FDA Grants Battelle Request To Sterilize 80,000 N95 Masks Per Machine, Per Day
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead to Columbus-based Battelle for its full request to sterilize 80,000 N95 surgical masks per machine, per day under pressure from Ohio officials after an earlier decision would have allowed far fewer.
Ohio reported a total of 29 deaths from COVID-19 Sunday, up from 25 Saturday. The state als confirmed 1,653 cases of the coronavirus, up 17 percent from the day before. A total of 403 people are hospitalized, 139 in intensive care. So far, of 24,376 people in the state have been tested.
Gov. Mike DeWine got word early Sunday that the FDA's approval was just for 10,000 masks per machine per day. DeWine called that “reckless”, and called President Donlad Trump to push for more.
“We’re frantically trying to get enough of these masks, and we have a solution, at least for part of the problem, in that we can clean 80,000 of these every single day. Free us, let us go do it. And sometimes you just have to say it that way to get things moving," DeWine said.
THe governor said he wasn’t sure why the the 10,000 limitation was initially said, but said bureaucracy could be the culprit.
“Sometimes you just have to rattle it. And that’s true with the bureaucracy anywhere. That’s the truth with bureaucracy in Columbus, in Ohio, it’s the same. Sometimes you just have to say, this is really important. And the reason it’s important is that we have to protect the people who are on the front line. We don’t have enough of these.”
Though other governors have reported problems with Trump, Dewine praised him and later thanked him in a statement and on Twitter.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump and @SteveFDA! @US_FDA has now given Columbus-based @Battelle full approval of the use of new technology to sterilize desperately-needed N95 masks in #Ohio and other parts of the United States.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 30, 2020
Battelle will be able to sterilize 160,000 masks each day with two machines in Ohio, and has machines to send to New York and Seattle.