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Opinion The country needs medical supplies. Will Trump compel companies to make them?

18:56  25 march  2020
18:56  25 march  2020 Source:   bostonglobe.com

Trump names new Defense Production Act coordinator for coronavirus fight

  Trump names new Defense Production Act coordinator for coronavirus fight President Trump said Friday that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro would become the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator for the federal government as the administration seeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.Trump made the announcement at an afternoon press conference at the White House, saying he gave Navarro the new authorities when he signed an executive order earlier that day."My order establishes that Peter will serve as national Defense Production Act policy coordinator for the federal government," Trump told reporters.Navarro has been one of the driving forces behind Trump's protectionist trade agenda.

President Trump 's failure to order the manufacturing of masks, ventillators and other equipment has baffled lawmakers of both parties and angered The administration says tens of millions of masks are now being produced even without the federal government compelling companies to make them .

A growing chorus of politicians, medical professionals and hospital officials are pleading with the president to ease the deepening crisis by using his authorities under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to mobilize U.S. private production capacity to manufacture the supplies . Trump did initially invoke

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Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump has urged doctors and nurses to wash and reuse whatever masks they already own and blamed the equipment shortage on the “crazy” global market. © MANDEL NGAN President Trump has urged doctors and nurses to wash and reuse whatever masks they already own and blamed the equipment shortage on the “crazy” global market.

WASHINGTON — President Trump ran as a “builder” who would reopen America’s shuttered factories and preside over a manufacturing renaissance. But weeks after desperate governors have begged his administration for masks and ventilators to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Trump still appears hesitant to use the powers of his office to compel manufacturers to produce them.

FEMA Pulls Back From Defense Production Act Amid Mixed Signals

  FEMA Pulls Back From Defense Production Act Amid Mixed Signals The Trump administration was set to implement a Korean War-era defense mobilization law on Tuesday to expedite the production of test kits, but at the last minute deemed it unnecessary, in spite of mounting calls to use the law to resolve severe equipment shortages. For much of the day, the administration sent conflicting signals on whether it was using the Defense Production Act. On CNN Tuesday morning, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter Gaynor said the law would be used for the production of certain test kits.

The country needs medical supplies . Will Trump compel companies to make them ? President Trump 's failure to order the manufacturing of masks, ventilators and other equipment has baffled lawmakers of both parties and angered medical

The country needs medical supplies . Will Trump compel companies to make them ? President Trump 's failure to order the manufacturing of masks, ventilators and other equipment has baffled lawmakers of both parties and angered medical

Instead, Trump has urged doctors and nurses to wash and reuse whatever masks they already own and blamed the shortage on the “crazy” global market for equipment right now.

“We are helping the states to get equipment, but it is not easy,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Last week, Trump issued an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act, a Cold War-era law that allows presidents to force companies to produce scarce goods in times of crisis or war. But so far, he has not used it to compel the mass manufacturing of masks, gloves, gowns, and other sorely needed medical supplies. That has baffled lawmakers of both parties and angered medical professionals who face dangerous shortages of personal protective equipment.

Trump lashes out at networks, newspapers: All I see is 'hatred of me'

  Trump lashes out at networks, newspapers: All I see is 'hatred of me' President Trump late Sunday lashed out at a group of news networks and newspapers over their coverage of his administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that all he's seen is "hatred of me.""I watch and listen to the Fake News, CNN, MSDNC, ABC, NBC, CBS, some of FOX (desperately & foolishly pleading to be politically correct), the [New York Times], & the [Washington Post], and all I see is hatred of me at any cost," Trump said on Twitter.

The country needs medical supplies . Will Trump compel companies to make them ? President Trump 's failure to order the manufacturing of masks, ventilators and other equipment has baffled lawmakers of both parties and angered medical

“We encourage your country to mobilize all appropriate domestic resources to scale up production of items needed to address this outbreak, including Diplomats are encouraged to tell host countries they want to “begin a dialogue with your country on meeting our shared urgent medical needs as

“A lot more health care workers are going to be sick or not be able to help on the front lines,” said Julie Pinkham, the executive director of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. If more personal protective equipment can’t be obtained, she said, “We’re going to see deaths that could have been avoided.”

Trump said Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is already distributing millions of masks and other equipment. He claimed the threat of the Defense Production Act is working without him having to utilize it.

“It’s called leverage,” he told reporters. “The threat of it being there is great leverage."

But Trump’s confidence was unlikely to allay the concerns of state and local leaders and hospital workers who say they are already rationing supplies.

At the epicenter of the epidemic in New York, a frustrated Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the federal government to use the Defense Production Act now to meet the state’s immediate need for 30,000 ventilators. “If we don’t have the ventilator in 14 days, it does us no good,” he said. “I do not for the life of me understand the reluctance to use the Defense Production Act.”

'This week, it's going to get bad': Surgeon General says people need to take coronavirus seriously

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They want Trump to put into action the Defense Production Act which will snap private companies into action to produce the required materials. In order to do that, Trump must tell the manufacturers behind the supplies to make what the country needs , then buy them from them and divvy them up.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order making it a crime to excessively stockpile personal protective equipment that is needed by medical personnel fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department has already

Trump has yet to fully explain why he authorized the wartime power last week but then did not fully utilize it. Last weekend, he told reporters he preferred to coax businesses into cooperating with the urgent need for supplies. “The concept of nationalizing our businesses is not a good concept,” he said.

