Gov. Baker frustrated as call for PPE strengthens, supply dwindles

BOSTON (WHDH) - With the number of healthcare workers fighting the pandemic on the front lines getting sick, the call for more personal protective equipment is stronger than ever before.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker showed his frustration at a press conference Thursday regarding the state’s attempts to secure necessary supplies for healthcare workers.

“We’ve literally got to the point where our basic position is, until the … until the thing shows up here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it doesn’t exist.”

He said that the state had orders of millions of pieces of equipment that never showed up.

The leader of the state’s coronavirus command center, Marylou Sudders, said they are continuing to work the supply chain and distribute what they have despite the lack.

“As of yesterday we have prepared and shipped out 68 deliveries of PPE to Sheriff’s Departments, local fire and police, and health care entities across the Commonwealth,” she said.

There is no question — the protection is needed in the fight against COVID- 19.

“They are the sort of warriors in this battle against this virus,” President of Massachusetts General Hospital Perter Slavin said.

Slavin believes the key is to make sure healthcare professionals have enough PPE to last them through the long term.

“The story is currently we think we have adequate supplies of PPE but we’re worried about what might happen in the future,” he explained.

The economic pinch is also hitting the front lines now that South Shore Health has announced that it will not be giving out raises to its employees as the coronavirus crisis continues.

In a statement, they said in part:

“South Shore Health is not immune to the financial realities that other health organizations are experiencing. Factors contributing to this include: cancellation of elective surgeries, closure of many outpatient programs, and a significant decrease in overall patient volume in every area of our health system. “

Hospital officials said they plan to revisit pay increases when “circumstances permit.”

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