The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the vulnerabilities in the supply chains for vital medical products, including personal protective equipment. The resulting shortages made an already frightening outbreak even more dire. As the pandemic ebbs, the issue of shoring up supply chains remains critical — and a remedy must be found before the next crisis. Dr. Shereef Elnahal witnessed the problem firsthand as president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark.
In mid-May, Elnahal shared his experience during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In the latest edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige talked to Elnahal about his testimony, some proposed policy changes and what the CEO is most concerned about with supply chains still problematic. “What we really have to worry about is, number one, potentially vaccine resistant COVID-19 variants which, thankfully, we haven’t seen yet, including the India variant, is very responsive to the Pfizer vaccine as we’ve seen with recent data,” he said. “Or a completely different pathogen altogether that may throw a different curveball and so that’s what we have to worry about in the future.”