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‘Women’ of Gaetz’s office sign letter defending congressman

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The office of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), who is currently embroiled in a massive sex scandal, released a statement signed by “the women” of the office defending the congressman, but it does not list any names of the purported women.

RELATED: Lawmakers urge Gaetz to resign as new details of DOJ probe emerge

The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking laws and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, as The New York Times first reported last week. The congressman has repeatedly denied the allegations and has not been charged in the investigation.

“After the shocking allegations last week in the press, we, the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office, feel morally obligated to speak out,” read the statement, signed by “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz”.

RELATED: Report: Matt Gaetz investigation now involves a missing FBI agent last seen 14 years ago

“During Congressman Gaetz’s time in office, we have been behind the scenes every step of the way,” it continued. “We have staffed his meetings. We have planned his events. We have traveled with him. And we have tracked his schedule. On every occasion he has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false.”

In Gaetz’s office, the statement also said, “women are not only respected, but have been encouraged time and time again to grow, achieve more, and ultimately, know our value.”

“Congressman Gaetz will continue to lead by example and stand for the people of America who have been maligned by the liberal elite. And we will stand with him,” the statement said at its conclusion. “While we recognize the scrutiny we will face for making this decision, we take comfort in the hope that more Americans and elected officials will stand up and refuse to remain silent.”

According to Insider, Gaetz’s office told the news outlet that his whole staff backed the statement, including “all 8 women staffers.”

Last week’s revelation from The Times has also spurred more allegations against the Florida Republican, such as a CNN report which cites multiple sources claiming that Gaetz would brag about his sexual exploits to fellow lawmakers and show off to them, even on the House floor, pictures and videos of nude women he had slept with. There is no indication, however, that the behavior from this report is connected in any way to the investigation.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Health Industry Distributors’ Association: Supply Chain Delays ‘A Healthcare Issue’

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The Health Industry Distributors’ Association (HIDA) released harrowing data stating “Transportation Delays Are A Healthcare Issue.” HIDA’s December release states, “research estimates that approximately 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies are delayed an average of up to 37 days throughout the transportation system.”

The statement continues, “The West Coast port with the greatest number of delayed medical containers are the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The most congested East Coast port is the Port of Savannah.”

An infographic is accompanied with the statement which breaks down the crisis further. 17 is the average number of days the shipments are delayed at the Port. There’s an 11 day average delay by rail, and a 9 day average delay by truck.

In those shipping containers, the infographic states 187,000 gowns, 360,000 syringes and 3.5 million surgical gloves are held. The ports with the most medical delayed supplies are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Savannah, New York/New Jersey, Charleston, Seattle, Oakland, Boston, Baltimore and Houston.

Axios reports under a “Why it matters” headline, that “Per their projections, medical supplies arriving at a U.S. port on Christmas Day won’t be delivered to hospitals and other care settings until February 2022.”

As a result, “that could delay critical supplies at a time when health care is already expected to most need them due to surges from Delta and Omicron.”

Additionally, “The supply chain problems can compound, starting with medical supplies languishing in U.S. ports for an average of 17 days, officials said.”

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