Feds Intercept Loudoun-bound PPE Shipment

Loudoun County is among the localities that have ordered personal protective equipment only to see it taken upon arrival by the federal government.

County Administrator Tim Hemstreet said Loudoun has been bundling its orders with other localities to buy directly from manufacturers. But, he said, that can also attract attention, and he confirmed at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday that an order headed for Loudoun had been intercepted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Upon arrival, the federal agency outbid the localities for the personal protective equipment and took it, he said.

“FEMA took those supplies and then distributed them into their regular pipeline, and then we were told to go and meet our PPE needs through our state process,” Hemstreet said.

But Hemstreet said the county is not out any money—as a general rule, for those orders, Loudoun County government pays on delivery.

For most protective equipment, and at the rate it’s being used, the county is adequately supplied for now, he said. But that could change the county’s public safety agencies start using it more quickly, and the government is already running short of gowns.

“For our public safety agencies, Fire-Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office, prior to the start of the pandemic, had on hand sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment,” Hemstreet said. “The only equipment that we’re really kind of worried about and short on are gowns. We do have several weeks of supply for several other pieces of equipment that we have.”

County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) was among the supervisors who expressed frustration.

“The federal government and President Trump continues to tell states and localities they are responsible for getting their own PPE, and they undermine that by outbidding and taking PPE,” Randall said. “… How about they get a daggone federal response that actually works instead of this piecemeal approach that they have that actually is not helping anyone, and outbidding localities? That is infuriating.”

10 thoughts on “Feds Intercept Loudoun-bound PPE Shipment

  • 2020-05-06 at 12:26 pm

    What was the country of origin of this protective gear order? Which other localities where we working with in this “buy?” What was the amount of product, and how much was the county going to pay?

    And why is Phyllis holding out her tin cup on the county web site asking citizens for extra cash to buy the protective gear?

    • 2020-05-06 at 7:25 pm

      Well if the county needs masks, I’ve got kn-95 and surgical masks in considerable quantity available right now and I’m local! (The masks, however are not manufactured locally)

      • 2020-05-07 at 11:04 am

        fenriswolfkpc do you have N95 NIOSH rated respirators available in the 1,000’s? If so, you should probably let Loudoun County emergency management (or the hospitals or the Towns, etc.) know.

    • 2020-05-07 at 10:59 am

      Other articles have more info if you’d bother to look. It was apparently an order placed on April 8th for 30,000 N95 respirators for a contract price of $160,000 from a supplier in the Netherlands. It was expected to arrive to the County on April 14th and was preempted by (apparently) FEMA on the 13th. It said the order was “bundled” with several other NOVA localities- not clear if that means they were just shipped together or if it was bulk order under the same contract agreement/price.

  • 2020-05-06 at 4:12 pm

    Why is President Trump not leading with one voice working with governors and local officials?? Why does he say one day that he is not the “supply clerk” for the nation and then says he is putting his son-in-law ( a non-elected official and not confirmed by Senate who could not get security clearance) in charge of getting PPE. Why does he, in between these events , then say it is up to governors and local governments to get their own stuff knowing that they will be competing with others to get what they need, thus driving up costs? ? and then when they do get stuff , he intercepts the supply, especially to Blue States–Why doesn’t he act like a president who cares for EVERYONE and LEAD speaking with one voice in concert with States????? We are really all in this together–but it should not be a political game!

  • 2020-05-06 at 5:23 pm

    And there you have it; the ole’ set up ‘speech’ throw: Hemstreet declares something happened, but won’t go into detail about it, throws it out, so Phyllis can go on a rehearsed rant. Don’t fall for this old political con job folks.

    My questions first Mr. Fasolo: What was the nation of origin where said PPE products were manufactured? (If it’s communist china, you get to zing the Feds for that.) What other localities were in on the deal with? How much were we going to pay, and for what?

    And, why is Phyllis asking people to make a cash “donation” to the county? She, and the worst board of supervisors ever just hiked Loudoun home and business owners taxes knowing full well what was coming. They’ve got plenty of money… ours.

    Don’t The People of Loudoun deserve full transparency?

  • 2020-05-07 at 11:29 am

    Thank you Western for the information. A act from nearly a month ago. Now Phyllis has Hemstreet laying fraudulent set ups for her rehearsed political rants.

    Anything to divert attention away from the continued unconstitutional government mandated economic lock down that’s devastating Loudoun home and business owners.

