The United Arab Emirates and Get Us PPE successfully delivered over 275,000 pieces of PPE to over 100 facilities across the United States. It was a donation that took months of coordination at the highest levels. However, at the core of this donation was a simple gesture of goodwill, a team of dedicated volunteers, and a resilient spirit.
Over the course of the pandemic, the marketplace for vetted, medical-grade PPE has been very difficult to navigate, particularly for small and underserved communities with smaller procurement budgets. Counterfeit PPE and price gouging have been rife as demand surged past need, so much so that the Department of Justice announced the formation of a COVID-19 Fraud Task Force in May 2021.
While it is recommended for unvaccinated individuals to wear masks to protect one’s mouth, nose, and throat from getting infected with the coronavirus, health care professionals who work in medium to high exposure settings are also recommended to wear eye protection, such as face shields and safety goggles to limit eye exposure to air-borne respiratory droplets.
Loosened FDA restrictions allowed new manufacturers to supply the demand for hand sanitizer when the pandemic broke out. But months after, several of these new products have been recalled, with the FDA issuing a list of products consumers should not use.
While there is widespread agreement that students learn better in in-person settings, there is much less agreement about how to bring about this outcome in the face of unequal resources during a pandemic, especially since some schools lack the adequate PPE to reopen safely.
The Biden Administration has pledged to reopen schools to in-person instruction within its first 100 days. However, reopening schools comes with its own set of complications as schools lack the adequate PPE to reopen safely.
PPE supply chains begin to ease as COVID-19 cases decline; however, virus variants and inequitable access to PPE and vaccines continue to threaten a full recovery.
Get Us PPE continues to push for the production of personal protective equipment, noting that PPE will be necessary throughout the vaccination process, especially as COVID-19 variants are detected in at least 12 states.
PPE Shortage Briefing: Ramping Up Vaccine Distribution Equitably and Efficiently to Weather the Coming Wave
Get Us PPE joins the vaccine conversation by advocating for equitable vaccine distribution, adding that access needs to be open to all Americans for a successful vaccine campaign.
Dr. Shuhan He is an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-founder of Get US PPE, a nonprofit that gets personal protective equipment (PPE) to those who need it most.