President Trump’s decision to stockpile N95 masks is an important but misguided decision. PPE is time sensitive and can deteriorate sitting on the shelf of a warehouse. When it expires, we not only lose our investment in the material, but we lose readiness as well. It must be refreshed on an ongoing basis.

A better decision would be to establish eight to 10 regionally based warehouse operations, each carrying the full menu of PPE and other materials. Hospitals would order normal operating resupply directly from these warehouses, rather than ordering material from a manufacturer on their own. This would allow the stock to remain fresh while maintaining a shelf-ready stock of emergency material. The warehouses would operate under a government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) principal, with the provider establishing resupply algorithms that guarantee a base level of fresh emergency supply.

Because the warehouse operation would order in bulk levels for a national customer, hospitals would enjoy the best price. Federal investment would be the initial stock, the operating and transportation costs and staff, as the hospital’s cost of resupply would become part of the operating budget of the warehouse utilized for the order.

Simply stockpiling material is an action insufficient to the task. We need to find tools that minimize costs while maintaining the freshness of resupply materials.

(8) comments

Reader1954

why would Trump get all the blame for not being prepaired when he has been involved only 3 years. How about all the lifetime politicians - like Biden that have made no preparations. Especially after what should have been a wake-up call of 9-11

public-tertiary

Good point. Mitch McConnell comes to mind too. And Speakers of the House John Boehner and Paul “the smart one” Ryan. They did bupkis.

bosco

Didn't the Democrats and the media lambast Trump for not having a stockpile of supplies before the coronavirus? Are they now against stockpiling since Trump worked with private industry to produce our way to a surplus?

threecents

3M says its N95s are good for at least 5 years if in original packing.

Piedmontgardener

Great letter! Very well thought out, nice to see how many people are thinking of ways to improve our country so this type of response never happens again.

DeplorableLocalVeteran

Make no mistake we will survive c19 but our national prominence might not. Investors aren’t going to invest in a nation so poorly managed and so divided

Greg F

Having a POTUS that has the sense to enact the Defense Production Act would have gone a long way with PPE and also that he was approached by PPE manufacturers well ahead of time for help...which he promptly did not give. Also, PPE may expire, but is still useful (just like "expired" medication that generally retains 99% effectiveness decades later)

with some guidelines put out here: https://www.gnyha.org/news/updated-guidance-for-use-of-expired-ppe/

DeplorableLocalVeteran

Republicans typically detest academia which is why the response to develop an effective treatment to C19 is slow and unlikely until 2021. Many of our brilliant minority scientist fighting C19 also have to fight MAGA extremists delaying a victory against the pandemic.

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