The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested 100,000 body bags, known as Human Remains Pouches, through an interagency group that directed it to the Defense Department. The Pentagon is looking into buying more bags and will draw some initially from a stockpile of 50,000 it maintains, according to two people familiar with the request.
The move is a somber counterpoint to the Pentagon’s highly-praised deployment of two hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles to help alleviate pressure on regional hospitals overburdened by the pandemic.
The Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support unit manages the Pentagon’s stockpile of the green nylon, 94-inch by 38-inch body bags that are typically distributed to war zones. The unit has been in contact with the current contractor to assess its manufacturing capabilities but hasn’t yet placed a formal order, according to one of the people.