The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General testified today that the DHS is unprepared for a pandemic to hit the U.S.
DHS Inspector General John Roth said in a House Oversight and Committee hearing on the federal response to Ebola Friday that the "DHS mismanaged their program" regarding the drugs and protective supplies the country would need in case of an outbreak.
"We found the DHS did not adequately conduct a needs assessment before purchasing protective equipment and antiviral drugs," Roth said.
Roth gave "no assurance" that these supplies would still be effective.
"The department believes the entire stockpile of personal protective equipment will not be usable after 2015," Roth said. "Likewise, the antiviral drugs that DHS purchased are nearing the end of their effective life." And, more than two thousand doses of antiviral drugs have been lost by DHS.
A federal audit showed that the DHS purchased 4,982 bottles of hand sanitizer, but records show that 84 percent of the supply is at least four years past its expiration date.
The audit also showed the department stockpiled 200,000 respirators beyond their five-year expiration date and spent $6.7 million on antiviral drugs, only to lose 2,055 doses.
Congress approved $47 million in 2006 in order for the country to be prepared for a pandemic, but the DHS never had a concrete plan to use that money according to the report.