President Donald Trump has said that he will invoke the Defense Production Act. This measure will allow the federal government to force U.S. manufacturers to produce medical equipment and gear to aid in our fight against the coronavirus.
One catch: he doesn’t seem to want to actually use it.
While Trump announced that he would sign the measure, he has yet to employ its vast powers. Under the Defense Production Act, which was approved in 1950 during the Korean War, manufacturers would have to prioritize producing medical gear for the United States and could even be forced to focus on medical equipment. Think Tesla – instead of making cars, it might have to make ventilators (which, by the way, Elon Musk said he is willing to do).
With states like New York stating they could run out of basic medical supplies within weeks, what’s the hold up?
Trump seems to prefer that companies help out the government voluntarily. “We want them on the open market from the standpoint of pricing,” he said. More astonishingly, Trump tweeted that he would only use the Defense Production Act “in a worst case scenario.”
Meanwhile, while Trump dithers, New York has been forced to pay $4 for masks that should only cost 80 cents, and patterns are making the rounds on the internet so people can sew masks for hospitals.
While we can’t know what is going on inside Trump’s brain, we can put pressure on him to invoke the Defense Production Act and give state health care workers and hospitals the resources they desperately need right away. Call your senators, representatives, and governors and demand Trump make U.S. manufacturing work for us. And while you’re at it, let the White House know too!
- To reach your representative or senator, call the Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121
- To reach your governor, visit the following website to find the phone number: https://www.nga.org/governors/addresses/
- To reach the White House, call 202-456-1414
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