This past Thursday, the Service Employees International Union United Health Workers announced that they have located 39 million N95 masks that a supplier had been sitting on, and they have made these masks immediately available to local healthcare workers.
The Union searched 48 hours straight for the masks after receiving a lead that a warehouse in Pennsylvania had this many masks. The Union was also able to find a supplier who’s pledged to produce 20 million masks per week.
The President of the Union, Dave Regan, said,
““SEIU-UHW members and healthcare workers all over California are desperate for more protection, so we are seeking out supplies wherever we can get them.
We are continuing to turn over every rock to see if we can find more personal protective equipment to make sure that healthcare workers, who are heroically putting their own health on the line to care for patients, can do their jobs as safely as possible.
We want the masks to be distributed as widely as possible. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough to go beyond California and New York, and so far hospitals in Arizona have not responded to an offer of 2 million masks, but as we locate more masks we want to expand the circulation as much as possible.While we are pleased with these initial results, we recognize they are stopgap measures in light of the estimated 3.5 billion masks that could be needed during this pandemic. We urgently need the federal government to step in and drive a coordinated national response to the personal protective equipment shortage.”
All of the medical professionals working tirelessly through this pandemic deserve our utmost gratitude. If you are able to do so, please consider donating to the groups helping to locate medical supplies and produce supplies such as masks on their own for donation.
Faced with a situation that nobody saw coming, our medical professionals are finding solutions everywhere to ensure that our country has the best fighting chance possible.