The nurse in Michigan, who is based in Flint and works primarily with immunocompromised patients, said that nurses at her hospital have been rationed one N95 mask each and are being required to store them in a bag and reuse them, against manufacturer guidelines. Nurses on her floor, she added, have also been unable to obtain enough disinfectant wipes.

“We ordered five containers the other day and we only got one,” she said. Like many medical professionals who spoke to NBC News, she asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job. “One container of bleach wipes for 42 beds.”

“I don’t feel like my hospital is failing us,” she said. “It’s the whole system that’s failing us.”

“We certainly would not ask a firefighter to fight a fire with a spray gun,” said Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses’ union. Burger, who has been a registered nurse for 45 years, said that neither the government nor the private sector are acting fast enough to get critical supplies to those who need them.