Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) is sharing details about the challenges her state faces amid its attempts to combat the coronavirus.
The Democratic governor appeared on CNN’s “OutFront” with host Erin Burnett where she revealed none of the state’s medical supply orders to FEMA have been fulfilled.
When asked if she felt confident with the state’s capability to care for coronavirus patients, she admitted that she was not.
“No, not at all, Erin,” Kelly said, adding that her state ranks as No. 50 in coronavirus per capita testing. “We have had a very difficult time gaining access to tests and all of the stuff you need to complete those tests.”
Kelly said on Thursday night, “We now have put in, I think, seven to nine orders to FEMA and not received anything. And that clearly has to stop, because not only do we need it for our health care workers, we also are a huge agricultural state.”
Kelly went on to note potential problems Kansas could face that may ultimately impact other areas of the country. With multiple meat processing plants stationed, Kansas could soon be added to the list of states forced to close plants due to the coronavirus.
“We have a lot of meatpacking plants in the state of Kansas,” she said. “We need that personal protection equipment so that those folks can continue to do their jobs and continue to feed the nation.”
Check out Kelly’s remarks:
During his coronavirus press briefing, President Trump stated that the US has sufficient materials for tests.— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) April 16, 2020
"No, not at all, Erin," says KS @GovLauraKelly. "I'm a little embarrassed to tell you that Kansas ranks 50th in per capita testing. We have had a very difficult time." pic.twitter.com/DukHGb7JAu
While Kelly admits that her state has not seen a widespread outbreak as of yet, the state is still facing difficulty treating the coronavirus cases they do have.
“Kansas — and I think many of the smaller states, particularly in the Midwest, where we haven’t seen these real hot spots develop — you know, have really had a hard time getting the supplies that we need,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s concerns follow a string of similar complaints from other governors. The medical supply shortages and limited testing capacity have been widespread for weeks.
In some states, there have been reports of people who have died after being denied coronavirus tests multiple times despite showing symptoms of the virus.
Despite widespread concerns about testing and medical supply shortages, President Donald Trump previously insisted that tests are available to everyone. The president has also blamed states for medical supply shortages, deeming it their responsibility to obtain supplies.
On Wednesday I announced extension of the statewide stay-home order until May 3. I know this hasn't been easy, and we still have some difficult days ahead. But by staying home and staying safe, we can flatten the curve, save lives and beat this virus. https://t.co/sUM6Q1bASU— Governor Laura Kelly (@GovLauraKelly) April 17, 2020
As of Friday morning, there are more than 1,600 positive coronavirus cases in the state of Kansas. Kelly also extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 3.