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Reps. Gallego, Grijalva, Haaland Demand Federal Investigation of IHS Contract Awarded to Trump Crony that Resulted in Unsuitable PPE Delivered to Navajo Nation

May 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Deb Haaland, Vice Chair of the Natural Resources Committee led a letter urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to open a federal investigation into possible waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement of an Indian Health Service (IHS) contract that resulted in potentially faulty PPE being distributed to multiple health facilities on the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico.

Zach Fuentes, former Deputy Chief of Staff for President Trump, started Zach Fuentes, LLC only 11 days before he was awarded a $3 million contract from IHS, seemingly without robust vetting or competitive bidding. After the contract was executed, IHS found that nearly a quarter of a million of the masks delivered were likely unsuitable for medical use, while over 100,000 of the masks did not match what was described in the contract.

“The distribution of unsuitable and ineffective equipment to the Navajo Nation is particularly disturbing given the scale and severity of the outbreak the Nation is currently battling in Arizona and New Mexico…. We are also deeply concerned that Mr. Fuentes’ relationship to the White House played an inappropriate role in the awarding of this contract,” the Members write. “Given the significant questions raised by the product quality and contract selection in this case, we urge the GAO to immediately open an investigation to determine whether any laws, rules, or regulations were violated during the course of the procurement process.”

The full letter can be found here.