The American Medical Association has called on the Trump administration to “leverage every tool at its disposal” to address a shortage of protective equipment and coronavirus tests.
In a statement Friday, the doctors’ group said that “critical shortages in test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) remain unaddressed.”
In response to the growing shortage, President Trump signed an executive order earlier this week that allows him to exercise wartime powers under the Defense Production Act, but the AMA said that “it is unclear to what degree that authority is being utilized.”
Shortages of critical protective equipment are “posing a significant risk for our ability to treat COVID-19 patients and contain the spread of this pandemic,” the AMA said in its statement.
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The president of the group, Dr. Patrice Harris, described doctors taking drastic measures to make do: “Physicians don’t have enough masks; they are wearing a single mask all day, cleaning them at home, and sewing their own protective gear,” she said.
On Thursday, CNN reported on guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address shortages during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency said that health care workers could consider using masks beyond their designated shelf life, reusing them between multiple patients, and even – as a last resort – consider using scarves and bandanas as protective equipment.
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