1199SEIU Pres. Gresham: Trump Admin. Must Invoke DPA, Release Federal PPE Stockpiles to Protect Frontline Healthcare Workers

April 2, 2020

New York, NY - In light of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare facilities nationwide, 1199SEIU President George Gresham has released the following statement demanding that the Trump Administration step up to protect all healthcare workers, regardless of job title:

“The Trump Administration’s lax and delayed response to initial warnings about COVID-19 has resulted in PPE shortages in facilities nationwide.

“We know that there are certain job titles that are legally required to receive the levels of PPE needed to keep themselves safe on the job, but there are other essential workers whose health and safety needs have not been prioritized during this pandemic.

“As the union representing more than 450,000 frontline healthcare workers caring for patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private homes, 1199SEIU understands the critical role PPE plays in protecting workers’ health and safety. Simply put, these dedicated caregivers need the tools to allow them to protect their own health and that of their families, so they are healthy enough to provide the critical care their patients need.

“We demand that the Trump Administration use the Defense Production Act to mandate the production of sufficient amounts of PPE and ventilators, and to release the Federal PPE stockpiles to ensure the safety of our members and patients.

“1199SEIU is proud of the critical role our members play in protecting the health and safety of patients. We are now calling for the PPE needed to protect our members’ health, and that of their families and communities.”


With over 450,000 caregivers, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent workers in five states including Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, and the District of Columbia.