Mass AG To White House: Develop Plan to Manufacture Protective Equipment For Healthcare Workers
The following is a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – Today, March 17, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, joined by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, called on the Trump Administration to immediately launch an initiative to rapidly shift existing domestic manufacturing capacity to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep health care workers safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter sent to President Trump today, the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, and California urged the federal government to mobilize the business community to implement these measures and address the shortage of PPE – including masks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves.
The attorneys general write that without this essential equipment, the doctors, nurses and others on the front lines risk infection and further spread of this highly contagious virus.
“The complete lack of leadership by the White House during this pandemic is unacceptable,” said Healey. “The Trump Administration must act immediately to accelerate the production of new masks and other protective gear and get it to those who are treating patients. This is about saving lives.”
Hospital officials across the country have indicated that they’re already facing a significant shortage of necessary protective medical gear. Some hospital officials in Massachusetts are instructing workers to begin reusing N95 respirator masks to conserve rapidly dwindling supplies.
AG Healey’s Office has spoken with hospital leaders across the state, from large academic medical centers to community hospitals, facing the same issue.
Some experts estimate that 12 billion masks will be needed to protect those on the front lines over the course of this epidemic.
However, the national supply is at only 30 million—and rapidly depleting as more and more patients present with COVID-19 each day.
The attorneys general argue that it’s unacceptable for states to be told that they are on their own to acquire this necessary and life-saving equipment.
Although efforts to allow masks produced for industrial purposes to be used by health care workers is a step in the right direction, it is woefully insufficient to address to the critical shortage that our hospitals face right now, the attorneys general write.
The attorneys general are calling on the federal government to address this urgent need in partnership with the states.