The National Institutes of Health [NIH] just placed a solicitation to stockpile an entire year's worth of Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] to support eight agencies inside of NIH. They are placing the massive order in case there is a disruption in supply of medical goods like goggles, gloves, gowns, masks, spacesuits.
The NIH's rationale is that the animal testing they are doing is so vitally important that no disruption in supplies can be risked. Apparently the disruption in PPE supply is expect to last at least one full year, and they have an option to carry it on for four more years.
"This Sources Sought Notice has been posted to establish, provide, and maintain a laboratory animal personnel protective equipment (PPE) resource to ensure the accessibility and availability of essential supplies throughout an emergency/disaster, government shutdown, or any other interruption of regular deliveries. These supplies support irreplaceable multidisciplinary animal research, which is critical to the mission of eight institutes at the National Institutes of Health."
"During emergency/disaster events, the normal supply and distribution channels will most likely be unavailable/or protracted due to the impact of the emergency and the rush of immediate orders. Our program's disaster plan takes these factors into account; it is therefore our intention is to establish an offsite source of critical supplies with an established, laboratory animal PPE vendor with a proven track record of providing quality products and services. As outlined in our emergency plan it is the intention of our program to be able to house up to a one year's supply of PPE products with a local vendor within a 90 mile radius of NIH in Bethesda, Maryland."
A few near term risks that potential could make PPE unavailable for an entire year are:1) EBOLA
2) H7N9 BirdFlu
The POTRBLOG team believes that this contract clearly indicates that the Government expects a protracted shortage of medical PPE, and that the window of opportunity for individuals to purchase needed PPE at reasonable prices is now at a close.
Sources:Solicitation Number: HHS-NIH-OD-OLAO-SBSS-15-001
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