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Fact Check: Did Biden Deplete the National Stockpile of Face Masks and Not Replenish It?

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Posted: Sep 10, 2020 8:15 PM
Fact Check: Did Biden Deplete the National Stockpile of Face Masks and Not Replenish It?

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

CLAIM: The Obama-Biden White House depleted and did not replenish the nation's emergency stockpile of medical supplies, including N95 masks. 

Joe Biden is attempting to rewrite history, pretending that he and Obama didn't deplete the nation's stockpile of medical supplies and leave it empty after the pair's eight years together in office. It's the same revisionism they're attempting to do with travel restrictions that President Trump placed on China in the early days of the pandemic. Biden not only opposed those restrictions -- restrictions that even Dr. Fauci credits with saving an untold number of lives -- Biden attacked the restrictions as "racist" and "xenophobic." The Democrats didn't care about saving lives. They were using the opportunity to smear Trump as a racist. In a now-deleted tweet, Nancy Pelosi invited everyone to ignore the president and head on down to Chinatown. It's pathetic, and now Joe Biden is pretending like he didn't set the whole country up for disaster when he and Obama burned through our stockpile of medical supplies and never replenished it. So, what's the verdict? Is it true?

VERDICT: Yup. It's TRUE, according to USA Today. 

(Via USA Today)

We rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research. There is no indication that the Obama administration took significant steps to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it was depleted from repeated crises. Calls for action came from experts at the time concerned for the country’s ability to respond to future serious pandemics. Such recommendations were, for whatever reason, not heeded.

USA Today found the national stockpile was routinely depleted in response to various disasters that happened under former Vice President Joe Biden's watch.

About 75 percent of N95 respirators and a quarter of face masks held in the CDC's stockpile were used during the course of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to a 2017 study. The stockpiles were further depleted in response to the 2010 flooding in North Dakota, the 2015 outbreaks of botulism and ebola, the 2016 outbreak of the zika virus, as well as various hurricanes. And while funds were available to replenish the stockpile, the Obama-Biden administration made the decision not to prioritize the repurchasing of face masks and other protective equipment.

Joe Biden doesn't believe in preparing the United States for a rainy day. Our stockpiles and military were depleted under Biden's stewardship. Perhaps the vice president was too busy conducting foreign policy in an effort to enrich his son Hunter and his business interests in Ukraine and China to look out for the American people.