HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » The N95 shortage America ...

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 12:53 AM

The N95 shortage America can't seem to fix

Six months later, that shortage persists, leaving health-care workers exposed, patients at risk and public health experts flummoxed over a seemingly simple question: Why is the world’s richest country still struggling to meet the demand for an item that once cost around $1 a piece?When the country was short of ventilators, the companies that made them shared their trade secrets with other manufacturers. Through the powers of the Defense Production Act, President Trump ordered General Motors to make ventilators. Other companies followed, many supported by the government, until the terrifying problem of not enough ventilators wasn’t a problem at all.
...
But for N95s and other respirators, Trump has used this authority far less, allowing major manufacturers to scale up as they see fit and potential new manufacturers to go untapped and underfunded. The organizations that represent millions of nurses, doctors, hospitals and clinics are pleading for more federal intervention, while the administration maintains that the government has already done enough and that the PPE industry has stepped up on its own.
...
The Department of Health and Human Services did fund the invention of a “one-of-a-kind, high-speed machine” that could make 1.5 million N95s per day. But when the design was completed in 2018, the Trump administration did not purchase it.But ask the people inside hospitals, and the shortage is far from over. An August survey of 21,500 nurses showed 68 percent of them are required to reuse respirators, many for more than the five times recommended by the CDC, and some even more than Kelly Williams. One Texas nurse reported she’s still wearing the same five N95s she was given in March.Along with ordering 3M to import 166.5 million masks from China, the administration has used the DPA to invest $296.9 million in bolstering the N95 and filter-making supply chains. The Department of Defense, which oversees that funding, spends more per year on instruments, uniforms and travel for military bands.
...
“By not having a national strategy,” Hall said, “we have fewer masks.” Ask the PPE industry and the refrain is that without long-term guarantees that the government will keep buying respirators, N95 manufacturers are wary of investing too much, and other companies that could start making respirators or the filters for them are hesitant to do so.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/local/news/n-95-shortage-covid/?itid=hp-top-table-main

11 replies, 1112 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply The N95 shortage America can't seem to fix (Original post)
SunSeeker Sep 2020 OP
lapfog_1 Sep 2020 #1
PSPS Sep 2020 #2
Sucha NastyWoman Sep 2020 #3
SunSeeker Sep 2020 #4
OhioChick Sep 2020 #11
Mersky Sep 2020 #5
BigmanPigman Sep 2020 #6
safeinOhio Sep 2020 #7
DetroitLegalBeagle Sep 2020 #8
CozyMystery Sep 2020 #9
SunSeeker Sep 2020 #10

Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 01:04 AM

1. We should ALL be wearing N95

disposable masks.

150M masks per day or there abouts...

They should be free and mandatory.

This alone would drop our infection rate by more than half. Possibly as much as 90%

And the death rate too.

But you can't order them online at all unless you are a "certified health care worker"... and I BET BIG BUCKS that rich assholes somehow qualify.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 01:34 AM

2. It's even worse

Did you get those five reusable face masks through the United States Postal Service (USPS) back in April? You didn’t? Well, that was the USPS plan back then, according to Tony Romm, Jacob Bogage, and Lena H. Sun reporting for the Washington Post.

That’s based on a review of nearly 10,000 pages of federal emails, legal memos, presentations and other documents that watchdog group American Oversight had requested via the Freedom of Information Act. Included in the documents was a draft news release from the USPS about plans to distribute 650 million masks around the country. This would have amounted to around five face coverings per every American household. Not a bad plan given the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now calls on Americans to wear masks to prevent Covid-19 spread.

A news release meant that the plan was probably at its advanced stages. After all, you don’t tend to put together a press release until after you’re fairly sure something will happen. Otherwise, it would be a premature communication. Or a premature declaration. It would be a bit like preparing wedding announcements before even beginning to date someone. Or preparing buns when there are no hot dogs.

