Imports of medical supplies plummet as demand in US soars

Surgical mask
Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 07:35:12-04

This country is hurting when it comes to medical supplies.

The Associated Press has found that the critical shortage of testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer can be tied to a sudden drop in imports of medical supplies.

Disruptions in the supply chain half a world away and a lack of timely ordering are now leading to deadly delays in replenishing a rapidly dwindling stockpile.

The materials are critical to containing the highly contagious coronavirus as emergency rooms and clinics brace for a surge.

The United States counts on receiving the vast majority of its medical supplies from China, where the coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people.