certain types of surgical protective gear and equipment—including ventilators and masks—to extra checks before they could be shipped overseas."
This has undoubtedly strained ties between the Communist government and the Trump administration.
There are some unanswered questions we have – first, why would Beijing suddenly delay critical medical goods that are knowingly used to combat the virus.
Second, could the new export restrictions be a punishment by Beijing? And, if so, why would Beijing want to punish the Trump administration? Unless they know that President Trump is setting the narrative to blame the Wuhan lab.