As part of ongoing fiscal oversight of state’s COVID-19 response, Auditor Galloway seeks answers about recall of 48,000 masks sent to first responders

As part of her office’s fiscal review of the state’s response to COVID-19, State Auditor Nicole Galloway is seeking answers about defective masks distributed by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to first responders across Missouri. The Governor’s administration disclosed during the April 13 COVID-19 briefing that SEMA has recalled 48,000 of the KN95 masks because they did not meet safety standards. In a letter sent today to Public Safety Director Sandra Karsten and copied to Gov. Parson and other officials, The Auditor requested information by April 22 about the procurement, purchase and funding of the masks. She is also pursuing answers on whether there is a potential that other masks distributed by the state did not meet standards and what recourse the department is pursuing to make Missouri taxpayers whole for the masks that did not meet standards. Last month,  the Auditor announced that her office would examine the state’s distribution of federal funding received under the CARES Act. On April 6, Galloway notified Gov. Parson about this oversight initiative, and on April 7, the State Auditor’s Office began requesting information related to response efforts from state agencies.  The state of Missouri expects to receive billions of dollars in federal funding for assistance with the COVID-19 response and relief.



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