Nation’s Public Health Leaders Urge President Trump to Use All Available Authorities to Quickly Produce Testing Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment
April 09, 2020
WASHINGTON—A joint statement by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Association of Public Health Laboratories, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Emergency Management Association.
“We urge President Trump and the administration to utilize all existing authorities to require American corporations to expand or retool their production lines to urgently produce testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). In order to respond to this pandemic, we need these items in mass quantities right now. Without a forceful and urgent call to these private sector partners, our nation won’t be equipped to contain COVID-19 and we will falter in our collective efforts to suppress this virus and reopen our cities, states, and territories.
“Specifically, production should include rapid manufacturing and production of supplies and equipment necessary for rapid point-of-care COVID-19 testing including reagents, point-of-care kits, viral transport media, laboratory supplies, and related products. Our nation’s recovery depends on public and private laboratories and public health, healthcare, and hospital systems having the capacity to test for COVID-19 in every community throughout the country. After robust testing capabilities are available, we will better be able to determine where and when it is safe to gradually loosen stay-at-home orders and restrictions on gatherings.
“Additionally, rapid manufacturing and production of PPE is needed to exponentially expand in settings where infection and transmission may be highest including hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, correctional facilities, grocery stores, and other venues where people congregate. Expanding PPE access to every necessary setting will protect those who are responding to COVID-19 today, but expansion will also be critical for preventing future COVID-19 transmission and lowering community transmission rates.
"Our nation’s recovery from COVID-19 will be based on the rapid production of testing supplies and PPE. Now is the time for every company that can to produce these vital materials to help save American lives.”
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.