Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has won his battle to slash through red tape and deploy life-saving technology across the U.S. to fight COVID-19. Here are the most important recent developments:
- Just before midnight on Sunday, Ohio-based company Battelle announced that the Food and Drug Administration has given them the okay to deploy a new machine that can sterilize up to 80,000 surgical masks per day per machine.
- The Battelle CCDS uses hydrogen peroxide vapor and and can sterilize the same mask up to 20 times without harming it. Battelle has two machines ready to go in Ohio, three ready to ship to NYC, Washington D.C., and Washington State. It expects to ship more than a dozen additional units to other states soon.
- The FDA had originally only granted permission for Battelle to sterilize 10,000 masks per day and only in Columbus.
Governor DeWine took the unusual step of calling an unscheduled press conference to call out the agency in public. “When you’re dealing with people who say approval is coming you tend to believe them. When you find out that’s not the case. “It’s time to move.” DeWine called on the FDA to approve the new tech by midnight.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted said, “I’ve never seen the governor more frustrated. This needs to be approved today. We can’t tiptoe towards this situation. We have to run full-speed.”
DeWine made an early-morning call to the President to push for approval. The President mentioned the call during his daily COVID-19 briefing and called DeWine “a great governor” and praised the new technology before announcing the extension of the country’s COVID-19 shutdown to April 30.
His bold move prompted memes like this to pop up across the Internet.
Here’s what the important players had to say:
- Lou Von Thaer, the CEO of Battelle responded to the approval by saying, ““I want to thank the FDA team for their professionalism and help in authorizing the use of our technology at this critical moment for our nation. Everybody who has worked on this project shares the same goal of protecting first responders and healthcare workers who are at the front lines of the pandemic.” He went on to thank Governor DeWine and his team and Ohio’s legislators.
- Governor DeWine thanked the President and the head of the FDA. “This will not only help Ohio’s healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, but Battelle will also be helping health care workers in hot spots throughout the country including New York and Washington state.”
Join us every day at 2 pm for Governor DeWine’s coronavirus update and a summary of the most important points.