Chairs Thompson and Maloney Write FEMA on Coronavirus Response Supply Chain Issues
April 7, 2020 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inquiring about FEMA’s efforts to acquire and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical supplies and equipment to states.
Just yesterday, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report detailing the lack of medical equipment in hospitals nationwide. Recent media reports also indicate that FEMA is redirecting shipments of supplies and equipment meant for states and hospitals. Other media reports raise concerns that Jared Kushner, who is reportedly involved in managing FEMA operational efforts, may be circumventing standard protocols regarding the distribution of PPE and other supplies to the states. The Committees seek to understand these issues in more detail, including their impact on FEMA’s distribution of PPE and essential medical supplies and equipment.
“After encouraging the States to take care of themselves, the Trump Administration now appears to be positioning FEMA to engage in the redirection of private supply chains—but the agency’s opaque and evolving processes are clearly not meeting the needs that communities have right now for PPE and medical supplies,” the Chairs wrote.