Top doctor, hospital groups say more protective equipment needed 'immediately'

Top doctor, hospital groups say more protective equipment needed 'immediately'
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The top organizations representing doctors and hospitals in the United States are warning that their members need more protective equipment “immediately” to fight the coronavirus. 

The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and other leading health care groups said in a joint statement that they “are vitally concerned with the shortages of masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE).”

“PPE is needed immediately to protect the caregivers who are risking their own health to care for patients in the most need,” the statement added. 

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Doctors have been telling stories from around the country of reusing masks or resorting to makeshift masks to try to deal with a shortage of crucial supplies as they deal with an influx of coronavirus patients. 

The doctor and hospital groups are calling for action to address these shortages. The groups called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE last weekend to use the Defense Production Act to direct industry to ramp up production of the critical supplies, like masks and gowns. 

Trump, after days of resistance, on Friday announced he was using the act to direct General Motors to make ventilators, but made no mention of using his powers for protective equipment for health workers.

Ventilators are also a particularly concerning shortfall. 

“Shortages of ventilators and intensive care facilities threaten the lives of the sickest patients,” the statement from doctors and hospital groups warned on Friday. 

“We must all work immediately to remove any impediments anywhere in the supply chain and come together at the federal, state, and local levels to develop an approach for a fair, equitable, and swift distribution across the nation that is based upon evidence of the most need,” the groups added.