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Meng Leads NYC Delegation in Calling on Trump to Address Shortage of Protective Equipment and Medical Technology

Mar 20, 2020
Press Release
Sends letter to President
QUEENS, NY – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) this afternoon led a New York City Congressional delegation letter to President Trump calling on him to invoke the Defense Production Act to immediately address the shortage of personal protective equipment and medical technology.  
 
The text of the letter is below and a copy of the correspondence can be viewed here.  
 
* Note: The letter does not contain signatures since offices are working remotely for safety measures.
 
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March 20, 2020
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
We write to you to address the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical medical technology in hospitals that are treating COVID-19 patients.
 
As Members representing New York City, each of us has heard from constituents and hospital administrators in our districts that our hospitals are already strained. For example, an emergency room doctor at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens said they are forced to use equipment that should be used for a single patient over the course of their entire shift. This not only puts already vulnerable healthcare workers at risk, but also risks the recovery of patients as germs can spread from this overused protective gear. Some hospitals are already forced to use one ventilator for multiple patients. New York City hospitals will need thousands of ventilators over the next few weeks, and more tests have been needed for months. These needs are urgent.
 
We appreciate your announcement this week that you intend to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA), as it will serve a critical need for our city and our nation. Now, we urge you to expedite the development of a sourcing list of needs from mayors and governors, and match them with manufacturers. You mentioned that “hopefully there will be no need” to invoke the DPA, but we assure you – the need is immediate, and the need is great. We must expedite these contracts today – so that our frontline healthcare workers can continue to fight COVID-19, and for the safety of everyone.
 
We look forward to your prompt response on addressing this important issue. 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Grace Meng                                                                               Yvette D. Clarke
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Nydia M. Velázquez                                                                  Thomas R. Suozzi
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Carolyn Maloney                                                                       Gregory Meeks
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Hakeem Jeffries                                                                        Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
José E. Serrano                                                                        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez         
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Max Rose                                                                                  Adriano Espaillat
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress
 
 
_________________                                                                 _________________
Eliot L. Engel                                                                             Kathleen M. Rice
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress