A Republican congressman from southwest Colorado joined the chorus of lawmakers nervous about the state's supply of medical equipment.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence this week urging the federal government to send more supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile.
The stockpile is sending Colorado 49,200 N95 masks, 115,000 surgical masks, 21,420 surgical gowns, 21,800 face shields and 84 coveralls.
"[T]he Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment estimates that these supplies are enough for only one full day of state-wide operations," Tipton wrote. "The state of Colorado, and the entire country, need more PPE and medical equipment. Just as concerning is the gap between the number of ventilators available in the United States, versus the numbers we are projected to need at the height of this pandemic.
"For every ventilator that is needed for critical care that we do not have, a life that may otherwise have been saved will be lost. This has already happened in Italy, however, with action and investment now we may be able to lessen the impact here."
Despite criticism from governors and local officials from both parties, President Trump has maintained that he does not need to use the Defense Production Act to force private companies to produce more supplies quickly.
He contends companies are stepping up voluntarily.
Tipton said in his letter to the president he was encouraged by Tuesday’s announcement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that the president would employ the Defense Production Act to produce test kits and face masks.
"[A]nd I welcome the contributions that companies like Ford, 3M and GE are making during this crisis," Tipton wrote. "I respectfully urge you to use the full power of the federal government to ensure the U.S. supply of PPE, ventilators and needed medical equipment can fully meet the demand during this pandemic."
By the end of the day Tuesday, FEMA said using the act would not be necessary.
Read the entire letter by clicking here.