Congress Is Using Personal Protective Equipment...from China

Posted: Mar 09, 2021 1:45 PM
Congress Is Using Personal Protective Equipment...from China

Source: Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP

U.S. lawmakers are using personal protective equipment that comes from China. Republican Congressman Michael Waltz tweeted about it Tuesday and argued for manufacturing in the U.S.

Taxpayer funding going to China for PPE is one problem. The other is that China's track record on producing effective PPE is abysmal. From last year:

A number of European governments have rejected Chinese-made equipment designed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Thousands of testing kits and medical masks are below standard or defective, according to authorities in Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.

On Saturday, the Dutch health ministry announced it had recalled 600,000 face masks. The equipment had arrived from a Chinese manufacturer on 21 March, and had already been distributed to front-line medical teams.

Dutch officials said that the masks did not fit and that their filters did not work as intended, even though they had a quality certificate.

Further, at the beginning of the pandemic, China hoarded PPE from the rest of the world and then used it as leverage.

U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak — and how contagious the disease is — to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.

Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a four-page Department of Homeland Security intelligence report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. The revelation comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that that country was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.

Not classified but marked “for official use only,” the DHS analysis states that, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies. It attempted to cover up doing so by “denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,” the analysis states.