Two Democratic customers of the Senate and Home Armed Companies Committees are formally requesting that the Department of Protection Inspector General examine reports that the Pentagon redirected hundreds of thousands and thousands of pounds intended for COVID-19 reaction to defense contractors for “jet engine pieces, human body armor and dress uniforms,” according to the letter. 

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Companies Committee and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a member of the Home Armed Companies and Oversight and Reform Committees, despatched the letter dated September 25 to Sean O’Donnell, Performing Inspector General, Department of Protection.

They asked for O’Donnell to examine reports that the Pentagon redirected funds from the Protection Generation Act intended for COVID-19 reaction to defense contractors for unrelated pieces and devices, a move that could be unlawful, the lawmakers reported.

Congress allotted $1 billion in funds below the Coronavirus, Support, Relief, and Economic Safety Act for DoD to manufacture personal protecting devices and other materials. 

Not only did DoD reportedly redirect the broad the greater part of these funds to defense contractors for initiatives unrelated to combating the pandemic, some defense firms effectively acquired a double bailout for the reason that government information shows they also acquired loans through the Paycheck Defense Software, a aid program intended for struggling little firms, according to the letter.

WHY THIS MATTERS 

Throughout the pandemic, numerous suppliers have dealt with shortages of personal safety devices and adverse margins. 

Vendors have acquired $50 billion and more in targeted aid from the $one hundred billion appropriation in the CARES Act and $75 billion from the Paycheck Defense Software. 
Hospitals also acquired accelerated and advance funds, which are loans they are necessary to shell out again. Quite a few suppliers keep on to deal with substantial income shortfalls because of to COVID-19.

States have to have $six billion to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Individuals and hospitals keep on to endure a lack of N95 masks, the letter states, indicating the funds that went to the DoD are desired somewhere else. 

THE Larger Trend

The lawmakers foundation their request, at least in section, on newspaper reports demonstrating that an too much to handle the greater part of funds had almost nothing to do with creation of professional medical devices or addressing the nation’s supply shortages because of to the COVID-ten pandemic. 

Warren and colleagues earlier questioned the DoD on what Warren reported was its slow and disjointed reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.

ON THE Record

“As an alternative of addressing the urgent demands of a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Individuals, it appears DoD utilised taxpayer cash intended to shield lives from COVID-19 to pad the pockets of defense contractors,” wrote the lawmakers. “The claimed misuse by DoD of federal funds … is inconsistent with the will of Congress and could be unlawful.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the author: [email protected]