Shortage of N95 respirator masks traces to 2009 H1N1 outbreak; U.S. stock never restored

Shortage of N95 respirator masks traces to 2009 H1N1 outbreak; U.S. stock never restored
N95 respirator mask. FDA

[Ed. – That was in spite of a Bush 43 preparedness plan from 2005, which by rule called for replenishing the masks (100 million of them) used in the 2009 epidemic.  Obama had 7 years to replenish the stock; Trump has had 3.  We’re in the 6th Congress now since the H1N1 outbreak, and Congress never got it done either.  Congratulations all around.]

The Trump administration is scrambling to replenish a stockpile of protective medical gear for healthcare workers and patients as the coronavirus sweeps across the nation. N95 respirator masks are one of the most needed medical supplies amid the outbreak. …

In 2009, the H1N1 outbreak hit the United States, leading to 274,304 hospitalizations, 12,469 deaths, and a depletion of N95 respirator masks.

A federally backed task force and a safety equipment organization both recommended to the Obama administration that the stockpile be replenished with the 100 million masks used after the H1N1 outbreak.

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Charles Johnson, president of the International Safety Equipment Association, said that advice was never heeded.

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