The shortage of personal protective equipment for our front line in the fight against COVID19 has been horrible. N95 masks has been one of the biggest shortcomings, even forcing Trump to go after 3M for selling them to foreign nations.
Late last month Ohio made news when our governor Mike DeWine publicly started bashing the Trump administration for poor approval of a locally developed system to sterilize masks. Once the FDA finally gave the OK, it cut the amount of masks that could be sterilized in a day in half. Finally the FDA decided to give the full go ahead.
While the system by Battelle, a non-profit in Ohio was a game changer, hospitals have already had similar systems using the same process sitting in hospitals for years.
Now two weeks later and the FDA has finally given approval for Sterrad sterilizers to be used for masks. This isn’t some new invention or anything. As matter of fact there are almost 10,000 of these machines in various hospitals around the country. They have been used since the early 90’s to sterilize things such as operating room equipment. You can even pick them up on EBay:
Each machine can process up to 480 masks per day. That’s over 400,000 masks per day nationally. It sure beats using a bandanna or torn t-shirt.
But thinking about this, one can’t help but wonder why so much needed to combat this pandemic is held up in government red tape via regulation. I thought Trump was the anti-regulation President? I guess that’s only for things like coal and oil. When it comes to protecting our front-line workers in the time of a pandemic, well they can continue to wait and die.