The Department of Health and Human Services said the Trump administration did not distribute supplies from the National Strategic Stockpile to states based on their individual needs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
HHS also told the oversight committee that there was no more personal protective equipment, or PPE, that could be distributed to the states because the Trump administration had already sent out its last shipments.
The remaining 10% of PPE is reserved for federal workers and will not be distributed to states, HHS staff told the committee.
“Now that the national stockpile has been depleted of critical equipment, it appears that the Administration is leaving states to fend for themselves, to scour the open market for these scarce supplies, and to compete with each other and federal agencies in a chaotic, free-for-all bidding war,” committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the committee published a distribution report created by HHS that shows how much PPE each state received from the administration’s stockpile.
Each state received at least three shipments of PPE and supplies from the federal government, according to the report. However, in the last shipment to states, labeled as the “final push,” some states received the same amount of supplies despite having vastly different populations.
For example, Vermont, Texas and Tennessee each received “final” shipments of 120,900 N95 masks. Vermont has a population of 623,989 people, Texas has a population of 28.9 million, and Tennessee has a population of 6.8 million, according to the latest census data from 2019.
As the House committee pointed out on Wednesday, that means Vermont received about 193 N95 masks per 1,000 people, while Texas received fewer than five N95 masks per 1,000 people. Tennessee got about 17 masks per 1,000 residents.
The committee warned that the depleted...