Senator Hassan Continues to Call for Clear Goals on PPE and Testing Materials, Including for Nursing Homes
WASHINGTON – During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) pressed the FEMA Administrator and additional top administration officials for specific projections and goals for COVID-19 response efforts.
To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.
Senator Hassan first called on FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to agree to make public a document that Senator Hassan had received that details some of the administration’s estimates on the supply and demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). “I’ve had a consistent frustration…about the administration’s inability or refusal to publicly lay out clear, numerical projections and goals for its COVID-19 response,” said Senator Hassan.
Administrator Gaynor agreed to the public release of this document, and it can be viewed here.
As Senator Hassan discussed, the document includes Trump administration estimates that should have been released long ago about demand for N95 masks and other PPE, but it is missing key information. Following the hearing, Senator Hassan is today submitting additional questions to FEMA asking for longer-term projections for PPE such as hospital gowns and shields, and for similar projections for testing supplies.
Senator Hassan also asked Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Vice Director of Logistics for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about PPE shortages at nursing homes. “Federal data released last week show that nursing homes around the country still do not have the personal protective equipment they need to keep people safe,” said Senator Hassan. “About 40 percent of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths are residents or workers at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities – and in New Hampshire over 80 percent of deaths are in long-term care settings. The federal government has to do more.”
Senator Hassan pressed Admiral Polowczyk for a specific timeline of when the federal government will ensure that nursing homes have the supplies that they need.