Michigan Gov. Whitmer announced Saturday morning that the state received 112,800 N95 masks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support hospitals and medical providers amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Whitmer also said there are 8,000 more masks on the way.
This morning we received 112,800 N95 masks in our shipment from the strategic national stockpile w/8k more on the way. Great news for our health care workers. We'll keep working hard along with FEMA and the White House to get more of the PPE we need to keep Michiganders safe.— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 28, 2020
This shipment comes after U.S. President Donald Trump accepted Michigan’s disaster declaration due to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.
In a statement on NBC’s Meet the Press, Whitmer expressed gratitude for the shipment from FEMA, but noted the state will need more supplies as the outbreak intensifies.
“We’ve got hospitals that are already at capacity. We’re running out of PPE, as well,” Whitmer said. “I’m grateful we got a shipment from FEMA yesterday for 112,000 N-95 masks, but, you know -- we’re going to be in dire straights again in a matter of days.”
Beaumont Health and other hospitals are already nearing or at capacity due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In an effort to prepare the state for an influx of COVID-19 cases, FEMA is funding the transformation of Detroit’s TCF Center into a temporary hospital that will contain nearly 900 beds.
As the situation evolves, Whitmer intends to continue working with the federal and state governments to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.
“I’ve talked to the vice president a number of times, working with everyone from the White House on down to FEMA, DHS, the Army Corps of Engineers -- because it has to be all hands on deck,” Whitmer said. "[...] we governors are banding together where we can to try to make sure we are organized, we’re learning best practices with each other, we’re sharing information and we’re protecting the people of our states.”