Epic Fail: The COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. is spiraling out of control just as states push to curtail lock-downs and resume business. The Trump Administration has failed to foresee, plan for, and effectively manage the worsening crisis. Worst; millions of out-of-work Americans are weeks away from homelessness – still waiting for their much-needed stimulus checks which are mired in ever deepening government bureaucracy.
The federal government ordered 100,000 new COVID-19 body bags, in what officials described as preparations for a “worst case” scenario. The giant order last week for “human remains pouches” comes as more than 63,538 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Trump on Monday said he expected the pandemic could cost 60,000 to 70,000 lives in the U.S. At the same time, some state governors have moved to start reopening businesses, citing encouraging trends of slowing infection rates. The order for 100,000 body bags, costing $5.1 million, was placed April 21 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, federal contracting databases show. The supplier, a small California company, is supposed to deliver the bags by May 4, according to the contracting data.
A FEMA spokeswoman said the agency has been focused on a “worst possible case national scenario” from the start of the response effort. “In order to meet the worst-case demand models, FEMA initiated a broad range of acquisition contracts to augment available stocks and produce more human-remains pouches for future requirements should they be needed,” she said. The Defense Department earlier this month said that FEMA asked it to provide 100,000 body bags for civilian use, Bloomberg News reported. The latest purchase is separate from that request, the agency said.
The spokeswoman said the agency has allocated shipments from the earlier DOD contract to hot spots, determined by mortality rates and state requests. She said newer orders are to prepare “should there be any fall resurgence or need to respond to other disasters.” FEMA took over pandemic response coordination from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department in mid-March, and since then has signed more than 100 contracts for items such as personal protective equipment, Covid-19 test kits and diapers for food banks, contracting data shows. –WSJ
Elderly falling in alarming numbers: The number of nursing homes publicly reporting cases of COVID-19 has doubled in the past week, with more than 1 in 6 facilities nationwide now acknowledging infections among residents or staff, a Washington Post analysis of state and federal data found. The rise is driven in part by newly released information about previous novel coronavirus infections from states including Michigan, Maryland, Kentucky and South Carolina. Some states have not yet publicly released the names of affected nursing homes.
In five states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia and New Jersey – the virus has struck a majority of nursing homes, the data shows. In New Jersey, second only to New York in total number of confirmed coronavirus cases, health officials have reported infections at 80 percent of the state’s homes. –The Hour