A controversial program spearheaded by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner to secure medical supplies is being phased out.
NBC News reported that Project Airbridge will end after it worked with the private sector to procure much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Under Kushner's guidance, the program used federal money to pay for shipping costs and did not use the bid process to award contracts.
The program's existence was reported in March.
NBC noted that government officials within the Unified Coordinating Group opted to end most Project Airbridge flights at the end of last week during a meeting at FEMA headquarters. The only deliveries that will continue are those for protective gowns.
The program, however, could be restarted "if urgent needs arise," FEMA official Robert Farmer said.
NBC cited a summary of the meeting as reading, "The decision to ramp down flights is based on demand signals and indications that the health sector has enough support to allow for companies to transition back to regular transport methods."
White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told NBC that the program was a success.
"Project Air Bridge was so successful at delivering massive amounts of critical supplies to the American people, that now there's enough PPE in this country for us to return to the sea bridge method we used before coronavirus," Gidley said.
A report in early April claimed that the program was chaotic and that Kushner's role caused confusion and a lack of communication between the teams involved.
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