U.S. Orders 100,000 Body Bags
Bracing for catastrophe as coronavirus infections in the U.S. continue to soar, the Defense Department has ordered 100,000 “military-style body bags for potential civilian use” in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
After weeks of Donald Trump downplaying the outbreak as nothing serious and dawdling on mobilizing the full resources available to the U.S. government, and a fumbled early response from institutions ranging from federal agencies to local health systems, covid-19 has spread to all 50 states, DC, and four U.S. territories. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine tracker, there are over 209,000 confirmed cases across the U.S. with over 4,750 deaths. (This number is now becoming inaccurate on a near-hourly basis.) The U.S. became the nation with the highest number of confirmed cases in the world last week, while the death toll has surpassed the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and is expected to climb to many times that number.
According to Bloomberg, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has requested the 100,000 body bags through the Defense Department. Initially, some of those will come from a Pentagon stockpile of 50,000 nylon bags originally intended for use in combat zones. FEMA hasn’t given the Defense Logistics Agency, which manages stockpiles and supply chains for the U.S. military and some federal agencies, a specific time when it wants the body bags yet, but Bloomberg reported FEMA wants them as soon as possible and the Pentagon is finalizing production contracts.