Cantwell, Bipartisan Washington Lawmakers Request More Personal Protective Equipment for Washington State

With state in the midst of COVID-19 outbreak, lawmakers highlight urgent need for more personal protective equipment in letter to HHS Secretary Azar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R, WA-03), as well other members of the Washington state congressional delegation, wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar highlighting the urgent need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) to Washington state as communities continue to fight the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

In the letter, the lawmakers expressed their concern over the inadequate supply of PPE to Washington state, which has encountered a high number of cases in relation to other states. With health centers, nursing facilities, fire departments and other sectors already experiencing a near or complete depletion of certain supplies, the lawmakers pressed HHS to fully respond to Washington state’s PPE request. 

“The lack of PPE endangers the health of people on the frontlines, including local health agencies, health workers, and emergency personnel, and limits their ability to respond to those in need and to efficiently curtail the COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “A lack of PPE threatens to further endanger the state’s health care workforce, amplifying the public health crisis in Washington state. For these reasons, it is critical that Washington state have access to sufficient PPE as soon as possible to curtail the spread of COVID-19.”

In addition to Cantwell, Jayapal, and Herrera Beutler, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representatives Adam Smith, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Kim Schrier also signed the letter.

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.