Politics Lawmakers demand answers on Kushner supply chain influence
GA University Labs Aim To Complete 3K Coronavirus Tests Daily
The state of Georgia and the University System of Georgia united for a laboratory testing surge to provide 3,000 coronavirus tests daily.Kemp said the laboratory surge capacity plan will quickly increase the availability of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 in Georgia. This initiative leverages the collective laboratory resources under the University System of Georgia, Georgia Public Health Laboratory, and Emory University.
Two House committee leaders are demanding answers from the Trump administration about Jared Kushner's role in directing and redirecting the flow of life-saving medical equipment among private companies, various levels of government and hospitals in need.
On Tuesday, the same day the Kushner-backed supply chain task forceat the Federal Emergency Management Agency's headquarters following the revelation that a "partner" of the agency who worked in the area tested positive for , Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., sent a letter to FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor giving an April 15 due date to provide files related to the efforts of the senior adviser and son-in-law to the president.
Jared Kushner Receives Unexpected Praise from Bill de Blasio Amid Pandemic
"I want to give a special thanks to the President and to Jared Kushner," de Blasio said during a coronavirus update."I want to give a special thanks to the President and to Jared Kushner," de Blasio said during a coronavirus update on Friday that was broadcast live on cable news, "they told me yesterday that they would get 200,000 N95 masks to our public hospital system.
Thompson and Maloney, the chairs of the Homeland Security Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee, respectively, are seeking "all communications between any FEMA employee and Jared Kushner regarding the acquisition, distribution of, or federally directed sale of any form of PPE or of medical supplies and equipment to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19," according to the letter.
They're also requesting documentation of contacts between FEMA employeeswho are working on the coronavirus response on a voluntary basis, information on flights FEMA has arranged for private companies to bring medical equipment into the U.S. for sale, and an explanation of practices and protocols for how the agency determines and tracks needs for PPE and other items.
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The company is working with governments around the world to distribute face shields to where they're needed most to slow the spread of COVID-19.The smartphone giant is pulling together its resources to develop the face shields specifically for medical workers, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet on Sunday. The company already sourced over 20 million masks through its global supply chain and delivered the first shipment to a hospital last week.
Lawmakers are taking a keen interest in Kushner's involvement in "Project Airbridge," a new program under which the federal government lines up and pays for flights to bring medical equipment into the U.S. from overseas for private companies. The federal government gets to determine where 50 percent of the goods are distributed — potentially redirecting shipments bound for one area of need in favor of another — but the company still gets paid for supplying them.
The committees are seeking documents on "all flights FEMA has scheduled through Project Airbridge, including the destinations of all such flights, and the manifests detailing the quantities and types of PPE and essential medical supplies and equipment carried to the U.S. on these flights," Thompson and Maloney wrote.
Key Trump task force must work at home after positive COVID-19 test
The positive test for coronavirus, announced in an email to Federal Emergency Management Agency staff Monday night, will empty the supply chain war room."Until further notice, all personnel in the Supply Chain Resilience task force" on a particular floor of one of FEMA's buildings "and the FEMA Conference Center are required to telework," according to an email obtained by NBC News and confirmed by a FEMA official. The message was sent to FEMA headquarters staff at 11:17 p.m. ET Monday.
"We are troubled by reports that Mr. Kushner's actions — and those of outside advisers he has assembled and tasked — may be 'circumventing protocols that ensure all states' requests are handled appropriately,'" they wrote. "We are particularly troubled that Mr. Kushner's work may even involve 'directing FEMA and HHS officials to prioritize specific requests from people who are able to get Kushner on the phone.'"
Now, all the work for the supply chain task force, which is technically under the command of Admiral John Polowczyk as one of the sub-units of Vice President Mike Pence's coronavirus task force, is being done on the phone. Late Monday night, FEMA"until further notice."
Supermarkets Adjust Meat Sections as Coronavirus Cuts Supply .
The coronavirus pandemic is cutting into supermarket meat supplies and affecting choices available in meat cases as plant workers get sick, making it tougher for meat packers to meet surging demand. © Flickr The pandemic is keeping thousands of meat-plant workers home across the U.S., according to industry officials, leaving crucial work undone and reducing meat production as consumers turn to grocery stores for more of their food amid shutdowns of restaurants, schools and other providers. Those shifts are prompting some meat suppliers to reduce the range of cuts they sell to supermarkets.