CNN: Drones could help fight coronavirus by air-dropping medical supplies

CNN: Drones could help fight coronavirus by air-dropping medical supplies. “These are dangerous times for people with chronic health conditions. They often need to visit hospitals for treatment or to collect medication, but during the pandemic that means increased risk of exposure to coronavirus. In Africa, a US startup says it is reducing that risk by using drones to deliver medical supplies to local clinics, and freeing up hospital beds in the process.”

New York Times: The World Needs Syringes. He Jumped In to Make 5,900 Per Minute.

New York Times: The World Needs Syringes. He Jumped In to Make 5,900 Per Minute . “The United States is the world’s largest syringe supplier by sales, according to Fitch Solutions, a research firm. The United States and China are neck and neck in exports, with combined annual shipments worth $1.7 billion. While India is a small player globally, with only $32 million in exports in 2019, Mr. Nath of Hindustan Syringes sees a big opportunity.”

AP: Government investigating massive counterfeit N95 mask scam

AP: Government investigating massive counterfeit N95 mask scam. “Federal authorities are investigating a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. The foreign-made knockoffs are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and could put health care workers at grave risk for the coronavirus.”

Washington Post: Trump White House donated 8,700 ventilators to other nations. Officials now don’t know where many of them are, watchdog finds.

Washington Post: Trump White House donated 8,700 ventilators to other nations. Officials now don’t know where many of them are, watchdog finds.. “The Trump administration spent $200 million to send more than 8,700 ventilators to countries around the world last year, with no clear criteria for determining who should get them and no way to keep track of where many ended up, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.”

Washington Post: Biden harnesses Defense Production Act to speed vaccinations and production of protective equipment

Washington Post: Biden harnesses Defense Production Act to speed vaccinations and production of protective equipment. “The Biden administration announced a handful of initiatives Friday aimed at accelerating mass inoculations against the coronavirus and expanding production of rapid tests and surgical gloves to help control the pathogen. In the most immediate action, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy 1,110 troops to support vaccination sites. The first active-duty military personnel will arrive in California within the next 10 days, to begin operations around Feb. 15, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House’s coronavirus response team. The service members, the majority of whom will be medical personnel, are expected to be stationed at five FEMA megasites, two of which are in Oakland and east Los Angeles.”

Trade policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a new dataset (Vox EU)

Vox EU: Trade policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a new dataset. “One of the instruments many governments resorted to in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was trade policy. This column introduces a new high frequency dataset on trade policy changes targeting medical and food products since the beginning of the pandemic, documenting how countries used such instruments on a week-by-week basis. While there was a burst in trade policy activism in February and March 2020 in tandem with the rise in COVID-19 cases, there was significant variation across governments in their resort to trade policy, the types of measures used, and the duration of interventions.”

Washington Post: Smallest health providers face biggest problem finding protective gear amid coronavirus surge

Washington Post: Smallest health providers face biggest problem finding protective gear amid coronavirus surge. “Most U.S. hospitals and health systems have, over the pandemic’s nine months, stitched together systems and improvisations to acquire masks, gowns, gloves and other personal protective equipment. Yet many small health-care and social-service settings continue to suffer from shortages they expect to grow worse.”

‘We’re being left behind’: Rural hospitals can’t afford ultra-cold freezers to store the leading Covid-19 vaccine (STAT News)

STAT News: ‘We’re being left behind’: Rural hospitals can’t afford ultra-cold freezers to store the leading Covid-19 vaccine. “The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech, seems to provide 90% immunity according to early data released on Monday. But there’s a catch: The vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Typical freezers don’t get that cold, making distribution of this vaccine a logistical nightmare.”

BuzzFeed News: FEMA Threw Out The Faulty Ventilators Russia Gave The US Without Ever Using Them

BuzzFeed News: FEMA Threw Out The Faulty Ventilators Russia Gave The US Without Ever Using Them. “The Russian ventilators were received by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York on April 1 and divided up between hospitals there and in New Jersey. But there were problems with the Aventa-M ventilators from the moment they landed and they were never used. Now, according to FEMA, they have essentially been tossed in the trash.”

AP: US medical supply chains failed, and COVID deaths followed

AP: US medical supply chains failed, and COVID deaths followed. “The Associated Press and ‘FRONTLINE’ launched a seven-month investigation — filing Freedom of Information Act requests, testing medical masks, interviewing dozens of experts from hard-hit hospitals to the White House — to understand what was behind these critical shortages. Medical supply chains that span oceans and continents are the fragile lifelines between raw materials and manufacturers overseas, and health care workers on COVID-19 front lines in the U.S. As link after link broke, the system fell apart.”

Business Insider: Jared Kushner made a deal with Russia for ventilators during the COVID-19 crisis, but every single machine was faulty, report says

Business Insider: Jared Kushner made a deal with Russia for ventilators during the COVID-19 crisis, but every single machine was faulty, report says. “Jared Kushner brokered a deal with Russia for 45 ventilators to be brought to the US to help with the coronavirus crisis, but they all turned out to be faulty, a new report says. Two senior Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast that Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, helped to secure an equipment order that included the ventilators.”

Kaiser Health News: As Georgia Reopened, Officials Knew of Severe Shortage of PPE for Health Workers

Kaiser Health News: As Georgia Reopened, Officials Knew of Severe Shortage of PPE for Health Workers. “As the coronavirus crisis deepened in April, Georgia officials circulated documents showing that to get through the next month, the state would need millions more masks, gowns and other supplies than it had on hand. The projections, obtained by KHN and other organizations in response to public records requests, provide one of the clearest pictures of the severe PPE deficits states confronted while thousands fell ill from rising COVID-19 cases, putting health workers at risk.”

Politico: Masks, surgical gowns, testing supplies on FDA shortage list

Politico: Masks, surgical gowns, testing supplies on FDA shortage list. “Surgical gowns, gloves, masks, certain ventilators and various testing supplies needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic are on the FDA’s first-ever list of medical devices in shortage. The agency is not disclosing who makes any of the devices on the list, which it released [August 14], because that ‘will adversely affect the public health by increasing the potential for hoarding or other disruptions.’ Instead, the agency has released the product codes of devices in shortage.”