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Coronavirus: Where’s The Personal Protective Equipment?

Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) volunteer Bircie Wilson (R) hands out blankets as people arrive at a temporary homeless shelter set up in a parking lot at Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) volunteer Bircie Wilson (R) hands out blankets as people arrive at a temporary homeless shelter set up in a parking lot at Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

One of the most critical challenges facing leaders responding to the coronavirus pandemic is getting and distributing enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers. These items include goggles, respirators, face masks, hair covers, gloves and more.

Despite the coordinated efforts of governments and companies in the United States, PPE is in short supply. President Donald Trump has promised that help is on the way in the form of aid from the strategic reserve. He’s also said that companies will contribute equipment or begin manufacturing it.

Americans, however, aren’t just waiting around for those in charge to do something. A shortage of face masks has created a wave of citizen-led donation efforts. Massachusetts has asked that businesses or individuals with stores of items considered PPE donate them so they can be distributed to professionals in need.

What are nurses and doctors on the front lines experiencing? Why doesn’t America have more personal protective equipment on hand? How can we get enough for those who need it most?

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