State’s Stockpile of PPE is Stored There
Three House committee chairmen showed up for a 9 a.m. tour of the state Farm Show Complex today to examine the personal protective equipment (PPE) stored there but were denied access because they refused to comply with unreasonable pre-conditions set by the Wolf administration.
Rep. Dan Moul (Adams), chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee; Rep. Karen Boback (Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; and Seth Grove (York), chairman of the House State Government Committee, were invited to the Farm Show Complex following a State Government Committee hearing at which PPE storage was discussed. However, when they arrived for the tour, there were no administration officials there to greet them and they were locked out of the building.
“We had a reservation for a 9 a.m. tour and we found the doors locked. It is shameful,” said Grove. “We came here with our IDs and masks and were prepared to comply with reasonable requests for safety and security, but we were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would have prohibited us from doing our jobs. We have a constitutional duty as a legislative branch to provide legislative oversight on executive agencies. If we were to see something in here and not report it, we would not be doing our jobs.”
“By shutting us out, they are denying the taxpayers of Pennsylvania, who own this building, the ability to see what’s going on here,” said Moul. “We were informed by two independent sources that two loads of PPE were trucked out of the Farm Show Complex last week and taken to the Harrisburg incinerator. One of the sources said this was due to the product not being medical- grade PPE. That is one of the reasons we wanted to see what is in this building. Why not just come clean? What else are they hiding? This building is owned by the taxpayers and the product in this building was paid for by taxpayers. They have a right to know what this administration is doing.”
“I have questions and I want answers,” said Boback. “Why is PPE being stored here in the Farm Show Complex, where the state must rent the space from itself? Why not store the stockpile of gear at Fort Indiantown Gap, which has ample space, security and the ability to transport these critical health and safety resources anywhere in the state? Why have we accumulated such a vast stockpile of this equipment? What is the timeline and the shelf life of the gear that we are storing here? How much of this equipment have we earmarked for our first responders? As the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, these are questions I need answered for my constituents, unfortunately they continue to go unanswered.”
“Our entire stockpile of PPE is stored in the Farm Show Complex, which is prone to flooding,” said Grove. “We are looking to partner with the governor to end this pandemic and make sure we reevaluate our emergency plan to ensure we have ample supplies of PPE for pandemic situations moving forward. This is another example of not being transparent with the public. We need to be able to analyze what transpired during this pandemic to determine what worked and what didn’t work. If we continue to be hindered, we will never get to those policies so we can develop laws to protect human life.”
“What occurred here today is a perfect example of why we, as a Legislature, have put on the May 18 ballot, questions to limit the governor’s emergency declarations to no more than 21 days without legislative approval,” said Moul. “No man should have the power to shut out the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
To see video of this morning’s news conference, visit https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/pagopvideo/489268031.mp4.