The Strategic National Stockpile website changed the description of what it does on Friday, as the old text refuted a claim White House adviser Jared Kushner recently made.
The website for the Strategic National Stockpile updated its "About" section describing how the stockpile is used — making changes that better fit White House adviser Jared Kushner's description of the stockpile that he made at Thursday's daily coronavirus task force briefing.
Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, took to the podium for the first time Thursday with the task force to defend the administration's response.
"The notion of the federal stockpile was it's supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use," he said.
As of Friday morning, the website's "about" section completely refuted Kushner's claim that stockpile is not meant for states to use.
"When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency," the website read on Friday morning. "Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, this repository contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously."
Not even a few hours later, the text mysteriously changed — after Kushner faced a cascade of criticism for wrongly describing what the stockpile is intended for.
"The Strategic National Stockpile's role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies," the website now reads. "Many states have products stockpiled, as well. The supplies, medicines, and devices for life-saving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of adequate amounts of these materials may not be immediately available."
The new description still refutes Kushner's claim that the SNS is "not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use."
It says states can use it when they do not have immediate access to materials — which is the exact situation states like New York currently find themselves in.
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday his state is set to run out of its stockpiled ventilators in less than a week and needs help from the federal government to procure more.
Governors across the country have pleaded for the Trump administration to provide critical equipment from the national stockpile to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Trump has been slow to act and has even blamed governors for not finding the equipment — like ventilators and respirator masks — that they desperately need.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.