States seeking masks, drugs, ventilators and other items from the stockpile are encountering a system beset by years of underfunding, changing lines of authority, confusion over the allocation of supplies and a lack of transparency from the administration, said state and federal officials and public health experts.
Still unable to do widespread testing, and fearful as the federal government fails to marshal critical supplies, officials in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles are watching caseloads climb and trying to prepare.
Even as most people stay close to home, millions of others have been on the move, a mass migration that looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live. But virus fugitives often are running into fierce opposition on their routes.
Critics say the federal stimulus package’s expansion of jobless benefits means the gig-economy workers of Uber, Lyft and Airbnb get help from social safety-net programs even though their companies don’t pay taxes that fund it.