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Slotkin: We need an 'emergency medical supply czar'
16:47 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Mayors from 213 cities across the country report they do not have, and have no way of acquiring, adequate equipment and supplies to protect first responders amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey released Friday.

“The message: cities are going to be central to the nation’s response effort, and federal resources directed to the local responders on the front line will be critical to safeguarding our citizens,” said Tom Cochran, the CEO and executive director of the US Conference of Mayors, which conducted the survey in the last week, in a statement.

The survey “shows that, despite their best efforts, most cities do not have and cannot obtain adequate equipment and supplies needed to protect their residents,” he said.

According to the survey, 91.5% of the cities say they do not have enough supplies of face masks for their first responders and medical personnel, and 88.2% do not have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment other than face masks.

Additionally, 92.1% do not have an adequate supply of test kits, 85% do not have enough ventilators for use by health facilities in their cities or areas, 62.4% have not received emergency equipment or supplies from their states and of those who have gotten help from their states, 84.6% say it is not adequate to meet their needs.

The survey comprises 213 cities – from small to large – across 41 states and Puerto Rico, with a total population of 42 million.

“This is a life-threatening crisis that will continue unless the federal government does everything in its power to help us safeguard our first responders and health care workers – our first line of defense – and the millions of other public servants in our cities whose work today puts them at risk,” Cochran said in the statement.