Healthcare providers still lack sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely treat patients with COVID-19 coronavirus. Citing insufficient federal coordination, members of Congress urged the Trump administration follow through on implementing the $16 million PPE funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.   

“Illinois and many other states face a life-threatening shortage of respirators, masks, protective eyewear, face shields, gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment. While we appreciate the partial approvals of our governor’s requests for PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile, along with additional allocations to Chicago, we remain concerned these amounts cannot meet the alarming demand we see across Illinois,” Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL), who is also a nurse, and the other delegates wrote. “The safety of our communities and the lives of our neighbors depend on it, and Illinois cannot wait another day.”  

Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA), also shared concerns about the lack of PPE in a letter to the Trump administration asking for federal intervention. 

“Our healthcare providers work around the clock to provide expert care to community members, and we must give them the resources they need to stay safe,” she said. “Hospitals and healthcare workers across Coastal Virginia are reporting inadequate supplies of PPE. We must ensure a robust national response to provide PPE to healthcare professionals whose work is essential to keeping our communities safe and healthy.” 

Even the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, voicing concern that the PPE shortage was endangering the nation’s healthcare workforce. Committee chair Richard Neal (D-MA) said that dramatic steps need to be taken to address the shortage and ensure safety for nurses and other providers in his state. 

PPE is always critical to the safety of providers and patients, but more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. ONS is working with policy leaders and the nursing community to advocate on behalf of nurses everywhere. Learn more on ONS’s COVID-19 resource page.