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Health groups call on U.S. Senate to protect emergency workers
July 2nd, 2020
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Dear Senator McConnell,
The struggles we face with the novel coronavirus are far from over. Glaring holes remain in the medical supply chain and testing infrastructure. Yet, the Trump Administration is scaling back its work to address the pandemic.
Centralized, federal leadership is necessary for the efficient purchase and transparent distribution of medical equipment, including personal protective equipment and testing resources.
State governments depend on the federal government for aid and assistance during times of national emergency. Just as importantly, without central coordination, states are being forced to compete against each other for critical supplies, which has led to skyrocketing prices and increased risk for health care workers and the public.
According to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll, in early May, two-thirds of health care workers cited an insufficient supply of respirators, which are masks that filter out most airborne particles. And according to a new analysis published in the Lancet--one of the world's most prestigious medical journals -- those respirators offer far more protection for health care workers than a normal surgical mask.
This is all set against the backdrop of a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases as states reopen across the country.
Therefore, we strongly urge you to support including the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act in the next Senate coronavirus stimulus package, as the House recently did. The bill would:
Create a central coordinator position to oversee federal purchasing and distribution of medical supplies. This person would have the full authority to utilize the Defense Production Act in order to compel companies to produce necessary medical equipment.
Establish transparency and accountability in handling of the medical supply chain including:
Public, weekly reports of current stockpiles of supplies and projected needs.
Publicly posting states’ requests for medical equipment and locations where supplies are distributed.
These measures are crucial to ensuring a steady, reliable supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. As the United States of America, we need to be united in protecting health care workers so that they can protect everyone.
Thank you for your consideration.
Public Health Campaigns Director, U.S. PIRG
Val Griffeth, MD, PhD
Co-Founder, Get Us PPE
Justin Lowenthal, MD-PhD Candidate
Doctors for America
*The following groups endorse including the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act in the next coronavirus stimulus package.
Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA)
Washington University Physicians
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
Kentucky Public Health Association
Pennsylvania Public Health Association
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Illinois Public Health Association
North Carolina Public Health Association
Missouri College of Emergency Physicians
Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
SEIU Healthcare Illinois
UFCW Local 7
Denver Health United Workers
Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers
Partnership for Better Health
Sheep Inc Health Care Center/NAFC/ FCAP
Philadelphia Black Women's Health Alliance
Consumer Health Coalition
Maternity Care Coalition
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Maine Radiologic Society
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
The Maine Society For Respiratory Care (MeSRC)
Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians
Health Care For All Massachusetts
IL Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Respiratory Health Association
AIDS Foundation Chicago
MSU UHP Dental Services
Montana Medical Student Association
Master's of Public Health Graduate Student Association
CU Anschutz Women's Health Interest Group
Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group
Sports Medicine Interest Group (CU Anschutz SOM)
University of Colorado Oncology Group
University of Colorado School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)
American Medical Women's Association RVU
The University of Colorado School of Medicine SNMA chapter
The American Medical Women's Association
American Medical Women’s Association at Colorado State University
AMWA CU Boulder
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
School Nurses Organization of Arizona
San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
Healthy Days Pediatrics
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