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.”

ProPublica: A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies

ProPublica: A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies . “A $2.4 million deal to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns was the second multimillion dollar contract for coronavirus supplies that went to somebody who did work for the White House but had little relevant experience.”

CNBC: Google employees petition company to cancel police contracts

CNBC: Google employees petition company to cancel police contracts. “Google employees are signing an internal petition, calling on the company to stop selling technology to police departments. The letter, with the headline ‘No Police Contracts,’ began circulating last week and has been signed by more than 1,100 employees, who identify themselves as part of ‘Googlers Against Racism.'”

‘My father has a factory.’ How hucksters flooded Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus marketplace (Sacramento Bee)

The Sacramento Bee: ‘My father has a factory.’ How hucksters flooded Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus marketplace. “The chaotic marketplace offers a window into the Newsom administration’s frantic efforts to make sure California has enough equipment to handle a surge of COVID-19 cases in the state’s hospitals. State officials leading that effort were forced to wade through the thousands of offers, rejecting most of them, but also accepting some questionable offers posted on the website that later fell through, including a $456 million deal to buy masks that is now under federal scrutiny.”

Florida Bulldog: No-bid Florida COVID contracts flow to DeSantis donors

Florida Bulldog: No-bid Florida COVID contracts flow to DeSantis donors. “Millions of dollars in no-bid state contracts issued as part of Florida’s COVID-19 response have gone to a trio of firms tied to men who’ve contributed hefty sums to support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political ambitions.”