Every day the Governor is joined at his press conference by Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, who elucidates the medical and scientific aspects of the covid-19 pandemic;
Last week Dr. Acton and Governor Dewine began talking about a new machine that had been developed by Battelle, a global scientific research and development company located in Columbus. It was reported that this machine could sterilize N95 hospital masks, up to 80,000 thousand at a time, so that these critically-needed masks could be reused by doctors, nurses and other health care providers who are putting their lives on the line by treating coronavirus patients without sufficient protective gear.
Battelle had already produced three of the mask-sanitizing machines which were ready for use; in fact, according to Governor Dewine, one machine would be for use here in Columbus, one wold be sent to New York, and one would be sent to Washington, D.C. Several more were in production to be sent to other coronavirus hot spots such as Chicago and Los Angeles.
However, there was a hitch; these brand-new machines had not yet been approved for safe and effective use by the Food and Drug Administration. For a few days Governor Dewine and Dr. Acton kept us apprised of their argument with the FDA to bypass the standard protocols on new technologies and give emergency approval for use of the sanitizing machines.
We'd been told last Saturday by Governor Dewine that he would skip the next day's press conference for the sake of giving everybody involved in the conferences a day off, unless some important news broke. Late Sunday morning it was announced on local news websites that the Governor had called a press conference for that afternoon, same time, same place. This meant that there was some important breaking news.
The news turned out to be that the Food and Drug Administration had given approval for Battelle's mask sanitizing machines to clean 10,000 masks at a time. This number, though, infuriated our Governor who angrily insisted that the FDA relent under the circumstances and give an emergency waiver of its testing regulations to allow the machine to clean 80,000 masks, as, according to the Battelle scientists, it was built to do.
Late Sunday night the FDA relented and approval was given for the masks to clean 80,000 masks at a time.
At yesterday's press conference the Governor said that the mask sanitizing machine is ready to be up and running today in Columbus and other machines will soon be on their way to other cities around the country.
The Battelle mask sanitizing machine.
The final scenes would be of people around the world returning to their normal lives.