Los Angeles to create its own clearinghouse of medical supplies

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A nurse wearing a facemask pushes a cart of masks to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on April 7, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

A nurse wearing a facemask pushes a cart of masks to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on April 7, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Faced with dwindling supplies and urgent need, Los Angeles is moving to create its own real-time clearinghouse of medical goods to help hospitals buy critical gear as the coronavirus crisis intensifies.

For weeks, as COVID-19 patients have flooded hospitals in California and the United States, medical workers on the front lines have been left without basic protective gear like masks and gowns. Federal supplies have been slow to roll out, and state resources have not been enough.

Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and even private doctors are scrambling to find their own supplies, but the marketplace has become flooded with fraudulent sellers and inflated prices, leaving many medical providers stymied not just by a lack of items to buy, but by bad actors preying on their desperation.

“We’ve all heard the stories across the country of people battling it out to get masks, to get equipment, to get some of the respirator ventilators that we need,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news briefing Tuesday. “All of these things have made it difficult for everyday hospitals, businesses, front-line workers to get what they need.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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