Two organizations warned White House to replenish supply after 2009 swine-flu outbreak…
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) As hospitals struggle to obtain N95 respirator masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, Democrats have been quick to lay the blame at President Donald Trump’s feet. But a new report reveals that the Obama administration is responsible for the medical mask shortage.
The stockpile was deleted in 2009 when the H1N1 swine flue broke out. The Obama administration pulled roughly three-fourths of the masks from the federal government’s supply, but never replenished it, according to Bloomberg News.
Even after two separate organizations urged the Obama department of Health and Human Services to restock N95 masks, the administration failed to act, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to Charles Johnson, president of the International Safety Equipment Association, about 100 million N95 respirator masks were used up during the swine flu pandemic.
His association warned the Obama administration that failure to replenish the 100 million masks used could result in a catastrophe, but Johnson maintained that he is unaware of any “major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown.”
As a result, the Trump administration inherited a stockpile of only 12 million N95 masks—a tiny fraction of the 300 million the nation’s healthcare system might need, according to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
To increase the supply, Trump is encouraging private businesses to manufacture masks or donate protective masks they already have in supply to local hospitals. He is also reportedly considering enacting the Defense Production Act of 1950, which would give him the authority to force businesses to manufacturer war-time materials. This would be a last resort option only, though, Trump said.
I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020