FEMA sending more COVID-19 supplies to Wisconsin

N95 masks (Source: MGN)
N95 masks (Source: MGN)(NBC15)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 3:00 PM CDT
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FEMA announces another round of supplies is headed to Wisconsin this week in the fight against COVID-19.

That includes 200,000 N95 masks and 52,000 swabs for testing.

FEMA's regional administrator spoke with Action 2 News today about the agency's coronavirus response in the state over the past two months.

While some state lawmakers and others have criticized FEMA's pandemic response, Region 5 Administrator James Joseph says that criticism is little unfair.

"Talking an unprecedented event where all 50 states, all of our 571 tribal nations, District of Columbia, all of our territories, everyone needed the same thing and not just a national supply chain shortage, but a global supply shortage," says FEMA Regional Administrator James Joseph, based in Chicago.

Over the past month, Joseph says FEMA has chartered 120 flights to pick up supplies at medical manufacturers around the world, that would otherwise take weeks to arrive on ships.

To date, FEMA reports Wisconsin has received $57.5 million in the fight against COVID-19 through supplies including gloves, masks, surgical gowns and testing materials.

"There's a couple hundred thousand KN95 masks that will be delivered to Wisconsin this week, but I've been in touch with the Governor's office, even as late as last night about some additional needs that they may have so we're continuing to source those, while also providing testing supplies to the state so they can increase their testing capacity as they look toward normalcy in the future," says Joseph.

Now, as state's like Wisconsin re-open, Joseph is calling on everyone to do their part in the name of safety.

"And we're talking about the federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies all working together, this is truly the whole of America response because every individual citizen has to do their part, they have a responsibility ensuring that we don't spread coronavirus any further," says Joseph.

FEMA says the financial support to Wisconsin will increase dramatically once the state is reimbursed for eligible costs through the agency's Public Assistance Program.

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