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COVID-19 PPE Advocacy Letter

 , March 20, 2020

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:

Members of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), a national medical society of 3,500 general internists, are on the front lines of providing care to patients suffering with COVID-19. As such, our members are also at serious risk of falling victim to this highly contagious virus when they lack appropriate high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE).

This is not an academic discussion. The impact of the shortages of masks, gowns and other PPE is very real. In one major hospital in the southeast, nine physicians are currently diagnosed with COVID-19 and thus are unable to work until they clear the virus. Shrinking the physician workforce at the very time that the patient population is surging is a recipe for disaster.

Two days ago, the President invoked the Defense Production Act, but took no action to implement the powers created in that law. Today, the administration indicates that they will use those powers. Our plea to you is very simple: Please implore the administration to utilize the full force and effect of this critical law for every aspect of addressing this crisis for which it can be valuable and appropriate funding for the purchase of PPE.

SGIM members are risking their health and their lives to serve our patients – your constituents. Please help us to help them.


Eric B. Bass, MD, MPH

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