The act does not nationalize businesses, but does require them to produce certain goods for a period of time that the federal government pays for. Earlier in Trump’s term, his administration considered using the same act to shore up the ailing coal industry.

Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts said he called Vice President Mike Pence last week to urge him to convince the president to use the act, making the case that 3.5 billion respirator masks will be needed to outlast the crisis.

“I think the president is afraid of being charged with engaging in socialistic activities, which is of course foolish because we’re at war with an enemy and we can only win if the president takes over as commander in chief,” Markey said.

The administration has sent mixed messages on whether Trump will use the powers he authorized last week. FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor said in an interview on CNN that the administration planned to utilize the act for the first time to acquire 60,000 COVID-19 test kits.

Health officials warn US government does not have enough stockpiled medical equipment to deal with coronavirus

  Health officials warn US government does not have enough stockpiled medical equipment to deal with coronavirus Top health care officials said Monday that there is not enough stockpiled medical equipment like masks, gowns and gloves to fulfill the anticipated need of nation's health care system as it deals with the coronavirus. © JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images A scientist is at work in the VirPath university laboratory, classified as "P3" level of safety, on February 5, 2020 as they try to find an effective treatment against the new SARS-like coronavirus, which has already caused more than 560 deaths.

Trump — who will be judged by voters at the polls in eight months — also faced criticism from former vice president Joe Biden, the delegate leader for the Democratic presidential nomination, who issued a statement in response to Gaynor’s interview on CNN. “Mr. President, stop lying and start acting

Medical professionals say social distancing needs to be stepped up, not relaxed, to slow the spread of infections. At the White House briefing, the public-health Trump in recent days has sounded a note of frustration about the unprecedented modern-day effort to halt the virus' march by essentially shutting

But when asked about that later on Tuesday, Pence dodged the question, again focusing on voluntary efforts from the private sector.

On Tuesday evening, a FEMA press secretary said Gaynor had not used the wartime act after all, but was able to secure the tests anyway.

Governors have complained that without the federal government taking over the response, they are bidding against other states and the administration itself, driving up the costs of necessary equipment and worsening the crisis.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told Trump during a conference call last week that the state had tried to place orders for equipment, but had lost bids to the federal government three different times.

The state has received 750,000 masks, face shields, gowns, and pairs of gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile, with its most recent shipment arriving Monday, and has begun to distribute them.

Massachusetts is also trying to increase manufacturing of masks and other protective equipment on its own. The Baker administration convened a team to find factories in the state that can voluntarily make needed medical supplies. Manufacturers in the state have received detailed online surveys about their size, capabilities, machinery, and inventory.

As states struggle to cope, Trump has shown a larger unwillingness to address the equipment shortage. Last week, he said the federal government’s role was not to be a “shipping clerk” of supplies, and over the weekend he blamed medical providers for not washing and reusing their masks, which is against federal guidelines.

Trump Told Governors to Buy Own Virus Supplies, Then Outbid Them

  Trump Told Governors to Buy Own Virus Supplies, Then Outbid Them President Donald Trump’s directive for governors to buy their own medical supplies to fight the coronavirus has run into a big problem -- the federal government. © Bloomberg U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Trump told U.S. governors that he'll strongly consider providing them grants in a coronavirus stimulus bill under development in Congress and that he won't take over National Guard units.

The administration says tens of millions of masks are now being produced even without the federal government compelling companies to make them. On Tuesday, Ford Motor Co. announced it will make 100,000 plastic face shields and increase capacity of an unstated number of masks.

“He’s fully prepared to use the Defense Production Act,” Pence said on Fox News Tuesday. “But at this point I can tell you that American industry is stepping forward as never before.”

The pro-business US Chamber of Commerce organization has loudly opposed the measure. “The Defense Production Act isn’t a magic wand to immediately solve medical supply shortages,” the group’s executive president Neil Bradley said in a statement. “It can’t convert a refrigerator factory into a ventilator factory.”

But Cuomo and others argue that activating the law’s powers can help states meet their urgent need for equipment as they brace for a wave of coronavirus patients who will need breathing assistance. Cuomo said he’s received just 400 ventilators from the federal government.

”I look at actions, not words,” he said. “Where are the ventilators, where are the gowns, where’s the [personal protective equipment], where are the masks?”

Trump is beginning to face some pressure from his own party. Seven House Republicans signed onto a bipartisan resolution to urge the president to use the act.

Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois, said Trump’s “soft diplomacy” approach appeared to be working, but that the act would give him a stronger hand. “We need them to step up to address the PPE shortage, the equipment shortage for COVID-19 patients like ventilators,” Davis said of manufacturers.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas urged the president to do more to compel production on his podcast. “I don’t want to see doctors having to make a choice of who gets to live and who has to die because they don’t have the equipment to save their lives,” he said.

Governors and mayors in growing uproar over Trump’s lagging coronavirus response .
Many officials across the country complain that Trump does not have a coherent or ready plan to confront a crisis that could soon push the nation’s health-care system to the brink of collapse. “We’re all building the airplane as we fly it right now,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It would be nice to have a national strategy.” Uncertainty prompted by the Trump administration’s own statements abounded amid the rancor. Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter T.

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