Mon
Mar 30 2020
06:29 am

Desperate for medical equipment, states encounter a beleaguered national stockpile

The federal cache has been overwhelmed by urgent requests for masks, respirators, goggles, gloves and gowns in the two months since the first U.S. case of covid-19 was confirmed. Many state officials say they do not understand the standards that determine how much they will receive.

Anecdotally, there are wide differences, and they do not appear to follow discernible political or geographic lines.

Democratic-leaning Massachusetts, which has had a serious outbreak in Boston, has received 17 percent of the protective gear it requested, according to state leaders.

Maine requested a half-million N95 specialized protective masks and received 25,558 — about 5 percent of what it sought.

The shipment delivered to Colorado — 49,000 N95 masks, 115,000 surgical masks and other supplies — would be “enough for only one full day of statewide operations,” Rep. Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo.) told the White House in a letter several days ago
...
Florida has been an exception in its dealings with the stockpile: The state submitted a request on March 11 for 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators, 82,000 face shields and 238,000 gloves, among other supplies — and received a shipment with everything three days later, according to figures from the state’s Division of Emergency Management. It received an identical shipment on March 23, according to the division, and is awaiting a third.
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California has received 358,381 N95 masks and about 1 million surgical masks and face shields, according to the governor’s office. The state is now scouting the global market. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has noted that California is in a better position because its size gives it purchasing leverage
...
As of mid-March, West Virginia had not reported a confirmed case, but it has one of the nation’s oldest populations. It received an initial shipment of slightly more than 1 percent of its request for 160,000 masks — 2,220 N95s.

FEMA is currently managing the stockpile of medical supplies, taken over from HHS (under the assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR)) who took it over from CDC.

....a statement from FEMA on Wednesday said, “The allocation process of PPE (personal protective equipment) to states is now focused on meeting future demand models where patient levels are expected to strain state and local medical conditions in coming weeks.” Asked which models FEMA is relying on, Litzow said Thursday, “future modeling is mostly based off of data from HHS and CDC that is continually updated as more information about this emerging disease becomes available.”

Joe328's picture

Distribution based on

Distribution based on population would be fair in my opinion. States like Kentucky that made closures early and reduced the spread should not suffer for acting responsibility. Kentucky's economy suffered early, but the reward was fewer cases. Other states and cities continued to squeeze the last dollar before making the decision to enact emergency orders. Ignorant decisions should not be rewarded by making intelligence suffer.

Moon's picture

Useful in many situations

Ignorant decisions should not be rewarded by making intelligence suffer.

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