Tag: Government Contracts and Procurement

How Republicans Can Take the Lead in the Coronavirus Fight

The coronavirus is still raging, particularly in states like Texas, Arizona and Florida. We already know what it takes to beat it. We just need to do it. As infection rates rapidly rise in many red states, Senate Republicans can and should legislate to protect their constituents and their country. It’s good politics to save […]

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In Poor Countries, Many Covid-19 Patients Are Desperate for Oxygen

As the coronavirus pandemic hits more impoverished countries with fragile health care systems, global health authorities are scrambling for supplies of a simple treatment that saves lives: oxygen. Many patients severely ill with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, require help with breathing at some point. But now the epidemic is spreading rapidly in […]

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Latin America’s Virus Villains: Corrupt Officials Collude With Price Gougers for Body Bags and Flimsy Masks

Of all the schemes that have siphoned resources from Latin American countries fighting the coronavirus, the body bag conspiracy might be the most brazen. Last month, prosecutors in Ecuador announced they had identified a criminal ring that had colluded with health officials to win a contract selling body bags to hospitals at 13 times the […]

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England’s ‘World Beating’ System to Track Coronavirus Is Anything But

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain unveiled last month a “world beating” operation to track down people who had been exposed to the coronavirus, giving the country a chance to climb out of lockdown without losing sight of where infections were spreading. As with much of the government’s response to the pandemic, however, […]

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Former D.E.A. Spokesman Pleads Guilty to $4.4 Million Fraud

A former Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of defrauding companies of more than $4 million by pretending to be a Central Intelligence Agency officer involved in an intelligence gathering operation, prosecutors said. The former spokesman, Garrison Kenneth Courtney, 44, entered the plea in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to a […]

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A Car Salesman, a Macedonian Ex-Minister and a $45 Million Mask Scheme

It is an unlikely cast of characters for a multimillion-dollar municipal procurement drama, even given the chaos generated by the deadly coronavirus pandemic. There is a used-car salesman from Manalapan, N.J.; the former minister of foreign investment for Macedonia; and the head of a publicly traded company that plans to transform medical waste into energy […]

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State and Federal Agencies Use Pandemic to Stifle Oversight

In the more than half-century since President Lyndon Johnson signed the nation’s first Freedom of Information Act into law, the measure has proved to be a valuable tool for taxpayers and the press to keep a check on dealings by public officials that would otherwise be shrouded in secrecy. Freedom of information laws vary at […]

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Whistle-Blower Exposes Infighting and Animus in Trump’s Coronavirus Response

Dr. Bright, whose tiny federal research agency was pursuing a coronavirus vaccine, had long been at odds with his boss at the Department of Health and Human Services, Robert Kadlec. His White House visits, twice in a single weekend, only exacerbated those tensions. “Weekend at Peter’s,” Dr. Kadlec quipped in the subject line of an […]

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He Had Never Sold a Ventilator. N.Y. Gave Him an $86 Million Deal.

The offer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency sounded promising: A Silicon Valley engineer said that he could deliver thousands of ventilators from manufacturers across China to help hospitals treat coronavirus patients. The engineer was asked for more details. Within 12 hours, he responded with a 28-page digital catalog of medical supplies at his disposal, […]

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How Kushner’s Volunteer Force Led a Fumbling Hunt for Medical Supplies

This spring, as the United States faced a critical shortage of masks, gloves and other protective equipment to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a South Carolina physician reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency with an offer of help. Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks had longtime manufacturing contacts in China and a line on millions of masks […]

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Who is Rick Bright? The Coronavirus Whistle-Blower Who Said The Trump Administration Steered Contracts to Cronies

WASHINGTON — A federal scientist who says he was ousted from his job amid a dispute over an unproven coronavirus treatment pushed by President Trump said Tuesday that top administration officials repeatedly pressured him to steer millions of dollars in contracts to the clients of a well-connected consultant. Rick Bright, who was director of the […]

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NASA Picks Moon Lander Designs by SpaceX, Blue Origin, Others

NASA announced on Thursday that it had picked three designs for spacecraft to take astronauts back to the surface of the moon. The space agency is providing money for initial design development work. Two are from prominent billionaire-led rocket companies: Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. A third is led by Dynetics of […]

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How Did the E.U. Get the Coronavirus So Wrong?

Few countries have covered themselves with glory in the battle against Covid-19. Western Europe, currently the center of the pandemic, has had its share of poor preparation, planning, and coordination. It been hit hard: Italy has more than 120,000 cases and more than 15,000 dead — the highest number in the world. Spain is not […]

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Why Is Trump So Timid With the Defense Production Act?

Every Marine knows better than to pull a knife in a gunfight. But so far, that appears to be the federal government’s approach to battling Covid-19. The president has “invoked” the Defense Production Act, but the government has not used the full authority of the act. There is a difference between invoking a law and […]

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Wartime Production Law Has Been Used Routinely, but Not With Coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Chemicals used to construct military missiles. Materials needed to build drones. Body armor for agents patrolling the southwest border. Equipment for natural disaster response. A Korean War-era law called the Defense Production Act has been invoked hundreds of thousands of times by President Trump and his administration to ensure the procurement of vital […]

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Oil Prices Crash, Virus Hits, Commerce Stops: Iraq Is in Trouble.

BAGHDAD — When Iraq recorded its first cases of coronavirus, its health minister asked the government for $5 million in emergency funds. But there were no funds to be had. “There is no money and we are in a difficult situation,” said the minister, Jaafer Sadiq Allawi, as he appealed for help from a cleric […]

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Trump Administration Pulls Back From $1 Billion Coronavirus Ventilator Deal

WASHINGTON — The White House had been preparing on Wednesday to announce amid an escalating pandemic that a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems would begin producing as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators when word suddenly came down that the announcement was off. The decision to cancel the announcement, according to […]

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Pentagon Asks to Reconsider Awarding Huge Cloud Contract to Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO — The Defense Department said on Thursday that it would re-evaluate the awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft after sustained protest from Amazon, which had contended that it lost the deal because of potential interference from President Trump. In a legal brief filed to the Court of Federal Claims, […]

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Coronavirus Spurs U.S. Efforts to End China’s Chokehold on Drugs

WASHINGTON — The global spread of the coronavirus is reigniting efforts by the Trump administration to encourage more American manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and reduce dependence on China for the drugs and medical products that fuel the federal health care system. The effort includes a push by the White House trade adviser Peter Navarro to tighten […]

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Harvard and Yale Ensnared in Education Dept. Crackdown on Foreign Funding

WASHINGTON — A federal crackdown on universities that fail to disclose donations and contracts from foreign governments has ensnared Harvard and Yale, the Education Department said on Wednesday. In letters to the schools on Tuesday, the department wrote that it was investigating whether the two Ivy League universities had failed to report at least $375 […]

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Amazon Looks to Question Trump in Pentagon Contracting Case

SEATTLE — Amazon has asked a federal court to let it depose President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, arguing that hearing from them was essential to determining if they had intervened against the internet company when the Pentagon awarded a multibillion-dollar defense contract to a competitor. The request, which was unsealed on Monday, escalates […]

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