WASHINGTON, D.C. –This week, a wealth of new reports by the Washington Post, New York Times, POLITICO, PBS, and more detailed the Trump administration’s ongoing failure to make supplies and tests widely accessible to the American public and health professionals. The reports discuss supply shortages, testing backlogs, and the lack of a comprehensive audit by the administration of the difficulties it has run into since March in getting states the resources they need.
As Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells PBS:
“…mostly, the approach to testing in the U.S. has been, let every state or in some cases every city figure it out themselves, which has been really inefficient. And it’s been — basically put a situation where you have 50 states competing against each other for access to the same supplies that they all need.”
A report by Accountable.US includes even greater detail on these failures, with internal emails between state public health and Trump administration officials showing chaos and mismanagement on the federal level that hindered states’ efforts to obtain the resources necessary to keep their communities safe.
“With each passing day, we’re seeing more evidence that the Trump administration is still failing to get states the resources they need to keep Americans safe,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Without any meaningful reflection on how, why, and where there have been breakdowns and backlogs, the administration is still leaving states without the tests and PPE they need.”
The report includes details on the following:
- New Mexico sent a letter pleading for critical-need supplies after its order from the Strategic National Stockpile arrived 25% short.
- After repeated assurances by FEMA officials that it was not seizing PPE intended for Iowa, numerous hospitals in the state reported that they failed to receive items in “critical need.”
- As Georgia pleaded with the administration for just 20 ventilators, Florida sat on a supply of 5,000.
- 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.
- Georgia had a shipment of ventilators arrive late with no explanation from the federal government — an error with potentially deadly consequences.
- 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.
- Colorado complained about the use of the IHME model used by the federal government to guide its COVID-19 response, leading the Trump administration to commandeer PPE and ventilator orders meant for the state.