You don’t want to know what my blood pressure reached after reading an article in the Los Angeles Times (one of the few credible newspapers in the country) about the federal government’s (FEMA in this instance) seizure of critical medical supplies ordered by hospitals and clinics in 7 states. It would be one thing if, in this healthcare emergency, the federal government was taking control of the distribution of all critical medical supplies to ensure that they are provided where needed in timely fashion. But the Trump federal government has repeatedly stated that states and localities are on their own and that the federal government is not a “shipping clerk” for medical supplies for the states.
So my question is, if we’re not going to have a national, federally coordinated medical supply distribution system in times of emergency, why is the federal government interfering with the acquisition of critical medical supplies for hospitals and clinics around the country?
Needless to say, it is Congress’ responsibility to oversee the administration’s activities, so I am insisting that they investigate this seizure and provide the public with specific answers. I encourage everyone to do likewise as this is a matter of life and death for many people affected by the Covid-19 virus.
This morning’s Los Angeles Times reports that hospitals in 7 states have had their orders of critical medical supplies seized by FEMA and are now not only short of supplies, but unable to get them. The administration has repeatedly said that states and localities are on their own for obtaining medical supplies needed to fight the Covid-19 virus and that, in Donald Trump’s words, the federal government is not a “shipping clerk” for the states.
If, in fact, we are not to have a federally coordinated medical supply distribution system, then on what authority and for what purpose is the federal government interfering with the acquisition of critically needed medical supplies ordered by hospitals and clinics in these 7 states?
I want specific answers to that question. I also want to know exactly who will receive the supplies that have been seized and exactly what they intend to do with them and detailed plans for their distribution including delivery times.
If the seized supplies are being stockpiled for some vague future plans or if their distribution plans are politicized as so much of the pandemic response has been, it should amount to a capital offense as many people will die as a result.
It is your duty to oversee the federal government’s activities, especially at times like this, and I fully expect you to do just that.
W. R. Knight