Aerial View From Over Arlington Va
(Photo : (Photo By USAf/Getty Images)) 387856 01: This File Photo Dated April 22, 1986 Shows An Aerial View From Over Arlington, Va Of The Pentagon, Headquarters Of The Us Department Of Defense. The 29-Acre Building Was Dedicated On January 15, 1943, Nearly 16 Months To The Day After The Groundbreaking.

The United States' government provided and continues to help and support its citizens through the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic through the famous CARES Act of 2020. Apart from its citizens, the US Government also gave budget to several departments and agencies to help aid the country in the COVID-19 crisis, with Pentagon receiving $1 billion in funding.

The Department of Defense famously referred to as the Pentagon, received $1 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act that was recently established during the start of the global pandemic. This bill aims to provide help and relief to the country and its constituents who faced the coronavirus's adverse effects.

COVID-19 has brought out the very best and worst in society and continues to test the limits on how humans can persevere through an invisible threat lurking around in the atmosphere. The government-appointed several agencies and departments who are the chief correspondents to the COVID-19 crisis and some who will be of help.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is part of the US government's budget and assignment to help and act against the pandemic. In recent news and report by Gizmodo, Pentagon's $1 billion budget is spent on several pieces of equipment that do not concern the medical community.

Instead, Pentagon directed all the funds and efforts to body armors, fighter jets, defense contractors, and technology to amplify the country's defense needs. The purchases made by Defense had little to no relation to the crisis the country and the world are facing right now.

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Pentagon's COVID-19 Response: DEFENSE
Pentagon Briefs Senate Armed Services Committee On Armored Vests
(Photo : (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images))
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 11: Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson (L), deputy for acquisition and systems management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, and Maj. Greg Paul (R) of Cincinnati, Ohio, answer questions during a news conference following a closed Senate Armed Services Committee briefing from Pentagon officials on the safety standards of the armored vests issued to U.S. troops on Capitol Hill January 11, 2006 in Washington, DC. The officials from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Navy discussed an Armed Forces Institute of Pathology study on the Interceptor Body Armor System. The Army is distributing an improved version of body armor to 230,000 troops this year, according Sorenson..

Pentagon stayed true to its department's came and went with the 'defense' response against the Novel Coronavirus. Instead of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment, medicines, and even the workforce for COVID-19 response, the Department of Defense focused on fighter jets and body armor.

The Washington Post compiled and broke down Pentagon's purchases with the $1 billion budget for COVID-19.

  • $186 million - Rolls Royce and ArcelorMittal for ships and naval equipment
  • $80 million - Spirit Aerosystems for domestic capability and capacity for aviation industry slowdown
  • $15 million - Bethel Industries for laser machines that will speed up the production of body armor
  • $10 million and more - Drones development and worldwide radar network
  • $2 million - American Woolen Company for US-made fabric production for Army uniforms. 

Apart from the breakdown, $688 million of the money was given to defense contractors as part of the United States' deal and planned in-country defense and security. Pentagon justifies this focus on protection because of the massive budget the health sector already received during the COVID-19 crisis.

jet
(Photo : Unsplash)

Department of Defense's Efforts Towards Security

The Pentagon's Defense Production Act justifies the purchases that do not relate to the pandemic, despite its intention of being an additional response for COVID-19 in the country. The Health and Human Services already received $17 billion in funding for the pandemic, and Pentagon leveraged that reason for a deal that gives them the right to focus its budget for defense reasons.

The House Committee on Appropriations questions the allotment of the CARES Act Budget for defense alone. The Pentagon even filed a report stating that the country needs 3.3 billion N95 Masks. The committee said that they expected DoD to use the money to help address the scarcity in PPE for the country.

The CARES Act's additional funding is for the country's response to the global pandemic, expecting all those granted to utilize and act accordingly to support the US on its needs. 

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Written by Isaiah Alonzo

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