Congressman Chris Smith Secures 41 Million Medical Gloves Locked in Govt Warehouses

medical gloves

Within 24 hours of being contacted, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) persuaded the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release a massive shipment of 41.3 million medical-grade gloves for distribution in the United States for medical professionals including nurses and doctors and to first responders. The gloves had been held by CBP since late September of last year.

“At this critical juncture, when supplies of personal protective equipment—PPE—are scarce and medical professionals need to be safeguarded from the coronavirus, we needed to act quickly and work with federal officials to get 41.3 million medical examination gloves released by CBP and into the communities across the country where they are desperately needed,” said Smith.

Millions of gloves sit in a warehouse that were not being utilized and held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that Congressman Chirs Smith worked to get released for the medical professionals (Ansell Photo)

“Amidst the national emergency to combat the COVID-19, CBP had been holding the gloves for many months, and it took dozens of calls to numerous different federal officials. But it was just too important to give up on,” Smith added.  “I am very thankful that Englishtown Councilman Greg Wojyn connected me with this company, Ansell, which brought this matter to my attention.”

Ansell, a leading PPE provider with a corporate hub in NJ, asked Congressman Smith for help in moving the massive shipment of gloves that were being held up by CBP.  Smith explained that in total, 32.5 million gloves are being held at the port in Baltimore, MD, and 8.8 million more gloves are in Oakland, Calif. After getting word of the release Tuesday night, the medical gloves were expected to start to be shipped immediately.

Renae Leary, Ansell’s Chief Commercial Officer Americas, was grateful CBP released the gloves at a time when they are badly needed.

Congressman Chris Smith in his Hamilton Township Office speaks with area medical professionals about the Covid-19 pandemic. Submitted Photo.

“Ansell is thankful for the efforts of Congressman Chris Smith and others to expedite the release of 40 million medical gloves into the United States,” Leary said. “During this pandemic, the lack of personal protective equipment for front-line medical workers is putting their lives and the lives of patients at risk. As a world leader in providing superior health and safety solutions, Ansell is pleased that the US Customs and Border Protection agency has made the decision to release this supply to healthcare facilities across the United States where it is needed most.”

“In light of that fact that New Jersey has the second-highest number of cases of any state in the country, Ansell has assured me that many of these will be put to use here in New Jersey,” Smith said.

For questions about coronavirus in New Jersey, residents are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, or text NJCOVID to 898-211.

To reach Rep. Smith’s NJ District offices dial 732-780-3035 for Freehold; and 609-585-7878 for Hamilton.

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.