According to at least half a dozen local state officials, Donald Trump’s federal government is now intercepting and diverting orders of crucial, life-saving equipment made by local governments and offering no explanation as to why, as multiple states continue to struggle with acquiring the medical equipment they so desperately need to combat the massive coronavirus outbreak that’s taking over the United States.
Back last month, Donald made it strikingly clear that he intended to offer up as little help to local governments as possible when he told local governments that they essentially needed to figure out their supply issues on their own and stop calling on the federal government so much to disburse from the national stockpile.
Naturally, Trump’s declaration has left individual states scrambling to place mass orders on their own in an attempt to get the supplies needed to save the lives of their own constituents, such as ventilators, masks, and personal protection equipment.
According to a report from the New York Times, Trump has recently replaced the Department of Health and Human Services with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to decide which states are most in need of supplies from the national stockpile and allot the equipment accordingly. However, since that swap-up, multiple reports and complaints from local governments have alleged that FEMA and the wider federal government as a whole have now taken to basically stealing large orders made by local officials with no explanation as to why, or where their orders are going.
Local officials have now taken to expressing their confusion and dismay with the situation as they continue to struggle to take care of their people.
Colorado governor Jared Polis recently told CNN that FEMA “swept up” an order made by the state for 500 ventilators.
“We’re competing against any other state, every other country,” Polis stated. “Now we’re even competing against the federal government.”
He added, “We’ve been asking what we’re going to get from FEMA, we’d love a timeline, and numbers.”
Colorado isn’t the only state to suffer from such an intervention. Local and state officials from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have lodged similar complaints.
Lizzie Litzow, a spokesperson for FEMA, has since denied these allegations, telling the Times that FEMA is aware that “prioritizing PPE deliveries to COVID hot spots can have the unintended consequence of disrupting the regular supply chain deliveries to other areas of the country that are also preparing for the coronavirus.”
It seems they can deny all they’d like. It doesn’t change the fact that local governments are making orders they’re not receiving.
As Polis stated in his CNN interview, “Either be in or out, folks… Either you’re buying them and you’re providing them to the states and letting us know what we’re going to get and when we’re going to get them. Or stay out and let us buy them.”
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery
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