Amid Shortages of Personal Protective Equipment, Chairman Neal Demands Answers from the Trump Administration

Apr 1, 2020
Press Release
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) called on the Trump Administration to provide Congress and the public with detailed information on how they are addressing the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) that many states and health care providers are experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to Vice President Pence, head of the Coronavirus Task Force, Neal raised concerns about the challenges states and health care providers are facing in securing PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and called on the Administration to help states secure PPE from private vendors.
“During a national crisis that threatens every community, no state should have an unfair advantage and the management of the SNS must be guided at all times by public health needs,” wrote Chairman Neal. “The Coronavirus Task Force must strive to guarantee that every health care provider — regardless of where they are located — has the resources to protect their staff and patients.”
Chairman Neal requested that the Coronavirus Task Force answer the following questions and provide the requested information by April 7, 2020:
  • Please provide a detailed workflow or organizational memo outlining the process for receiving, evaluating, and approving state and locality requests for, as well disbursing materials from, the SNS. Please include information regarding the position, office, or agency for the lead Administration official or employee at each step.
  • Please provide the spreadsheet maintained by the Administration of PPE requests made by states from the SNS and associated shipments to date.
  • What criteria guide the Administration’s assessment of requests made by states for PPE from the SNS? If the Administration has decided to prioritize fulfilling certain requests over others, please provide a public health rationale to justify such prioritization.
  • Please specify all existing federal contracts in place to procure PPE, and identify any new contracts initiated over the past 90 days.
  • Has the Administration conducted any analysis regarding the extent to which PPE from the SNS has expired? If so, please provide any associated analyses or memorandum.
  • What actions has the Administration taken in order to assist states in their efforts to procure PPE from private vendors? Has the Administration adopted any measures to prevent unnecessary delays or bidding wars?
  • What other Federal sources of PPE beyond the SNS has the Administration identified? How are these additional PPE stockpiles being managed and deployed to meet the needs of the Country?
The full letter can be accessed HERE.