The Department of Health and Human Services changed its website’s wording after President Donald Trump‘s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said on Thursday that the national stockpile of medical supplies belongs to the federal government, not the states.

“The notion of the federal stockpile is that it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said during a coronavirus task force briefing. “It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

However, the stockpile is actually intended to be used by states — at least according to the original wording on the HHS website.

The site read: “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.”

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However, by midday Friday, the wording was changed to say states may not rely on the stockpile but may use it to “supplement” their own.

“The Strategic National Stockpile’s role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies,” the new text reads. “Many states have products stockpiled, as well. The supplies, medicines, and devices for life-saving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of adequate amounts of these materials may not be immediately available.”


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