Updated: Jun 8, 2020
The Federal Government has ordered nearly 500 million N95 masks for medical staff. Meanwhile, US Navy hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, are being deployed to the west and east coasts respectively in preparation for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases. Hospitals across the United States are clamoring for access to masks and ventilators, two important tools for treating the virus. Furthermore, many facilities are limiting hospital visits to immediate family, and in some cases, suspending them all together. Medical facilities across the US are canceling non-essential appointments and operations in order to preserve protective equipment. Several officials, both at the federal and state level, have raised the alarm that the United States lacks the surge capacity needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As some have pointed out, a lack of beds may significantly cripple the American response down the road as it did the Italian government's in Italy.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.