Sec. Redding denies Sen. Mastriano access to PPE stockpile in writing

Todd Bartley, has obtained the letter Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture sent State Senator Doug Mastriano denying access to the PPE stockpile housed at the PA Farm Show complex.

The PA Farm Show complex is located across the street from the Department of Agriculture.

The March 24, 2021 letter reads as follows:

The Honorable Doug Mastriano

Senate of Pennsylvania

Senate Box 203033172

Main Capitol Bldg.

Harrisburg, PA 17120-3033

Dear Senator Mastriano:

Thank you for reaching out regarding the Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) maintained at the Farm Show Complex.

Since March 2020 the Commonwealth has fulfilled every legitimate needs’request submitted for PPE and there are no unmet needs requests at this time. We have pushed out close to 6.3 million N95 masks, more than 1.2 million gowns, more than 3.5 million procedure masks, close to 16.7 million gloves, more than 1.5 million face shields, and close to 1.4 million bottles of hand sanitizer. Most recently, the commonwealth storage area has managed the receipt and redistribution of several million masks for the educational sector, where we worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Intermediate Units to provide these masks to schools. PPE currently is shipped out as needed to support vaccination sites across the state.

Any supplies purchased with state funds are reimbursable through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Costs for PPE are high and as the Commonwealth uses FEMA funds to purchase, we follow that agency’s guidance on the distribution of PPE. In your letter, you mentioned that there may be eligible entities that need PPE. If you would please identify those entities and provide me with their contact information, we will reach out to them.

The PPE inventory is part of preparation for this pandemic and any future needs associated with it or other emergencies. As we have done since the beginning, it is necessary to maintain appropriate security for these essential goods.

Accordingly, we are unable to grant you access to the Farm Show Complex at this time.


Russell C. Redding


Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture


CC: Governor Tom Wolf

Alison Beam, Acting Secretary of Health

David (Randy) Padfield, Director PEMA

Troy Thompson,Press Secretary, Department of General Services

Joseph Jacob, Superintendent, Capitol Police

Stephen Rudman, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture


Photo: COVID-19 relief supplies & PPE sit idle inside the PA Farm Show Complex


On background, the talking points included in the letter sent by Department of Agriculture, Secretary Russell C. Redding mirrors what Shannon Powers, Press Secretary for the PA Department of Agriculture provided the following to in response to the PPE stockpile WHISTLEBLOWER story.

“The Wolf Administration used the summer months to prepare for a fall resurgence that would – and did – significantly tax the healthcare sector. Part of this strategy was to acquire a significant stockpile that could be used to assist healthcare facilities who were unable to acquire these products through their normal supply chains, such as we saw during the spring surge of COVID-19. As the global supply chain for these products has been limited at times, the Administration has had to look at alternative vendors, including some from overseas; however, all products that are purchased for this stockpile have been vetted by federal partners and are either approved or authorized for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. This has resulted in the Administration having significantly more PPE on hand to assist those who need it than we had prior to COVID-19. Further, at this time, costs related to maintaining this stockpile of PPE supplies are being covered by the State and are reimbursable by Federal disaster relief funds.

We continue to push PPE to those who need and request it and will work to ensure we keep our stockpile filled to prepare for a future surge, for future COVID-19 vaccination efforts, or even a future public health emergency.

The Administration has also pushed out significant quantities of PPE to those facilities that need it. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the commonwealth has provided millions of N95 and procedure masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and bottles of hand sanitizer to facilities that need it across the state. We require that facilities first attempt to procure these products through their own supply chain, but in the event that PPE such as masks, gowns, face shields, gloves or hand sanitizer is unable to be procured, a resource request would be submitted for review and if appropriate, PEMA and the Department of Health collaborate to deliver the requested supplies. The commonwealth stockpile is used in the event that other suppliers do not have the necessary items and all other potential sources have been exhausted.

We have pushed out close to 6.3 million N95 masks, more than 1.2 million gowns, more than 3.5 procedure masks, close to 16.7 million gloves, more than 1.5 million face shields, and close to 1.4 million bottles of hand sanitizer from the stockpile.

Pennsylvanians need to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and doing all of the things that we know help to keep us safe – that’s the best way to protect yourself and your family, but it also protects our health care workers.”

The same talking points were used by Lyndsey Kensinger, Press Secretary for Governor Wolf in a story by ABC27.

According to ABC27, a task force to relocate the PPE stockpile is being developed, “There’s a sense of urgency. We need to open up the Farm Show because it makes money for the economy. When visitors come, they stay at hotels and eat at restaurants,” Rep. Patty Kim, (D-Dauphin) said.

This is a developing story on in conjunction with 21-time Emmy Award winning journalist Wendy Bell and the Wendy Bell Radio Show on WJAS-AM 1320.