How the pandemic has changed the Strategic National Stockpile

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only boosted the amount of supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile, but has changed the way it functions, KMGH, an ABC affiliate in Denver, reported April 8. 

"A big part of what we're seeing right now is a shift away from just, 'let's put more things in the stockpile' to 'let's really reimagine all of the ways in which we can use the stockpile partnership's strategic interventions and investments to make product available or have the flexibility to produce a product on the fly,'"  Nicolette Louissant, executive director and president of Healthcare Ready, a nonprofit that works on supply chain preparedness, told KMGH

The stockpile has transformed into a network of supply chains and now has connections with manufacturers such as 3M, CVS and GE, KMGH reported. In the future, it could help the U.S. respond to pandemics, terrorist attacks, natural disasters or biochemical warfare. 

The amount of supplies in the stockpile has also increased significantly since the start of the pandemic, KMGH reported. HHS numbers shared with Newsy show that the stockpile now has 25 times more N95 masks and nine times more ventilators than it had at the start of the pandemic. The number of surgical masks has increased from 31 million in January 2020 to more than 270 million as of April 2, according to KMGH, and the number of gloves has increased from 17 million to 275 million. 

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