The Covid response exposed not only the nation’s vulnerability to mass media manipulation, but also endless cases of government malfeasance and corruption.
One striking example has surfaced recently out of Illinois. The head of the Emergency Management Agency’s personal assistant, Amy Gentry, quit abruptly in late October due to taxpayer scrutiny of her being paid between $28,000 and $48,000 a month during the Covid pandemic.
The Sun Times reported that Gentry ultimately had billed the state over $1 million for her contracts.
The assistant made $240,761.30 in billings from February to August, which is twice her boss Alicia Tate-Nadeau’s pay for that time, the news outlet reported.
In 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker put her boss Alicia Tate-Nadeau in charge of the emergency agency that handles pandemics, natural disasters, and an influx of unauthorized immigrants.
Gentry worked as much as 350 hours a month, she claimed, and billed her time as “director support, Springfield/Remote” or “Executive Assistant to the Director (Springfield/Remote).” However, her pay rate and job title are listed on her invoices to the state as “Planner-IDPH” to “assist the Illinois Department of Public Health on planning efforts.”
Gentry was getting paid $156 an hour through a set of huge contracts for Illinois’ COVID-19 response. As of August, she had billed the state emergency service a total of $1.03 million for other work.
It is just one of countless cases of Covid-19 accounting malfeasance and outright fraud committed during the pandemic.
One well-known scam involved a Nigerian crime group that stole up to $850 million by making false jobless claims. Another involved smart prisoners who stole $200 million from the state of Pennsylvania by making false unemployment claims.
In Harris County, Texas, three staffers for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo were indicted for their alleged efforts to steal $11 million from Covid funds. Hidalgo, however, was not charged in the corruption investigation.
“Chief of Staff Alex Triantaphyllis, former senior policy director Wallis Nader and former senior adviser Aaron Dunn were all indicted on charges of records tampering and misuse of official information, according to records filed with the Harris County District Clerk. All three have been accused of communicating with a vendor, Elevate Strategies, to tailor an ostensibly competitive bid process to the company’s strengths. The contract was eventually pulled.”
Triantaphyllis would ultimately leave the administration, but not before violating his bond conditions by approving $48 million in funds for a childcare center.
But this case of Harris County corruption is but one of numerous examples that illustrate how the Covid pandemic was not just an egregious assault on Americans’ civil liberties — but a massive grift carried out by corrupt public officials.
These stories illustrate how Congress’s $5 trillion spending spree was tainted from the start by fraud and waste. It is not known how much money the government has lost to scams since the pandemic started. There are too many cases of scams to list them all.
However, it was thought that scammers got $200 billion in jobless benefits just one year into the pandemic. This was “more than triple the official government estimate of $63 billion based on the 10% pre-pandemic fraud rate.”
America is still paying for Covid corruption in the form of elevated inflation, which is hitting the poorest citizens hardest. These is nothing compassionate about government “relief” funds that wind up in the hands of criminals, welfare grifters, and corrupt public officials.
Charging the nation’s credit card for trillions of dollars is just starting to inflict pain on the American public. But it won’t come to a halt unless there is justice for criminal politicians and accountability for those who are exploiting the broken system.