    • 2020-05-08 at 11:25 am

      Chris Manthos- I didn’t watch the meeting, so I’m not totally sure how it was presented, but I assume this info was simply provided to the BOS as part of a regular update on the COVID-19 response at the first BOS meeting after they figured out what happened to their PPE order- which is why it was a number of weeks later. Pretty standard stuff. There are now other articles talking about it and apparently Arlington Co. was supposed to get 50,000 N95 respirators as part of this order, all of which was diverted by FEMA.

      I’m not really sure why you think any of this response is unconstitutional? You may not like it- I don’t think anyone likes it- but it’s clearly constitutional or it wouldn’t be happening in just about every state- including red states. There are completely constitutional laws that give government all sorts of emergency powers- like the war production act which lets the president force any private business to stop production of it’s products and produce anything the government says it needs.

      This isn’t a red vs. blue issue- no matter how much some people want to make it into one- it’s a whats the best path to get our out of this pandemic with the least number of dead and the least amount of damage to our economy issue. No one WANTS to be stuck in their houses, No one WANTS to be out of work No one WANTS their business- or any business- to be closed. SO please explain the alternative to me and explain to me what that alternative will look like in 6-9 months. This started with what- 14 known cases of COVID-19 in the US? There are currently over 1.25 MILLION known cases from those 14. Right now there are ATLEAST several hundred thousand infected people in the US- and those are just the ones we know about. So if everything just went back to normal tomorrow- like EVERYONE wishes it could- what are the odds that- even with protective measures (though there are plenty of morons refusing to use masks or anything else)- everything would be just fine in 6 months? What if we reopen everything and in 2 or 3 months it’s getting out of control so we have to shut the whole economy down again. Is that a better solution than slowly reopening and making sure it’s under control and continuing to decrease?

      CDC estimates that in 2018/19, 35.5 million people in the US got the Flu and 34,200 died. So far, even with the whole country shut down for the last 6+ weeks, well over twice that many have died (75,781 as of 5/8/20) with only 1.259 million known cases. If the same number of people got COVID-19 as got the flu last year, you’d be looking at a minimum of 1-2 MILLION DEAD just in the US. Probably a lot more, because our medical facilities would be vastly inadequate to help that many people- let alone anyone else that’s sick with something else. Here’s the thing- COVID-19 is known to be several times more infectious than the flu AND it’s somewhere between 13 and 50+ times as deadly. There are over 330 million people in the US- one third of a billion. You do that math on that and then tell me reopening everything is a good idea.

  • 2020-05-09 at 11:28 am

    Western, Nobody thinks this isn’t a serious situation. My opinion is you’re giving the worst board of supervisors ever, far too much latitude. You can’t really believe they just now found out about this? Hemstreet held that info bit for weeks? Doubtful, so we’ll just disagree.

    Fact is, we have no idea how long this virus has been in the United States. We may think we do, but it’s just a guess, until we have mass testing. Which the feds, and most particularly Richmond, have choked on.

    We have a good idea it’s devastating to nursing homes, the obese, and folks with other issues. Defend them, and advise the risks. But for pretty much every one else, they can go about their business with knowledge. We were told “just a few weeks to flatten’ curve.” Then, it was more weeks until we see a huge decline in cases, which we can’t really know because the Fool of Richmond has choked on testing. Then, then, then… it’s always something else. And now, because The People of Virginia are beginning to ignore Richmond and move on, they’re “allowing reopening.” Aren’t they swell.

    Great case in point: Closing the parking areas up on the AT. a month or so back. On my way to B-Ville last week, they’re all open, with jammed parking lots. When was that about-face done? There’s no ryme or reason to it.

  • 2020-05-09 at 11:58 am

    Sorry Western, I got cut off.

    The Constitution doesn’t have a pause button. I’m not a religious person, yet I’m disturbed by the governmnet mandated closing of churches. I can’t believe the churches went along with it like good little sheep. We’ll see as the cases make their way through the courts, and there will be a bunch nationwide. How you cite a church for holding Easter service.. it’ll be interesting. I got a C-note that Gov. Blackface/KKK guy won’t cite a single mosque for holding service.

    People are responsible for the most part. Armed with the knowledge of mitigation, and common sense, they should be doing all they want to do, go where they want, and engage in commerce as they please.

    If the State stores, big box, and grocery stores remained open, why were small mom and pop shops shut down? Why were local restaurants crushed? You must have an idea of how hard it is to run a restaurant — It’s extremely difficult. My heart and my money go out to them as best I can. Why were churches shut down? I can go buy governmnet liquor, but not go to a sanctuary? I can go to Lowes and buy a carpet, but not hike the AT? None of this made sense. We cooperated, we have the knowledge of what we face. A great many folks are tired of the political games Phyllis, and Richmond are playing.

    If you have concerns, or are knowingly at risk, then by all means stay home.

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