The Pentagon confirmed Monday that it would provide around 100,000 military-style body bags for use by civilians as the United States grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made the request to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) as officials reported that the death toll is expected snowball in the coming weeks.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a supporting branch of DOD, “is currently responding to FEMA’s prudent planning efforts for 100,000 pouches to address mortuary contingencies on behalf of state health agencies,” a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement Thursday.

He stated, “[that] the Department of Defense and the Defense Logistics Agency have a longstanding arrangement with FEMA to procure key commodities from DLA’s industrial partners during crisis response operations.”


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The Pentagon is working with the current contractor to order more bags. The reserves of green nylon, 94-inch by 38-inch body bags, are allotted to war-zones, in most cases.

The Pentagon is working to curtail the virus’s spread and rising  death toll, dispatching two military-grade ships to New York and Los Angeles for non-coronavirus patients.

The White House said this week that the country could expect 100,000 to 240,000 COVID-19 fatalities over the next few months.

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