|Posted:||December 16, 2020 10:36 AM|
|From:||Senator Maria Collett|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Ensuring Adequate Pennsylvania PPE Stockpiles|
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would ensure Pennsylvania has adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpiles available to address health care needs during public health emergencies, such as those caused by COVID-19.
During the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government PPE supply chain had challenges meeting large and unexpected increase demand. As the crisis continued, states found themselves to be bidding against each other and the federal government to buy PPE. Due to the overwhelming demand for PPE, states have been hampered in their ability to handle the virus, and supply costs have been driven up. Pennsylvania needs to produce its own PPE stockpile plan to ready our state and shore up our healthcare system’s needs before potential future pandemics.
Right now, the Federal Government is failing the states and Pennsylvania is forced to compete to acquire medical supplies. The shortage of vital materials, including masks and gowns, has forced healthcare workers to use PPE longer and more often than it was intended. Pennsylvania should make targeted investments to stockpile essential PPE so we are protecting our frontline healthcare workers and the patients who may be affected by any future pandemics.
The legislation would specifically provide for the following:
Pennsylvania was promised 5.2 million N95 masks by the federal government. However, only 445,000 have been delivered. The lack of federal support and preparation on this front has contributed to the loss of many American lives. As a state, Pennsylvania must stand at the ready in our emergency response preparedness and implement life-saving programs such as these before the next pandemic.
I encourage my colleagues to join me in creating PPE stockpiles for Pennsylvania.