Apr 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

National stockpile description changed on government website to match Kushner comments

Jared Kushner and President Trump
Jared Kushner and President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The language on the federal government's public health emergency website has been edited to match statements made by White House adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday in which he said the national stockpile is "not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”

The state of play: Kushner recently joined the administration's coronavirus task force, working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to oversee the distribution of medical supplies to states. At Thursday's White House press briefing, he said local and state officials are requesting medical supplies without understanding what they need, the Washington Post writes. Kushner added, "The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile ... What you have all over the country is a lot of people are asking for things that they don’t necessarily need at the moment."

What the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is saying now: "The Strategic National Stockpile's role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies."

What the U.S Department of Health and Human Services said as of Thursday night: "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 ... 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."

Katherine McKeogh, a spokeswoman for HHS said in a statement on Friday, per Politico, that the updates to the webpage text had been in the works before Kushner spoke at Thursday's briefing.

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