Trump and Mike Pence have both posed for cameras at businesses that manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), but we never actually corrected our critical supply shortages here in the United States. The coronavirus abated for a short period of time following a semi-national lockdown and that may have made it appear that we plugged our holes.
Now, the virus is bigger than ever and the Trump regime's failure and refusal to establish a federally-controlled supply chain is hitting Trump country.
Hospitals from Arizona to Texas and Florida are telling their staff to use the same equipment for weeks at a time.
Doctors at Memorial City Medical Center in Houston who treat Covid-19 patients have been told to reuse single-use N95 respirator masks for up to 15 days before throwing them out. The country’s largest organization of registered nurses found in a survey of its members in late June that 85 percent had been forced to reuse disposable N95 masks while treating coronavirus patients. In Florida, some hospitals are handing out only loosefitting surgical masks to workers treating newly admitted patients who may be asymptomatic carriers. [...]
Many of the problems of early spring, when hospital workers in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California and other states first walloped by the virus scrambled to obtain rudimentary protective gear, have only grown. The United States remains dependent on overseas manufacturers and fly-by-night middlemen who have jacked up prices sevenfold amid soaring global demand, according to supply chain specialists and public health experts, who warn that the problem will intensify as the pandemic spreads. The handful of American companies still making protective equipment domestically say they are already at maximum capacity.
The United States set yet another new record of over 62,000 infections in the last day so we can say with some authority that any shortages we're seeing today are only going to get worse in the coming weeks. Infections transmitted today will lead to new hospitalizations within a week or two.
I wonder if the significant amount of lag between new infections, hospitalizations, and eventual deaths (which can occur a month or more later) is what conveys a false sense of safety or normalcy to Americans who don't believe in something until after it's too late.
In any case, supply shortages showing up in red states may finally convince the Trump regime to do something about it, but I would still bet against it. The virus is fake news, right? Trump says it's "going away." Taking it seriously enough to exert control over critical supplies would shatter too many of their talking points.
The death toll of health care workers who can't get proper equipment will be far greater than zero. It already is.