I love wearing white-colored clothes. That’s because I can easily wash them with added bleach, and they come out of the washer clean and bright.

Recently, my wife sent me to one of the wholesale stores in our vicinity to buy bleach to use on my white cloths.

I was surprised to find no traces of any kind of bleach on the shelves. Also, I found no traces of any disinfectant products in the stores. So many shelves were completely empty. I stayed around for a while to see what was going on.

I saw shoppers piling up shopping carts with a lot of things. Depending on the eating and consumption habits of the shoppers, shopping carts were stacked with different kinds of food. The variations were very interesting. One shopper was filling his cart with eggs, croissants and cheese. Another cart was filled with baby diapers and disposable underwear. Others were stacked with disposable towels and napkins, while some had collected a great amount of chips and dips.

Interestingly, I found an older couple loading their cart with large amounts of high-protein drinks. Not to mention the loading of drinking water, which disappeared rapidly.

While I was sitting and watching people under the influence of scary media, the manager, whom I consider a friend, came and sat with me. I asked him about the bleach, and his response was, “Don’t count on us. As soon as I get a shipment, it disappears before we open the store. It may be via internet orders.”

I asked him what’s going on. This looks like a hurricane is coming to town. He said it’s worth it. With hurricanes, we can manage our stocks because we know what the customers need, and we try to overstock it. But now no one knows what’s going on, consequently nobody knows what they want and need for the current situation of viral scare.

He said before he left, “Whatever it is, we’re making a lot of money — and we love it.”

We both felt that in spite of the seriousness of the situation, it’s mostly a massive media scare. We’re bombarded with news of COVID-19 viral infections and death. No one knows what it means and what’s its magnitude, impact and danger.

We’re being frightened by the news of someone who’s infected several miles away. We’re not even told what we should do or what we should stock. The stocking scare started by grabbing the breathing masks. And now it includes every item of human need and greed.

I feel like we’re manipulated by the duals of media and business — a conspiracy theory that I don’t like to contemplate. However, it’s clear there are vague driving forces behind this situation.

The complex combination of political, financial and informational aspects is overlooking the most significant aspect of our life — human health and human emotional stress.

May Almighty protect us from all of these uncomfortable circumstances and COVID-19.

Dr. Ahmed E Ahmed is professor emeritus of the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


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(63) comments

Randy Chapman


Pam Drewry

I’m assuming you are speaking about the world wide media because the shopping frenzy is happening all over the world

Mike Trube

I couldn't agree more with Mr Ahmed. According to the American Thoracic Society, in 2015, the estimated deaths among children under the age of 5, in the US suffering from pneumonia was 2,400(each day). In 2016, the daily death rate for the year for children under 5 was 880,000. For adults the death rate each year is 50,000. One of their last statements in the report was "The death rate from pneumonia in the US has had little improvement since antibiotics became widespread more than a half century ago. We are not yet winning the battle against pneumonia." According to a report I received, the release of this virus was political, due to China being angry because the world will not stay out of their business regarding Tiawain. But that could be just speculation. But it wouldn't surprise me. And, regarding the run on the stores, I shop monthly. And I found it difficult to get everything I needed. Connie

Ron Woody

Mr. Trube, your numbers are correct but the population you are using is incorrect. That is a global number not a number for the US. The sentiment is still the same if 880,000 die from pneumonia each year why is this such a big deal. Another point of information is that an additional 800,000 children under the age of 9 die from diarrhea. So close to two million children under the age of 10 die from diarrhea and pneumonia every year. Do we destroy the world economy for those? Could it be that most of those deaths are of poor children in Africa?

I just do not understand what is happening? Is this how Paul felt in 1 AD?

Bailey Jones

I doubt that Paul felt much of anything in 1 AD - not being born yet. He might have had some insight for us had he lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But he missed that as well. Still, I wish he had written more - such an exciting time.

Ron Woody

Bailey, Thanks for pointing out my misstep. I meant 1st century AD. Josephus did a good job of writing some of the stuff Paul did not cover.

