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Coronavirus mask Photo: Kira_Yan/Shutterstock.com

As the number of documented national cases of COVID-19 mounts, pleas grow louder from state, local, and medical officials over the desperate lack of critical supplies—particularly personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pleaded with the federal government to cover—or commandeer businesses to help cover—an anticipated shortfall of 23,000 ventilators in New York state. This week also saw open letters from a consortium of mayors and municipal leaders and the leading associations of medical professionals asking the White House to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to mandate increased production of masks, respirators, and gowns for health care workers battling the virus. While the Trump Administration has sent conflicting signals about its willingness to do so, there are immediate actions that governors can, and should, take to address this desperate need for supplies. Hotbed states like New York, California and Washington simply cannot wait.

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