Durbin Urges FDA and HHS to Increase Personal Protective Equipment Supplies for Illinois

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), on a call with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, discussed efforts to increase personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing capacity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois. Durbin pushed Commissioner Hahn and Secretary Azar to do everything they can to increase access to safe and effective personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing kit supplies, ventilators, treatments, and other medical resources hospitals and health workers need now. Secretary Azar committed to addressing these needs and provided an update on a recent shipment of N-95 masks and ventilators from the federal Strategic National Stockpile to both the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health.  

“Our hospitals and health care workers are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic, and as cases in Illinois continue to rise their jobs will only get tougher,” Durbin said. “A critical part of successfully fighting this disease is ensuring we have enough PPE for the nurses, doctors, first responders, and other health workers who are at great risk.  These men and women are heroes and I told Commissioner Hahn and Secretary Azar that we have no more time to waste in getting them the medical supplies they need now.”