Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined fellow HSGAC Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire; Gary Peters, D-Michigan; Kamala Harris, D-California; Krysten Sinema, D-Arizona; and Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, on June 26 in calling for answers from the administration about the Strategic National Stockpile, which is maintained by the federal government to rapidly distribute personal protective equipment and other critical medical supplies during public health emergencies.
Hassan serves as the ranking member on the HSGAC Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management.
“Recent reports indicate that the Department of Health and Human Services is working to replenish the stockpile’s depleted reserves, but the agency has not provided adequate transparency on what the Stockpile currently holds or what targets are for supplies going forward,” wrote the senators. “The administration more broadly has failed to provide requested information about how personal protective equipment and other critical supplies are being prioritized and distributed, including how the administration is balancing current needs on the ground with stocking up on supplies for the future.”
Citing the continued growth in cases in the U.S., the senators discussed the importance of state and local governments knowing what medical supplies may be available to them from the Strategic National Stockpile to aid in their public health efforts.
The senators are seeking answers from the Department of Health and Human Services on the current contents of the Strategic National Stockpile, plans to restock it while also providing necessary supplies to states, use of the Defense Production Act to address supply needs and how the administration will make decisions about Strategic National Stockpile distribution.
The senators’ letter is available at bit.ly/2YzGa4f.