The state of Maryland canceled a gigantic order of coronavirus supplies from a politically connected company — and wants state law-enforcement officials to investigate the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
The chaotic situation mirrors the unregulated marketplace that has emerged as states, hospitals, and first responders scramble to buy face masks, gloves, gowns and other protective medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Journal, Maryland state officials said they took action after waiting for more than 30 days for $12.5 million worth of masks and ventilators that were ordered from Blue Flame Medical LLC — a company started a few weeks ago by Mike Gula, a one-time fundraiser for the GOP.
Gula provided a letter to the Journal that stated Maryland's order for roughly 1.5 million N95 masks was seized by government officials in China, where they were manufactured.
Gula switched to a new supplier and plans to deliver the masks shortly, along with a separate $4 million order for more than 100 ventilators to the state, the Journal reported, citing an unnamed Blue Flame Medical official.
"We have determined that since it has been one month since the order was placed with no confirmation of shipment, we are in the process of cancelling the order and have referred this matter to the attorney general," a spokesman for the Maryland Department of General Services told the Journal.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office declined to comment to the news outlet.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.