New documents show Trump officials' 'haphazard and ineffective' approach to procuring PPE at start of pandemic, House committee says
March 31, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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<<enter caption here>> on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.
The Democratic-led House select committee reviewing the federal response to Covid-19 says it obtained documents that show the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic crisis "pursued a haphazard and ineffective approach to procurement" of personal protective equipment and medical supplies.
(CNN)The Democratic-led House select committee reviewing the federal response to Covid-19 says it obtained documents that show the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic crisis "pursued a haphazard and ineffective approach to procurement" of personal protective equipment and medical supplies.
In letters to three government agencies dated Tuesday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said the new evidence shows that senior Trump White House officials "steered contracts to particular companies without adequate diligence or competition," and raises further questions about whether officials, including former Trump White House official Peter Navarro, inappropriately influenced the federal government to award contracts to companies to procure PPE.
New emails released by the House select committee claim that Navarro bypassed the federal procurement process in accepting a $96. 4 million proposal from AirBoss Defense Group for powered respirators and filters before a contract had been executed.
Navarro wrote to ADG's CEO saying the proposal would be "sent forthwith for swift approval up the chain" and they could "consider it done. " He added that the federal government would want 100,000 respirators, instructed the company to start producing respirators, and to send the invoice to FEMA.
According to the committee, Navarro had no authority to issue federal contracts and FEMA contracting professionals appeared to be included in the process after ADG's initial delivery of 50 respirators.
The Democratic-led House committee wrote in a letter to Biden administration HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra that the documents regarding the Phlow contract raise questions about "whether appropriate diligence was performed and whether the contract is in taxpayers' best interest. "
The committee raised concerns about Navarro appearing to work with a non-government, outside adviser in negotiating these two contracts, rather than career federal procurement and public health experts.