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Covid-19: “Shkreli Awards” go to pandemic’s top profiteers

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n16 (Published 05 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n16
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

The Shkreli Awards for profiteering and dysfunction in healthcare, an annual tribute to the worst actors of the US health system, have unsurprisingly focused this year on misconduct during the covid-19 pandemic, with the place of dishonour taken by the Trump administration’s federal personal protective equipment (PPE) taskforce.

Led by Jared Kushner, the procurement taskforce launched “Project Airbridge” to find PPE abroad and bring it quickly to the US. But rather than distribute it to needy state governments, the taskforce gave these supplies to six private medical supply companies to sell to the highest bidder, creating a bidding war among states.

Half of the PPE was meant to go to designated pandemic “hot spots,” but no officials from the 10 hardest hit counties in the first covid-19 wave …

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