**Click Here for Photos from the Tour**
CHESTERFIELD, V.A. —U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger toured the Blackbriar Regulatory Services (BRS) facility in Chesterfield County to learn more about how BRS is manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks for frontline workers across the United States.
In response to COVID-19 and the nationwide need for PPE, BRS entered into medical device manufacturing and is now producing face masks. During the visit with BRS CEO Russ Rogers, BRS executives, and BRS employees, Spanberger discussed how businesses like BRS have shifted operations to address the high demand for PPE.
“Especially in this moment of widespread uncertainty, Blackbriar’s increased focus on PPE manufacturing couldn’t be more important. We all need to work together to build a brighter future for America’ families, businesses, and economy,” said Spanberger. “Our district’s businesses need conditions that protect the safety of their workers and customers, increase their ability to adapt to changing conditions, and allow them to recruit and hire skilled employees — and I’m proud to support policies that reflect these priorities. Our district puts a premium on finding common ground — and then working hard to make progress on these issues of health and public safety.”
“We are investing in face mask production for the long term. Customers can expect the highest quality USA made product and a swift delivery, and we look forward to manufacturing additional medical devices in the future. BRS has the bandwidth to exponentially expand current face mask production based on customer needs and demand,” said Russ Rogers, CEO, BRS. “We are grateful to Congresswoman Spanberger for visiting today to learn more about our PPE production capabilities.”
Spanberger has long supported efforts to strengthen the long-term, domestic supply for critical PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, Spanberger voted in support of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided an additional $16 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase PPE to replenish the depleted Strategic National Stockpile.
In March 2020, Spanberger introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the President to make urgent and effective use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) in response to PPE shortages.
Spanberger and U.S. Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05) also urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to use its authorities under the DPA to provide immediate, additional supplies of PPE to nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Central Virginia and across the country.