The novel coronavirus continues to rapidly spread throughout countries and communities around the world. As patients with the disease begin to fill healthcare facilities, the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for physicians and healthcare workers is being spread thin.
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned CNN’s John Berman that the state is a mere week away from running out of essential equipment for medical personnel to use to fight COVID-19.
“In our public hospitals, our 11 public hospitals right now, this week, I can only guarantee you right now, John, that we can get through this week with the equipment and supplies we have. That's the blunt reality,” he said. “If we don't get some relief quickly, and I can count, John, I literally want to see hundreds of ventilators, I want to see first hundreds of thousands and millions of masks, if that doesn't come in starting this week, we will get to a point where people can't be saved who could have been saved.”
“It's shocking to have to say this. Even just a few days ago, I thought we could get safely into April. It's moving so fast right now, that I can't even say that anymore,” de Blasio continued.
With over 38,000 confirmed cases of the disease, the state of New York has quickly become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Healthcare officials have reported extreme shortages of resources, causing some to even have to reuse masks and necessary equipment.
NY has a critical need for PPE including gloves, gowns & masks— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2020
We need companies to be creative to supply the crucial gear our healthcare workers need. NY will pay a premium and offer funding.
Need Funding? 212-803-3100
Have Unused Supplies? 646-522-8477
“There are shortages of a wide variety of personal protective equipment, particularly N95 masks and gloves and gowns,” said Nancy Foster, vice president with the American Hospital Association. The AHA is responsible for representing over 5,000 health systems and hospitals across the country.
Governments and businesses worldwide have been calling for sharp increases in personal protective equipment production. In response to the shortage, President Trump invoked the Defense Protection Act on March 18, allowing the U.S. military to begin manufacturing PPE, such as masks, gowns and gloves.
Last week, the government of Australia issued a formal request for any company able to begin manufacturing PPE to come forward. So far, at least 130 companies have responded to the call.
Companies in the United States have also been stepping up to provide crucial support. On Monday, rolling paper company Empire Rolling announced in an Instagram post that it would shift production to “make masks and PPE for hospitals, clinics and government.”
View this post on Instagram
ATTN: We are operating at a smaller scale to focus on PPE production. If you have any private enterprise or government contacts or can share this post that would be helpful. Stay safe, wash hands, practice social distancing and self quarantine. We can get through this together. Play your part.
“After hearing what was going on we have been working overtime to transition our operations to facilitate helping to provide affordable PPE for the heroes who are on the front line saving lives. It is imperative for anyone who can help to help in this global crisis,” Kyle Hall, Managing Partner of Empire Rolling Papers, told TheWeedTube’s RJ Balde via instant message.
Hall is urging people to pass the information along to those in healthcare so that Empire Rolling can get into contact with them.
“For any hospitals, distributors of medical supplies or governments please reach out to [email protected],” said Hall.