MA General Hospital President Slavin: We Need a ‘War-Like Stance’ to Combat Coronavirus

Massachusetts General Hospital president Dr. Peter Slavin said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the country needed to take “a war-like stance” against the coronavirus outbreak.

Host Chuck Todd asked, “Doctor, it seems as if the thing we keep hearing about, respirators and ventilators. Respirators are the health care equipment health care workers need to treat folks and ventilators because if it gets really – this is one of the things with breathing issues for those that are elderly. What are your concerns? Has the federal government stepped up enough on this front?”

Slavin said, “My concern is I think we need to think about this in almost a war-like stance. My concern is that we have millions of health care workers around this country who are prepared to do battle against this virus. But I’m concerned there are at least a couple areas of supplies they need in order to fight that virus as effectively as possible. One is the testing we need, and Dr. Fauci commented on that, and I hope indeed that private labs are going to ramp up testing. We started at mass general to increase our testing as of yesterday.”

He added, “The FDA relaxed its regulations so we could begin testing immediately. My other big concern is personal testing equipment. Even before the most significant battles lie ahead, our supplies are low. I heard from hospitals around our region and our country that their supplies are low. And we need the federal government to engage in a Manhattan project, to get industry to create surgical masks, eye protection devices, gowns, sore our health care workers can engage in this battle. We wouldn’t want to send soldiers into war without helmets and armor.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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