According to The Washington Post, the US Pentagon gave hundreds of millions of dollars to contractors for projects that have largely nothing to do with the pandemic. That includes $ 186 million in Rolls-Royce and ArcelorMittal for shipbuilding and maintenance.
Tens of millions were also given for the development of various types drone and the creation of a global radar network, and $ 80 million was given to a company called Spirit Aerosystems to support "domestic production capacity" during the slowdown in the aviation industry due to Covid-19. $ 15 million was given to Bethel Industries for lasers accelerating car production and $ 2 million to the American Woolen Company for the domestic production of fabric for army uniforms.
Pentagon officials justified the cost in support of a defense industrial base that White House He insisted that they depended heavily on foreign supply chains during the crisis, and argued that the general terms of the funds at their disposal allowed them to use the money as they saw fit.
Eventually, according to the Pentagon plan, about $ 688 million of the money went to contractors for the country's defense. Ten of the 30 companies selected so far have also received money through the Payment Protection Program, a separate program that has issued hundreds of thousands of loans aimed at preventing layoffs. This program has faced criticism for lending federal money to large businesses who nevertheless have laid off employees or withheld loans without reinstating their employees.
Defense Ministry attorneys partially justified the spending of funds for defense contractors, concluding an agreement where the department Υγείας received $ 17 billion in funding that went to medical companies.
The U.S. military has an operating budget of about $ 934 billion a year for the fiscal year from October 2020 to September 2021, including approximately $ 705 billion at the Pentagon and its emergency operations funds. Islamic State, while $ 228 billion was allocated to other related expenditures.
The Costs of War project at Boston University and Brown University estimated last year that the Pentagon had allocated $ 370 billion of its $ 676 billion budget in 2019. is the equivalent of $ 19 billion in an industry already flooded with subsidies.
"We are grateful that Congress "It provided the authorities with the resources that allowed them to invest in the domestic production of critical medical resources and to protect our core defense functions from the effects of Covid-19," he said. "We must always remember that economic and national security are very closely linked and that our industrial base is really the link between the two."
The Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee wrote in a report on the 2021 defense budget that it does not consider spending to be in line with what it really intended, which is to invest in the nation's ability to produce personal protective equipment. The Pentagon itself predicts that the USA. will need up to $ 3,3 billion masks N95.
The committee added that it was "concerned that this funding would not support the increase in the production of medical supplies, as provided for in the additional funding of the CARES Act".