Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, led his colleagues in an April 6 letter to President Donald Trump demanding a strong, coordinated federal effort to support first responders by addressing the national shortage of personal protective equipment.
The shortage of PPE unnecessarily exposes first responders to COVID-19 and will hamper the ability of emergency personnel to serve on the front lines during this public health crisis.
Joining Coons on the letter were members of the Law Enforcement Caucus and the Fire Services Caucus, including Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire; Gary Peters, D-Michigan; Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut; Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana; Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota.
“[We] urge you to continue exploring every possible avenue to increase the supply of PPE to put more of this critical equipment into the hands of those who need it most, including first responders,” said the senators. “Specifically, this requires utilizing your authorities under the Defense Production Act to strengthen domestic manufacturing capacity by incentivizing private firms to produce PPE, including respirators, gloves, gowns and eye protection, and to allocate some of these resources to first responders.”
“Without aggressive federal action, we risk leaving first responders across the country without the tools and equipment they need to keep both themselves and our communities safe during this crisis,” concluded the senators.
The full letter is available at bit.ly/3b1fTPS.