WASHINGTON, DC — Within 24 hours of being contacted, Rep. Chris Smith persuaded 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 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 against 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,” said Smith, (R-4th District), who represents Belmar and Lake Como in Congress.

“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 federal officials. But it was just too important to give up on,” Smith added.  “I am very thankful that Englishtown Councilman Greg Wojyn connected me with this company, Ansell, which brought this matter to my attention.”

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Ansell Healthcare Products, a leading PPE provider with a corporate hub in Woodbridge, asked Smith for help in moving the massive shipment of gloves that were being held up by CBP.  Smith explained that in total, 32.5 million gloves are being held at the port in Baltimore and 8.8 million more gloves are in Oakland, Calif. After getting word of the release on March 24, the medical gloves were expected to start to be shipped immediately.

“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,” Smith said.

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