A group of Democratic senators has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator whether the agency is shipping enough personal protective equipment to staff at nursing homes, which are epicenters of coronavirus outbreaks in some states.
“Recent data show that approximately 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States are residents or workers at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” Sens. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Aging Committee Ranking Member Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York wrote Tuesday in a letter to Peter Gaynor.
In late April, President Donald Trump announced an effort to send more supplies to nursing homes, but providers say they haven’t always gotten what was promised.
“We have heard from constituents who live and work at long-term care facilities that they do not have adequate supplies,” the letter, obtained exclusively by CNN, reads.
Nursing home workers have complained they were getting defective equipment, including gowns that looked more like large tarps – with no holes for hands – and paper-thin surgical masks.
The senators asked Gaynor whether 14-day supply shipments to nursing homes were a one-time occurrence or part of a long-term plan.
“On May 2nd, FEMA announced that it would ship a 14-day supply of PPE to nursing homes including, ‘more than 11.7 million surgical masks, 53.3 million gloves, more than 1.2 million goggles and other eye protections, and nearly 12.9 million gowns.’ Please provide a list of facilities that have received supplies and how much PPE they have received,” the letter adds.
They also asked about quality control measures.