U.S. federal stockpile of protective equipment almost depleted: Health Department

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The Strategic National Stockpile is nearly out of the N95 respirators, surgical masks, face, shields, gowns and other medical supplies desperately needed to protect front-line medical workers treating coronavirus patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services told the Associated Press Wednesday that the federal stockpile was in the process of deploying all remaining personal protective equipment in its inventory.

The HHS statement confirms federal documents released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showing that about 90 per cent of the personal protective equipment in the stockpile has been distributed to state and local governments.

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HHS spokeswoman Katie McKeogh said the remaining 10 per cent will be kept in reserve to support federal response efforts.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement that the Trump administration is leaving states to scour the open market for scarce supplies, often competing with each other and federal agencies in a chaotic bidding war that drives up prices.

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“The President failed to bring in FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) early on, failed to name a national commander for this crisis,

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