Protective Equipment for Medical Workers Once Again Running Low
The personal protective gear that was in dangerously limited supply during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the United States is running low again.
This comes as the virus is quickly spreading in many states and hospitals are reporting more COVID-19 patients. Experts predict the crisis will worsen in the autumn.
A national labor organization representing medical workers is concerned about gear being reused. A group of doctors warned that their offices are closed because they cannot get face coverings and other supplies.
Democratic Party lawmakers are urging the administration of President Donald Trump to create a national plan to get and distribute gear.
Deborah Burger is president of National Nurses United. She reported findings of an opinion study of her group's members. Those findings showed many nurses do not have the supplies they need, forcing them to re-use what they do have.
"We're five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks," Burger told reporters with The Associated Press, or AP.
Early in the pandemic, the situation was so difficult that nurses turned plastic waste bags into protective gowns. The lack of equipment forced states and hospitals to compete against each other, the federal government and other countries for supplies.
In general, supplies of protective gear are greater now. Many states and major hospital systems say they are better equipped. But medical professionals and some lawmakers have their doubts, as shortages begin to reappear.
The American Medical Association wrote to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. The group called for a well-organized, national plan to buy and share gear across the country.
Democratic representative from New York Carolyn Maloney made an announcement last week ahead of a congressional committee hearing. Her announcement raised concerns about problems in the supply chain. Her report was based on talks with unnamed employees at medical supply companies. One of the employees warned that unprocessed material for gowns is not available at any cost in the amounts needed.
John Polowczyk is the U.S. military leader in charge of coronavirus-related supplies for the country. He told Congress last week that more than one-fourth of states have less than a 30-day supply.
"It would seem like in less than 30 days, we're going to have a real crisis," said Bill Foster, an Illinois Democratic representative.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, controls the nation's stockpile of protective equipment. The agency would not say which states have enough gear to last beyond 30 days and which do not. In June, the government started refilling its once-reduced stockpile with the goal of building up a two-month supply.
As of June 10, FEMA had distributed or directed private companies to distribute gear including 74 million N95 masks and 66 million pairs of hand coverings. The agency said it changed its distribution method to send more equipment to places that needed it most.
All U.S. states and territories have received some protective gear from FEMA. But an AP study of the agency's own data found that the amounts varied widely when measured by population and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The AP study found that low-population, mostly rural states received the largest amounts of FEMA equipment per confirmed case. By the middle of June, for example, Montana had received 1,125 pieces of protective gear per case. That is far higher than the 32 pieces per case that the state of Massachusetts received.
I'm Pete Musto.
He spoke with a heavy rural accent.
The rural people have been impoverished by a collapsing economy.
Protective measures are necessary if the city's monuments are to be preserved.
The equipment is of our own manufacture.
5.A group of doctors warned that their offices are closed because they cannot get face coverings and other supplies.
A group of 一组
Suddenly the door opened and a group of children burst in.
Psychologists tested a group of six-year-olds with a video.
6.Early in the pandemic, the situation was so difficult that nurses turned plastic waste bags into protective gowns.
turn into 变成
We think he'll turn into a top-class player.
It could well turn into some kind of a media circus.
目前，该病毒正在美国多州迅速蔓延，并且医院报告的新冠肺炎病例增多 。专家预测，这次危机将在今年秋季恶化 。
一家代表医务工作者的全国劳工组织对防护用品的重复使用问题表示担心 。一群医生警告称，因为无法获得口罩和其它防护用品，他们的办公室已被关闭 。
黛博拉·伯格（Deborah Burger）是国民护士联合会的主席 。她报告了该组织成员一项意见调查结果 。该结果表明，许多护士缺乏防护用品，迫使她们重复使用现有物资 。
大流行初期情况非常困难，护士把塑料垃圾袋改造称防护服 。缺乏防护设备导致各州和医院相互竞争、以及同联邦政府以及其它国家抢夺防护用品 。
总体而言，防护用品供应现在有所增加 。许多州和大型医院系统表示已经具有良好的装备 。但是随着短缺现象再次出现，医疗专业人员和一些议员对此表示怀疑 。
美国医学会致函联邦紧急事务管理局、副总统迈克·彭斯以及国会议员 。该组织呼吁制定一项组织严密的全国方案，在全国范围内采购和共享防护设备 。
来自纽约的民主党代表卡罗琳·马洛尼（Carolyn Maloney）上周在一次国会委员会的听证会前宣布了这一消息 。她的发言引发了外界对供应链问题的担忧 。她的报告是基于与医疗用品公司匿名员工的谈话 。一名员工警告说，就算出高价也很难购置到所需数量的防护服材料 。
约翰·波洛奇克（John Polowczyk）是负责美国新冠病毒相关物资的军方负责人 。他上周对国会表示，超过四分之一州的供应撑不过30天 。
伊利诺伊州民主党代表比尔·福斯特（Bill Foster）表示：“我们可能会在30天内迎来一场真正的危机 。”
联邦紧急事务管理局掌控着美国的防护用品储备 。该机构不肯透露哪些州的物资可以维持30天以上，哪些州维持不了 。今年6月，政府开始补充一度减少的库存，目标是建立可维持两个月的供应量 。
截至6月10日，联邦紧急事务管理局已经分发或指示私营公司分发包括7400万个N95口罩和6600万副手套在内的防护用品 。该机构表示，他们改变了分发方式，将更多防护装备送往最紧缺的地方 。
美国所有州和地区都收到了联邦紧急事务管理局派发的部分防护装备 。但是美联社对该机构自身数据的研究发现，按人口和新冠肺炎确诊病例数来衡量的话，派发的比例存在很大差异 。
美联社研究发现，人口稀少的州（大多数是农业州）每个确诊病例获得的联邦紧急事务管理局提供的防护装备数量最多 。例如截至6月中旬，蒙大拿州每个确诊病例对应有1125件防护装备 。远远高于马萨诸塞州收到的每个确诊病例对应32件防护装备 。