WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Maryland and surrounding states have only received a small percentage of the medical supplies they’ve requested from the Federal Emergency Management Agency amid the coronavirus pandemic, the House Oversight Committee said Thursday.
The committee released documents from FEMA showing that while Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. have requested a combined 5.2 million N95 masks and 194 million pairs of gloves, they had only received 445,000 masks and 991,000 pairs of gloves as of March 30.
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According to the FEMA documents, Maryland has requested hundreds of thousands of face shields, masks, gloves and other supplies but gotten just a fraction of that:
- Body Bags: 15,000 requested; 0 received (zero percent of request)
- Face Shields: 181,595 requested; 50,304 received (28 percent of request)
- Face/Surgical Masks: 778,129 requested; 264,000 received (34 percent of request)
- Gloves: 330,540 requested; 141,190 received (43 percent of request)
- N95 Respirators: 421,532 requested; 110,240 received (26 percent of request)
- Nasopharyngeal Swabs: 100,000 requested; 0 received (zero percent of request)
- Ventilators: 200 requested; 138 received (69 percent of request)
Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) said the findings confirm comments from state officials who said they don’t have the supplies they need to address the pandemic.
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) April 2, 2020
“The new documents we are releasing today confirm the urgent warnings we have been hearing from our nation’s governors and health care professionals for weeks—they do not have enough personal protective equipment and medical supplies, and the Administration has provided only a tiny fraction of what they desperately need,” Maloney said in a statement Thursday.
The New York congresswoman also urged President Donald Trump to use the Defense Production Act and other means to ramp up domestic production of needed supplies.
Last week, the president used the act to require General Motors to produce ventilators, CBS News reported. Trump had previously criticized the automaker for dragging its feet in making the ventilators.
“They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, “very quickly”. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar,” he tweeted.
As usual with “this” General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, “very quickly”. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke “P”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has also criticized the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and its lack of coordination between agencies.
“The lack of any centralized coordination is creating a counterproductive competition between states and the federal government to secure limited supplies, driving up prices and exacerbating existing shortages,” Hogan wrote in a Washington Post op-ed co-authored with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan) Monday.
In response to the news, Maryland’s full congressional delegation sent a letter to FEMA urging the agency to immediately approve the state’s equipment requests. The group also expressed their support for the state’s emergency management agency’s request for resources to provide crisis counseling to those hit hard by the pandemic.