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FEMA vows to ‘exhaust all means’ to combat Covid-19

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THE Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledges that the national stockpile alone “could not fulfill all requirements” in the states, tribes and territories, but the U.S. government “will exhaust all means to combat Covid-19 pandemic.”


FEMA, in a statement to Variety, said the federal government will identify and attain medical and other supplies needed to combat the virus. “FEMA and our interagency partners are working to meet demands for supplies through new acquisition, [Department of Defense] allocation or Strategic National Stockpile sources,” FEMA said.
On Saturday afternoon, a U.S. Air Force C-17 delivered to Saipan a 50-bed Federal Medical Station from the Strategic National Stockpile and medical supplies sent for the benefit of the CNMI’s medical care providers.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez were at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport to thank the representatives of the DoD, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services.
“What they sent will come a long way,” the governor said.
FEMA said as of April 2, the Strategic National Stockpile had delivered or was shipping personal protective equipment or PPE and supplies to support public health authorities across the U.S. and its territories. These include 11.6 million N-95 respirators, 26 million surgical masks, 5.2 million face shields, 4.3 million surgical gowns, 22 million gloves, 132,000 coveralls and 8,100 ventilators.
Additionally, FEMA said it is expediting movement of critical supplies from the global market to medical distributors in various locations across the U.S. FEMA said it coordinated an air bridge for flights from Asia beginning on March 29 that delivered 80 tons of much needed PPE supplies to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
FEMA said similar flights landed in Chicago on March 30, in Miami on March 31, and in Los Angeles on April 1. Additional flights landed in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio early Saturday morning, FEMA stated, adding that there will be more such flights daily.
Each flight, FEMA said, will deliver critical personal protective equipment, to include gloves, gowns, goggles, and masks in varying quantities. “Upon arrival, the PPE will be provided, in varying quantities, first to medical distributors in areas of greatest need; then, the remainder will be infused into the broader U.S. supply chain. Prioritization will be given to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and nursing homes around the country,” FEMA added.
In addition, FEMA said under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act, $27 billion was allocated for the development of vaccines and other response efforts, including $16 billion to build up the Strategic National Stockpile with critical supplies, including masks, respirators, and pharmaceutics. “This amount is on top of the additional funding the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services received and executed over the last several weeks. We remain committed to helping ensure key medical supplies expeditiously arrive at the front lines for our healthcare workers,” FEMA stated.

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