A Thai surgical mask factory, producing 10 million masks a month, increased working hours to cope with the rising demand following an outbreak of SARS-like virus in China. Photo: Jonathan Klein/AFP via Getty Images
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sent a letter Thursday to the Food and Drug Administration asking for assurance that the coronavirus won't affect the supply chain for American food, pharmaceuticals or medical supplies.
The big picture: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already asked U.S. health care providers and the public to not stock up on medical masks and other supplies while the risk of coronavirus inside the U.S. remains low.
What they're saying:
"[School] closures, combined with the possibility of infected workers, could limit the ability of Chinese manufacturers to maintain the production capacity needed to keep pace with global demand. Given the strain this virus has placed on China’s healthcare system, we are concerned there could be reduced resources available to U.S. healthcare providers that rely on products manufactured in China."— Sens. Marco Rubio and Chris Murphy