Jared Moskowitz calls for probe of billions in errant COVID spending under Donald Trump
Jared Moskowitz has no problem crossing the aisle for an important cause.

‘COVID was not a two-year event; it was a three-year event…’

As Republicans move to investigate federal COVID-19 spending under President Joe Biden, freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz is offering a suggestion to his GOP colleagues: Don’t forget to look into mismanagement by Biden’s predecessor.

During a Wednesday meeting of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Moskowitz — who ran Florida’s Department of Emergency Management during the first year of the pandemic — agreed on the importance of identifying pandemic waste, fraud and abuse.

To do that properly, he said, investigators should start when the pandemic started, which was under former President Donald Trump.

“COVID was not a two-year event; it was a three-year event, and I am more than happy to join with the majority and look at the fraud and abuse that went on in the last two years in COVID-related programs,” he said.

“But I think it’s only fair for us also to look at the beginning of the disaster and the amount of government waste that existed by the federal government sole-sourcing contracts and negotiating pricing with the White House (and) subverting the process from federal agencies, because not only did that drive up cost and waste, that filtered down to the other 50 states. Because if the federal government was paying more money, (the Florida Department of Environmental Management and other agencies like it) had to pay more money.”

The waste to which Moskowitz referred involves around $10 billion of $18 billion spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) he said did not go through a procurement process.

Instead, he said, Trump’s inner circle handed out high-value contracts to those with access, and the federal government’s decision to leave it to states to compete for the materials drove up costs that will be compounded as states seek FEMA reimbursements.

“That void that was created when states had to step up and procure all these resources (and) compete against everybody but Antarctica, but most importantly the federal government, and while the federal government was raising prices, companies were price-gouging the federal government while the federal government was not following their own procurement,” he said.

At the onset of the pandemic, PPE costs surged more than 1,000% amid competition and a massive increase in demand. Numerous companies have since been charged with hoarding and price-gouging during that period.

Last month, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis rendered its final report. In it, the panel concluded, among other things, the Trump administration mismanaged the pandemic and related spending, resulting in shortages of protective materials in some areas and price-gouging elsewhere.

Moskowitz asked U.S. Inspector General Michael Horowitz whether his office has ever looked into whether any of Trump’s inner circle, including family members, had direct involvement in selecting PPE vendors and negotiating pricing.

Horowitz said no.

To that, Moskowitz said, “What if I proffered for you that when states could not get this PPE out of (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) that we had to call the White House to get this stuff released directly from his inner circle? Would that sound like a normal procurement process during an emergency?”

Horowitz: “Probably not.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • JoAnne Bohm

    February 2, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Leave it to the Democrats to immediately try to turn the blame around to Trump. He’s been out of office for 2 years and it still contimues. Such fear of a man who did a lot of good for the country. I can’t imagine anyone remaining in the Democratic party when they are the source and cause of the major load of problems we face today. And still attempt to blame Trump for it all. Never accountable Democrats. Every Republican should move from a blue state to a red state to decrease the population in the blue state and increase the population in the red state to change the number of representatives and put this country back on the road to being GREAT AGAIN.

    • Tjb

      February 6, 2023 at 12:26 pm

      Kinda like trump blaming everything on Obama .
      Also, Trump has been put office for two years, but the Covid spending in question was under Trump’s watch

  • M Nagel

    February 3, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Does anyone recall that OBAMA “left the cupboards bare”? THEY NEVER restored the federal reserves for emergencies. Very lackadaisical a bout HIS respnsibilities.

  • JoAnne Bohm

    February 4, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Biden and the Democrats can’t stop spending money but they also can’t let go of their favorite fall-guy, Donald Trump. My great great grandchildren will still be hearing how Trump has been responsible for everything bad that’s happened to the US since 2016. It never stops. Where are all the working brains in the democratic party to realize their party is the problem and not the solution. How far down the hole of no-return do they want to go?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn