U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, March 24 to impose a temporary ban on all exports of critical medical supplies.
“In recent days, I have become aware of the struggle of some hospitals to obtain ordered medical supplies due to distributor policies that prioritize orders from other countries,” Collins wrote in his letter to Pompeo. “While I understand that distributors wish to fulfill their international orders, it is vital that we ensure American healthcare workers have the supplies and equipment they need to reduce spread of coronavirus and overcome this pandemic. As we have seen, even a few days can save lives and make a difference in our battle to control the coronavirus pandemic.”
Supplies such as masks and respirators have been in demand as hospitals nationwide see higher patient volumes. The Northeast Georgia Health System has been working with community and employee volunteers who are sewing oval N95 respirator covers, and the system is researching rectangle mask patterns that will meet infection prevention standards.
“Each day, our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, first responders, and others in the medical community are taking incredible risks and making sacrifices to stop the spread of coronavirus,” Collins wrote. “We must do what we can to help them, and, right now, they need medical equipment.”