N-95 masks, nitrile gloves, gowns, Tyvek suits–these supplies are in high demand across the United States right now as hospital teams struggle to provide adequate protection for their staff responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same equipment that is in short supply at hospitals is used by National Archives employees, preservation and conservation specialists, to deal with records damaged by floods, fires, or mold. Thanks to our dedicated staff, our agency’s supplies are now making their way to healthcare workers.
In March, the National Archives transferred supplies to Washington, DC’s Emergency Management Response Team, which in turn is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute and reallocate the donated supplies.
We are fighting a war against this virus and need to do what we can. I was moved by staffers’ suggestions to donate surplus protective supplies. Continuing support from agencies, organizations, and individuals is essential to getting frontline health workers the protection needed to help those who are sick. We are humbled to play a small role in helping at this difficult time.
Employees at several of the National Archives’ 44 locations across the country are assessing their inventory to make additional donations. We plan to keep a minimal amount for our own use, but we are committed to providing what we don’t need into the hands of those working hard to save lives and keep our communities safe. As a service organization, the National Archives is dedicated to helping internal and external customers, and Americans.