HARTFORD, CT —It’s been four days since Gov. Ned Lamont updated his call for more personal protective equipment to help frontline workers in healthcare settings continue to do their jobs. Now, he’s trying another route to get what the state needs.
Lamont said the governors have raised this issue with the White House in their weekly conference calls without success.
“The feds have made the determination they’re going to leave this up to the states,” Lamont said.
In the meantime, Connecticut has joined a six-state regional buying consortium, according to Lamont.
“We’re going out there trying to buy, but it’s a crazy process,” Lamont said. “If the federal government stood up on this months ago, even weeks ago we’d be in a very different position than we are now.”
Mark Masselli, president and CEO of Community Health Center, Inc., said the sentiment among health care professionals is to go to China and bypass the federal government to get supplies.
He said that’s not a political statement, it’s just the reality of the situation.
“The only way to meet our desperate need for fundamental supplies is not going to be solved by our own government,” Masselli said.
Lamont said Connecticut is “at the front of the line for the equipment that’s going to allow us to sanitize PPE on a regular basis. I can’t tell you whether that’s next week or the week thereafter.”
But that’s not exactly a solution to the shortage.
Lamont said there’s a worldwide shortage and PPE is coming in on a daily basis, but it’s coming in at a trickle.
“Three weeks is too late, next week is too late, we need it now,” Lamont said.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker got New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft involved in purchasing 3 million masks when a previous order was confiscated in the Port of New York. Kraft went to China and flew back a supply on the New England Patriots private plane.
Last week, Kaiser Health News reported that the federal government used the Defense Production Act to force medical suppliers in Texas and Colorado to sell to it first before states and hospitals.
As far as ventilators are concerned, Connecticut now has 1,400, but it’s estimated that it will eventually need 3,000.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon there are 1,308 people hospitalized, a number that increased by 87 people between Monday and Tuesday.
Lamont said the average over the last five days has been about 90 new hospitalizations.
“Five days does not make a trend … but five days is five days,” Lamont said. “At least we can say we seem to be flattening out.”
Hospital systems across the state continue to project project peak hospitalizations around the end of April.
@GovNedLamont will hold a news briefing today at 4 p.m. to provide updates on the state’s coronavirus response efforts.
Posted by CTNewsJunkie on Tuesday, April 7, 2020