Pandemic Reveals Just How Startlingly Unprepared States Were In Stockpiling Supplies
“You could see it in almost every state, in every locality, and the federal government level: depleting the resources, depleting the inventory, and hoping when you need them they will be available,” said Gerard Anderson, a health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University. In other news, states turn to China for help with medical supplies. And a tip comes from an unusual source.
The Associated Press:
AP Review: State Supply Stocks Sparse And Dated Before Virus
Last autumn, when schools were in session, sports stadiums full and no one had even heard of the COVID-19 disease, the Missouri health department made an eerily foreshadowing request. It asked the state for $300,000 to buy supplies in case of a large-scale disease outbreak. The goal was to fill a gap between local and federal sources. Today, as states spend billions of dollars in the fight against the coronavirus, that October funding request appears woefully insufficient. Yet it highlights a stark fact: States were not stocked for a pandemic and have been scrambling to catch up. (Lieb and Dil, 4/24)
Washington State To Buy 1M Chinese Test Swabs In Bid To Reopen
Washington state is finalizing the purchase of roughly 1 million test swabs from China as it works to rapidly scale up its testing network to safely reopen parts of the economy. If Washington closes the deal, it will mark the second time this week that a state has gone outside the United States to procure testing supplies the federal government has been unable or unwilling to provide. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, announced Monday that his state paid $9 million for 500,000 tests from South Korea. (Brown, 4/23)
The New York Times:
China's Elite Donate Coronavirus Gear To The U.S.
U.S. hospitals and state officials face desperate shortages of the masks, ventilators and other gear they need to fight the coronavirus. Chinese factories can make it and sell it to them, but huge obstacles stand in the way — and Washington’s stumbles and growing hostility with Beijing aren’t helping. Now some of China’s elite — and others with big stakes in keeping the U.S.-China relationship alive — are stepping in to help. (Stevenson, Kulish and Gelles, 4/24)
The Associated Press:
Iowa Governor: Tip From Ashton Kutcher Led To Testing Deal
Iowa’s $26 million contract to increase coronavirus testing was reached after the governor acted on a tip from actor Ashton Kutcher, a revelation that increased skepticism about the no-bid deal on Thursday. Critics of Gov. Kim Reynolds said they were puzzled by the celebrity’s cameo in Iowa’s outbreak response, particularly when the state has been slow to tap some of its own experts. (Foley, 4/24)