Coronavirus Update: Letter on Production of Medical Supplies, FEMA Extends Deadline and Other Updates

AHA, others urge President to immediately use Defense Production Act to increase domestic production of medical supplies. The AHA, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association this afternoon urged President Trump to immediately use the Defense Production Act to increase the domestic production of medical supplies and equipment that hospitals, health systems, physicians, nurses and all front line providers need.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, these supplies are urgently needed to care for our patients and communities,” the groups wrote.

In the letter, the groups said they have concerns that increasingly there are dwindling supplies of N95 respirators, isolation gowns, isolation masks, surgical masks, eye protection, intensive care unit equipment and diagnostic testing supplies in areas that had the first community outbreaks and in many other areas of the country.

“Even with an infusion of supplies from the strategic stockpile and other federal resources, there will not be enough medical supplies, including ventilators, to respond to the projected COVID-19 outbreak,” the letter said.

FEMA extends deadline to apply for public assistance funding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency today announced that it will nationally extend the deadline for individuals and organizations to make a request for public assistance funding. FEMA said the opportunity to apply for public assistance funding will remain open for the duration of the Public Health Emergency as declared by the Health and Human Services Secretary, unless an earlier deadline is deemed appropriate by FEMA.

“Based on the national impacts of COVID-19, the unprecedented nature of the national emergency declaration, the number of potential Public Assistance Applicants, and the fact that these Applicants are actively engaged in life saving operations, enforcing the 30-day deadline is not appropriate,” FEMA said in a letter today.

In addition, FEMA has posted new fact sheets with additional information.