FEMA chief: Medical supplies now being shipped to hospitals


As we come on the air this morning alarming and sobering numbers from across the globe there are now more than three hundred thousand confirmed cases worldwide and more than thirteen thousand deaths from corona virus and in the US there are now over twenty six thousand cases and at least three hundred forty have died New York the city that never sleeps has gone quiet now the epicenter of this crisis with more than twelve thousand confirmed cases one of at least five states asking residents to stay at home those restrictions affecting more than twenty percent of the country's population amid growing economic uncertainty the Senate is expected to finalize a deal on economic release later today Senate and house leadership are set to meet to discuss that trillion dollar rescue bill all of this has visibly changed life in America barely any cars on those normally act Los Angeles freeways the Las Vegas Strip usually buzzing with life now desolate and in the nation's capital the cherry blossoms have bloomed a sure sign of spring but no one knows what these next months will bring over the next hour we're going to break it all down ahead of a crucial week in confronting this crisis from the emergency medical response to the economic fallout to the many ways this virus takes a toll on all of us Dr Jen Ashton will join you shortly with her take on what the latest numbers mean and how you can protect yourself but we begin this morning with FEMA director Peter Gaynor who is now in charge of the government's response effort good morning Mr gainer and I want to start right away with FEMA's mission which is to lead America to prepare for prevent respond to and recover from disasters so how did we get to this point where we have health care workers desperate for critical supplies it's a it's a great question mother and you know my role today is is about today it's about tomorrow it's about where we are in two weeks my job is to bring together a whole of government whole of nation to include our business partners to make sure that we can navigate our way out of this and that's what we're doing every day so when it comes to things like supplies a we are shipping supplies we shipped yesterday we ship today with our ship tomorrow I will try to meet every need in the nation but a word of caution the supplies that governors are looking for the same supplies that every other country in the world is looking for so this is not a global problem it's a national problem and again working hard every day here to meet those demands so we we know you're working hard the task force announced yesterday that six hundred million N. ninety five mask protect healthcare workers have now been ordered but no one on that task force of the president of the vice president now you could answer the question when will they be ready for use let me run you part of that exchange that began with her own travel what exactly can expect to receive these masks every single governor across the countries of the exact same thing so there's a balance but we're examining the entire supply chain to make sure that when we make masks start coming and they're they're they're out there now they're out there now so can you tell us this morning when those masks will be distributed and how many they have been distributed they've been distributed all over the past couple weeks the shipping today they'll ship tomorrow we find more and more mastership because we have developing great partnerships with the with the commercial sector out there through donations wrapping up production so again they have been shipping we are trying to focus those shipments on the most critical hot spots in the country places like New York City Washington state California that is our priorities but but will the healthcare systems there be overwhelmed before mass get there I know you've been shipping some mass but the six hundred million orders are very important and critical at this point will you get them in time before the health system is overwhelmed again they're they're shipping today they shipped yesterday shift tomorrow and I think what one of the things that when you say what you mean how many which masks the new mailbox I mean it is hundreds of thousands of millions of things that we're shipping off from the stockpile but I I can't give you details about what every single state what every single cities doing but what I'm telling you that we are shipping from our national stockpile which shipping from vendors a with shipping from donations if it is happening but the demand is great the the the the man from the governors is great the demand around the world is great and I I have the best experts here I have a two star general from the joint staff at logistics that that is helping me solve these problems plus many other from government we are in this a hundred percent how many masks were in the strategic stockpile you said you're shipping from the stockpile have all those masks been distributed and if not why not again that there are still a supplies in the stockpile we are shipping all those supplies to all the demands all the Assam all the governors every day we are we're prepared to go to zero in the stock fell to meet demand again this is a whole of government effort and if I get if I could just you know and this is your responsibility I know the the president Dr thought you talked about testing you know if you don't need a test if you don't have symptoms please don't get a test because the demand for PPE on unnecessary testing is is something that's working against us so all in it together all right every American has a role to play and we ask you if you need to get a test and you have symptoms go get it if you just want to test to make yourself feel better please don't do that I I just want one more time in this mask you say your shipping amount where they're needed first you've still got some in the stockpile I wonder why that stockpile hasn't been depleted have you seen the urgent pleas from health care workers what we have I I've talked to a governor's approaches mercy managers we've gotten updates to the task force I am well aware of the high demand for these items but but again so why haven't those been shipped to those urgent care facilities if you have those masks in the stockpile as you say you have and their ship why weren't they ship before which which are really goes back to my original crust questions how are we in such bad shape at this point in terms of supplies yes so again like I said in the beginning you know my focus is on today right filling all the demands that have been in the queue filling demands that we get today tomorrow and into the next month to make sure that we should find a connect the the supply with the demand and meet that need you said your agency hadn't been invited to join the White House task force until last week should FEMA's involvement have ramped up sooner and why didn't it well I you know I'm not to look back on well you know what should have been done what wasn't done and we can do that at a later time again my focus on as a leaf of coordinating of federal operations is on is on today we can look back at another date my my my eyes are focused today tomorrow the next day in order to beat this coronavirus the Russian post is reporting that the U. S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous classified warnings beginning in January about the global danger of coronavirus all this while president trump and others were downplaying the threat the post says that according to an official Donald Trump may not have been expecting this but a lot of other people in the government were they just couldn't get him to do anything about it the system was blinking red the president says this report is inaccurate so did you know about those warnings and if not why not you know that when it comes to public health emergencies the R. HHS I has been the lead for that they can be kind of on that mission I I was not part of any of those discussions whether they're reported or for factual it is I wanna go back to your mission again is to lead American to prepare for you had no indication the worldwide threat assessment of twenty nineteen said we assess the United States in the world will remain vulnerable the next flu pandemic for large scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to a massive rates of death and disability severely affect the world economy and strained international resources so is it really fair to say you had no warning about this really again you know the public health medical mission statutory lies with HHS my mission FEMA prior to this natural disasters and those catastrophic events that happen but now it's a different world now HHS and FEMA locked arm in arm plus many other agencies from around government to include a private partners and today I'm trying to focus on today and tomorrow and we want to be in a couple weeks that is my mission and and what do you think we'll see in a couple of weeks a big change what again I think every American has a role to play I think the fifteen days do what you do what

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