The World Central Kitchen distributes meals to citizens of Baltimore, Maryland in response to the coronavirus pandemic on May 2. Photo: J. Countess/Getty Images

Maryland is asking its attorney general to investigate a new company formed to buy and distribute protective gear after a $12.5 million shipment of face masks and ventilators for use in the novel coronavirus pandemic never arrived, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: First responders and health care workers have said they are dealing with massive shortages of critical supplies like face masks and personal protective equipment while responding to the pandemic.

Details: Maryland state officials ordered the medical supplies from Blue Flame Medical LLC, which was founded by Mike Gula, a former fundraiser for the Republican Party, WSJ reports.

  • Maryland officials said they waited over 30 days for the medical supplies.
  • Gula told Maryland officials in a letter that the state's order had been seized by officials in China, and said he plans to deliver the materials soon after switching to a new supplier.
  • Maryland has more than 24,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

What they're saying: “We have determined that since it has been one month since the order was placed with no confirmation of shipment, we are in the process of canceling the order and have referred this matter to the Attorney General,” a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of General Services told the WSJ.

Go deeper: Hogan says National Guard is protecting coronavirus tests sent from South Korea

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Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
Aug 9, 2020 - Health

Ohio governor urges Americans not to lose faith in testing after false positive

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Americans shouldn't think testing for the coronavirus is "not reliable or doesn't work," after he received a false positive result from an antigen test last week.

Why it matters: DeWine is one of six governors who have agreed to pool their resources, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, in order to acquire 3 million antigen tests amid severe delays and the lack of a national testing strategy.