The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said urgently needed medical supplies like masks are being shipped to hospitals from the national stockpile.
“They’re shipping today, they shipped yesterday, they’ll ship tomorrow,” administrator Peter Gaynor said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, two days after the agency issued a Major Disaster Declaration for New York.
Host Martha Raddatz pressed for details, as health-care experts and officials warned of rapidly dwindling supplies, but Gaynor said he couldn’t give specific numbers.
“I mean, it is hundreds of thousands of millions of things that we’re shipping from the stockpile. I can’t give you the details about what every single state or what every single city is doing,” Gaynor said.
“But I’m telling you that we are shipping from our national stockpile, we’re shipping from vendors, we’re shipping from donations. It is happening. The demand is great.”
Raddatz asked if hospitals would receive supplies of masks before they run out.
“We are shipping. All those supplies, to all the demands, all the asks, all the governance, every day, we are — we’re prepared to go to zero in the stockpile to meet demand,” he said, adding that he was “well aware” of demand.
“My focus is today,” Gaynor said. “Filling all the demands that have been an issue, filling the demands that we get today, tomorrow, and through the next month, to make sure that we find — connect the supply with the demand, and meet that need.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union, Gaynor advised hospitals, cities and states that are in dire need of medical supplies that “if you find it on the market, go ahead and buy it.”
But Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that he has to compete with other states for medical supplies, mentioning Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.
“It’s a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we’re] overpaying for PPE because of that competition,” Pritzker said on CNN, referring to personal protection equipment needed by healthcare workers treating patients of the virus.
The Democrat said there “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government” to have medical supplies made by American companies.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were more than 32,000 coronavirus cases in the US, with nearly 400 deaths.
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