PPE Weekly Briefing

Weekly Briefing: US Votes in New Administration and Experts Worry Thanksgiving is ‘Perfect Storm’ for COVID Super Spreader

By November 10, 2020November 16th, 2020No Comments

The Big Picture 

Mask and Fall Leaves

Photo credit: Flickr, 720.

Prior to the results of the Presidential election, public health experts in The Guardian expressed worry that there was no apparent strategy to address the COVID crisis, as the pandemic enters its deadliest phase with cases rising, winter forthcoming and hospitals reeling from increased spread and burnout. 

Dr. Shikha Gupta, executive director of Get Us PPE told The Guardian that the organization was “preparing for the worst,” as “one of the biggest trends we’re seeing is people are really ready to pretend the [pandemic] is over.” Soon, Get Us PPE will publish a three-point plan to solve the PPE crisis, based on nine months of experience embedded in the crisis in health facilities.

Dr. Megan Ranney, co-founder of Get Us PPE and an emergency medicine professor at Brown University told The Washington Post that when cases surged earlier on, “our governments reacted.” She said, “We closed bars. We closed restaurants. We enforced mask mandates. And I’m not seeing a lot of that nationally right now.”

Now, the United States has voted in a new President-Elect, Vice President Joe Biden who has already outlined a plan to combat COVID-19 and prepare for future global health threats one he takes office in 2021.

During election week, COVID cases in the United States averaged 106,982 per day, an increase of 57 percent from the average two weeks prior. The United States has had 10,019,900 people infected with the virus since the outbreak began, as of Sunday afternoon.

This Week at Get Us PPE 

In HealthLeaders Media, Bill Kopitke, head of healthcare for Amazon Business referred to the Get Us PPE Shortage Index to describe the demand for PPE and how the company is innovating to fulfill urgent PPE orders.

“We are set up for just a perfect storm — a conflagration,” said Dr. Ranney in The Washington Post. “Right now, you can talk about there being lots of little burning fires across the country. And then Thanksgiving will be the wind that will whip this fire up into an absolute human disaster for our country.”

She said Thanksgiving is “set up to be a chain reaction of super-spreader events across our country. And if this is happening across the country, we’re not going to have [traveling health workers] or extra staffers,” as “everyone is needed in their own hospitals or their own communities.”