Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Maine has received a total of $2,287,725 to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and equipment for essential workers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This funding was awarded to the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that health care workers across Maine are properly equipped to treat individuals who contract the virus and prevent further spread,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This important funding will provide necessary PPE to our frontline workers, helping to ensure the safety of communities throughout Maine.”
In the midst of the pandemic, Senators Collins and King have fought hard to secure federal funding for PPE for Maine. In April, the Senators urged Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor to request assistance in helping Maine more easily access PPE secured by the COVID-19 Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force. As of October 1, FEMA and the Strategic National Stockpile have provided Maine with more than 1,498,514 gloves, 43,525 face shields, 41,290 surgical gowns, 204,393 surgical masks, and 566,775 N95 respirators.
In addition, Senator Collins has urged her colleague to swiftly pass legislation she introduced with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that would extend and increase flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) they co-authored. The PPP includes funding for borrowers to purchase personal protective equipment for employees and to pay for adaptive investments needed to reopen safely.