Feds swooped in on Colorado’s ventilator order, Polis says
Colorado was making a deal with a manufacturer for an order of much-needed ventilators when the Federal Emergency Management Agency swooped in and took it themselves, Gov. Jared Polis told CNN on Friday night.
It was one thing for states to be competing among themselves for vital resources to fight the novel coronavirus, Polis said. Now they’re competing against the federal government, too.
“Either be in or out,” Polis told CNN’s Don Lemon. “Either you’re buying them and you’re providing them to states and you’re letting us know what we’re going to get and when we’re going to get them. Or you stay out, and let us buy them.”
Prior to Polis’ comments, CNN reported that Colorado had an order canceled for 500 ventilators, among other supplies, because the items were being bought by FEMA. A congressional source told CNN that Colorado was told it was not on the priority list and the state would have to find its own supplies.
“We can’t compete against our own federal government,” Polis said. “So either work with us, or don’t do anything at all. But this middle ground where they’re buying stuff out from under us and not telling us what we’re going to get, that’s really challenging to manage our hospital surge and our safety of our health care workers in that kind of environment.”
On Saturday, the governor and a collection of local government agencies released a letter addressed to Colorado’s congressional delegation in Washington, requesting $500 billion be included in the next federal stimulus package to help state and local governments fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“As you look toward the Phase 4 stimulus package, we stand united as state and local partners on the front lines of this crisis, urging you to include at least $500 billion in direct, robust and immediate State and local aid,” the letter says. “Absent this assistance, the State of Colorado and local governments who are directly helping Colorado’s communities respond and recover from the impacts of this public health crisis, will face an unmitigated economic crisis,” the letter reads.
Earlier this week Polis released a letter he sent to Vice President Mike Pence, in which he pleaded for more personal protection equipment and ventilators from the federal government.
He said Wednesday that Colorado would be going to China itself, working out orders for masks, face shields, ventilators and other essential medical supplies as the state stocks up for a surge in COVID-19 patients.
On Friday, the governor recommended anyone leaving their homes to walk around the neighborhood or grocery shop should now be wearing non-medical face masks, the same day state health officials reported 111 deaths connected to COVID-19, with another 823 people hospitalized.
Source: Read Full Article