Henry Schein CEO warns consumers against hoarding medical masks, lack of pandemic preparedness

Dentists

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The Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Stanley Bergman, is pleading with consumers to stop hoarding medical masks, according to his op-ed for the World Economic Forum.

"Truth be told, many individuals and companies who are neither healthcare providers nor suppliers to healthcare workers are stocking up on masks for their own use," he wrote. "It's understandable, of course, and perhaps even admirable in its intent, but absolutely incorrect from a public health perspective, especially given the lack of proven efficacy of masks for the general public."

To assist with future pandemic preparations and ensure healthcare providers have the supplies they need, Henry Schein is the private-sector lead of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, a public-private partnership that is dedicated to improve the flow of information and supplies between manufacturers, distributors and healthcare workers.

Mr. Bergman argues that the world did not prepare enough for the COVID-19 pandemic after the SARS outbreak ended in 2004.

"Humans can be slow to act, wired to pay closest attention to the risks right in front of us, however small, while ignoring much bigger risks looming in the distance until they hit with great force," he said.

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