Bailey Jones

That makes sense. I've never read Josephus, except tangentially through works like Bart D. Ehrman's "The Triumph of Christianity" and Reza Aslan's "Zealot - The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth". I should really get a good book on the fall of Jerusalem, I think it gets short shrift in world history.

Ron Woody

The adult number of 50,000 is for the US. American Thoracic Society kept going back and forth in their numbers between global and US.

Mike Zeller

Connie, how about a link to the report your referencing.

Mike Trube

Mike, I found the article through Yahoo. I just questioned hiow many die each year from pneumonia, that society was listed. Oh, I had a friend that worked in a hospital in Florida. She told me that 250 people die every day in the US from neglect from hospitals. No one seems to be concerned or worried about that either. But people are in a panic over this virus. I think it's a shame the media and those in high places have caused people to panic.

Carlos Ponce

The last couple of weeks has pointed out several deficiencies.

1. Our over-reliance and dependence on foreign countries to provide medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Now China is threatening to withhold needed supplies.

2. The steps taken to prevent the spread of COVID 19 should be implemented during the ordinary flu season to prevent the yearly deaths of thousands in this country.

3. Why does an American Film, "Elvis" have to be made in Australia? The infection of California born Tom Hanks in a foreign country shows us Hollywood has made producers and directors look elsewhere to reduce production costs. Tupolo, Mississippi is in the United States, not the Outback. Production is set to create about 900 jobs for Queensland locals in set production, catering, and costume design and is expected to inject more than $105 million into their economy.

Randy Chapman

Tom Hanks is now on my short list of actors I will not support due to his moronic statements about Trump.

Gary Miller

Randy> Ditto!

Bailey Jones

Films are made in Australia for the same reason that medical supplies are made in foreign countries - that's how you maximize corporate profits. The idea of putting the mundane needs of ordinary Americans above corporate profits isn't compatible with free market capitalism. (Capitalism has a single goal - profit.) It would be easy for CEOs to consider more than raw profits in their business practices (and many do, to their credit), but they do so at the risk of being ousted by their stockholders. Government can interfere in the free market - with tariffs and tax policies that reward and penalize corporations (creating winners and losers) - and I generally support such things - but it requires us to step away from the ideologically pure free market.

Bailey Jones

There's no doubt that the world is in panic. And there's no doubt that it's being fed by the media - after all, the media isn't a public service, it's a business, and it makes money by attracting eyeballs. But I disagree that media manipulation is all that's going on. The stock market has crashed - some of this is irrational, but much of it is not. When China shut down its factories a shudder went through the world wide supply chain. Saudi Arabia and Russia are engaged in a very real price war intent on destroying each other's (and the US's) oil industry. Markets are just people. The people fighting over the last gallon of bleach are the same people fighting to get their cash out of the stock market.

It's true that the number of people dying from COVID-19 is small. But there's no reason to believe that it will remain small in the absence of drastic action to contain it. I see a lot of comparisons to swine flu - "60,000,000 cases in the US and 12,000 deaths and no one closed the restaurants!!!", for instance. COVID-19 has a 2% mortality rate, as best we cal tell. 60,000,000 cases in the US equals 1,200,000 deaths, and millions more worldwide. COVID cases in the US are increasing exponentially - doubling every 2-3 days. In case you don't appreciate what that means, it means yesterday's 8500 cases become 1,000,000 in 2-3 weeks. Some of this is due to the spread of the disease, some is due to the spread of testing - we're still almost entirely in the dark about how widespread the virus is. That's why public health agencies worldwide are all saying the same thing - contain the virus, and contain it now.

Regardless, the virus has moved from the realm of healthcare into the economy. Markets are falling and haven't hit bottom yet. And we have yet to see the real economic indicators fall - earnings, employment, etc., as they inevitably will, and drive the market down further. We enjoy a capitalist economy - and most of the time, for most of our people, it works well. But it's inherently an irrational system, and it follows the moods, whims, and yes, panics, of its participants. And when it fails - and make no mistake, it HAS ALREADY failed - it's the responsibility of the government to get it up and running again.

I applaud the Trump administration and congress for the various stimulus packages churning through the house and senate. I also applaud everything being done by local governments, and every act of kindness and responsibility by every individual business owner, employee and consumer.

I don't believe our fate is in the hands of supernatural spirits, but I do believe in the spirit of humanity - irrationality and all - and I know that we will get through this, because we will eventually all take this seriously and all pull together. The real question is how bad it will get before it gets better. Keep your eyes on Wuhan and Italy - those places allows us to peek into our own future. We've seen the effects of early extreme measures in Wuhan, and the effects of too little too late in Italy. Wuhan is reporting no new cases this morning. China is tentatively going back to work. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.

Gary Miller

Bailey> Our economy is free market Capitalist. Our media is Socialist. When it can hurt the economy the Media is quick to do it. Any capitalist leaning media like FOX, Town Hall, Rush or Hanity is hated by the ?? main stream media that fewer and fewer people pay attention to.

Ron Paget

During the Spanish Flu pandemic Dr Karl Menninger was treating people at Boston Psychopathic Hospital who'd recently been infected. But his patients had symptoms far beyond what's usually associated with the flu. In a paper on 100 cases he saw over three months, he described seeing extreme mental disturbances—over half of his patients had some sort of psychosis, and almost two-thirds had hallucinations.

Bailey Jones

What did he expect, working at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital?

Jim Forsythe

Why is the film about Elvis being made in Australia? Follow the money of Baz Films.

Because the Director Baz Luhrmann is an Australian as is his co-writer Craig Pearce. Bazmark Films (Baz Luhrmann ) is the main Production Co. Also Baz wife Catherine Martin will be a production designer, costume designer, and producer on the movie. Olivia DeJonge(Priscilla Presley) is an Australian actress.

What ironic is Elvis never performed outside of North America, it is assumed that was because of Colonel Tom Parker, the person Tom Hanks is playing. Many films and TV shows are not made in the locations that they portray.

Bailey Jones

They also have great beaches. And great actors. If you watch a great TV show (Walking Dead, for instance) and don't recognize the actors, there's a good chance they're Aussies.

Jim Forsythe

Nothing new about China controlling medicine. It has happened over many years and in 2018 we became fully dependant on them.

The question is what are we and other countries going to do about it. We can not change the past.

May 8, 2018

"China has exclusive manufacturing agreements for drugs for anesthesia, cancer and HIV/AIDS, along with other medicines that "we use every day, not only in hospitals but in our own medicine chests. China is now the world's only source of antibiotics, including the main ingredient in vancomycin, a treatment of last resort that is used by patients who are suffering from infections that are resistant to other treatments."

"It's all part of a plan that China laid out in its 2025 initiative to become the pharmacy to the world."

Bailey Jones

China does what China's leaders say. That's how they've completely transformed their economy and are taking over the world. I wouldn't want a government with that much power, but I would like one with that much vision.

Charles Douglas

Wasn't all China's vision and smartness which got China over, and TRANSFORMED and TRANSMOGRIFIED them into the superpower they are today! They were one of the poorest countries on the globe, overpopulated, hungry, without any answers. They were telling their people how many kids they were allowed to have not to long ago. What happened? American bleeding hearts and it's atrocious gullibility. "Old China, ...we don't have to worry about themmmmm!" "We need to love them, and it wouldn't hurt to TRUST them, ...and ...and ...let's BRING them into the inner circle of society and humanity!" Honestly, with the routine stupidity, I see happening here, it is a wonder we are still one of the most influential and powerful countries in the world. We will help the world, pay their bills, fight their battles, kill off our young defending them, and then leave our veterans sleeping on the streets hungry and DO NOTHING FOR THEM!! I'm trying to cope with it all! A man who won't take care of his own is worse than a INFIDEL!!!!!!

Dan Freeman

Mr Forsythe, while 80% of antibiotics are manufactured in China or India, Vancomycin is manufactured by Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jim Forsythe

After your post, I started looking at Manufacturing sites versus the home of the company. This has me more confused and concerned because now you may not be able to rely on the label completely.

You are correct that Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS, Copenhagen, Denmark. but looks like the manufacturing site is Xellia Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Budapest, Hungary for at least some if not all of VANCOMYCIN. I'm not sure if this is better.


Jim Forsythe

Also https://www.drugs.com/pro/vancomycin-capsules.html

Charlotte O'rourke

I haven’t seen any panic. I have seen people totally oblivious and congregating in large groups. Being silly and thinking this will be over in 2 weeks. But, most are preparing to shelter in place for a month, and yes that requires purchasing things like toilet paper.

Does anyone really still believe this is a hoax and we shouldn’t try either suppression or mitigation techniques to allow time for the production of tests and other equipment as well as minimizing the number of covid cases hitting at once.

If successful, suppression will flatten the curve, but also lengthen the timeframe.

Uh oh. Are you sure you have enough TP?

Bailey Jones

I'm sure there are a lot of folks who still believe it's a hoax. That was the narrative for a long time. People get attached to their beliefs.

Randy Chapman

If I run out of and can't find TP I will be coming for your's!

Charlotte O'rourke

“Coming for your’s” ..... It’s 2 ply, Randy. Eat your heart out.

Carlos Ponce

Randy, in some countries they use newspapers to wipe themselves. Make good use of your old copies of the Galveston County Daily News. Read them and wipe![wink]

Gary Miller

Carlos> Monkey ward was the alternate in my youth.

Carlos Ponce

I told the pharmacy tech at CVS as the huge receipt/coupons printed, "If it was less slick it would be good toilet paper!" [wink]

Randy Chapman


Harvey Rice

Media-caused panic? Here's what doctors say:

-- Dr. Megan Ranney to CNN's John King. "We need masks TODAY. We are pleading on social media, #GetMePPE, to keep me and my patients safe. The president may say that things are being produced, but they sure as heck are not showing up in my state or in the states of all of my colleagues across the country. We need those masks and gowns NOW."

-- Pediatric surgery fellow Cornelia Griggs in an op-ed for the NYT: "The sky is falling. I say this not to panic anyone but to mobilize you." On Twitter Thursday night, she added, "Help us hack this pandemic. We need robots to help nurses. 3D printed supplies. Supply chain and pop up hospital fixes. Go!"

-- Dr. Irwin Redlener, a newly signed NBC News analyst, on Thursday's NBC special report: "We need gowns, we need face masks, we need goggles, and we need gloves."

-- ER doctor Stephen Anderson in Auburn, Washington, on ABC's "World News Tonight" Thursday: "We need ventilators. I have ventilators this morning, but the hospital up the street from me is out of ventilators at the moment."

Carlos Ponce

Galveston Daily News, Tuesday March 17, 2020, page 1: "don't panic".

The same advice can be found on the cover of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy": "DON'T PANIC!"

--Dr. Megan Ranney is an emergency physician. Two years ago she tweeted "Over the past 2 days, hundreds of doctors have shared heartbreaking accounts of how #gunviolence is a #publichealth issue." She had disagreements with President Trump in the past objecting to the President suggesting a link between mental illness and gun violence. Wasn't the Santa Fe shooter found mentally incompetent? Easy to figure out which side of the political spectrum she rests on.

Jim Forsythe

As DR. MEGAN RANNEY has spent many years working with people with problems, she has a lot of experience to go by. She did not say a mass shooter was not mentally ill but we should be treating all that need help. Why try and make it about politics when we are in need of all the medical help we can get. Would you refuse to let DR. MEGAN RANNEY help you?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY: "The mass shootings that we’re experiencing across the United States, the vast minority of them are committed by people with serious mental illness. About 20% of Americans across the country suffer from mental illness. And as you mentioned, they are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators themselves. Where they’re most at risk of suicide. As you said, two-thirds of gun deaths across this country are suicides. And by labeling mass shootings as mental illness, we risk further stigmatizing the mentally ill, driving them away from treatment, increasing the rates of suicide, and also preventing us from making forward progress on this epidemic."

We do not have all the medical supplies that we need. What did she say that was not true? The supplies may be ordered, but you can not use orders!

Carlos Ponce

Let me repeat my question: Wasn't the Santa Fe shooter found mentally incompetent?

Jim Forsythe

He was declared incompetent to stand trial at this time. How does that relate to DR. MEGAN RANNEY? She has stated that some mass killings are committed by people with serious mental illness. Dimitrios Pagourtzis is at North Texas State Hospital for treatment. DR. MEGAN RANNEY does not work at North Texas State Hospital or for the state of Texas, so she has not examined him. You have no way knowing what her opinion of Dimitrios would be. Dr. Megan Ranney's statement to CNN's John King does not mention the Santa Fe shooter.

We do not have all the medical supplies that we need. What did she say that was not true about supplies? The supplies may be ordered, but you can not use orders on a patient!

Carlos Ponce

Megan Ranney discredits the idea that many shootings are done by those with mental disorders. That is clearly not true. It goes to her credibility or rather lack of. It is clear based on her history she HATES, despises Trump no matter what he says, does. (She reminds me of some of our forum posters.) She is clearly suffering from TDS. No wonder why an über-Liberal network chose Megan, an über-Liberal pundit to interview.

Jim Forsythe

DR. MEGAN RANNEY has stated that 20% of the population has mental problems. She has also said the mass shooters may have issues, Not all mass shooters are mentally ill.

Since DR. MEGAN RANNEY does not practice in Texas and what she was quoted about was the problems going on right now, lack of supplies, your talking about DR. MEGAN RANNEY's political views has no place in this thread.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY specialties include Emergency Medicine. University Emergency Medicine, Providence, RI is where she is in the ER, so she sees what shortage that hospitals are having.

Carlos Ponce

Megan Ranney is a Trump hater. You are spinning your wheels using her as a source.

Gary Miller

Carlos> To hate Trump she must first hate America.

Jim Forsythe

What do DR. MEGAN RANNEY's political views have to do with shortages in the ER across the USA?

If you went to an ER, would you let DR. MEGAN RANNEY treat you? Most people in need of ER help, do not care what the doctor thinks of the President. They do care that the doctor has all the PPE necessary to keep them safe. At this time, that may not be true.

Bailey Jones

It's the famous Ponce Purity Principle. No criticism of the president is valid if it comes from someone with an anti-Trump bias. And anyone who criticizes the president has an anti-Trump bias.

Carlos Ponce

Especially if that criticism is unwarranted.

Jim Forsythe

Bailey, you are right.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY has a point that just because a President says something does not make it true.

Very little is known about mass killers before a shooting happens, to know if they are mentally in a bad state of mind before a mass shooting.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY has spent years studying mental problems and Trump has not.

The way Trump is handling the pandemic demonstrates his lack of leadership. One example is how he answered a request to calm the American people and all he could do was attack a reporter. A leader would have already have reassured us, but all Trump did was make it worse because he was unable to look into the camera and say something like, we are all in this together, and we will be all right.

"Alexander responded by asking Trump to talk directly to Americans who are scared by the pandemic, which triggered the president to reply with an insult."

“What do you say to Americans who are scared, millions who are scared right now?” Alexander asked.

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump said. “That’s what I say. I think that’s a very nasty question.” “You’re doing sensationalism,” Trump said.

This is not sensationalism or a nasty question, but what people need to hear from our President.

A good example of leadership was when Bush stood on top of the rubble of 9/11 and was able to reassure us, the American people, we are all in this together.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Bailey, I suspect that Joseph Heller would appreciate your Ponce Purity Principal! I can just hear Doc Daneeka explaining it in deadpan seriousness.

Carlos Ponce

Jim posts, "DR. MEGAN RANNEY has spent years studying mental problems and Trump has not." No,but he accessed the best medical and psychological minds available. The majority of gun deaths in this country are from suicide. That should tell you something.

Jim Forsythe

DR. MEGAN RANNEY quote in GDN was about the lack of supplies in the ER's and not about gun violence. She was right that supplies are not keeping up with the need. She said nothing about Trump in her quote but was pleading for more supplies.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY works in the ER, so she sees what shortage that hospitals are having. The lack of supplies is what important, not some perceived slight that happened in the past. The task right now is to make sure the ER's are able to take care of the possible flood of patients that may come.

I'm sure that Trump has many, many psychiatrists, but few if any have been with a mass shooter just before the shooting starts. DR. MEGAN RANNEY was talking about mass killers' state of mind before they start shooting.

What is the state of mind of a person just before they commit mass killings? This is what DR. MEGAN RANNEY has said, that they may not be mentally incompetent just before the action takes place. Unless a person is analyzed just before it takes place, no one knows if they were competent up till the time they pulled the trigger or even after for a period of time.

When did Dimitrios Pagourtzis become mentally ill? They have not even been able to do anything with him as far as courts, because of his state of mind, now. No one may ever know what his mental state was before the shooting.

"A study that analyzed 235 mass killings in the US between 1913 and 2015 found 22 percent of perpetrators demonstrated signs of mental illness. An American Psychiatric Association study from 2013 notes only 1 percent of yearly gun-related homicides are carried out by people with mental illness "

Carlos Ponce

Jim posted, "She said nothing about Trump in her quote but was pleading for more supplies.

Harvey Rice posted, "Dr. Megan Ranney to CNN's John King. "We need masks TODAY. We are pleading on social media, #GetMePPE, to keep me and my patients safe. The president may say that things are being produced, but they sure as heck are not showing up in my state or in the states of all of my colleagues across the country. We need those masks and gowns NOW."

Jim, the word "president" refers to ?????

Trump did say the supplies are being made a couple of days ago. And she wants them NOW? Unrealistic. They have to retool their production lines to make the supplies. Patience is needed. Hurrying may mean an poor performing product.

Jim Forsythe

My mistake I should have said she did not talk about the president in the context of mass shooting in the GDN.

How long have Doctors been pleading for more PPE?

All along, the Defense Department has had a stockpile that could have been used, if someone had been doing their job and reviewed the stock in hand. These masks and other equipment would already have been in the ready to be dispensed to where they are needed.. This source requires no retooling. No excuse except the ones in charge has no idea of the equipment they have. How many more do they have stockpiled that they are not releasing? Leadership also is making sure that the people below you can do the task. Have they check with all state and national guard units?

How many more mask is in the government’s secret cache?

March 17, 2020,/Washington — The Defense Department will provide the Department of Health and Human Services up to 5 million respirator masks and up to 2,000 deployable ventilators to assist with the response to the coronavirus, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday.

"During the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, demand for N95 respirators and face masks spiked dramatically. Orders overwhelmed manufacturers, creating a two- to three-year backlog, according to a 2017 report about shortages. U.S. officials had to dip into the government’s secret cache in the Strategic National Stockpile and release about 100 million respirators and face masks to states."

Carlos Ponce

Let me repeat:

Trump did say the supplies are being made a couple of days ago. And she wants them NOW? Unrealistic. They have to retool their production lines to make the supplies. Patience is needed. Hurrying may mean an poor performing product.

Jim Forsythe

No Carlos, no retooling needed. The Strategic National Stockpile could release the stockpile of respirators estimated at over 100 million respirators. This would allow the manufacturers to catch up with the demand.

Carlos Ponce

Haynes makes underwear, not masks. They have to retool unless the doctors want to wear a pair of briefs over their face.

Carlos Ponce

Ford and GM will make ventilators. Unless a ventilator is like a car they have to do something.

"GM would not be re-tooling or changing the equipment it uses to build vehicles, but may have extra space in some factories that could be used to manufacture ventilators, according to people familiar with Barra’s conversation."


"Ford also confirmed the company has had preliminary discussions with the government and is looking into the feasibility of producing medical equipment."

Jim Forsythe

The best course is to increase production at the facilities already making ventilators.

Building new production facilities, using the extra space of Ford or GM will take a lot of time. Also, ventilators need to be made in sterile rooms where the level of cleanliness is far higher than in a traditional automotive paint booth. Also, any new manufacturing facility needs to be validated by the Food & Drug Administration — a process that can take up to 180 days. Training workers to make ventilators can take up to 9 months. “Medical devices are intricate machines on which people’s lives depend. Every step of the production process has to be precise. This isn’t just a box with an air hose on it.”

Even more important is that it will be hard finding materials for the increase and maintaining a supply of materials.

Jim Forsythe

One of the biggest hurdles there is the availability of health care professionals who can insert and operate the ventilators. In most hospitals, the use of ventilators is managed by respiratory therapists who tend to work in intensive care units. These are specially trained clinicians who attend two- or four-year programs and who are licensed within their states. Without an army of professionals to operate the ventilators, having enough machines does no good. Are there enough of them? Doctors have warned that finding staff to operate the machines in already stretched healthcare systems will be a challenge. "the elephant in the room is that we have a critical shortage of intensive care doctors and nurses who can look after ventilated patients".

There were about 155,000 respiratory therapists in the United States, with a vast majority of them working in ICUs. Should hundreds of thousands of Americans end up requiring ventilators in a short period of time, this workforce could be stretched thin. On average a single respiratory therapist can manage ten patients at once.

Jim Forsythe

We do not need to use Hayness to make N95 mask. The Strategic National Stockpile will give us enough time for the supply to catch up to the usage.

This mask could already be in use if they had been ordered form the Strategic National Stockpile. That would not require a great deal of time. After this emergency is over, they can be restocked at the Strategic National Stockpile.

Carlos Ponce

The Strategic National Stockpile can only meet 15% of current demand.

See "U.S. has only a fraction of the medical supplies it needs to combat coronavirus"


Where are these ventilators made? Mostly China. Also to a much lesser extent, United States and India at 1% each according to alibaba.com. Suppliers include Hunan VentMed Medical, Wuhan Darppon Medical Technological, Shanghai Ro-Chain Medical Co., Ltd., etc.

Carlos Ponce

The leading manufacturer of N-95 face masks is Medicom, a Canadian company with factories elsewhere especially China. China has barred the company from taking its masks out of their country. Medicom makes the N-95 in France where the government has taken over factories that produce essential medical supplies.


“We have calls from doctors and hospitals that are calling us directly asking if we could ship them masks to their houses in desperation, because the masks are being stolen from the hospitals,” said Ronald Reuben, the chief executive of Medicom.

Hanes will not make the N-95 but a similar prototype approved by the FDA.

Strong Manufacturers of Charlotte, NC makes masks but the supplier of raw materials is in Wuhan, China. “Our materials were ready to ship from Wuhan, and they got hung up on the dock as soon as this started,” said Alan Bagliore, the chief executive of Strong Manufacturers.

Jim Forsythe

Before I talked about shortages of people to operate ventilators. After talking to my sister, she said that Veterinarians can operate them. This will help some.

Until China has the manufacturers that build the computer boards up and running the number of units will be small. China makes most of the boards used in making ventilators. Parts available are one of the reasons that it will take some time to increase the number of units.

What can be done? U.S. hospitals have about 62,000 up-to-date machines immediately available, plus another 99,000 obsolete units that could be pulled out of storage in an emergency, says the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Could manufacturers of these devices boost output? Yes, but not overnight. “We could increase production five-fold in a 90- to 120-day period

Can the number of people served be increased with the number of units we have now?

Ventilators can be modified to treat multiple coronavirus patients at once if the NHS is still short of the machines when the outbreak peaks, research suggests. A US-study used a single ventilator to help four adults breathe at the same time for 12 hours by connecting a series of plastic tubes to the device. Scientists were able to split the flow of oxygen four ways and redirect it into lung simulators using cheap tubes that are readily available in all hospitals. The method could be used as a last resort by frontline medics if health services are overrun by coronavirus patients whose lungs have failed, researchers say.

Jim Forsythe

Just as DR. MEGAN RANNEY stated we are in a short supply of medical supplies and equipment and the problem is not getting better .

In a startlingly quick ascent, officials reported on Friday that the state was closing in on 8,000 positive tests, about half the cases in the country. The number was 10 times higher than what was reported earlier in the week.

In the Bronx, doctors at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center say they have only a few remaining ventilators for patients who need them to breathe. In Brooklyn, doctors at Kings County Hospital Center say they are so low on supplies that they are reusing masks for up to a week, slathering them with hand sanitizer between shifts.

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