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Hassan co-sponsors bills on protective equipment shortages

 Sen. Maggie Hassan-File photo
Sen. Maggie Hassan-File photo (WCAX)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 11:18 AM EDT
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire is co-sponsoring legislation aimed at addressing shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hassan, a Democrat, is joining Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania in introducing two related bills.

One would temporarily suspend all tariffs on all medical products that the International Trade Commission has listed as necessary for responding to the pandemic. The other would require the commission to regularly update that list and would require federal agencies to work together on policies affecting the domestic supply of such products.

The senators said their goal is to eliminate roadblocks in the global supply chain that make it harder and more expensive to obtain the supplies.

“We’re more than six months into this pandemic, and I continue to hear from New Hampshire business owners, school leaders, health care providers, and others who are concerned about access to personal protective equipment,” Hassan said in a statement. “These bipartisan bills will take commonsense steps to eliminate some of the barriers that have made it more difficult and expensive for the U.S. to obtain critical PPE and medical equipment.”

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THE NUMBERS

As of Thursday, 6,742 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 25 from the previous day. One new death was announced, bringing the total to 419. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases increased over the past two weeks, from 24 new cases per day on July 22 to 27 new cases per day on Aug. 5.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness and can lead to death.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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