Former Louisiana Secretary of Health Dr. Rebekah Gee reported on Thursday that doctors in the state have been making up for medical supply shortages through desperate measures as they combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re a couple of days away from being out of masks. We’re buying gowns on Ebay in some cases,” Gee told CNN “New Day” host John Berman.
The doctor warned that “we have not seen the peak of this crisis yet” in the Bayou State, which currently has nearly 1,800 cases of the coronavirus.
“Did you say that there are doctors and health officials buying gowns on Ebay?” Berman asked.
“That’s correct,” Gee replied, adding that doctors have also been forced to create masks using office supplies.
“Making masks from Office Depot, plastic covers that you’d put on documents that you’re trying to make look formal and putting string and punching holes in them,” she said.
“This is the kind of thing that’s happening,” the doctor continued.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) told reporters this week that his state has the third highest number of cases per capita after Washington and New York, and has the highest case growth rate in the world.
Medical experts suspect the sudden spike stems from New Orleans’ famed Mardi Gras celebration near the end of February, which millions of people had attended.
President Donald Trump has yet to invoke the Defense Production Act, which health care providers say is urgently needed to help states mitigate the medical supply shortages, particularly ventilators. Trump refused to do so after major corporations lobbied against the move, according to the New York Times.
Watch Gee below:
Former Louisiana health secretary says doctors are buying hospital gowns on Ebay due to medical supply shortage. pic.twitter.com/0J3CbcPzGR
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 26, 2020