Maryland statehouse reporter Brian Witte detailed how states and hospital systems have had to compete for scarce protective gear and medical equipment. Witte revealed – with the help of statehouse colleagues around the country – a dog-eat-dog marketplace where states compete against each other, their own hospital systems, foreign countries and even the U.S. government. Would-be buyers would put down hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions – only to be stiffed when someone else swooped in and offered more. Governors and hospital administrators said they had no choice, with lives on the line and the federal government refusing to nationalize purchasing.