Blue Flame Medical, a company selling COVID-19 supplies founded by two Republican operatives, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for failing to deliver on mask and ventilator contracts. 

The deals, worth almost half a billion dollars, was reportedly made with desperate states – including California, Florida and Maryland – and many other local agencies. 

The case caught Department of Justice’s attention soon after Gov. Lary Hogan (R-Maryland) canceled $12.5 million deal with Blue Flame Medical with masks and ventilators and opened an investigation.

“It is unconscionable that anyone would try to exploit this pandemic for profit or personal gain, which is why I’m pleased that we were able to act so swiftly to uncover Blue Flame’s potential wrongdoings and to alert authorities,” Hogan said.

California, the biggest client of all, also quickly canceled the $457 million order for 100 million masks. 

Critics questioned why state officials spent nearly half of California’s pandemic response fund with a firm that was established just two months ago.

“[California] really needed to ensure that there are appropriate controls in place and that we are spending California’s tax dollars efficiently and responsibly,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-California).

The firm was set up just two months ago by two Republican operatives, Mike Gula and John Thomas, who are reportedly novices in the medical field.