Gov. Baker frustrated at lack of medical gear amid COVID-19 pandemic

BOSTON — At a press conference on Thursday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker admitted he needs help with the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Described as being frustrated by one of his staffers, Baker got very passionate during his press conference about the need for more help, especially at the lack of gear for medical staff on the front lines.

“Our first responders, our health workers and everyone responding needs to have that gear and I’m telling you we are killing ourselves to make it happen,” said Baker. “It’s happened to us, it’s happened to many governors across the country - the issue about landing the order is very frustrating. And every call our big message to them as you have to let us land the order and it in continues to be the biggest challenge we face in some respects.”

Baker says he has confirmed orders for millions of pieces of gear, and then watched as those orders evaporated.

By submitting a request to the federal government for a Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts, Baker is asking for additional assistance in the state’s response to the virus. Until then, he’s urging people to not overwhelm the hospitals. He asks people to, if possible, use TeleHealth for remote access to healthcare.

“The safest way to engage with your provider is to call them up, especially if they have video capabilities,” said Baker. "Use it. This keeps them safe and you."

The Department of Public health issued its own emergency orders on Thursday to help overwhelmed pharmacies, hospitals & health care facilities. The orders exempts them from certain nurse-staffing constraints and paperwork requirements and allows the remote processing of prescriptions.

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