Move In U.S. Senate To Further Federalize Health Supply Chain

Jul 28, 2020

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Last week U.S. Senate Democrats asked Republican leadership to call for a vote on a bill to designate an official to oversee the medical supply chain and increase reporting during the pandemic.

One of the bill's authors is Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. She says five months into the coronavirus outbreak, the nation is still seeing consistent shortages of testing supplies, test platforms and protective equipment...

"And it's hard to believe that after all these months where we've been experiencing this pandemic throughout the country, that the Trump administration has not taken the necessary steps to assure domestic production of these very needed items..."

Baldwin says it helps create jobs here, rather than rely on overseas vendors...

"As the economy gradually, and in phases, opens up, the demand for protective equipment and testing is only going to grow. It's going to grow considerably as people want to make sure their workplaces are safe..."

The Trump Administration evoked the 1950 Defense Production Act to shift production to needed medical supplies. The designated officer would have all federal acquisition authorities under the Defense Production Act and report to the FEMA director as well as other agencies.

On CNN recently, White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro defended the Trump administration's approach to the supply chain. Navarro said the administration has not hesitated to use the Defense Production Act when necessary.