So why didn’t you get the masks? Because the plan never was fully implemented. Apparently the White House said something to the effect of “oh no you won’t” to the USPS. The Washington Post article quoted an administration official as saying, “There was concern from some in the White House Domestic Policy Council and the office of the vice president that households receiving masks might create concern or panic.” A concern about creating a concern? Now who would want to raise concern about a pandemic caused by a novel Covid-19 coronavirus that has now resulted over 198,000 deaths?


https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/09/18/usps-covid-19-coronavirus-plan-to-send-every-household-face-masks-how-the-white-house-stopped-it/#2e12b52c6b2a

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 01:36 AM

3. I'm amazed more people aren't talking about this. Even Biden never brings it up.

We’ve been at this for 7 months now and could have been producing enough for everyone by now.

We obsess about testing, but let people run around masks that aren’t doing that much good. Some of the cloth masks and Chinese masks are really poor quality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 01:45 AM

4. Of course we should. It is inexcusable that we're not. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 23, 2020, 02:36 AM

11. "certified health care workers"

Can't even get them anymore.

Many doctors and nurses in hospitals here are wearing surgical masks (to be worn for ONE week) with no goggles or face shields.

They'll all soon be sick or dead so there will be no one left to care for anyone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 02:54 AM

5. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 03:08 AM

6. I am SO pissed off over this!!!!!!!!

How long should I recycle my N95s? Another year or so? Fuck tRump!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 03:24 AM

7. Can we order and get them

from other countries? Are they available to citizens of other countries?
This is the DU member formerly known as safeinOhio.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to safeinOhio (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 05:39 AM

8. As far as I know

Most other countries have put export controls on them, so they aren't leaving the country. While production is up worldwide, there still isn't enough in most areas. The shortage stems from the special material that the filtering part is made of. The machines that make it are complex and expensive and while the machines themselves can be ramped up to increase production(I think pretty much all companies that make this fabric have ramped up), making, installing, and calibrating new machines takes time, like upwards of a year.

[link:https://www.cbsnews.com/news/n95-mask-shortage-melt-blown-filters/|]
"There are only five or six companies across the globe that make these machines, and they're not inexpensive. These are sizable machines, a lot of technology, a lot of air handling, a lot of electronics, a lot of precision moving parts," Rousse said. "Normally it's nine to 12 months before you could get a machine delivery."

Older article from April, but I haven't really heard much has changed other then speculation that they might be able to get new machine lead times down to 6 months.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 06:25 AM

9. The US could have fixed the shortage problem:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/in-the-early-days-of-the-pandemic-the-us-government-turned-down-an-offer-to-manufacture-millions-of-n95-masks-in-america/2020/05/09/f76a821e-908a-11ea-a9c0-73b93422d691_story.html

"It was Jan. 22, a day after the first case of covid-19 was detected in the United States, and orders were pouring into Michael Bowen’s company outside Fort Worth, some from as far away as Hong Kong.

Bowen’s medical supply company, Prestige Ameritech, could ramp up production to make an additional 1.7 million N95 masks a week. He viewed the shrinking domestic production of medical masks as a national security issue, though, and he wanted to give the federal government first dibs.
“We still have four like-new N95 manufacturing lines,” Bowen wrote that day in an email to top administrators in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive but could be achieved in a dire situation.”

..."The government soon spent over $600 million on contracts involving masks. Big companies like Honeywell and 3M were each awarded contracts totaling over $170 million for protective gear. One distributor of tactical gear — a company with no history of procuring medical equipment — was awarded a $55 million deal to provide masks for as much as $5.50 apiece, eight times what the government was paying months earlier.

On April 7, FEMA awarded Prestige a $9.5 million contract to provide a million N95 masks a month for one year, an order the company could fulfill without activating its dormant manufacturing lines. For the masks, Prestige charged the government 79 cents apiece."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CozyMystery (Reply #9)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 01:59 PM

10. Infuriating!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread