Health groups call on U.S. Senate to protect emergency workers

A coalition of leading public health and medical groups in several states across the country are urging U.S. senators to push Senate leadership to establish central, transparent coordination of the medical supply chain in the next coronavirus relief package. The coalition is petitioning the Senators because health officials from coast to coast have expressed serious concern about continued shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

July 2nd, 2020

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 

Dear Senator McConnell, 

The struggles we face with the novel coronavirus are far from over. Glaring holes remain in the medical supply chain and testing infrastructure. Yet, the Trump Administration is scaling back its work to address the pandemic. 

Centralized, federal leadership is necessary for the efficient purchase and transparent distribution of medical equipment, including personal protective equipment and testing resources. 

State governments depend on the federal government for aid and assistance during times of national emergency. Just as importantly, without central coordination, states are being forced to compete against each other for critical supplies, which has led to skyrocketing prices and increased risk for health care workers and the public. 

According to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll, in early May, two-thirds of health care workers cited an insufficient supply of respirators, which are masks that filter out most airborne particles. And according to a new analysis published in the Lancet–one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals — those respirators offer far more protection for health care workers than a normal surgical mask.

This is all set against the backdrop of a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases as states reopen across the country. 

Therefore, we strongly urge you to support including the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act  in the next Senate coronavirus stimulus package, as the House recently did. The bill would:

  • Create a central coordinator position to oversee federal purchasing and distribution of medical supplies. This person would have the full authority to utilize the Defense Production Act in order to compel companies to produce necessary medical equipment.

  • Establish transparency and accountability in handling of the medical supply chain including: 

  • Public, weekly reports of current stockpiles of supplies and projected needs. 

  • Publicly posting states’ requests for medical equipment and locations where supplies are distributed. 

These measures are crucial to ensuring a steady, reliable supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. As the United States of America, we need to be united in protecting health care workers so that they can protect everyone. 

Thank you for your consideration. 


Matthew Wellington

Public Health Campaigns Director, U.S. PIRG 

Val Griffeth, MD, PhD 

Co-Founder, Get Us PPE 

Justin Lowenthal, MD-PhD Candidate 

Doctors for America 

*The following groups endorse including the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act in the next coronavirus stimulus package. 

Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA)

Washington University Physicians

National Association of Certified Professional Midwives

Kentucky Public Health Association 

Pennsylvania Public Health Association

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Illinois Public Health Association

North Carolina Public Health Association

Missouri College of Emergency Physicians

Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics, California

SEIU Healthcare Illinois

UFCW Local 7

Denver Health United Workers 

Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers

Partnership for Better Health

Sheep Inc Health Care Center/NAFC/ FCAP


Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Alliance

Consumer Health Coalition

Maternity Care Coalition

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Maine Radiologic Society

Consumers for Affordable Health Care

The Maine Society For Respiratory Care (MeSRC)

Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians

Health Care For All Massachusetts

IL Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Respiratory Health Association

AIDS Foundation Chicago

EverThrive Illinois

MSU UHP Dental Services

Montana Medical Student Association

Master’s of Public Health Graduate Student Association

CU Anschutz Women’s Health Interest Group

Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group

Sports Medicine Interest Group (CU Anschutz SOM)

University of Colorado Oncology Group

University of Colorado School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)

American Medical Women’s Association RVU

The University of Colorado School of Medicine SNMA chapter

The American Medical Women’s Association

American Medical Women’s Association at Colorado State University

AMWA CU Boulder

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

School Nurses Organization of Arizona

San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility

Healthy Days Pediatrics