FEMA denies “redirecting” nursing home PPE


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(KUSA)  The Federal Emergency Management Agency denies it is to blame for a shipment of personal protective equipment and disinfectant wipes that never made it to the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush, Colorado.

“FEMA did not swoop in. Absolutely not. Now we’re trying to figure out what the vendor was told,” said Lee dePalo, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 8, which includes Colorado. “The term FEMA took it, FEMA stole it, FEMA swooped in, FEMA redirected are all used and that is simply not true.”

DePalo said his agency first found out on Monday that a Connecticut company that promised a supply of disinfectant wipes for the senior care center blamed FEMA for redirecting the order.

The CEO of Eben Ezer, Shelly Griffith, said Tuesday she was told by the vendor, Project Graphics, that FEMA redirected at least $750 worth of disinfectant wipes. 

Project Graphics, a graphic design company that pivoted to selling PPE during the pandemic, said it took the order of gowns masks, and disinfectant wipes from Eben Ezer in mid-April. 

Griffith said the order totaled about $15,000, with the wipes costing about $750. 

After Project Graphics placed the order with its contact in China, it soon found out the wipes weren’t going to be delivered. 

“My source over there went to purchase the product and the availability that we had been told was there, we had been informed that no, the supply had been purchased by the U.S. government,” said Greg McKim, the vice president of Project Graphics. “The product has been sold to FEMA is what they said.”

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