LONDONDERRY, N.H. – On Friday, 11 million pairs of gloves slated for local Veterans’ Administration facilities arrived at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport’s FedEx Terminal.
Spearheaded by DEKA founder Dean Kamen, who has helped deliver other personal protective equipment (PPE) to New Hampshire earlier this year, the delivery was preceded by a ceremony of thanks from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Robert Wilkie.
“Big organizations typically do big things well, but they’re not particularly nimble or innovative,” said Kamen regarding the need for help from large government organizations and smaller corporations in the private sector. “There’s a need for marathon runners and sprinters.”
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge here in New Hampshire and across the country, ensuring health care providers have the personal protective equipment they need to safely care for our veterans has never been more important,” said Shaheen. “I was glad to join Secretary Wilkie, Senator Hassan and Dean Kamen this morning in welcoming this latest delivery of urgently-needed PPE, which will help protect the health and well-being of VA health care workers and our veterans. I’m especially thankful for Dean’s outstanding work in procuring these supplies from around the world. Our work to respond to this crisis is far from over – we must continue to use every tool at our disposal to give our essential workers on the frontlines of this crisis the equipment they need to stay safe on the job.”
“I was pleased to join in welcoming this critical shipment of personal protective equipment to help protect veterans and their health care providers from COVID-19,” said Hassan. “As this deadly virus continues to spread in New Hampshire and across the country, I know that many veterans — especially those at long-term care facilities — have been hit particularly hard. I want to thank Dean Kamen for his efforts to secure these crucial supplies for Granite Staters over the last few months, and I will continue pushing for an additional, bipartisan package that provides necessary public health resources and additional relief for the challenges that we continue to face amid this pandemic.”
Shaheen and Hassan have fought to secure urgently needed personal protective equipment for New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen previously introduced the Homeland Procurement Reform Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to increase the amount of PPE it procures from American companies. This bill has bipartisan support and would ensure that the domestic supply chain for PPE is capable of supplying the critical items that FEMA and other federal agencies need during a national emergency.