Maine and the medical supply chain amid the pandemic

Everyone in the Portland Press Herald newsroom is on a full-court press to cover the pandemic and I’ve been following supply chain issues this week.

In today’s paper I have this feature on how Maine hospitals, first responders, and long-term care facilities are scrounging around for personal protection equipment to keep their personnel safe and able to help the rest of us. It also revealed that Maine has received no ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile, and only about 20 percent of the N95 masks it asked for. There are concerns that political and presidential criteria might be involved in the allocations FEMA is making to states as the cornavirus wave begins to crest across the country.
Earlier I had two stories on a pop-up Portland based medical supplier that’s taken orders for millions of masks as well as Cover-19 tests and other highly sought after medical items. It turns out the owner of the firm is facing a five-count criminal indictment for securities fraud, theft by deception, and trading securities without a license and owes New Hampshire nearly a quarter million dollars in restitution and fees in a related case. But the firm — whose public face is former Maine legislator Diane Russell — drove a rented van to New Jersey over the weekend to collect 20,000 of the masks and deliver them to customers in eastern Massachusetts. 
Also last week I had this explainer on why the Maine CDC is only identifying coronavirus cases by county, not town.
Stay safe out there, watch out for each other, and wash your hands.