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Letter: Volunteers sewing masks sounds nice, but is there a better way hospitals could get protective medical supplies?

I have serious concerns about the project spearheaded by Intermountain Healthcare that relies on volunteers to make surgical masks for frontline medical personnel. While I completely understand the need of our courageous doctors and nurses to be adequately protected, I adamantly oppose Intermountain Healthcare’s scheme to benefit from free labor when it can easily afford to buy these masks and help employ countless seamstresses and sewers who may have lost jobs recently.

It is obvious that shortages of masks and other protective equipment are due to limited supply and increased demand — not due to hospitals being unable to afford the equipment. It is clear that Intermountain Healthcare is exploiting the generous nature of Utahns to avoid having to pay for this equipment and I am disgusted. Intermountain Healthcare brought in $598.5 million in 2018 and its CEO makes well over $1 million a year while the seamstresses and sewers they are exploiting may be struggling to make ends meet during this time.

The idea that Intermountain Healthcare can’t afford to pay for lifesaving protective equipment is laughable. Perhaps they were preoccupied from cutting salaries to doctors and nurses during the current pandemic.

Jessica Bird