The Five Covid-19 Policy Priorities Congress Should Adopt

A daily update from Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Today I’ll share more about the crises of today (masks & beds), the crises of tomorrow (ventilators), clinical protocols, what Congress needs to do, and what others are doing to help us sustain #.

Hospital masks:

As I said last week doctors and nurses on the frontlines are the biggest need. Trump seemed to confirm getting factories moving to make masks. Everyone who can, should. We will likely need 1 billion masks.

In the meantime, we are making plans to launch a National N95 mask coordination site for people who want to make, donate, or need masks. A great Silicon Valley team is working on it. More soon on that. We need to put every donation or contribution towards helping a front line worker. If any dentists, painters, contractors, plastic surgeons, etc. have any protective gear — N-95 masks or other, gloves, thermometers — sitting around, bring them to your local hospitals. In any number. All you have.

Hospital beds and ventilators:

We will be where Italy was with hospital capacity (we are 10–14 days behind them). We will get overrun. I will be blunt. I’ve been speaking to governors and the Administration. The urgency in the states is much much higher than the urgency at the fed level. I’m not trying to criticize for its own sake. They need to amp it up. I expect within days we will see a new round of regulations removed on hospitals allowing them to use/get more capacity. We have to move away from being weeks behind to getting weeks ahead of this.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said it today: Hospital beds are no good without more ventilators. A worldwide shortage means we need to make more. And we need to  and not infect people to spare people’s lives.

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