AMA calls on federal government amid PPE shortage

 Monday is National Doctors Day and Dr. Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, has a message for her colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic: "The AMA is fighting for you."

Dr. Harris spoke with FOX 5's Deidra Dukes by phone Monday.

" The physicians, my colleagues, are putting their lives on the line worried about their families."

The American Medical Association is fighting for the medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Harris said," Frontline healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses don't have the PPE, that personal protective equipment that they need."

Without those crucial supplies, Dr. Harris says, they themselves are at risk of getting sick and possibly transmitting the virus to their patients and families.

The AMA has heard stories of medical personnel using the same mask all day and trying to resanitize personal protective equipment.

The organization has called on the federal government to do everything in its power to increase the manufacture of medical masks, ventilators and other vital medical equipment.

"That is why the AMA calls on the President to activate DPA the Defense Production Act to make sure that ventilators are available.  And also we ask that the government have some sort of federal tracking system."

Dr. Harris says communities across the country will experience peaks in coronavirus cases, at different times, making it important to track supplies and make sure equipment is being distributed where it's needed most.

"We are all better served if there is a coordinated approach at the top."

Dr. Harris says we can all show our support for medical personnel by doing our part, by sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.