ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As New Mexico continues to combat the coronavirus, a national shortage of health care supplies and personal protective equipment is putting a lot of stress on health care professionals.
So far, UNM Hosptial and Presbyterian Hospital have said they have a sufficient supply of masks, but they did not say what “sufficient” meant. This comes just days after the former director of the Strategic National Stockpile says supplies are limited. “The Strategic National Stockpile is that very last lifeline. It doesn’t have everything and unlimited resources that people would like it to have,” says Greg Burel.
UNM Hospital did not interview with KRQE, but in a statement, a spokesperson says they have enough PPE, or personal protective equipment, at this time. They say they will continue to monitor their supply and will rely on the feds to provide additional materials. They would not provide specifics on their current inventory.
Two weeks ago, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed her disappointment with how the White House was responding to the needs for supplies. New Mexico recently requested a full allotment for drugs and medical supplies, but the Governor’s office says the state only got 25% of that and it got here in bad condition.
This past weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases assured the nation they would eventually get the supplies they need. “I mean I know the spirit of the task force, and when we talk about, when people need things, it doesn’t matter who they are. We try to get them what they need,” he says.
A Presbyterian Hospital spokesperson says they are not able to give us a specific count on their medical supplies because that changes daily. They believe by conserving their N95 masks, they will be able to meet the needs of the community. They are also accepting supplies from the feds.
KRQE News 13 also reached out to Lovelace Hospital and the Department of health to see how they’re handling the national shortage, but they did not get back to us.