Ominous Warning: Call for medical supplies grows louder

Medical professionals on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 say they' don't have enough masks and gowns to protect themselves or their patients from infection. NBC's Jay Gray reports.

(NBC News) — The need for basic supplies, masks, gloves and gowns, is reaching a desperate level for some doctors, nurses and technicians on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I’m hearing stories every day where physicians are reusing masks and being asked to re-sterilize masks,” says Dr. Patrice Harris of the American Medical Association.

Suppliers are stepping up production as hospitals expand capacity, creating makeshift wards to deal with a surge of patients.

Volunteers are even sewing masks at home, but in many areas it’s still not enough.

“The allotment of personal protection equipment for one of our hospitals…is barely enough to cover one shift at that hospital, not even a full day’s worth,” says Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Some are now urging President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act, ordering companies to make more ventilators and masks. Mr. Trump said last week he would do so, but has since backed away from that promise.

Read more: