The Pentagon was accused of misappropriating funds allocated to fight the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Washington Post, the US Department of defense received $ 1 billion, which was supposed to go to the purchase and production of COVID-19 protective equipment (primarily masks). Instead, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on aircraft, ships, body armor, and uniforms.
The situation with coronavirus in the United States
It is noted that the Pentagon began spending these funds for the wrong purposes as soon as it received them. According to the newspaper, hundreds of millions were spent on projects that had nothing to do with the fight against the coronavirus, as defense lawyers said that this could be done. As a result, about $ 183 million was received by engine manufacturers Rolls Royce and ArcelorMittal, which are used in military shipbuilding. Tens of millions of dollars were spent on creating satellites, drones and space surveillance technologies. 80 million received as assistance to the airline, which was in a difficult position due to problems with the Boeing 737 Max. $ 75 million went to General Electric’s subsidiaries. Another 2 million was spent on purchasing fabric for uniforms.
The Pentagon’s actions have already been criticized by representatives of the Democratic party, who called for an investigation into this misuse of funds, which they called “unacceptable”.
It is surprising why the military needed to use those “pathetic” millions of dollars so much, if the US defense budget exceeds 686 billion. However, the funds have already been spent, and the problems for which they were originally allocated have not been solved, many hospitals still lack masks.
The US Department of defense tried to explain this by saying that they sought to “find a balance” between increasing the supply of medicines and supporting the defense industry. After all, we are talking about national security. And it was necessary to solve the problems that arose. “We must always remember that economic security and national security are very closely interlinked, and our industrial base is actually the link between them,” said Ellen Lord, Deputy Secretary of defense for procurement and support.
It is worth noting that the same $ 1 billion Fund is only a small part of the $ 3 trillion that the US Congress allowed to spend on fighting the pandemic. The story that surfaced in the media showed that it is extremely difficult to track the correct use of these funds.