Health Afternoon Update: DHS Officials Say Supply of Protective Medical Gear Is Nearly Exhausted


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  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies and personal protective equipment is almost empty, despite the White House’s assurance that the United States can fill critical shortages nationwide, according to two Department of Homeland Security officials tasked with resupplying providers pleading for materials to combat the coronavirus pandemic. A spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the government has $16 billion set aside to acquire more materials, and flights from Asia are expected to bring supplies for the next few weeks. (The Washington Post)
  • The Food and Drug Administration announced that the heartburn drug Zantac should be pulled from shelves immediately, after the agency confirmed the Sanofi SA product can be contaminated with a potential carcinogen if stored for long periods. Though major pharmacies such as Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp. have already stopped selling Zantac, which was recalled by Sanofi in October, the FDA also warned against the use of ranitidine, the over-the-counter version of the drug, and recommended patients consider drugs like Pepcid, Tagamet, Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec instead. (The New York Times)
  • Pennsylvania and Florida are the latest states to implement stay-at-home orders in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, with the mandates taking effect on Wednesday and Thursday night, respectively. The majority of states have barred residents from all nonessential public activity, as the death toll in the United States has crossed 4,100 and federal authorities have extended social distancing measures for 30 days, a move that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said helped inform his action. (CNBC)

Webinar – Before the Jobs Report: What New Data Tells Us About the Labor Market, Unemployment and a Recession

The March jobs report will be released this Friday, but it is unlikely to show the full impact COVID-19 has had on the labor market.

For a better understanding of the pandemic’s impact on jobs, consumer spending and the broader economy, Morning Consult will gather a team of experts on Thursday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET to discuss new data examining how prepared consumers are for an economic downturn and what consumer confidence tells us about a potential recession.

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