Democrats and Republicans want to break China’s monopoly on medical supplies.
Hospitals are facing shortages around the country.
China is the sole provider of multiple medications and vital chemicals used to make other drugs.
China has threatened to withhold medications from the US.
(NewsReady.com) – The coronavirus pandemic is revealing many problems with the American healthcare system. The main issue, however, is the widespread shortage of supplies hospitals are experiencing. Everything from ventilators and medications to masks, gloves and gowns are running out as medical professionals are frantically working to keep people alive. Now the call for the US to break away from China as the main supplier of these supplies is growing louder.
American pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are heavily outsourced to China. As COVID-19 swept through the communist country, many of its factories shut down. That led to a shortage in the medications and gear doctors, nurses and first responders needed to fight the virus in the US.
On February 27, FDA commissioner, Stephen M. Hahn, released a statement on the agency’s website assuring Americans he was looking at shortages in the supply chain. The agency found at least 20 drugs that got “their active pharmaceutical ingredients or finished drug products from China.” At that time, medical devices were also at risk.
Fast forward a few weeks and medical professionals around the US are now reporting shortages. On March 30, Vizient, a healthcare service company, released data showing hospitals were running out of medications used to keep patients sedated.
In addition to the medications, the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at hospitals is a huge problem. Again, most of it’s made in China.
It’s not as if this was a surprise. In August 2019, Stars and Stripes, a military publication, discussed the problem after President Donald Trump’s administration sounded the alarm. Christopher Priest, the acting deputy assistant director for health care operations and Tricare for the Defense Health Agency, told a panel in Washington “Chinese dominance” over medical supplies “could not be overstated.”
Long before the Trump administration noticed an issue, a man in Texas was shouting at officials about it. Prestige Ameritech Executive Vice President Mike Bowen told former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, that he warned officials about this issue for 15 years. His company makes face masks for healthcare workers.
“What I’ve been saying since 2007 is, ‘guys, I’m warning you, here’s what is going to happen, let’s prepare,’” Bowen said. “Because if you call me after it starts, I can’t help everybody.”
Officials ignored his warnings.
Breaking China’s Grip
Sadly, it took a global pandemic and widespread shortages for America to wake up. During the April 2 coronavirus update, Peter Navarro, President Trump’s economic adviser, said the country will stop relying so heavily on China. He said, ”Never again should we rely on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and countermeasures.”
In February, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act to combat our reliance on the communist country for vital medical supplies. Democrats support the bill as well.
The sheer amount of control China had over the supply chain was astonishing. Hopefully, this was the kick in the rear that officials need to get it together and protect the American people. If not, the next time may be even worse.
~Daily News for Busy People!
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