Texas COVID emergency spending exceeds $ 2.5 billion – .

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Texas COVID emergency spending exceeds $ 2.5 billion – .


The state’s main emergency agency has spent at least $ 2.5 billion on COVID-related supplies since the start of the pandemic, according to records obtained by Axios via public information requests.
Why is this important: An order form for gloves, masks, disinfectants and other supplies shows how money flew out the door as the Texas Emergency Management Department scrambled to deal with the rapidly evolving disease.

At the start of the pandemic, with the national stockpile of supplies running out, state agencies, hospitals and local governments turned to the state to negotiate and pay for materials.

  • On March 13, 2020, the day Governor Greg Abbott declared a statewide emergency, the state spent less than $ 1,000 on a few thousand nitrile gloves; three days later, as the scope of COVID-19 became clear, the agency spent $ 228,800 on 100,000 face shields.

The floodgates had opened.

In numbers : In a single day in April 2020, the state spent $ 202,470 on 3,000 thermometers.

  • A week later, he spent nearly $ 640,000 on 19,200 12-ounce sanitizers. In June, Texas was distributing $ 16.9 million for an order of nearly 41 million surgical masks.

The data reveals how supply chains, fear and competition have driven costs up.

  • In July, the Emergency Management Department paid $ 140 million for 45 million N95 masks.

The largest expenses were on contracts to run COVID-19 tests and management of test sites.

  • The state paid a Texas-based vendor $ 116 million to manage the COVID-19 test sites, for example.

What they say : TDEM spokesperson Seth Christensen told Axios the agency needed to address unprecedented needs and put quality control measures in place to prevent fraud and the purchase of defective hardware.

  • “We saved a lot of taxpayer money and protected a lot of people,” Christensen said. “We see it in every disaster, with people trying to take advantage of a broken supply chain and making things that are not of quality. “

The bottom line: TDEM’s spending is only part of the money local, state and federal governments have had to spend to protect frontline workers and members of the public.



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