The Federal Emergency Management Agency shipped masks, gowns, and gloves to nursing homes in Wisconsin and elsewhere, many of which turned out to be defective. The PPE was sent in an effort to protect the 1.5 million Americans who live in nursing homes from the coronavirus. The idea was to provide facilities a 14-day supply of PPE at a time when supplies were scarce or difficult for small facilities to obtain on their own.
One Kaukauna nursing home received gowns that had no arm holes. Other nursing homes received faulty face masks. “If I’m being totally honest, I’d describe these as a token offering,” Sondra Norden, the chief executive of St. Paul’s Elder Services in Wisconsin, told The New York Times. “If we had a major outbreak, we’d burn through these supplies in a few days.” In a statement, FEMA said the equipment met federal and industry standards.