In the midst of a major shortage of PPE gear for first responders across the Jersey Shore, New Jersey and America, Representative Chris Smith (NJ - 4th District, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties) has secured a massive haul of gloves for first responders on the front lines of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Within 24 hours of being contacted, Jersey Shore Congressman Chris Smith was able to persuade the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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,” Smith said in a statement. “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. 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 New Jersey, asked Congressman Smith for help in moving the massive shipment of gloves that were being held up by CBP.

Smith said that 32.5 million gloves are being held at the port in Baltimore and 8.8 million more gloves are in Oakland.

After getting word of the release Tuesday night, the medical gloves were expected to start to be shipped immediately.

“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,” Renae Leary, Ansell’s Chief Commercial Officer Americas, 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,” Congressman Smith said.

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