Colorado’s Governor: The Feds Swooped In And Took Colorado’s Ventilators
Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) told CNN last week that the federal government is undermining his state’s attempts to secure necessary medical equipment for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis — including taking much needed ventilators out from under his nose.
As the state was working out a deal with a manufacturer for ventilators, the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped in and took it themselves, Polis said, according to the Denver Post.
A congressional source previously told CNN that Colorado was informed it was not on the priority list and would have to find its own supplies, but Polis said the system is not working.
“Either be in or out,” he said. “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.”
“We can’t compete against our own federal government,” Polis continued. “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.”
President Donald Trump has made clear that he does not want states to view the federal government as a “shipping clerk” or the prime source for supplies. Instead, Trump said states need to secure their own supplies — but that task has proven difficult as his administration then undercuts states’ efforts.
Polis said last week that Colorado would go straight to China for medical supplies that it is unable to find at home, in an effort to stock up for an expected influx of COVID-19 cases.
He and a group of local government agencies also “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,” the Post reported.