Last year’s approach to obtaining enough PPE materials amid the onset of COVID-19 was largely an emergency triage system, said Mitch Cahn, founder and president of Newark-based Unionwear, which manufactures promotional materials but shifted to making personal protective equipment last year. States coordinated to get it where it was most needed, while manufacturers switched to producing it. But memories are short, and with supply chains between China back online, many are simply “chasing the lowest-cost product,” Chafe said.
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