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Sherrod Brown pushes for manufacturer support amid PPE shortage

Sen. Sherrod Brown released a plan to mobilize American manufacturers and allow them to start making personal protective equipment.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Hospital workers across the country are risking their lives to take care of coronavirus patients while running out of equipment needed to protect themselves. That's why U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, has a plan to address the issue, and it starts with the manufacturers. 

"We know that keeping up with the demand for this equipment is going to make a huge difference in how well our hospitals are able to respond to the crisis," Brown said.

Brown released a plan to mobilize American manufactures and allow them to start making this equipment, as many of these supplies are made overseas. 

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Andy Warlick's company operates U.S. Cotton in Cleveland, which could help make testing swabs for medical purposes. 

"With the help of our government we are the perfect company to help get testing swabs to the market," Warlick said.

Brown sent President Donald Trump nine steps that can be taken immediately to help address this shortage. A few of those include having healthcare systems publish lists of necessary protective personal equipment and financially supporting American manufacturers who can make those supplies.

"These are companies that want to help we've got to make it worth their while! We can't say you're going to do this but the finances are up to you," Brown said.

Brown said he believes acting fast will help address the shortage before its too late. Meantime many hospitals are still struggling with lack of masks, gloves and other equipment.

If you have any personal protective equipment at home, you're encouraged to donate it to local hospitals. 

You can email donations@promedica.org to donate to ProMedica. Mercy Health is also working on setting up a donation option. 

Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit /coronavirus-covid-19 for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.

Protect yourself from coronavirus

  • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

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