According to the republican President Donald J. Trump, the US states leaders are still on their own when it comes to how they plan to restock their inventory of critical life saving equipment during this US coronavirus COV-19 pandemic. This includes PPE personal protective equipment for our front-line medical support personnel like N95 masks, gowns, as well as ventilators and other breathing apparatus for those who’ve succumbed to the COV-19 infection.
While President Trump has announced that he’s invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act which allows him to trigger/ expand production of critically needed materials for national security purposes like ventilators/ respirators/ N95 masks from companies, he has yet to confirm that he’s doing this. Instead, he keeps prevaricating with words along the lines of that he’s waiting for when events become serious enough and that he’s not a shipping clerk.
And this response is at a time when he could be putting lots of unemployed workers back to work making critical supplies.
This has left hospital centers like Deaconness in Evansville, IN asking locals to sew surgical masks as per FDA specifications.
US state governors have confronted President Trump, asking for an explanation as to why they’ve been frequently losing out to the federal government on purchases of critical supplies?
I’d like an answer as well. What is the White House up to in not being forthcoming with specific data as to what’s being done by the US government to purchase items like N95 masks and ventilators?
Here’s the rest of the story…
As per 3/18/2020, Thomas B. Langhorne of Evansville Courier & Press penned the following report, “Coronavirus: Deaconess asks public to sew CDC-compliant face masks for staff”
“Citing shortages, Deaconess Health System, including Henderson’s Methodist Health, has asked the public to sew face masks for staff fighting coronavirus.”
“This does follow CDC protocols that you can find on their website that if all other supplies are not available, that handmade masks that meet certain criteria are acceptable,” Deaconess spokeswoman Becca Scott said.”
“Deaconess has “a sample video” about how to make the masks, which Scott said will be sterilized when they come in. (See link below.)”
“Shortages of specialized masks moved federal health officials this month to liberalize their recommendations about which face protection front line health-care workers should use to ward off the highly contagious disease stemming from coronavirus.”
“Prior to modern disposable masks, washable fabric masks were standard use for hospitals,” said Dawn Rogers, MSN, RN, FNP-C, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention Office in a release to media. “We will be able to sterilize these masks and use them repeatedly as needed. While it’s less than ideal, we want to do our best to protect our staff and patients during this pandemic.”
“In their instructions, the hospital asked:”
- “Use tightly-woven cotton fabric.”
- “Please remember that both women and men in a variety of roles may wear these masks.”
- “When your masks are complete, please call 812-450-8673 to arrange delivery. (You will be met in a facility parking lot at a pre-arranged time.)”
- “Collected masks will be immediately sent to laundry/processing to be prepared for use.”
- “Any surplus masks will be distributed to other organizations in need.”
The Hill @thehill
As per 3/19/2020 Bloomberg report by Jordan Fabian, “Trump Told Governors to Buy Own Virus Supplies, Then Outbid Them”
“President Donald Trump’s directive for governors to buy their own medical supplies to fight the coronavirus has run into a big problem — the federal government.”
“Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told Trump during a video conference on Thursday that his state three times lost out to the federal government on purchases of critical supplies, creating an awkward moment during the made-for-TV event at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.
“I’ve got a feeling that if someone has the chance to sell to you and to sell to me, I am going to lose on every one of those,” a sheepish-sounding Baker told Trump, who chuckled at the remark.
“The president replied he still wants governors to seek out their own medical equipment, like protective gear for doctors and nurses as well as respirators, but acknowledged the federal government has greater buying power than any state.”
“Prices are always a component of that also. And maybe that’s why you lost to the feds, OK, that’s probably why,” Trump said.
“When New Mexico’s governor raised similar concerns later in the call, Trump said he would ask FEMA to ensure there were no conflicts with purchases in the future.”
(On 3/19/2020) “Trump repeated his belief that the onus should be on the states — and not the federal government — to obtain needed equipment to combat the pandemic.”
Update on 3/20/2020 as per CNN’s Jake Tapper Retweet: