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States are burning through medical supplies and struggling to find more

Doctors at University Hospital of Brooklyn, New York, explain the dire need for ventilators in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 9:15 AM


After weeks of warning about frustrations and roadblocks to shoring up medical supplies, some state and city leaders are now warning they are dangerously close to running out as the number of coronavirus cases ramps up.

States that are struggling with increasing coronavirus cases are burning through their stock of personal protective equipment and struggling to acquire more after the federal government directed states to find their own after the Strategic National Stockpile has been nearly emptied.

The lack of protective equipment directly impacts the safety of frontline workers. Two of the largest health systems in Michigan's infection epicenter in the southeastern part of the state, Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System, said Tuesday more than 2,200 staff members combined have been affected by Covid-19.

Henry Ford's CEO Bob Riney called the procurement of supplies a "daily battle" on a call with reporters Monday, citing daily shortages of isolation gowns, intended to protect health care workers from the transfer of fluids, as an increasing concern.

"One day we're feeling okay about (N95) masks, and then two days later, we're worried that we may only have supply for a day or two more," he said.

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said state governments are competing for supplies, creating more problems for states that urgently need PPE.

"We are never going to solve this problem if states are continually forced to bid against each other and against the federal government," Kelly said "It is creating widespread confusion among all the state suppliers, and it is delaying every state's response effort, including Kansas ... it is also driving up the cost of PPE tremendously for every state."

The amount of supplies states and hospitals need is staggering.

In 10 days, Illinois used 1.5 million N95 masks, 25 million gloves, 4.4 million gowns and 700,000 surgical masks, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday.

Pritzker said that what his state was sent from the Strategic National Stockpile was a "mere fraction of what we asked for."

President Donald Trump pledged during Tuesday's coronavirus task force briefing the federal government would "protect" Americans if the states "fail."

"And the governor has been working hard, and we are working hard with the governors," Trump said. "There's been great coordination especially over the last little while. We've given them a lot of equipment, a lot of ventilators, but a lot of equipment of all types. And I will protect you if your governor fails, if you have a governor that's failing, we're going to protect you. But the governors are working well with us over the last period of time."

When asked about state governments competing with the federal government for supplies, Trump denied it was happening.

"We're getting great prices on equipment, and we're helping the states, and the governors are very thankful. Mike Pence had a call yesterday -- every governor was on the call. It was like a lovefest. They're very happy. I don't know if they tell that to the press. Some of them don't, some of them will never say good to the press, but they know we've done a great job."

Later on Tuesday night, Trump told Fox New, citing no proof, that states wouldn't need as many ventilators as originally thought.

"I think we're reaching a level where it's going to start coming down, where it's going to start sloping down," Trump said about the number of new coronavirus cases in the US. "The good thing is that the number of beds needed -- I think we were right about that. I was right. My group was right. They're not needing nearly as many beds as they thought. They're not needing as many ventilators as they thought."

The President added, "Everyone is in great shape from the standpoint of ventilators."

Earlier this week, Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear called on people in his state to donate PPE because of shortages.

"I know we still have more PPE out there, and we need it. This is a call to action, and you all have responded, but I know there's more," Beshear said during a news conference Monday. "Almost every lead we get is like going down a rabbit hole, or it is diverted by the federal government or to a different place."

Massachusetts is also facing severe shortages. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Nurses Association said the lack of PPE for frontline health care workers remains a "critical problem."

"Health care facilities continue to make dangerous decisions and recommendations on the distribution and use of PPE to staff, informed by the supply shortages not science," the association, which represents over 23,000 nurses and health professionals, wrote in the fifth letter they've sent to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The state is expecting a surge in coronavirus hospitalizations between April 10-20, according to recently announced projections by the state.

Even states that have the ability to lend out ventilators are struggling. Over the weekend, Oregon announced it had the necessary number of ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients, but indicated that the state was still struggling to make ends meet with critically needed PPE.

"Oregon still doesn't have everything we need to fight COVID-19 -- we need more personal protective equipment and testing----but we were able to respond to New York's call for ventilators. We continue to work to procure additional masks, gowns, face shields, and gloves for Oregon's health care workers," Charles Boyle, with Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown's office, told CNN.

Per the state's daily situation report, Oregon has received just 18% of surgical and N95 masks it requested to date, noting, "Projected patient influx to Oregon hospitals in the coming weeks if infection rates continue will cause significant surge and personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage throughout the region."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 609810

Reported Deaths: 7746
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1263481799
Ramsey53049910
Dakota47251475
Anoka43239465
Washington27676296
Stearns22670227
St. Louis18260319
Scott17701139
Wright16528153
Olmsted13517103
Sherburne1213096
Carver1074649
Clay829692
Rice8252111
Blue Earth770744
Crow Wing688599
Kandiyohi670085
Chisago627054
Otter Tail590687
Benton585398
Goodhue485674
Douglas478481
Mower477633
Winona463752
Itasca462768
Isanti446066
McLeod434361
Morrison427962
Beltrami410263
Nobles410050
Steele400819
Polk390872
Becker389357
Lyon365254
Carlton356958
Freeborn351134
Pine337623
Nicollet334245
Mille Lacs314956
Brown308840
Le Sueur299727
Cass288233
Todd288233
Meeker266044
Waseca240823
Martin237033
Roseau212421
Wabasha20843
Hubbard198041
Dodge18973
Renville183446
Redwood178141
Houston175516
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165023
Fillmore159210
Faribault156920
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec147828
Sibley147310
Aitkin139237
Watonwan13619
Rock129019
Jackson123112
Pipestone117126
Yellow Medicine115320
Pope11396
Swift107518
Murray107410
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89217
Marshall88817
Lake84520
Wilkin83813
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49122
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4037
Traverse3825
Lake of the Woods3484
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
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Mason City
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