President Donald Trump wants to add one billion medical masks into the national stockpile, according to a senior administration official.
The national stockpile once had 100 million N-95 masks, according to an official, but was depleted after the H1-N1 virus hit during the Obama administration.
The stockpile only had 13 million masks in storage when the coronavirus hit the United States in January.
“It was severely depleted after H1-N1, never replenished,” an official said, and added, “We have an aspiration to eventually have a billion of those.”
The White House plans to work with the Department of Defense, FEMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services to increase the amount of personal protective equipment, masks, and gowns, as well as critical care drugs, testing supplies, and ventilators for any future medical emergency.
“We’re going to have a much more robust, more capable, and less vulnerable strategic national stockpile,” an official said. The administration will also work to strengthen and improve supply chains.
The new stockpile would not only prepare for a possible future resurgence of the coronavirus or any other respiratory disease. It would also drive additional manufacturing in the United States to fuel the American economic comeback.
“The more we stimulate the domestic supply and bring the supply into America the more that industry and the people will have the masks and protective equipment they need to return to work,” an official said.