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Wenstrup Holds Classified Briefing on Consequences of COVID-19 Pandemic on Strategic National Stockpile

Wahington, D.C. - Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), along with a bipartisan group of Select Subcommittee members, toured the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) on Monday ahead of today’s classified briefing titled “Overseeing the Strategic National Stockpile — A Briefing with Assistant Secretary O’Connell.”

The SNS is a network of strategically placed storehouses filled with the United States’ pharmaceutical stockpile of drugs, medical products, and ancillary equipment. In the event of a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency, SNS resources are deployed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help supply the medical and health security needs of Americans.

SNS Director Steve Adams and Director of the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Requirements at ASPR Julia Limage joined HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell to brief Select Subcommittee members on the challenges facing the SNS in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members were provided the opportunity to ask questions about classified information to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic altered the needs of the SNS as well as evaluate further investigations and future policy recommendations.

Healthcare workers often had to take extraordinary measures to protect themselves and their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic when essential medical supplies stockpiles were depleted. Today, Select Subcommittee members received an important and informative briefing from HHS officials on the Strategic National Stockpile’s capabilities during this unprecedented health emergency and discussed how to improve its nationwide functionality during a future pandemic. We appreciate that the officials provided members with an in-depth look at the current product levels and increased challenges SNS faces so Congress can have a better understanding of our national stockpile and help America prepare for future health crises,” said Chairman Wenstrup.