Amid coronavirus response, HHS email system crashed

Outage reportedly lasted much of the day

The Department of Health and Human Services' email system crashed on a Sunday in February as officials scrambled to pull a novel coronavirus funding package together.

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U.S. citizens and lawmakers have been pushing the Trump administration to send out COVID-19 test kits to the public as soon as possible, but in the middle of trying to determine how much funds will be spent and on what, the HHS email outage on Feb. 23 stretched on for much of the day, Politico reports.

HHS did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar demonstrates how to greet others with an elbow as he speaks during a television interview outside the White House Monday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The crash was the result of a massive email test conducted by the HHS team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who did not alert HHS leaders or the department’s chief information officer before starting the test, according to Politico.

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The test deployed thousands of test emails through the system as health officials were trying to coordinate a funding plan for COVID-19 response measures that have already been delayed.

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Shelves that held hand sanitizer and hand soap are mostly empty at a Target in Jersey City, N.J., March 3. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The department has been riddled by communication complications for the past 120 days, according to HHS Chief Information Officer Jose Arrieta.

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"A series of incidents over the past 120 days suggest basic communication and coordination between CMS and HHS is lacking, thereby jeopardizing HHS’ mission and undermining public trust," Arrieta wrote to HHS Secretary Alex Azar's deputy, Eric Hargan, Politico reported.

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