The Trump administration is lacking a crucial piece of information when it comes to the supply of personal protective equipment like gloves and N95 respirators: what states have.
John Polowczyk, head of the White House Supply Chain Task Force, told lawmakers Thursday at a hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that he is not receiving any sort of regular reports from states and territories about the supplies they are buying and storing.
This lack of information means critical information is missing from the calculations that Polowczyk has done about the supply of N95 respirator masks, gowns, gloves, surgical masks, and face shields over the coming months.
However, Polowczyk said he regularly speaks with health officials from states, and he estimated that 70% of states have at least 30 days of PPE stockpiled and some states are working to have 90 or 120 days.
Kushner Role Questioned
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) expressed concern over the involvement of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in the procurement of supplies.
Kushner created a program called Project Airbridge to fly in millions of gloves, masks, and other needed coronavirus supplies.
Polowcyzk said “Mr. Kushner plays no role in anything I do” and that, to his knowledge, Kushner hasn’t been involved in purchasing supplies.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee released a memo Thursday morning that said agreements between the Trump administration and six medical distributors involved in Project Airbridge require the companies to sell the supplies “at a reasonable price” but didn’t order them to report those prices.
Companies only had to comply with the requirements in the agreements for supplies distributed through Project Airbridge, the memo said.