WASHINGTON, D.C. – New reports this morning outline details about the Trump administration’s inefficient and ineffective COVID-19 response.
The Trump administration’s failure to plan for the coronavirus pandemic when it learned of it months ago is setting back production for critically needed N95 masks. According to POLITICO, certifications and Trump administration regulatory hold ups are blocking manufacturers from getting approval on new N95 mask designs and supply chains, slowing their ability to produce and distribute the critical supplies to states in desperate need.
There is also a reported shortage of components needed to make the masks once these designs are approved — a result of slow lead time from Trump’s government, as “several months” are sometimes required to bulk up on such components. This is in addition to news that the Trump administration did not place a bulk order for N95 masks until March 21, nearly two months after declaring a public health emergency.
Additionally, reporting in CNN reveals that the Trump administration reportedly re-enforced roadblocks that hindered hundreds of non-government public health labs to quickly assist in ramping up COVID-19 testing efforts. An April 2018 plan laid out collaboration guidelines for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a handful of such labs, but in late January and February, the administration wasted valuable time that could have allowed more people to be tested.
“Every few days we learn of new evidence that the Trump administration had valuable time to prepare early for the COVID-19 response, and completely wasted it,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The longer states are forced to wait for medical supplies, the less equipped they are to serve people in need. The Trump administration needs to get its act together and streamline these processes so states can start receiving the support they need.”
KEY EXCERPTS FROM POLITICO:
– Equipment manufacturers are eager to begin production of N-95 respirator masks, but have not been able to get regulatory approval for new designs and supply chains, Kip Eideberg, senior vice president for government and industry relations at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, tells Doug Palmer.
– The other challenge AEM members face “is the very long lead-time, up to several months, of the components you need to make respiratory protective devices,” Eideberg said. “In some cases we are looking at a scenario where after finally securing certification of designs and supply chains and re-tooling manufacturing operations, there may not be enough of some components to go around.”