Press Releases

Rep. Porter Report Blasts Trump Administration’s Mismanagement of Medical Supplies

Congresswoman’s report shows increased exports and decreased imports of medical supplies in early months of COVID-19 crisis

Washington, April 7, 2020

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) has released a report showing that mask and ventilator exports from the United States increased dramatically in the early months of 2020. The report also revealed that President Trump's promised federal contracts for personal protective equipment and ventilators will not be completed until long after the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Congress must do everything in its power to hold President Trump and his administration accountable for their incompetence and callousness in protecting American lives during this pandemic,” Congresswoman Porter writes in the report. “In the midst of a public health crisis estimated to take more American lives than the Vietnam War, he has hesitated to use the Defense Production Act and other powers available to him. This behavior is inexplicable; it will cost Americans lives; and it will prolong the pain and economic hardship experienced by many more.”

According to her review of U.S. Department of Commerce data, overall mask and ventilator imports fell 13.5% between January and February 2020, while overall exports jumped 22% over the same period. In addition, a majority of government contracts for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ventilators are not expected to be complete until September, putting frontline workers in danger and risking hundreds of thousands of American lives.

Congresswoman Porter has been a leader in responding to the coronavirus emergency. On January 28, 2020, she was one of the first to bring attention to COVID-19 when she led the call for a Congressional briefing from the CDC. In a committee hearing, Porter’s tough questioning secured a commitment from CDC Director that testing would be free for Americans who need it, regardless of insurance. She has introduced legislation to force the Trump Administration to use its power under the Defense Production Act to increase production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Read the full report HERE.

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