(FinancialHealth.net) – The coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout China and other parts of the world while leaders try to stop it from becoming a pandemic. The United States may not have a lot of cases, but the virus has exposed a huge problem: a medical supply shortage.
The United States relies on China for many of its medical supplies, and now officials are assessing the threat of a shortage. The U.S. Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn, tweeted a reassurance that the agency is keeping an eye on the situation:
We are keenly aware that the #coronavirus outbreak will likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S., but we’re not waiting for manufacturers to report shortages to us. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/SwB1a7mhJP
— Dr. Stephen M. Hahn (@SteveFDA) February 17, 2020
The concern over medical supplies isn’t just about masks, goggles and other protective equipment. While those are all important, China is the sole supplier of many of the raw materials needed to make medications. Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief, Julie Gerberding, said she’s especially concerned about a shortage of antibiotics.
Prestige Ameritech, a Texas company that manufactures medical face masks, has been warning the government about the dangers of relying on China. The company’s executive vice president, Mike Bowen, started sounding the alarm in 2007, but he went ignored.
While speaking to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the crisis, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said it’s “shocking” that lawmakers “have allowed this to happen.”
It’s not just shocking, it’s dangerous. Right now, many Chinese factories are closed due to containment efforts. While the U.S. government has an emergency stockpile of medical supplies, we don’t know when they’ll decide to use it or how long it will last. A persistent shortage of supplies could put American lives in danger. Our lawmakers need to come up with a solution to ensure this never happens again.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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