Bethenny Frankel helped facilitate the donation of tens of millions of masks to medical employees in want throughout the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic, however she says she encountered a number of shysters alongside the best way.
In accordance with the New York Occasions, the previous “Actual Housewives of New York” star was put into contact with an Idaho man named Jake Uhlenkott, who allegedly stated he might get Frankel and her charity, BStrong, entry to 500 million medical masks.
With the masks provide dwindling in hospitals across the nation, Frankel was fast to leap on the alternative and began on the lookout for funding and coordinating with state officers to distribute the masks in New York, Michigan, Arizona, Louisiana and Chicago.
However as she continued to speak with Uhlenkott, Frankel says she started to doubt the masks existed.
“Everyone knew a man who knew a man,” she informed the Occasions of her search to accumulate the masks. “You are feeling such as you’re in a Moroccan bazaar, and wherever you’re turning, left and proper, everyone is holding shiny objects.”
The Skinnygirl CEO stated that Uhlenkott stored promising extra masks that might be delivered from Canada and New York, however Frankel claims he would by no means provide the precise location of the provision.
“My persistence is working low,” Frankel reportedly texted him. “I went to bat for you with this complete group. Stakes are excessive so kick this into gear. I don’t care how.”
Uhlenkott stated to the Occasions that his “unique supply for the 500 million masks was actual and dependable, however to seek out provide already in North America, he went with a brand new vendor who turned out to be slippery.”
He ultimately backed away from the deal and related her immediately along with his masks contacts. Hopeful, Frankel then stated she labored with the state of New York to strike a take care of a person named Ralph Frengel to purchase 10 million 3M masks for $66.5 million.
Nevertheless, when Frengel refused to permit an inspection of the masks, town and Frankel exited the deal, the Occasions reported.
“All of us have been fully gutted,” she stated.
In accordance with the paper, it turned out Frengel and one in all his two associates, Michael Carnicle, have been each ex-convicts. The pair each denied any wrongdoing when contacted by the outlet.
Thankfully, Frankel’s BStrong charity and companion group, International Empowerment Mission, have been ready purchase and donate greater than 2 million masks and isolation robes to medical employees and different teams in all 50 states, getting their provides from smaller purchases in addition to a number of massive offers just like the a million hazmat fits for New York State and greater than 200,000 surgical masks for New York Metropolis, the Occasions stories.
All through the ordeal, Frankel discovered that in a disaster, individuals are both out to assist or out to use.
“It’s so disheartening,” she stated. “On the racetrack, you assume you would possibly get screwed. However if you’re coping with the largest well being disaster in 100 years, you must be a very sick, sick, dangerous particular person to use that.”