“It is a little bit insane. Everyone is running around trying to get as much as they can from every vendor,” said David Grenache, the lab director at TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. “Laboratories are competing with each other to get needed resources,” he said, and often coming up short…

Lab directors, including in America’s hardest-hit areas, say the supply chain problems are severe. When an order of a testing chemical never arrived last week, “we delayed some testing as a result of it,” said Dwayne Breining, the laboratory director at Northwell Health, a New York City-area health system.

“In Seattle, no one seems to have enough supplies to do the amount of testing that is in demand,” said Geoffrey Baird, a laboratory director at the University of Washington’s health system.

With normal market forces warping under the pressure, some labs stockpiling goods and others struggling to get them, many see a clearer role for the federal government to resolve the mismatch.