U.S. Still Underprepared for Pandemic Threats, CDC Head Says

Trump has often lashed out at governors who criticize him.

“We would deeply appreciate better transparency into what we’re getting and when from the federal government,” Polis added.

“That remains elusive. We’re grateful when we received things. We frequently don’t know until a day or two before,” which he said has sometimes resulted in redundant orders.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is essentially leading much of the response coordinated by the task force, said in a statement that the government and private sector had combined to procure over 90 million N-95 masks, about 150 million surgical masks, about 14 million face shields, about 37 million gowns and over one billion gloves.

As of this week, the government has about 19,800 ventilators in its stockpile, enough that Trump regularly boasts he’s sending surpluses of the machines to other countries. FEMA declined to say what quantities of other supplies are in stockpile.

Testing Progress
There remain several core roles for the federal government to play, Harvard’s Jha said. Chief among them are testing and public guidance. He said he’s spoken with city and state officials who’ve said they don’t have enough information from the government about how to safely reopen and ward off a new wave of infections.

“The message is: You’re on your own -- kind of, Godspeed, and hope you figure it out, but the federal government’s not going to help you. And the little bit of guidance they did get came from the task force,” Jha said.

Pence held a call with governors on Wednesday, focused on the coronavirus response and testing efforts. “The briefing focused on protecting our most vulnerable Americans including nursing home residents and Americans with underlying health conditions, including those in African American, Hispanic, and Native American communities,” Pence’s office said in a statement afterward.

The HHS spokesperson hailed U.S. progress in testing, including the release of a report to Congress on May 24 that largely shifted the responsibility to states. Democrats panned that plan.