At Hearing, Admin Officials Must Answer for Failed Leadership During Crisis

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing to discuss the procurement and distribution of supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. The Trump administration’s total inability to effectively distribute resources to states has been consistent throughout its mismanaged pandemic response.

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Trump Administration's Mismanaged Pandemic Response

“When states pleaded with the federal government for help getting frontline workers the resources they needed to stay safe from COVID-19, Trump turned his back and left them to fend for themselves,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig. “Lawmakers must hold Brett Giroir and Pete Gaynor accountable for the administration’s frustrating, chaotic mismanagement of the crisis and demand answers about why states were left in the lurch when they needed real leadership.”

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Records obtained through government watchdog Accountable.US’s 50 States Open Records Project revealed the following failures by the Trump administration to help states get resources they needed amid the crisis:

  • As Georgia pleaded with the administration for just 20 ventilators, Florida sat on a supply of 5,000.
  • New Mexico sent a letter pleading for critical-need supplies after its order from the Strategic National Stockpile arrived 25% short.
  • After Georgia only received a small portion of its PPE order, the Trump administration instructed state officials to file a second request —  and wait in the queue for the supplies.
  • Idaho attempted to source N95 Masks from a South African distributor, only to have that shipment blocked from leaving the country after Trump announced the U.S. would block exports to American allies.
  • Georgia had a shipment of ventilators arrive late with no explanation from the federal government — an error with potentially deadly consequences.
  • Colorado had a shipment of one million N95 masks and 200 ventilators the state was “counting on” seized by FEMA based on a data model used by the White House that Colorado officials days earlier complained was inaccurate.

Read the full report here.