Lawmakers ask for investigation on alleged redirection of COVID-19 funds

Two Democratic customers of the Senate and Household Armed Expert services Committees are formally requesting

Two Democratic customers of the Senate and Household Armed Expert services Committees are formally requesting that the Division of Defense Inspector General examine stories that the Pentagon redirected hundreds of tens of millions of dollars meant for COVID-19 reaction to protection contractors for “jet engine components, physique armor and dress uniforms,” in accordance to the letter. 

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Expert services Committee and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a member of the Household Armed Expert services and Oversight and Reform Committees, sent the letter dated September twenty five to Sean O’Donnell, Performing Inspector General, Division of Defense.

They requested O’Donnell to examine stories that the Pentagon redirected cash from the Defense Output Act meant for COVID-19 reaction to protection contractors for unrelated components and products, a transfer that could be unlawful, the lawmakers said.

Congress allotted $1 billion in cash below the Coronavirus, Support, Reduction, and Economic Security Act for DoD to manufacture personalized protecting products and other provides. 

Not only did DoD reportedly redirect the extensive vast majority of these cash to protection contractors for assignments unrelated to combating the pandemic, some protection companies efficiently received a double bailout because governing administration facts reveals they also received financial loans by way of the Paycheck Protection Application, a relief application meant for having difficulties little firms, in accordance to the letter.

WHY THIS MATTERS 

Through the pandemic, a lot of companies have dealt with shortages of personalized defense products and destructive margins. 

Suppliers have received $fifty billion and extra in targeted relief from the $one hundred billion appropriation in the CARES Act and $seventy five billion from the Paycheck Protection Application. 
Hospitals also received accelerated and progress cash, which are financial loans they are demanded to pay back again. Many companies continue to face huge earnings shortfalls because of to COVID-19.

States need $six billion to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to People in america and hospitals continue to endure a lack of N95 masks, the letter states, indicating the cash that went to the DoD are essential elsewhere. 

THE Much larger Pattern

The lawmakers base their ask for, at minimum in aspect, on newspaper stories exhibiting that an mind-boggling vast majority of cash had nothing to do with production of healthcare products or addressing the nation’s provide shortages because of to the COVID-ten pandemic. 

Warren and colleagues beforehand questioned the DoD on what Warren said was its sluggish and disjointed reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.

ON THE History

“In its place of addressing the urgent needs of a pandemic that has killed over two hundred,000 People in america, it seems DoD employed taxpayer revenue meant to protect life from COVID-19 to pad the pockets of protection contractors,” wrote the lawmakers. “The reported misuse by DoD of federal cash … is inconsistent with the will of Congress and may well be unlawful.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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