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Friday, March 5th, 2021

Rep. Katko introduces bill to address shortage of personal protective equipment

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U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY) introduced a bill Wednesday to address the shortage of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies.

The Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act would require the president to use the authority invoked under the Defense Production Act to produce no less than 200,000 medical ventilators, 500 million N-95 respirators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of gloves, 20 million surgical gowns, and any other medical material necessary to protect frontline providers.

The supplies would be distributed to states based on the number of COVID-19 cases and individuals at high risk of serious illness.

“Our number one priority has to be addressing the shortages in medical supplies that hospitals and medical facilities in Central New York and across our state currently face. Without sufficient testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilators, we handcuff the response effort and leave frontline providers vulnerable to infection,” Katko said. “While the Administration took an important first step by acting on my request and formally implementing the Defense Production Act to increase access to testing kits, far more must be done to provide our hospitals with the resources they need.”

Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) also sponsored the bill.

Last week, Reps. Katko and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) urged the Trump Administration to coordinate with manufacturers to address these shortages in Central New York. Katko also introduced the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, furthering efforts to increase access to essential medical supplies.