Members of New Jersey Delegation Call for the Federal Gov’t to Send NJ Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19

March 16, 2020
Press Release

Press Release from Senator Bob Menendez: 

Members of New Jersey Delegation Call for the Federal Gov’t to Send NJ Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19 

Only a fraction of what the state requested to protect frontline healthcare workers, treat patients has been delivered

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As New Jersey grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09) today led the state Congressional delegation in urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to deliver much needed medical supplies, including personal protective gear, to assist frontline healthcare workers in their response.

The letter was signed by Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker and Reps. Pascrell, Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11), Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Andy Kim (N.J.-03), Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12), Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-05) and Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10).

“New Jersey’s presumptive positive case count continues to rise, stressing the health care system in our state,” the lawmakers wrote to Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec.  “While our Governor, Mayors, and County Executives are doing everything they can to limit exposure, New Jersey’s proximity to major metropolitan areas and the frequency of movement of people between the tristate area not only put the state in harm’s way, but also make the state uniquely positioned to deal with this ongoing outbreak.”

To date, the state has only received a fraction of the respirators, masks, face shields, gloves and other protective gear requested by Governor Phil Murphy from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNP).

“New Jersey still has not received any antiviral drugs, respiratory supplies, or ventilators,” the lawmakers continued.

The delegation requested a timetable for when New Jersey will receive this equipment, and asked whether the SNP is being properly replenished to meet the growing demand and if the Trump Administration plans to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to force industry to expand production and supply these resources.

Full text of the letter is below and can be downloaded here.

March 16, 2020

Robert Kadlec, M.D., MTM&H, M.S.

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20201

We write in support of New Jersey’s request for supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). New Jersey’s presumptive positive case count continues to rise, stressing the health care system in our state. Additionally, New Jersey’s proximity to New York City and Philadelphia creates a unique situation of overlap for our health systems. Because of this, Governor Phil Murphy requested a list of supplies from the SNS to ensure that New Jersey has the necessary medical equipment to support the state’s COVID-19 response.

As of March 13, New Jersey had received a fraction of what was requested. Below is a list of supplies received and attached is a comprehensive list of requested supplies.

  • N95 Respirators: 84,578 (requested 2,880,000)
  • Face/Surgical Masks: 201,479 (requested 864,000)
  • Face Shields: 38,365 (requested 864,000)
  • Surgical Gowns: 31,280 (requested 864,000)
  • Coveralls: 160 (requested 864,000)
  • Gloves: 111,378 (requested 2,880,000)

As evidenced by the more comprehensive list attached, New Jersey still has not received any antiviral drugs, respiratory supplies, or ventilators. Please answer the following questions regarding supplies requested from the SNS:

  1. When can states expect to receive their requested supplies from the SNS? Specifically, when will New Jersey receive its requested supplies from the SNS?
  2. The SNS released twenty-five percent to on a pro rata basis last week, is the Administration replenishing the SNS as it pulls from the reserve?
  3. Is the Administration planning to use the Defense Production Act in order to force industry to expand production and supply these resources?

While our Governor, Mayors, and County Executives are doing everything they can to limit exposure, New Jersey’s proximity to major metropolitan areas and the frequency of movement of people between the tristate area not only put the state in harm’s way, but also make the state uniquely positioned to deal with this ongoing outbreak.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

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