The world is changing day by day.
On Wednesday, Trump invoked something called the Defense Production Act (DPA), which would basically force “American industry to manufacture medical supplies that are in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to the Hill, hospitals, health workers and emergency personnel may soon be out of important personal preventive equipment “like masks, gowns and gloves, that are crucial to keeping doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic safe.”
“There’s never been an instance like this where no matter what you have it’s not enough,” Trump said during a White House briefing with reporters, the Hill reports.
“If we need to use it, we’ll be using it at full speed ahead.”
Trump has already told state governors that if they have a plug on ventilators, or breathing machines to hit them up because the federal government is going to take too long getting them help.
Congressional Democrats pushed for Trump to invoke the DPA as their states and districts have been warning that the shortage of supplies is a real threat to aiding in treatment.
“This would ensure we have the materials we need at the ready, rather than wait for disruptions in the global supply chain to subside,” 57 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Trump last week, the Hill reports.
Supply chains are extremely strained due to tariffs on China, the main supplier of medical goods to the U.S.
While the Trump administration has recently taken some action to ease those tariffs, China and other countries are also blocking exports of those products as they seek to combat the pandemic within their borders.
Of top concern to health workers in the U.S. is the shortage of N95 respirators, which are viewed as more effective at blocking viruses than the looser-fitting surgical masks.
“The American Medical Association continues to hear from physicians across the country about short supplies and limited access to personal protective equipment (PPE), which is necessary to keep the health care workforce safe and to protect the health of patients,” Dr. James Madara, the CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, wrote in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence.
“Physicians are reaching out to their state and local health departments, but their supplies of [personal protective equipment] are also inadequate.”
But if Trump is pushing for American industry to make medical products, why are officials in several states noting that they haven’t received but a portion of the requested protective equipment? The federal government reportedly has a national stockpile of medical supplies, so what gives?
An HHS spokesperson told The Hill the role of the stockpile is to “fill the gap temporarily until states and localities working with the private sector can respond to the state and local needs.”
Well, it would seem like that time is now. We probably shouldn’t wait for states to run out to start shipping items. I mean, I’m no Jeff Bezos but I’m just saying.
As it stands, the rules for battling the Thanos of infectious disease is still yelling at a motherfucker from at least two sidewalks away (social distancing), washing your hands like you should’ve been before coronavirus and not touching your face, which might be the hardest thing for me to do since I’ve become accustomed to licking my pointer finger and my pinky and smoothing my eyebrows.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still recommending that people not attend gatherings of more than 10 people, which means all of the Wayans family can never go home at one time.
But, the Hill notes, the most vulnerable group is health workers who are on the “frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic” and therefore run a higher risk of contracting the disease.
Which means that they are facing a bigger problem if protective equipment isn’t replaced.
“We have that constant exposure, and we need to be protected,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, told the Hill.
“If we get sick, we won’t be able to take care of those who are sick.”