HHS ‘woefully’ behind in stocking gloves for strategic national stockpile, GAO says

HHS approximates the existing demand for gloves in the U.S. to be at 8.7 billion each month, almost two times the typical demand, NBC News reported. Worldwide need for gloves has actually reached 585 billion this year, but producers are just efficient in producing 370 billion at existing levels, according to the Health Industry Distributors Association.

Supply chain experts told NBC News that while the federal government was proactive in enhancing domestic production of ventilators and N95 masks, much less development has been made on gloves..

Maia Anderson –
Monday, November 2nd, 2020
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Increasing domestic production of gloves is more tough than other individual protective equipment because the raw material utilized to make the gloves is almost exclusively from Asia, according to NBC News. About 99 percent of gloves are made in Malaysia and China..

HHS set a goal to have a 90-day supply of nitrile gloves in the national stockpile, about 4.5 billion gloves in times of normal demand. As of last week, the stockpile had 2 million gloves, department officials told NBC News..

HHS is “woefully” behind in equipping gloves for the strategic national stockpile, and the stockpile is alarmingly short on gloves needed to protect health care employees from contracting COVID-19, Mary Denigan-Macauley, the Government Accountability Offices director of health care, told NBC News.