Watchdog: Admin “Passed the Buck to State Governors” for its “Abject Failures” on COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, in anticipation of testimony by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Inspector General Christi Grimm before the House Oversight Committee, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report detailing the Trump administration’s failure to help states obtain the supplies they needed to protect themselves and support patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

Trump is seeking to replace Grimm from her role as acting inspector general following a report published by her office detailing hospitals’ lack of testing resources and personal protective equipment (PPE) — realities Trump and his allies have repeatedly downplayed and outright dismissed during the crisis.

Grimm is just one of a handful of inspectors general who have been reassigned, shuffled to new roles, or outright fired by Trump as the administration attempts to block transparency efforts and whitewash its failing response to the coronavirus.

“States desperately sought support from the federal government to get health care workers the resources they needed. And instead of lending them a hand, Trump and his allies passed the buck to state governors — blaming them for the administration’s own abject failures,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig.

The report includes key details on the following:

  • 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.

Read the full report here.