COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine called an impromptu press conference Sunday afternoon to discuss the limitations being placed on the use of a new technology that will aid in sterilizing surgical masks by the FDA.
The technology created by Columbus-based company Battelle has the ability to clean 80,000 used surgical masks a day. However, under current restrictions implemented by the FDA, the machines are being used in a limited capacity.
" That's just not good enough," DeWine said Sunday addressing the limitations. " We want everyone to know that we've been pushing this for a week. We've been waiting patiently," explained DeWine.
Ahead of Sunday's press briefing Gov. DeWine reached out to President Donald Trump for assistance in getting the aid approved.
"He understands the problem and says he will do everything he can to get this approved today," DeWine tweeted shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday.
Gov. DeWine also spoke with the commissioner of the FDA, Sunday afternoon, and is hopeful that a decision will be made today.
The machine will help to eliminate health care professionals having to re-use supplies more often than they should. Six of these machines have been manufactured and Batelle is prepared to send more into production so they can be shipped to states across the country, according to DeWine.
"This is a problem that it is not unique to Ohio. This is a problem throughout the country. We are working every single day through that. Batelle said help is on the way," said DeWine.
Battele issued the following statement Sunday afternoon.
"We are thankful that the Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization to operate Battelle CCDS at our facilities. We continue to work with FDA to maximize the impact of the Critical Care Decontamination System by expanding use to other locations as well as increasing the number of respirator masks that are allowed to be processed each day."
As of Sunday afternoon, Ohio has 1,653 cases of coronavirus now confirmed in Ohio, with 29 deaths.
Watch Governor Mike DeWine's most recent remarks below: