Dr. Amy Acton stands at the podium flanked by Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted
Dr. Amy Acton [Andy Chow | Statehouse News Bureau]

Ohio Gets Medical Supplies from Feds, but Says They Won’t be Enough

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Ohio has gotten all that it’s likely to get from the National Strategic Stockpile of medical supplies – a plane dropped off gowns, gloves, coveralls, face shields, surgical masks and N-95 masks in Columbus Tuesday. But the state says it’s not enough for now or through the surge of COVID-19 patients that is expected in the near future.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said after the shipment arrived that it “will not meet the immediate or future needs” of the state’s health care providers and first responders, and that it reinforces the need to conserve that equipment.

The shipment that arrived Tuesday included:

  • 107,670 gowns
  • 552 coveralls
  • 493,575 gloves
  • 131,808 face shields
  • 672,100 surgical masks
  • 271,450 N-95 masks

A few hours later at the daily coronavirus briefing, Acton said there needs to be a better way to allocate the National Strategic Stockpile and also to build up more supplies.

“This is a nightmare for all concerned. This isn’t a blame thing, but we have to lean into some solutions that are more wide and scaled,” Acton said.

And Acton said there are hotspots now – such as New York City – but within two weeks other hotspots will develop simultaneously in Ohio and across the country. So she said now’s the time to come up with a logical way to distribute resources.

“Nobody wants to be sitting there with an idle ventilator while in another neighboring state, they need it that day. But unfortunately the way this pandemic is happening across our entire country, we need to think about the distribution of these resources in a very thoughtful way,” Acton said.

After the shipment was delivered Tuesday, a statement from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign called it a “promise kept” and that Trump is “mobilizing the full force of the federal government to get health care workers the supplies they need”.

Acton noted the Defense Production Act could be used to manufacture needed equipment. But so far Trump has not used the law to force companies to produce things such as ventilators.