July 30,2020

Wyden Solicits Stories from Frontline Health Care Workers Struggling to Get PPE

Ranking Member Announces Story Bank to Understand How Shortages Continue to Impact Health Care System

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked for health care workers to submit their experiences trying to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Finance Committee heard today that the supply crunch on PPE is far from over,” Wyden said. “I want to hear the stories of the people being affected by these shortages—nurses, EMTs, doctors and health care providers struggling to get PPE. Lifting up these stories in the coming weeks will be crucial to Congress’ understanding of the work ahead.”

Stories can be emailed to PPEshortages@finance.senate.gov. The deadline for submissions is August 31st. All personal information will be redacted unless requested otherwise.

A recent survey from the American Nurses Association (ANA) found 79% of nurses are required or encouraged to reuse PPE, while nearly half reported a shortage of some kind. The president of the ANA, Dr. Ernest Grant, testified at Thursday’s hearing. According to CDC data, hundreds of nursing homes didn’t have PPE in mid-July, and thousands more had less than a week’s supply. HHS has estimated the U.S. needs 300 million N-95 respirators every month, while only a fraction of that is making its way to health care workers.

Wyden’s full opening remarks from the hearing can be found here.