Trump working with Ohio gov. to get FDA approval on expansion of mask sterilization technology

Coronavirus

Pharmacist hand holding N95 mask in pharmacy drugstore

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — President Donald Trump says he will do everything he can to get the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) to expand authorization on the use of new technology to sterilize desperately-needed surgical masks.

According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, he spoke with the President Sunday morning and they had a good conversation.

“He understands the problem and says he will do everything he can to get this approved today,” Governor DeWine wrote on Twitter.

This conversation came just hours after Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted expressed “deep disappointment” in the FDA’s decision to limit the use of new technology to sterilize desperately-needed surgical masks in Ohio.

According to the governor, the FDA has authorized Columbus-based company Battelle to sterilize 10,000 surgical masks in Ohio each day.

However, the company has the ability to sterilize up to 160,000 masks per day in Ohio alone. 

The Governor’s Office says this prevents Batelle from being able to send its “groundbreaking technology” to other areas impacted by the coronavirus, such as New York.

“The FDA’s decision to severely limit the use of this life-saving technology is nothing short of reckless,” said Governor DeWine. “Battelle’s innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others. This is a matter of life and death. I am not only disappointed by this development, but I’m also stunned that the FDA would decline to do all it can to protect this country’s frontline workers in this serious time of need.” 

Batelle had intended to send one sterilization machine to New York City and Stony Brook, NY which would have allowed for the sterilization of up to 160,000 surgical masks for New York’s healthcare workers each day. They also wanted to send them to Washington state and the Washington D.C. metro area. 

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted pledged to continue fighting for increased use of this “life-saving technology. ”

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