As the COVID-19 cases started to grow in the United States, the medical community began sounding the alarm that they did not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and gowns, or medical equipment, such as ventilators, to meet the upcoming demand produced by the pandemic. The quantities needed of these life saving supplies are in the millions, which pushed Trump to sign an Executive Order on March 18th invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950 which allows him to direct private companies to produce good and materials that are deemed necessary for national defense. With the EO in place, Trump can now call on manufacturers across the country to pivot to making these urgently-needed medical supplies. However, Trump has failed to use this power to actually direct any organization to do so even as health care workers from across the country beg for more supplies.
On March 21st, the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association sent a joint letter to Trump pleading with him to use the DPA. The letter stated that “America’s hospitals, health systems, physicians, and nurses urge you to immediately use the DPA to increase the domestic production of medical supplies and equipment that hospitals, health systems, physicians, nurses, and all front line providers so desperately need.”
It is critical we ensure we have both enough medical equipment for patients and PPE for medical care professionals to counter the threat of COVID-19. Demand your Members of Congress pressure Trump to use the Defense Production Act to ensure the manufacture of critical supplies for the coronavirus fight ahead.