The war for life: how the States fight each other for means of protection against coronavirus

How the search for life-saving medical equipment needed to fight the pandemic coronavirus, confronts the state with a staff, tells USA Today.

Война за жизнь: как штаты США сражаются друг с другом за средства защиты от коронавируса

Photo: Shutterstock

Governors across the U.S. are desperately fighting over masks and other protective equipment, in which doctors and nurses are in dire need in opposition to coronavirus infection has already killed more than 1,500 and has infected more than 105,000 people in the US (according to noon ET March 28), and the end it is not visible yet.

Precious supplies that they so desperately seek, will be sold out before the States can get them, or are exorbitant amounts when they can be found.

The Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear recently stated that in his state there was a queue on some protective equipment, but the Federal emergency management Agency “comes in and buys it all we have.”

“I’m willing to pay as necessary to protect the inhabitants of Kentucky to the maximum extent possible”, — he said.

The problem is that everyone else is willing to do the same.

Illinois Governor George. B. Pritzker called the struggle for personal protective equipment, or PPE, “Wild West”, forcing his staff to pay more for equipment that it can provide.

And the Governor of new York Andrew Cuomo told reporters that “we are ruining other States” because they are all fighting for fresh equipment and means of protection.

“I will contract with 1000 masks, said Cuomo. “They’ll call you back in 20 minutes and say: “the Price just went up” because they had the best offer.”

At a press conference in the White house by Vice-President Mike Pence said that the trump investigating reports that some States are unable to purchase equipment in the private market because the Federal government is buying up the supply.

“We want to cooperate with each Governor and make sure the left hand knows what your right hand is doing from the point of view of obtaining resources,” said Pence.

Although the administration wants to make sure FEMA will be able to buy more equipment, “as we work with the supply chain, we want to have full coordination with the United States,” said Pence.

The demand for PPE has increased dramatically with the advent of the pandemic coronavirus. Production and shipments from China, the world’s largest manufacturer, was interrupted, while the country struggled to contain COVID-19.

“It’s kind of the worst combination of events, said Tom Derry, CEO of the Arizona Institute for supply management, a non-profit professional organization. — It will be a race against time to see if we can protect our health workers. We’re all just scrambling and trying to react.”

Health workers need personal protective equipment, known as PPE, such as masks, gloves, gowns and protective facial masks to protect themselves from the virus when treating growing patients.

Excellent face protection — in particular, the respirator N-95 — occupies an important place in the priority lists of States and hospitals. As devices of artificial ventilation of lungs (IVL), which are required for many patients with COVID-19 because they have problems breathing.

But due to the fact that places such as China and Italy, primarily suffered from a coronavirus, the States are now booking these funds find themselves at the end of the list of queries that other countries have already made in respect of the same goods.

When States turn to American producers, the practical constraints make it difficult to re-equipment of enterprises producing different products.

“After two or three months we’ll be back to normal, but the crisis now,” said Derry.

The end result is a highly competitive market of personal protective equipment, which States, the Federal government and foreign countries are in a mad competition for resources.

Not only is Illinois versus new York or Kentucky against FEMA.

This is Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana against the world.

People’s lives depends on how much equipment can purchase these States, as COVID-19 continues to spread.

A trade war over protection

How the States are trying to find and purchase the PPE, it is not entirely clear. The governors of the States of the Midwest openly about their struggle to ensure greater safety for residents.

Pritzker said that the government of Illinois is working with manufacturers in the state in addition to fighting on the market to buy media. His office recently announced that the state has contracts for the purchase of materials, which include 2.5 million respirators N-95, 1 million surgical masks and gloves 11 000.

“My administration continues to work day and night to scour the entire globe,” said Pritzker.

Pritzker also welcomes donations of personal protective equipment from tattoo parlors and other places.

The Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb stressed that companies across the state aktiviziruyutsya during a pandemic. His office says that vehicle manufacturers and auto parts switch of the line to help to make plastic shields, masks and other tools.

Responding to a question about competition between States, a spokesman Holcomb Rachel Hoffmeyer said, “Indiana is exploring several options for the production of our own PPE to reduce dependence on the market.”

President Donald trump said that he will use his powers in accordance with the Law on defence production to demand from General Motors acceptance Federal contracts on a ventilator, and GM said they plan to start work on the launch of one of its factories for this purpose.

Beshear said that the state government of Kentucky is looking for supplies everywhere and buys everything like never before.

“We need to invest dollars in escrow that you have a product, he said at a press conference. — Then we need to make sure that it meets the specifications as available, and sometimes we make the order, and they call back and say that he was unavailable.”

And many companies are trying to help, for example, re-equipping its operations in the manufacture of medical equipment.

The stock of the Federal government under a barrage of criticism

The authorities of some States also say that they have not received the necessary from the national Strategic reserve of the Federal government, which is intended to provide drugs in emergency situations such as this.

Officials from Illinois, Kentucky, new Jersey, Rhode island and other States said that they had received only a fraction of funds requested from reserves. The Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer warned that equipment had been received by the state from the stock and by our own efforts, will be insufficient for the current crisis.

“If the Federal government really began to concentrate, when it became clear that the whole world will be faced with this, we would now be in a stronger position,’ said Whitmer. — Lives are lost, because we were not ready”.

Commissioner for health, Indiana Christine Boxing said that recently, Indiana received a second share of supplies from the national reserves and plans to distribute it to hospitals with the greatest need.

The Ohio Director of health Amy Acton said that the state received the equipment from national reserves, but “this is a cargo box instead of trucks”.

The administrator of FEMA, said that the Federal government is ready to “go to zero”, with reserves to meet demand for supplies.

“Grey market” for medical equipment

“Because of the high demand of the Agency in search of equipment can go on the “grey market,” said Mike Alkir, President of Premier, procurement, on which hospitals and medical clinics rely to meet the supply needs.

Grey markets include goods sold outside of the approved manufacturer of the channels. But such purchases are fraught with fraud.

Alkira company works with its clients (not state governments) to provide what they need during a pandemic, but she is also exploring all possibilities in hopes of finding more equipment until you start working the supply chain.

“You get hundreds of calls a day, maybe 200 calls and emails from people who have masks and stuff, he said. And 99% of them are false… It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day”. It every day.”

According to Mike Schiller, senior Director of supply chain at Association for the management of resources and materials healthcare supply chain will not dry out. Proof he called the fact that production in China is recovering, but U.S. manufacturers are beginning to retool their production facilities for medical equipment.

But it will be hard and long.

As for spike, Schiller said that hospitals, the States and the Federal government attract suppliers who have the PPE, but normally do not sell their hospitals.

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