U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is urging the Trump Administration to shore up the safety of the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain and protect hospitals from scammers.
“Hospitals and health care workers are busy saving lives and protecting the country right now. Many federal agencies have started investigations and begun warning health care professionals about fraud or faulty and counterfeit supplies. But as the reports across the country about scams grow, so should the federal government’s response,” Grassley said.
In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Grassley cited several news reports about hospitals being defrauded or receiving counterfeit and faulty PPE. This puts health care workers’ health and safety at risk. He presses for the federal government to make every effort to curb these scams and encourage more reporting from those on the frontlines.
“I write to you today deeply concerned that scam artists are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by engaging in fraud or selling counterfeit and faulty personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and other healthcare providers,” Grassley wrote. “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, I have read reports of hospitals in Missouri, Georgia, New Jersey, California, and New York who have been defrauded or have received counterfeit or faulty PPE from third-party vendors. It is very likely that several dozen more hospitals have also been defrauded, but have not reported this information to the authorities because of the current demand and scarcity of PPE. We must continue to encourage our hospitals and healthcare providers to report this information to the Federal government so that we can ensure the safety and security of our supply-chain and root out bad-actors during this crisis.”