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The Defense Production Act allows federal agencies to require companies to prioritize government contracts for medical supplies to address national emergencies, like COVID-19. Federal agencies have used DPA authorities to expand production of COVID-related medical supplies.
We testified about the critical roles the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Departments of Transportation and Treasury have played in the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the transportation sector.
While COVID-19 cases have declined in recent months, the U.S. is still experiencing serious economic and public health repercussions due to the pandemic. In our 7th comprehensive report, we found more ways to improve federal programs related to the pandemic and other future emergencies.
Health care organizations' IT systems are critical to the nation's well-being. Cyberattacks on them could, for example, put patient privacy at risk or disrupt essential telehealth services. (The nation's cybersecurity is on our High Risk List.
Air marshals work at airports, on airplanes, and in other public spaces where they routinely come in close contact with others. The U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service took steps to protect employees from infection of COVID-19 at work by providing N95 masks and encouraging employees to telework.
In 2020, the federal government and the state of South Dakota sponsored Fourth of July celebrations and related events in Washington, D.C., and at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota—all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Veterans Affairs had trouble getting medical supplies—including personal protective equipment—early in the COVID-19 pandemic. VA has several initiatives underway intended to modernize its supply chain and prepare for future public health emergencies.
The VA faced unexpected challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, exposing problems in its supply chain management. In response, it took steps such as establishing central storage facilities for critical medical supplies.
The VA has several linked initiatives to update its supply chain.
A Spanish translation was issued after publication. Para la versión de esta página en español, ver a GAO-21-317SP.
States and U.S. territories paid contractors about half of their Medicaid spending for health care and other services in 2018.