HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The state is looking for medical supplies, like masks, anywhere it can find them in order to bolster its fight against coronavirus.
You can’t say it’s a beg, borrow, and steal situation — but the state is finding new ways to ask the Pennsylvania business community to join the fight.
‘Will you donate supplies?’ ‘Will you sell them to us at a good price?’ Those questions have gone out to just about everyone who has done business with the commonwealth.
The state has sent out a letter to many of its vendors asking for donations of needed supplies, especially masks.
“We’ve had donation offers from large businesses, small community businesses, and have actually had offers from artists who use them for stonework,” said Molly Daugherty of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which is spearheading the donation effort.
A donation portal looks to open next week, while there is already one for companies to sell critical items to the state and yes, there are those looking to take advantage.
“We’re seeing a lot of price increases. Price gouging, you might refer to it as, and that’s a little disheartening,” said Sheri Collins with the Department of Community and Economic Development.
But that’s the exception rather than the rule Collins says. She is amazed at how the state and private sector have joined forces to fight the virus.
“To support those on the front lines in our own state and, I’ll be honest, has been a very humbling and heartening experience to be involved in,” Collins said.
Soliciting medical supplies for donation or purchase is one thing. Getting them where they’re needed, when they’re needed, and in the quantities they’re needed, at the right price involves amazing coordination among five different bureaucracies.
“Working together effectively, and in harmony, I might add,” Collins said with a chuckle.
This ongoing effort is a collaborative process from PEMA, the Department of General Services, the Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of Administration, and the Department of Health.
If you have critical supplies and can help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.