The #PPE Wars. Now 1 Year Later.

Covid particles spreading from one person at a table of 4

Part 1. Part 2 can be found here.

2021 is the year we hopefully pull out of the #Covid19 crisis. Seriously. For real.

Vaccines are becoming available. Doctors and Nurses know much more about Coronavirus, and about what works best to treat people. We have a new President. A new Administration that upholds and believes in science. We finally are not up against our own Government to help each other.

But. Most importantly.

You still need to wear a mask, even after being vaccinated. US #CDC is finally, as of 2021 recommending that all peoples in the United States wear KN95 or N95 masks if they can get them. This is the advice that should have been out last year; and if there was not a forced shortage of PPE, it might have been.

2020 will forever remain as the year that the United States’ lack of enough Personal Protection Equipment (#PPE) to protect those trying to contain the coronavirus made the situation infinitely worse. There are so many other stories about failed government involvement or non involvement, and until the initial roll out of the vaccines, it was PPE that stood out as one of the main problems.

Then: 2/2020: Digijaks Group started Covid19 response in February 2020. We sourced + validated vendors for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The focus was naturally heavily on China based suppliers. This was basically because China was; and still is the global primary supplier of PPE, for now. It was crazy. We had to deal with two countries essentially shut down. China’s factories were shut for several weeks, then again later in the spring. The ports in China were full, and the ports in the US were basically empty. Shipping rates, both by sea and air were astronomical.

FEMA asked us if we could use our China contacts to set up an on the ground site visit of an FDA certified ventilator manufacturer in China in March 2020. This was was when everything was closed down in China.

Unbelievably, we did it.

FEMA was able to get the site visit scheduled.

FEMA Letter to Digijaks Group, 2020

We ended up having to create a brand new supply chain. Our own shippers. Our own customs brokers. Our own methods to get needed, legal and certified items to where they were supposed to go without being stolen by — the US Government.

But even with those challenges, we succeeded. Why would a small business have to do what the Federal Government was supposed to be doing?

A leadership failure at the highest levels of government tied to brazen schemes to profit off the disaster left millions of healthcare and emergency workers unnecessarily exposed.

Now: 2/2021: We have identified a made in the USA N95 manufacturer willing to ship to consumers as well as first responders. The N95 factory is in New York State, and employs 63 people in two shifts. There are many companies and factories now gearing up to retool their existing factories, and in some cases build new ones to create a permanent Made in USA supply of PPE. But this will take a few years to fully get implemented.

We have not imported from another country for several months. We secured PPE to help Doctors, Dentists, Nursing Homes, Native American Tribes, as well as small first responder groups. We have gotten PPE to 50 States, including some very hard to reach places. Very proud to say we have identified gown makers, glove makers, mask makers, and even sanitizer wipes makers right here in the USA.

The United States needs to make PPE a critical national defense item. There should never be a time again when we do not have enough masks to help the helpers; let alone everyone else. Every State needs to have their own permanent supply as well. No State should ever have to buy at auction prices from the US Government, or be forced to create new supply chains.

Why?

Many people ask why. Why did we have to get involved? Why were the government agencies so bad at helping? Where did all the PPE go? Where? Who? There is an old Washington, DC adage: “Follow the money.”

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