Amid the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to increase the availability of personal respiratory devices for healthcare workers.
In a memorandum released by the White House on March 10, Trump declared that public health experts anticipate shortages in the supply of respirators available for use by healthcare workers as they seek to mitigate further transmission of coronavirus.
Trump continued to say that the Secretary of Health and Human Services is slated to take “all appropriate and necessary steps” to ensure respirators are provided for emergency use for healthcare personnel in healthcare facilities and elsewhere. The Secretary of Labor is also set to consider any other appropriate steps to increase availability.
The statement comes on the heels of reports that some U.S. hospitals are facing short supplies of N95 respirator masks from 3M (NYSE:MMM) as the global coronavirus outbreak ramps up, according to The New York Times. 3M is among several medtech companies that have been faced with supply-related challenges brought on by the coronavirus.
Trump has also signed into effect an $8.3 billion emergency package to combat the spread of coronavirus. Reportedly, $3.1 billion is being provided to increase medical supplies and supplement the Strategic National Stockpile.