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San Mateo County calls in Marines to inspect $10 million worth of COVID protective gear left in rain;  report shows most can be salvaged

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Thursday night’s ABC7 News I-Team report on more than $10 million worth of new PPE left outside in the rain is sparking a major backlash across the country, and the Action by Officials in San Mateo County.

It was more than 20,000 square feet of boxes containing personal protective equipment.

It’s all about your federal tax money – hospital gowns, face shields, goggles and more outside at the San Mateo County Event Center since last September.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Over $10M worth of face masks and protective gear left in rain outside Bay Area event center

“This needs to be investigated,” MP Jackie Speier said.

Congresswoman Speier, who represents San Francisco and the Peninsula, came to San Mateo to talk about transportation, but we asked about the main PPE error we discovered.

She called it troubling, but said she remembers the county being a leader in drive-through testing, vaccinations and recalls.

“We have to remember that San Mateo County has really been on the cutting edge, and we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country and that’s good news for all of us.” , she said.

RELATED: Michigan man arrested for N95 mask fraud with Bay Area victims amid COVID-19 pandemic

Our PPE story was something event center CEO Dana Stoehr didn’t want you to see.

Dan Noies: “Why is all this stuff going to get lost here?”

Dana Stoehr: “So can you stop filming? »

Dan Noies: “No, I work at Channel Seven, I need to ask questions.”

The county executive told Dan Noyes he didn’t know all the PPE had been sitting around exposed to the elements for months.

“It’s clearly a county mistake and at the end of the day, I’m in charge of the county. So, you know, I take full responsibility for it,” San Mateo County Executive Mike Callagy said.

Callagy says it learned Friday that event center staff moved all that PPE outside to host the annual Software as a Service conference Sept. 27-29. He doesn’t know why the supplies weren’t brought inside, but he hires an independent investigator to investigate and calls in the Marines.

RELATED: Bay Area Medical Center Advocates For PPE Donations As Pandemic Worsens

“And so every piece is inspected and right now we’re managing over 90% of it which we believe is still in perfect condition,” said James Brown of Wine Country Marines.

Brown is organizing a distribution of PPE that can be recovered. He says the rain damaged the outer boxes, but the plastic bags inside saved many items.

The Veterans Advocacy Group will hand it all out to qualified groups on January 25 by appointment only.

RELATED: Here’s How You Can Get Free At-Home COVID Tests Through The Feds And Insurance

“We don’t want anyone taking this and putting it on eBay because it’s basically money laundering, you’re taking productions purchased with federal taxpayers’ money and turning it into cash for you,” said Brown, continuing, “We’re not going to allow this, but what we want to do is put this in the hands of any organization that serves the community. If you’re out there serving the homeless or doing a food kitchen or shelter, if you’re treating patients, all that.”

Groups with a legitimate mission can find more details on the Wine Country Marine website.

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