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News & Press: COVID-19

AMA president says “we need action” to address lack of protective gear

Monday, March 23, 2020   (0 Comments)
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AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., was interviewed on TODAY (3/23) about the coronavirus pandemic. During the program, Dr. Harris said she spoke with the president about the need for more protective equipment as well as ventilators to treat patients with coronavirus, and stressed that steps need to be taken now, not in the future, to address the problem. Dr. Harris said, “We need action” to address the lack of protective gear for health care workers. TODAY tweeted about Dr. Harris’ appearance on the show, quoting her saying, “We do not have the equipment that we need.. in Georgia, a hospital said they used six months of supplies in five days.” During the program, Dr. Harris also called for everyone to do their part to keep their distance from others to reduce transmission of coronavirus.



Meanwhile, CNN (3/23, Kuznia, Black, Ortega) reports health care workers in the U.S. “on the frontlines of the escalating fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, describe a grim scene of rationed personal protective equipment – widely known as PPE – and lack of testing.” The article adds that Dr. Harris “says what she is hearing from her physicians is just unprecedented.” Dr. Harris added, “They are saying that they are having to reuse masks. ... They are saying they are being asked to re-sterilize masks, all things which in normal times we would certainly not do. (They) may even be grounds for discipline or dismissal for violating routine infection control pieces, policies and practices.”

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