MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday, March 30 sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency outlining a dire need for resources to fight COVID-19 in Milwaukee, seeking more than 62,000 respirators, more than 190,000 masks, and other personal protective equipment. This, with state officials preparing to open field hospitals and voluntary isolation centers in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 patients.
Mayor Barrett submitted the below letter to FEMA Monday, requesting supplies:
"Dear Administrator Gaynor:
I am writing to express confirmation and support of Governor Ever’s request to expedite the processing of resource requests for increased laboratory testing supplies as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). Specifically, PPE for first responders and health care workers.
I understand and appreciate the current emphasis on FEMA’s supply requests from the Strategic National Stockpile. Our first responders and health care workers are at the mercy of the current dwindling PPE inventory across the State of Wisconsin and especially locally in the Milwaukee area. We are imploring the review of the resource requests listed below for their swift execution:
#2655-112174 – Testing supplies for UW Hospital
#2655-112057 – Testing supplies for Children’s Hospital of WI
#2655-117664 – Medical PPE request from DHS
#2655-120523 – Consumable Medical Supplies for WI DCF
#2655-120507 – Non-Medical PPE for WI DCF
#2655-114967 – PPE for Law Enforcement and Fire Departments
Easy Mag extractor reagents
Primers probes enzymes
Hologic Panther Fusion reagents
"It's frustrating," said Juanita Richard, who lives on Milwaukee's north side, among the hardest hit areas. "They're not doing enough, at all. How are people supposed to survive?"
With the Army Corps of Engineers scouting space in Milwaukee to help flatten the curve, officials with the Wisconsin Center issued this statement to FOX6 News:
"In preparation for a large-scale response to COVID-19 , the Army Corps of Engineers toured several locations throughout Milwaukee today, including the Wisconsin Center," said Marty Brooks, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Center District. "If called upon, the Wisconsin Center District and our facilities are prepared to work the Corps to do our part in the fight against COVID-19 and propel Milwaukee and our region on the road to recovery."
Meanwhile, members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard continued training in preparation for potential specimen collection missions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response -- anticipated missions the Wisconsin National Guard could conduct at the request of partner agencies in Wisconsin, with more than 300 citizen soldiers and airmen on state active duty, ready for potential missions the state could request.
"We do continue to prepare for a potential specimen collection mission and that mission would entail mobile testing sites," said Wisconsin National Guard Captain Joe Trovato.
At the Wisconsin Center, with more than 188,000 square feet of space, the CEO said the facility would be ready to be used in the fight against COVID-19 if necessary.