ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Democratic U.S. Congress members are asking President Donald Trump's administration to speed up medical supply deliveries to Minnesota from the national stockpile to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Sunday, March 22, letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the seven members of Congress said health care workers are still waiting for deliveries of supplies like ventilators, masks, shoe covers, gowns and gloves, despite making several requests to the Strategic National Stockpile.
Sunday's letter comes as Minnesota reports the highest one-day jump in positive COVID-19 tests since the pandemic hit the state: As of Sunday, 32 new cases have been detected, bringing the state's total to 169. With testing supplies limited, that number is likely an underestimate, officials caution.
The members said with increasing rates of hospitalization due to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus, and dwindling supplies, the virus threatens to "seriously (strain) our health care system's ability to keep workers safe and respond efficiently to patient needs."
"In order to protect both the patients and the selfless frontline health care workers who treat them, Minnesota needs the full amount of supplies that it has requested to combat the COVID-19 pandemic," the members wrote.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well as U.S. Representatives Angie Craig, Minn.-02, Dean Phillips, Minn.-03, Betty McCollum, Minn.-04, Ilhan Omar, Minn.-05, and Collin Peterson Minn.-07. All are Democrats.
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