The federal government ‘s supply of much – needed personal protective equipment is running out when the coronavirus outbreak continues to increase in the United States.
About 90 percent of the equipment – N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves – in the National Strategic Stockpile has been sent to countries that are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents released by the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
The remaining 10 percent of equipment will be stored for federal response work, said a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Even with tapped resources, the state only receives a small amount of equipment that according to local health officials is needed.
The federal government has sent 7,920 ventilators – including 2,000 to New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 earthquake in the country – and 11.7 million other respirator masks.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has requested 30,000 ventilators in New York, for example, while federal officials estimate that 3.5 billion masks will be needed to fight a pandemic.
“Now that the national inventory has been drained from critical equipment, it appears that the Administration is leaving the country to look after themselves, to explore the open market for this scarce supply, and to compete with one another and federal agents in chaos, free of cost. for all bidding wars, “Rep. said. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), chair of the committee, in a statement.
President Trump told a news conference on Monday that his administration still had around 9,000 ventilators, but most of them inherited stockpiles with “empty cabinets.”
“We are taking over the inventory where the cabinet is open and where the testing system is broken and old. And we tidied it up, “he said.
With the outbreak expected to peak, Admiraal Brett Giroir, a medical doctor and member of the White House coronavirus task force, assured that “everyone who needs a ventilator will get a ventilator” at the briefing.
“Now you see … out of the right American spirit that when a country like Washington or California does not need that ventilator, they do the right thing by moving them all over the country,” Giroir said.
Meanwhile, the federal government is moving to replenish its inventory.
HHS made the first mass order of the N95 mask on March 12, followed by a larger order on March 21 – but shipments will not reach national inventory until the end of April, according to federal contract records.
When supplies were running low, Trump began pressuring private industry to increase production of much-needed supplies under the Korean War-era Defense Production Law.
“With contracts ranked below DPA, HHS is helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are diverted through the National National Stockpile to where they need the most,” and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
With Post cable
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]