The Trump administration has updated the website of the Strategic National Stockpile to match a statement from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, on Thursday.
The Washington Post reports: Kushner on Thursday evening offered a novel argument about the national stockpile. He said some states still had stockpiles that they hadn’t been employing and that localities should go to them first. And then he suggested that the national stockpile wasn’t even meant for them. “And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be state’s stockpiles that they then use.” As reporters quickly noted, that didn’t jibe with how the Department of Health and Human Services was describing the program. On its website, it said, “Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.” It continued to say, “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.” That language suddenly disappeared from the site Friday morning, as journalist Laura Bassett noted, and was replaced with something de-emphasizing the role of the federal stockpile in helping states and casting it as a “short-term stopgap.”