While Trump Golfs, Hospitals Across US Face Severe IV Bag Shortage
Credit: Threthny
December 31, 2017

It has now been 100 days since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. And to date, less than half the island has power. Sure, it's the Caribbean and not subject to the frigid cold weather we're seeing on the mainland. But it's absolutely unacceptable that we have American citizens (I'm not even clear Trump is aware of their citizenship is, in fact, American) STILL without electricity.

But that toll it is taking on our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico is now spreading here, in the most unexpected way: We're running out of i.v. bags.

I saw this tweet floating through my Twitter timeline several times over the last couple of days, but then I experienced it up close and personal this week when my chronic illness required me to seek care. And yes, hospitals are having to ration i.v. bags.

Hospitals in both Puerto Rico and the mainland United States have reported shortages of intravenous fluids and bags since Maria tore through the island — where several medical manufacturing plants are located — in September 2017. According to a Food and Drug Administration analysis released in November 2017, medical manufacturing is a significant part of the island’s economy:

Prior to the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria, the medical product manufacturing sector provided, on average, approximately $800 million in local wages over a 12-month period, according to our analysis. This manufacturing industry is a key part of the island’s manufacturing base and is supported by a highly skilled workforce.

The FDA has prioritized getting the manufacturers access to power. But how many lives will be risked as Trump rambles about "no collusion" and plays golf rather than directing competent disaster relief?

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