Yesterday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced that they have distributed 2.25 million masks across the state.
“There’s been a lot of work that’s been done,” MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel said. “We’ve come a long way over the last 60 days on this effort, and I’m so proud of the folks I’ve been working with.”
Of the 2.25 million masks, over 500,000 were made locally.
“The 2.25 million masks that we have been able to push out as part of the community mask program, over half a million were made right here in Mississippi,” Michel said. “We’re still working every day to try and increase the capacity on not only masks but on all of our products, and the purpose of that is to drive that money that we are spending to try and keep it here in Mississippi and keep Mississippians employed to the largest degree that we can.”
While Michel is ecstatic with what his team has been able to do thus far, he emphasized that the efforts to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) by MEMA won’t stop until the pandemic does.
“We’re not going to stop the process,” Michel said. “We’ve still got to push this PPE out, and of course if you heard Dr. [Thomas] Dobbs talk yesterday at the press conference, we are anticipating another resurgence in the fall which means another demand on PPE.”
Historically, pandemics tend to occur in more than one wave. For example, the 1918 influenza pandemic consisted of three waves with the second wave being the most fatal. Most to all Mississippians were not properly prepared for the current coronavirus wave, making Michel’s ultimate goal to not let that happen again when a second wave inevitably strikes.
“We don’t want to be there again, and we don’t intend to let that happen again.”
To watch the full interview with Michel, check out the video below.