Feinstein to Federal Government: Send Additional Medical Personnel to California


Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) yesterday called on the federal government to expedite the deployment of an additional 500 federal medical personnel to California in response to the surge in coronavirus cases.

California has activated field hospitals in numerous counties, and numerous hospitals are stretched beyond their ICU capacity and have been forced to implement ‘crisis care,’” Senator Feinstein wrote. “Hospital staff are exhausted and reaching their breaking point. Los Angeles County has been hit particularly hard, reporting more than 840,600 coronavirus cases, more than double the number of cases in any other county in the United States.”

The senator continued: “The additional personnel and equipment that you have provided to California since the outbreak of this pandemic has been critical to relieving the enormous strain on our state’s health care system. I especially appreciate your recent provision of medical support personnel to California, and I ask that you immediately deploy the additional medical personnel and Abbott tests requested by Governor Newsom in order to help relieve our state’s increasingly overburdened health care system as it contends with this new wave of infections.”

Full text of the letter follows:

January 6, 2021

The Honorable Christopher C. Miller
Acting Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II
Secretary of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

The Honorable Peter Gaynor
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Center Plaza
500 C St. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20472

Dear Acting Secretary Miller, Secretary Azar, and Administrator Gaynor,

Given the worsening surge of coronavirus cases in California, I urge you to expedite the deployment of an additional 500 federal medical personnel that Governor Newsom has requested in order to staff California’s overstretched hospitals and skilled nursing homes. I also ask that you expedite the fulfillment of Governor Newsom’s previous request for 12 million Abbott BinaxNOW at-home COVID tests, which will help California prepare to reopen its schools and economy.

Unfortunately, California is currently suffering a massive surge in coronavirus cases. The current 7-day average statewide positivity rate is 13.6%, which is worse than every other state in the country. California has activated field hospitals in numerous counties, and numerous hospitals are stretched beyond their ICU capacity and have been forced to implement “crisis care.” Hospital staff are exhausted and reaching their breaking point. Los Angeles County has been hit particularly hard, reporting more than 840,600 coronavirus cases, more than double the number of cases in any other county in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

The additional personnel and equipment that you have provided to California since the outbreak of this pandemic has been critical to relieving the enormous strain on our state’s health care system. I especially appreciate your recent provision of medical support personnel to California, and I ask that you immediately deploy the additional medical personnel and Abbott tests requested by Governor Newsom in order to help relieve our state’s increasingly overburdened health care system as it contends with this new wave of infections.

Thank you for your attention to this request, and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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