You also agree to our Terms of Service. ‘‘The only solution is that there has to be some oversight. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. Records obtained by the Journal indicate that Blue Flame ordered the masks from a supplier in China, but the Chinese government blocked the shipment to the U.S.. Another record shows that Blue Flame subsequently found another supplier to make the masks for Maryland. Maryland officials signed a $12 million contract on April 1 and Blue Flame received a down payment of $6 million. The April 1 purchase order, obtained by The Washington Post, identifies June 30 as the delivery deadline — but that is only because June 30 is the end of the current fiscal year, Ricci said. ‘‘But the process isn’t working this way. He declined to comment about the Justice Department investigation. California had separately hired the company to provide 100 million face masks, according to two people familiar with the transaction. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. There should be a cross-section of folks, from the minority business community, the local business community, the medical community.’’, ‘‘I understand we need to act quickly. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. In a phone interview Wednesday, Maryland state Senator Jill Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, said the incident highlights a need for greater oversight over purchases that state officials are making to curb the pandemic’s spread. Blue Flame received a down payment of nearly $6.3 million from Maryland in early April — after promising to provide, within a few weeks, desperately needed PPE for front-line medical personnel dealing with the novel coronavirus. A congressional oversight panel said it would conduct a probe of a Blue Flame Medical after several states canceled contracts with the coronavirus-supply company founded by a former GOP fundraiser. Around that time, the Justice Department launched a separate probe into the matter, according to a government official briefed on the situation. Blue Flame Medical was founded just weeks ago by Mike Gula, a former Republican Party fundraiser and consultant whose resume shows no experience in the medical … See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. “These delivery failures have caused multiple states and localities to cancel millions of dollars in orders for desperately needed gear and equipment during an unprecedented public health emergency,” Mr. Pallone said. A letter sent to the firm on April 30 by Danny Mays, Maryland’s director of procurement, revealed deep frustration. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, A Muslim millennial was elected the country’s first out nonbinary lawmaker — in Oklahoma, British grocer Sainsbury's is cutting 3,500 jobs and closing more than 80% of Argos stores. We’re not getting the supplies.’’. The firm also faces investigations by the Justice Department and Maryland’s attorney general. The agreed-upon shipping date for the masks and ventilators was April 14, according to a Blue Flame invoice obtained by the Post. He startled some longtime clients in March when he announced he was quitting the fund-raising world during an election year to start the medical supply business with Thomas. WASHINGTON—A congressional oversight committee said it would conduct a probe of a coronavirus-supply company founded by a former prominent Republican fundraiser. ‘‘Despite numerous requests for information and order status, Blue Flame Medical has yet to deliver any items under this order, or provide any pertinent data as to a pending shipment,’’ Mays wrote. ‘‘Blue Flame Medical is devoted to getting masks and ventilators to the people in Maryland who so desperately need them,’’ he said. The investigation will be led by the committee’s investigative subcommittee, which is run by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado. Prosecutors are focused on at least two contracts that the company signed for medical masks and other equipment with Maryland and California, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter. The company's filing status is listed as Active and its File Number is 7911342. That contract, which was first reported Wednesday by the California news website CalMatters, was then abruptly canceled, and the state scrambled to get its $457 million deposit back. His firm has raised campaign money for Senators Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, Steve Daines of Montana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and dozens of other influential Republicans. The company ‘‘fully intends to honor that contract’’ to supply 1.5 million masks and 110 ventilators by June 30, Bearman said. The matter was referred to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, last week for review. Both states ultimately canceled those contracts. ', Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Trump vs. Biden: Why the Election Results Are So Close, Trump, Biden Address Nation on Election Status, Vote Count Continues, Trump Campaign Files Michigan Lawsuit While Protesters Try to Stop Ballot Count, Joe Biden Addresses Nation as Vote Counts Continue, Election Update: Biden Wins Michigan, Trump Opens Legal Battles, News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. State officials say the supplies were due weeks later. Carter noted that many minority businesses and small companies have reached out to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency about possibly supplying the state with tests, protective equipment, or testing materials, but have not heard back. Bearman had no comment on the California contract, which drew the attention of the Justice Department when it was suddenly canceled. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. Write to Brody Mullins at and Susan Pulliam at, Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. On Monday, state lawmakers in California discussed what went wrong with the Blue Flame contract during an oversight hearing on problems with buying medical supplies in an emergency. The company previously has said it has done nothing wrong and would cooperate with any investigations. Days after the company was started, Blue Flame signed a $600 million contract with California officials to supply masks. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Wednesday. “[Blue Flame] purports to be ‘one of the largest global network [sic] of COVID-19 medical suppliers’ and reportedly supplies ventilators, respirators, COVID-19 test kits, surgical masks, and other hard to find types of PPE. A Blue Flame lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. ‘‘After directing Maryland’s attorney general to investigate this company last week, Governor Hogan is encouraged to hear that there is an ongoing federal investigation as well,’’ Ricci said. We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. Thomas recently worked as a strategist and fund-raiser for Republican Don Sedgwick, who sought to run against California Democratic Representative Katie Porter, but lost in the March primary. Last weekend, Maryland terminated a $12.5 million contract for personal protective equipment (PPE) with the company after state officials said Blue Flame had failed to deliver masks and ventilators as promised. WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Blue Flame Medical, a company created by two well-connected Republican operatives who started selling COVID-19 supplies this spring as the virus spread across the country. A few hours later, the state canceled the contract. Blue Flame was founded in March by Republican fundraiser Mike Gula and a political consultant in California. The House Energy and Commerce Committee said it has launched an investigation into Blue Flame Medical LLC after several states canceled contracts with the company. The two Republican consultants incorporated their company in Delaware on March 23 and a week later received the contract from Maryland. I don’t want to stall the process,’’ she added. Blue Flame Medical’s attorney Ethan Bearman said in a Tuesday statement that the company “is devoted to getting masks and ventilators” to Maryland.

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