US still has 'a ways to go' to have enough PPE, FEMA chief says

Peter Gaynor, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Congress this week that the U.S. still has "a ways to go" to have enough personal protective equipment for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19, The Hill reported. 

Mr. Gaynor said the U.S. is in a better place than it was 60 days ago when it comes to PPE and that many states are now reporting that they have stockpiles of equipment that could last 60 to 90 days. 

But, he said, "We have a ways to go on making sure we have enough PPE. This is not as simple as just throwing a light switch and we just magically make more."

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said lawmakers still hearing about shortages of PPE from hospitals in their districts, The Hill reported. 

Mr. Gaynor said hospitals should work with state emergency response officials and FEMA to obtain more PPE if they are unable to get it from their normal suppliers. 

He also said the U.S. must start making more of its own PPE so it won't be "at the whim of our global competitors."

"We still have many months to go before we start making enough in the US to supply the demand, and as cases grow in the Sun Belt, the demand goes up," he said. 

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