Colorado request to feds for PPE

Gov. Jared Polis discussed in a news conference Colorado's request to the federal government for personal protective equipment and ventilators.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday gave the state of Colorado nearly $16.7 million as a result of the federal major disaster declaration on March 28.

The money, given to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, will help purchase personal protective equipment — such as masks and sanitizer — for hospitals, government entities and some nonprofit organizations. The funds will also help the state acquire ventilators, of which Gov. Jared Polis has estimated that 10,000 are needed.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said that he was happy to see the federal government address Colorado’s need for proactive equipment and ventilators. “Expediting delivery of resources to the healthcare providers on the front lines of this epidemic and providing immediate assistance to families and businesses must continue to be prioritized,” he said.

The federal award requires a 25% matching contribution from Colorado. 

News of the grant comes four days after Polis appeared on CNN to say that Colorado was preparing to purchase 500 ventilators, but that FEMA somehow took them “out from under us.” Recently, the 50 states and the federal government have been bidding against each other on scarce resources like ventilators, to the chagrin of many governors.

"We don't know what we'll get from FEMA," Polis continued. "We're innovative and doing what we can."

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