TRENTON, N.J. (CBS New York) – Gov. Phil Murphy has given New Jersey State Police orders to take N95 masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment that health care facilities need in their race to slow the spread of coronavirus. “While we look forward to these facilities cooperating with us and providing this equipment as needed, this order gives (police) the express authority to requisition it for distribution to our acute care hospitals and other healthcare facilities,” said Murphy in his daily COVID-19 briefing. “And needless to say, they badly need the equipment.”
The order came as New Jersey saw deaths related to COVID-19 illness jumped 182 in 24-hours to a total of 537. By Thursday, New Jersey had a total of 25,590 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state, reports CBS2’s Cory James. Newark University Hospital EKG technician Kim King-Smith is among those now gone. Her family says her smile was more infectious than the virus that took her life. “I constantly balance my response of being cold-blooded with compassion,” Murphy said. –CBS Local
U.S. government stock-piles nearly depleted: Donald Trump has admitted the US government’s emergency stockpile of protective equipment is nearly exhausted because of the extraordinary demands of the coronavirus pandemic. The shortage was first reported by the Washington Post, which said the supply of respirator masks, gloves and other medical supplies was running low. Trump, who has been criticized for a lack of central planning, confirmed on Wednesday: “It is, because we’re sending it directly to hospitals. We don’t want it to come to the stockpile because then we have to take it, after it arrives, and bring it to various states and hospitals.”
The president had urged states to “make a deal” and buy personal protective equipment (PPE) directly from manufacturers, he added. “We’ve asked states where they have large manufacturers of different types of equipment to use those local factories, those local plants and have it made directly, ship it right into the hospitals.” Trump continued: “We’re shipping things right in. We have, as you know, almost 10,000 ventilators which we need for flexibility. It’s sounds like a lot but it’s not.” The National Guard had been authorized to move equipment into hospitals when necessary, he added.
Citing officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the Post reported that the depletion of the national stockpile left the White House and states competing for PPE in a “freewheeling global marketplace rife with profiteering and price-gouging.” –Guardian