Scanlon Calls on White House to Ramp Up PPE Production
EAST LANSDOWNE, PA, April 1, 2020
EAST LANSDOWNE, PA — Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5) called on the White House to immediately launch a coordinated and comprehensive federal effort to address critical medical supply chain issues limiting the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter addressed to President Trump, Administrator Peter T. Gaynor, Secretary Alex Azar, Rear Admiral John P. Polowczyk, and Coordinator Peter Navarro, Congresswoman Scanlon advocated for the administration to utilize its full authority to produce PPE.
“In the past two weeks, my office has fielded hundreds of requests from hospitals, local agencies, and HCPs desperate for these critical medical supplies,” Congresswoman Scanlon wrote. “Many medical workers do not have access to the N95 masks needed to prevent infection, and many that do are being told to reuse single-use masks, often for days at a time, storing them in a paper bag at their workstations between patients.”
Congresswoman Scanlon also addressed the revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the reuse of masks. “This revision is based upon availability of equipment rather than international medical standards, which state clearly that reusing PPE puts healthcare workers at increased risk,” she wrote.
Congresswoman Scanlon also called on the administration to address price gouging and profiteering from suppliers of these necessary supplies.
“Health care systems in my district are reporting that masks, which usually cost $0.75, are now only being offered for $8.00–10.00 or more, if they can be found at all,” she wrote. “Unscrupulous sellers are offering counterfeit PPE that may expose users to infection and are taking payment for orders but failing to deliver.”
“Under these circumstances, the administration must use all resources at its disposal to produce and distribute essential medical supplies,” Congresswoman Scanlon furthered. “The administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been fatally slow and uncoordinated. The failure to heed the advice of medical experts, or implement the pandemic response procedures recommended by the National Security Council (NSC), has left our frontline medical providers dangerously under equipped to combat this pandemic. I urge you to take immediate steps to implement the suggestions outlined in this letter, and save American lives.”
A copy of the full letter is attached.