The quality and amount of personal protective equipment delivered to nursing homes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being questioned by four Democratic lawmakers.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Chuck Schumer (NY), Bob Casey (PA) and Maggie Hassan (NH) sent a letter to the agency Tuesday following reports that some of the PPE shipped to facilities were “defective, inadequate and unusable,” CNN first reported.
Questions for the agency and its Supply Chain Stabilization Taskforce centered around quality control mechanisms used before sending PPE to nursing homes and any feedback it has received about the quality and quantity of supplies.
Lawmakers also asked if the agency has any long-term plans to distribute PPE to facilities, or if this was a one-time occurrence; how demand projections for PPE impact determinations for which facilities will receive shipments; and if the agency has created any guidance regarding its decision-making on prioritization for supply distribution.
The senators asked the agency to respond to its questions by July 8.
“We look forward to continued conversations with and briefings from FEMA and the Supply Chain Stabilization Taskforce as we work to protect our nation’s most vulnerable by ensuring that staff and residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have adequate access to PPE,” they wrote.
A FEMA official who oversaw the shipments recently admitted that some of the PPE providers received from the federal government were “way expired” and “should have never gone out” following reports of faulty equipment.
The Trump Administration in April announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would send two weeks’ worth of PPE supplies to every nursing home across the country before July 1.
The first round started May 7 and ended June 10, while the second round started this week and is expected to run through about the first week of August. Nearly 15,000 shipments had been sent by mid June.