Luria advocates for increased production of PPE

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria today issued a call for increased production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health care workers.

Recently, Luria, D-Va., met with local health care providers and leadership at the Hampton VA Medical CenterPeninsula Health District and Riverside Health System, and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. Yesterday, she spoke with home care workers in Hampton Roads who continue to care for vulnerable family members and neighbors during this public health emergency.

The overarching theme during these meetings was a dire shortage of PPE. This includes supplies such as masks, medical gowns, and gloves designed to keep health care workers and their patients healthy. PPE shortages place medical professionals, and their families, at risk of exposure and illness.

“Our health care providers work around the clock to provide expert care to community members, and we must give them the resources they need to stay safe,” said Luria. “Hospitals and health care workers across Coastal Virginia are reporting inadequate supplies of PPE. We must ensure a robust national response to provide PPE to health care professionals whose work is essential to keeping our communities safe and healthy.”

Last week, Luria sent a letter to President Trump detailing the concerns from constituents who work at the Sheriff’s Office and local hospitals who will soon run out of PPE. This letter stresses that health care employees, correctional officers, and first responders do not have the option of social distancing and “we must ensure they are equipped with the proper supplies.” Citing rising prices of PPE caused by competition between states, Congresswoman Luria implored the President “to get ahead of demand by fully utilizing the Defense Production Act.”

Luria also signed a letter to congressional leadership encouraging the “full implementation of the Defense Production Act” to address shortages in PPE. It emphasized that “it is critical we ensure our healthcare workers, first responders, and those on the frontline have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the public health.”

On March 27, Luria supported the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This new law provides robust funding for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) Strategic National Stockpile to acquire PPE and medical supplies for state and federal response efforts. It also allocates funding for hospitals to give them the support they need for non-reimbursable COVID-19 expenses.

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