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Politics Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act

04:20  27 march  2020
04:20  27 march  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on President Trump to use the Defense Production Act powers that he invoked Wednesday but later in the day Pelosi said she was reacting to a tweet posted by the president late Wednesday afternoon in which he said, “I only signed the Defense Production Act to

“Every generation of Americans has been called to make shared sacrifices for the good of the nation,” Trump said, comparing the efforts to beat the Though Trump did not state what kind of equipment the Defense Production Act will be used to produce, masks and ventilators are the most likely candidates.

Video by The Washington Post

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and labor leaders on Thursday ramped up calls for President Trump to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to manufacture critical medical supplies in the coronavirus fight.

The push comes as states and municipalities have reported shortages of equipment and devices such as ventilators, masks and gowns.

"The problem is, that the private sector supply chain has broken down. It has just simply broken down," Murphy said on a call with reporters. "It is a 'Lord of the Flies' scenario today in which supply is not heading to areas of need, but is instead heading to places where the money is or where the political connections exist."

Pelosi urges Trump to tap emergency war powers immediately

  Pelosi urges Trump to tap emergency war powers immediately Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on President Trump to use emergency war powers he invoked just a day earlier to immediately press industry to accelerate production of medical supplies."Right now, shortages of critical medical and personal protective equipment are harming our ability to fight the coronavirus epidemic, endangering frontline workers and making it harder to care for those who fall ill," Pelosi said in a statement.

Though he’s dusted off the Defense Production Act , he’s expressed resistance to use it. Governors facing shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment used by doctors and nurses have urged the Trump administration to use the law to ramp up production .

Proponents of the act want Trump to use it now to direct factories to ramp up production of “Private companies are heeding our call to produce medical equipment and supplies because they know A growing number of lawmakers from both parties have been pushing Trump to make use of the law ’s

Murphy said companies incentivize "hoarding and price gouging" and that the federal government must step in.

The DPA allows the president to pivot manufacturing in the private sector to fill shortcomings of medical equipment needed to battle the pandemic.

Trump has rejected such calls, arguing the DPA gives the government too much power over the private sector. Instead, he said companies are voluntarily providing the necessary supplies.

But some critics disagree, saying the federal government needs to assert its authority.

"There should be a nationally coordinated response that is inventorying the need of every hospital, nursing home and homecare setting in this nation, matching it with the stockpile and then insisting on ramping up production to meet the hundreds of millions of needs that we have for masks, gowns and respirators," Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said on the call with Murphy.

Trump says he has put Defense Production Act into gear to fight coronavirus

  Trump says he has put Defense Production Act into gear to fight coronavirus President Donald Trump said on Friday he had put the Defense Production Act into action.

The Defense Production Act , legislation passed in 1950 on the cusp of the Korean War, provides the President with a broad set of powers to require Instead, Trump said, the "threat" of using the powers has been enough to lead businesses to offer to ramp up production of the necessary materials on

We are ready to use the Defense Production Act ,” he said. Some American manufacturers have privately expressed concerns that it is more difficult to ramp up production of medical equipment without clear guidance from the federal government outlining what materials are needed — and where.

Their remarks came the same day that the entire New Jersey congressional delegation including Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Reps. Donald Norcross (D) and Jefferson Van Drew (R) urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to use his delegated authority under the DPA.

"In our home state of New Jersey, the need is particularly acute. New Jersey has the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, and our supply of respirators, eye protection, face masks, and other protective gear is rapidly decreasing," the lawmakers wrote. "In some regions of New Jersey, healthcare providers estimate that their supplies will run out in a matter of days based on current usage levels - usage which is predicted to dramatically increase in the coming days and weeks."

New Jersey has had more than 4,402 cases of coronavirus, leading to more than 60 deaths.

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"Healthcare providers and first responders are our first and best line of defense against COVID-19," the delegation wrote. "We cannot afford to risk running out of [personal protective equipment]; the lives of providers, responders, and the public depend on it."

Democratic senators move to force Trump's hand to ramp up medical equipment production

  Democratic senators move to force Trump's hand to ramp up medical equipment production President Donald Trump might have formally invoked a 1950 law giving him the ability to force factories to produce key equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus and to allocate critical resources where they are needed most. But, the President has also said he doesn't plan to use that power.President Donald Trump might have formally invoked a 1950 law giving him the ability to force factories to produce key equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus and to allocate critical resources where they are needed most. But, the President has also said he doesn't plan to use that power.

White House mulling Defense Production Act to ramp up protective gear production : Report. The law grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for During an interagency call on Wednesday, officials from HHS and the Department of Homeland

Read full articles from Trump invokes Defense Production Act to fight coronavirus and explore endless topics, magazines and more on your phone or tablet with Google News. 'Wartime President' Donald Trump Invokes Defence Production Act to Expedite Steps to Combat Covid-19.

Murphy and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have introduced the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, which would require Trump to use his DPA powers to boost emergency production in the private sector. The bill calls for 500 million masks, 200,000 ventilators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of gloves and 20 million surgical gowns.

"It is time to federalize the national, critical medical supply chain," Murphy said Thursday.

Chris Murphy wearing a suit and tie: Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act © Bonnie Cash Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act

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