U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL) joined his colleagues in expressing outrage that American taxpayer dollars are being used to supply the United States Congress with masks that are made in China. In the letter the members wrote, "Members of Congress have been very clear in their sentiment against Chinese-made PPE--including most recently in the National Defense Authorization Act which prohibited the Department of Defense from procuring PPE from China and other non-allied nations." The full text of the letter is below: Dear Speaker Pelosi, We write to you today to express our disbelief and outrage that taxpayer dollars are being used to supply the United States Congress with masks that are made in China when alternatives are available. As the highest-ranking official within the Legislative Branch, you have direct influence over, and responsibility for, congressional operations including the institution's internal response to COVID-19. Under your tenure, you have closed the Capitol to the American people, implemented COVID-19 protocols in the House that conflict with the Senate, and now, you have handed out masks from China when American alternatives are available. Quite simply, there is no reason that our elected officials and government workers should be given KN95 masks manufactured in China. China is perhaps the United States' greatest geopolitical adversary, and its government is culpable in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not a day goes by without new information showing the scale of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) efforts to hide and cover up the outbreak. At the start of the global pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO), in a joint mission with China, attempted to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Chinese government restricted access to relevant documents and witnesses. According to the findings of a report released on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic by House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans, "it is beyond doubt that the CCP actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world. "Given these facts, it is inexcusable for taxpayer dollars to be spend in support of the Chinese economy, and for Members of Congress to be supplied with masks emblazoned with "made in China" on the side. What makes this even more infuriating is that the new, stricter mask mandate, which requires use of KN95 or N95 masks by everyone on the House campus, is supposedly necessitated by a need for greater precaution against COVID-19. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that approximately 60% of KN95 respirators in the United States are counterfeit and do not meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health requirements. Furthermore, the ECRI Institute found that up to 70% of KN95 masks imported from China do not meet U.S. standards for effectiveness and issued a hazard warning in September. Members of Congress have been very clear in their sentiment against Chinese-made PPE--including most recently in the National Defense Authorization Act which prohibited the Department of Defense from procuring PPE from China and other non-allied nations. At a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee just last week, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, which oversees the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), reported that the SNS has 737 million N95s in stock, and will be awarding a $140+ million contract for N95 manufacturing in the next month or so. Given these facts, why would the Attending Physician, Architect of the Capitol, and Chief Administrative Officer--each under your direction--choose to give members and staff KN95 masks when these masks are neither manufactured in the United States nor constructed to meet American standards? If you are going to insist that Members and staff wear certain kinds of masks and that our institution spends hundreds of thousands of dollars procuring those masks, then at least respect the institution and the taxpayers enough not to line the pockets of our adversary whose actions led to the current pandemic. We look forward to the day when the political charade that is the House's operational response to the pandemic is over, but in the meantime, we hope that you have enough courage and leadership to correct this severe error in judgement.
Rogers, Colleagues Express Outrage Over Taxpayer Dollars Being Used To Buy Made-In-China Masks
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