For months as lawmakers wrestle with measures to mitigate the risks and harms of COVID-19, Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey, who is a member of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and Get Us PPE partner, has had personal protective equipment (PPE) at the forefront of his mind.
In June 2020 at a congressional briefing, Congressman Kim pressed for more PPE and data for long-term care facilities as new reporting found 40,000 COVID-19-related deaths were linked to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and that 600 nursing home employees had died. “At least from all the long-term care centers I talked to in my district, we know that they did not have enough personal protective equipment,” he said.
In September Congressman Kim’s report, “The Way Forward: Preparing America for a Second Wave,” provided solutions to prevent further “calamitous outcomes that have cost lives and livelihoods.” The report urged the federal government to invoke the Defence Production Act effectively to strengthen domestic capacity to produce and distribute PPE, and prioritize the distribution of PPE in areas with vulnerable populations, among other strategies.
In October, Congressman Kim introduced the Protecting Essential Workers Act to better vet PPE quality—as the market is overrun with counterfeit items that are not medical-grade, mitigate PPE price gouging, increase transparency around PPE supplies and ensure quick access to health care providers, essential workers and governments.
Most recently, Congressman Kim expressed his support for Get Us PPE’s efforts in a video: “I know we’re feeling optimistic about what comes next when it comes to the vaccine development, but we know we’re not out of the clear and that we have a long road to recovery,” Congressman Kim said.
“I encourage you to go visit www.getusppe.org and try to figure out what’s a way that you can have a tangible impact on this. I will continue to fight as hard as I can in Congress to make sure that our health care workers have everything that they need to get through this pandemic and keep the rest of us safe and healthy, and I encourage you to do everything you can as well,” he said.
On behalf of all of us at Get Us PPE, thank you Congressman Kim for your continued support of our cause!