New York Times: An Arms Dealer, an Ex-N.F.L. Player and Huge Federal Contracts for Medical Gowns

New York Times: An Arms Dealer, an Ex-N.F.L. Player and Huge Federal Contracts for Medical Gowns. “The Defense Department distributed more than $1 billion in federal contracts last month to companies for disposable medical gowns to protect those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 100 large and midsize companies, many with track records of successfully completing federal procurement contracts, bid for the work. But the majority of the awards ultimately went to a handful of unexpected and inexperienced companies that now find themselves on the hook to produce hundreds of millions of gowns in a matter of months.”

CNN: House Democrats seek information on $250 million contract on coronavirus PR campaign

CNN: House Democrats seek information on $250 million contract on coronavirus PR campaign. “In new letters, House Democrats are demanding new documents about the Department of Health and Human Services’ $250 million contract with a marketing firm handling a campaign on coronavirus that Democrats say they want to ensure does not go to propping up the President’s reelection campaign.”

ProPublica: The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price

ProPublica: The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price. “The government overpaid by hundreds of millions for Philips ventilators, says a House investigation spurred by ProPublica reporting. Now that deal is off and Congress is scrutinizing other coronavirus deals made by trade adviser Peter Navarro.”

Politico: HHS bids $250 million contract meant to ‘defeat despair and inspire hope’ on coronavirus

Politico: HHS bids $250 million contract meant to ‘defeat despair and inspire hope’ on coronavirus. “As the presidential election fast approaches, the Department of Health and Human Services is bidding out a more than $250 million contract to a communications firm as it seeks to ‘defeat despair and inspire hope’ about the coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal HHS document obtained by POLITICO.”

NPR: Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions

NPR: Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions. “An NPR investigation has found irregularities in the process by which the Trump administration awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a Pittsburgh company to collect key data about COVID-19 from the country’s hospitals. The contract is at the center of a controversy over the administration’s decision to move that data reporting function from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which has tracked infection information for a range of illnesses for years — to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Slate: Everything, Um, Unusual About Kodak’s Trump-Assisted Pivot to Pharmaceuticals

Slate: Everything, Um, Unusual About Kodak’s Trump-Assisted Pivot to Pharmaceuticals. “Kodak’s stock peaked as high as $60, and investors traded 272 million of its shares on Wednesday, up from its previous daily average trading volume of 125,000. Much of this activity came from day traders using the investing platform Robinhood. Before Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, approximately 9,300 Robinhood users had Kodak in their portfolios; by noon on Wednesday, that number rose to more than 72,000. Many financial analysts are warning, however, that a lot of things don’t quite add up about Kodak’s sudden bout of success on the stock market. Taken all together, this week has been a particularly fishy Kodak moment.”

NPR: Irregularities in COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raises New Questions

NPR: Irregularities in COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raises New Questions. “An NPR investigation has found irregularities in the process by which the Trump administration awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a Pittsburgh company to collect key data about Covid-19 from the country’s hospitals. The contract is at the center of a controversy over the Administration’s decision to move that data reporting function from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which has tracked infection information for a range of illnesses for years — to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

New York Times: Government Says Contract for Covid-19 Database Was Competitively Bid

New York Times: Government Says Contract for Covid-19 Database Was Competitively Bid. ” The Pittsburgh company that won a $10.2 million contract to run the Trump administration’s new coronavirus database beat five other firms that bid on the work, according to officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, who said a federal website that listed the award as a ‘sole source’ contract was in error.”

Washington Post: Maryland’s governor touts his purchase of tests from South Korea. Emails show a U.S. company offered tests at a lower price.

Washington Post: Maryland’s governor touts his purchase of tests from South Korea. Emails show a U.S. company offered tests at a lower price.. “As Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan negotiated receipt of 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea this spring, a domestic test distributor tried to sell the state a million or more federally authorized tests at less than two-thirds the price, according to emails between the distributor and a state health official.”

ProPublica: How McKinsey Is Making $100 Million (and Counting) Advising on the Government’s Bumbling Coronavirus Response

ProPublica: How McKinsey Is Making $100 Million (and Counting) Advising on the Government’s Bumbling Coronavirus Response. “In the middle of March, as the coronavirus pandemic was shutting down the country, McKinsey & Co., the giant management consulting firm, saw opportunity. The firm sprang into sales mode, deploying its partners across the country to seek contracts with federal agencies, state governments and city halls. Government organizations had been caught unprepared by the virus, and there was a lot of money to be made advising them on how to address it.”

ProPublica: You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps

ProPublica: You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps. “Jason Cardiff didn’t want his new business to end up like his last one, an alleged pyramid scheme involving robocalling and selling unwitting customers bogus remedies to lose weight or quit smoking. One of his ventures, Prolongz, falsely claimed to offer men ‘increased ejaculation control.’ ‘I am not going to lose another company,’ Cardiff told his lawyer in an April 5 email, just before detailing a fantasy list of people he wanted to place on the board of his new venture, VPL Medical Inc.”

NBC News: Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military

NBC News: Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military. “On Wednesday, newly published research from the technology accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry revealed that the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have secured thousands of deals with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard and even Facebook that have not been previously reported.”

CNN: Operation Warp Speed commits $1.6 billion to Covid-19 vaccine maker Novavax

CNN: Operation Warp Speed commits $1.6 billion to Covid-19 vaccine maker Novavax. “‘Operation Warp Speed,’ the federal government’s Covid-19 vaccine program, on Tuesday announced the largest government Covid-19 vaccine contract to date — a $1.6 billion contract with Novavax, a Maryland biotech company.”

NBC News: COVID-19 helped this small syringe business boom. Then came the taxpayer-backed windfall.

NBC News: COVID-19 helped this small syringe business boom. Then came the taxpayer-backed windfall.. “In late March, the Department of Health and Human Services began drafting an $83.8 million order for [Retractable Technologies Inc.] to produce the lion’s share of roughly 330 million needles and syringes for a future COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign. That coincided with private business brisk enough for the company to report a 41.8 percent increase in first-quarter sales compared with the same period in 2019, according to one of its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But despite its good fortune, a few weeks later, on April 17, RTI secured a $1.4 million hardship loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.”