- FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION - Dec 29, 2020 -
Roughly $5 billion in taxpayer money allocated for PPE contracts went to companies connected to government officials.
The United States government’s COVID-19 policy response has proven rife with waste, fraud, and abuse at every turn. From $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan being tied to a COVID relief bill to the expanded unemployment system’s runaway corruption by fraudsters, American pandemic governance in 2020 has seemed like a never ending cycle of fiscal irresponsibility.
According to the new investigative reporting, the United Kingdom’s COVID response was riddled with cronyism and corruption. The Times analyzed roughly 1,200 government contracts, worth $22 billion in sum, that were dolled out for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other pandemic-related purchases during the immediate aftermath of the outbreak. At least $11 billion—nearly half—went to suspicious contractors.
Roughly $5 billion went to companies with a clear connection to a politician. Nearly $6 billion went to companies with no prior experience in the goods they were contracted to produce, including jewellers and fashion designers. And more than $5 billion was given to companies with controversial pasts including alleged tax evasion, allegations of human rights violations, and more.