Who owns the largest stockpile of N95 masks?

N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment are known all over the world now. This pandemic has taught the world the value of protecting one’s self from the environment that surrounds him. 

In this article, let us talk about stockpiling of the N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment and all other information related to it.

The Reality Of The United States Stockpile

The United States probably owns the biggest stockpile in the world. However, even with that fact, the reality is that even hospitals and medical offices as well as laboratories in the United States are running out of their stocks and need to properly ration the ones that they currently have. Nine months into the pandemic and with the vaccine being produced by big pharmaceutical companies the federal government is still trying to draw up plans for them to distribute the stockpile.

What Does The Stockpile Contain?

According to sources, there are a lot of N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment on the United States stockpile as well as some are in order. There are around 44 million N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment in warehouses while there are more than a half billion on order. This information was presented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

There are also said to be at least 4.6 billion gloves, 6.7 million goggles, and 4.8 million face shields. Officials should properly decide and draw up plans on how to distribute the supplies to the hospitals and nursing homes. 

What Is The So-Called Plan?

Under the administration of President Trump, the main plan was to create a stockpile that would suffice for the needs of the individuals for up to 90 days. This meant that a 90 day supply of N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment would be available at all times in case of future surges. 

The goal was for the federal agencies to have at least 300 million N95 respirators on hand and on the stockpile. This is the number that they came up with and is more than 10 times the number of available products long before the virus struck this year.

President Trump unveiled that this was his big pandemic plan during the time that the first wave of the pandemic was hitting the big states such as New Jersey and New York. Since then, a lot of outbreaks and community transmission happened in other big states such as Texas, Florida, and even the state of California which houses one of the biggest manufacturers of the N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment. To say that the government underestimated the need for N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment is an understatement.

Eventually, with this plan of the Trump administration, nursing homes and hospitals are finding themselves rationing, decontaminating, and reusing N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment. This practice is a very dangerous one. 

The Big Problem

The main idea of stockpiling is to make sure that you would have stocks for future use. This means that you currently have no need for the stocks that you were offering and that the stocks that you buy will not go directly towards the individuals that actually need the stock because there is no big demand for it. The same cannot be said with the stockpile of the N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment that the United States currently have 

Bob Gibson, the vice president of the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest such union in Florida, had a lot of things to say about the stockpiling activities of the United States. He said that: “It’s like we’re in the middle of a hurricane here. They should not be stockpiling PPEshould be given to the frontline health workers.” Of course, Gibson is speaking at a point of exhaustion. 

The administration, represented by Navy Rear Admiral John Polowczyk responded by saying that the administration would change supply contracts to free some materials and some N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment. 

The Demand Is Higher

Of course, the situation now is very different from the situation to him nine months ago. We can all clearly see that the demand is changing and is now at a higher rate than it was during the beginning of this pandemic. This is all because of the fact that there is now a transmission in the United States.

Today, we can see that the demand is still at its highest and the States are competing for the supply.

What Can We Do At Home?

The best thing in the best way that individuals can do to help with the current problem is to prevent themselves from getting the virus in the first place. If there are less people in the hospitals and less people that contracted the coronavirus, there would be a lesser need for individuals to wear their N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment and there will be less work for individual medical frontliners. 

The best help that we can give those in the medical frontlines is to make sure that we do not unnecessarily add to the burden of the need for more N95 masks, N95 respirators, and personal protective equipment. We are all in this together. It is our responsibility to help each other.

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