As States Bid Against Each Other For Equipment, Democrats Push For Federal Distribution System
Lawmakers want to give FEMA the responsibility of purchasing the equipment and then distributing it to the states, rather than having the onus be placed on the governors -- who then have to fight each other for the needed devices and protective gear. Other preparedness news focuses on ventilators, PPE and ethical guidelines during shortages.
Democrats Push For Federal Control During Medical Supply Shortage
A pair of Democrats are mounting an aggressive push for the federal government to take over buying and distributing much-needed medical supplies, as states continue to battle one another for precious equipment to fight the coronavirus. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) is leading the effort with a bill that would give the Federal Emergency Management Agency control over supplying medical equipment to states — from ventilators and X-ray machines to masks and gloves — during this and future pandemics. (Caygle, 5/1)
Murphy, After Meeting With Trump, Says New Jersey Will Get PPE, Test Kits From Feds
Hours after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that New Jersey will receive hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment and coronavirus test kits from the federal government. The Trump administration will ship PPE — which New Jersey has struggled to procure — to 358 nursing homes in the state, Murphy said, including 220,000 masks, 19,000 goggles, 200,000 gowns and 1 million pairs of gloves. The virus has struck particularly hard in the state’s nursing homes. (Maldonado, 4/30)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Coronavirus: UCSF Students Set Up Protective Equipment Donation Sites At Bay Area Pharmacies
Students at the UCSF School of Pharmacy collected hundreds of donated personal protective equipment in recent weeks for hospitals in need of supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic, but organizers later realized the effort took unnecessary risks. The good deed required students to stand in public places for several hours collecting items, which put them and others at risk of contracting the virus. It also limited the hours in which people could drop off the personal protective equipment, or PPE. (Sanchez, 4/30)
Coronavirus In Oklahoma: PPE Middleman Didn't Deliver, Still Got "Finder's Fee"
The state Health Department paid a $56,000 "finder's fee" last week to a middleman for 2.8 million gloves even though he was unable to secure delivery himself as promised, according to information obtained by The Oklahoman. The governor's PPE "czar," Gino DeMarco, ordered the payment — 2 cents a glove — to Torque Capital LLC, an Oklahoma City-based company that has been in existence less than a year. (Clay, 5/1)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California To Rework Coronavirus Ethics Guidelines Deemed ‘Terrifying’
California’s public health officials will rework ethical guidelines for hospitals issued in April after groups representing thousands of seniors and people with disabilities across the country protested that younger, healthier people would get preferential access to lifesaving care in a worst-case coronavirus surge. More than 60 senior and disability rights organizations sent two letters last week to Gov. Gavin Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, arguing that the April 19 guidelines would discriminate against the elderly and disabled if resources ran low. (Moench, 4/30)