Federal officials are seizing hospital supplies without bothering to explain the reason for the seizures, according to The Los Angeles Times:
“Hospital and clinic officials in seven states described the seizures in interviews over the past week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is not publicly reporting the acquisitions, despite the outlay of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, nor has the administration detailed how it decides which supplies to seize and where to reroute them.
“Officials who’ve had materials seized also say they’ve received no guidance from the government about how or if they will get access to the supplies they ordered. That has stoked concerns about how public funds are being spent and whether the Trump administration is fairly distributing scarce medical supplies.”
One California hospital official noted that, “We can’t get any answers” as to why the feds might be choosing to redirect vital medical supplies when the items are at a premium, especially in states such as New York and New Jersey.
PeaceHealth, a 10-hospital system in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, had a large shipment of testing supplies seized, according to Richard DeCarlo, the system’s chief operating officer:
“It’s incredibly frustrating.
“We had put wheels in motion with testing and protective equipment to allow us to secure and protect our staff and our patients. When testing went off the table, we had to come up with a whole new plan.”
Asked about the seizures, a FEMA spokesperson said the agency had “developed a system for identifying needed supplies from vendors and distributing them equitably.”
Jose Camacho, head of the Texas Assn. of Community Health Centers, said his agency placed an order for 20,000 protective masks when his supplier reported the items had been taken:
“Everyone says you are supposed to be on your own. Then to have this happen, you just sit there wondering what else you can do. You can’t fight the federal government.”
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