Rep. Tom Malinowski wants to see the federal government take over the COVID-19 medical supply chain. The congressman introduced legislation to force the federal government to use their power under the Defense Production Act to manufacture and distribute much needed medical supplies.
“It makes no sense to force 1000s of towns, counties and states to compete with each other for life saving equipment,” Malinowski wrote in a tweet.
Right now, cities, counties and other localities are forced to compete with one another for additional medical supplies, which are becoming more scarce as the pandemic continues.
The legislation would require the president to use the Defense Production Act to identify companies in the private sector to help provide a minimum of 500,000,000 N95 respirators; 200,000 medical ventilators; 20,000,000 face shields; 500,000,000 pairs of gloves; and 20,000,000 surgical gowns as well as other medical equipment that is deemed essential.
It would also require the federal government to direct the new medical supplies to the states in order to avoid a competition.
Malinowski joined Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in introducing the new legislation.
“The most urgent task for the federal government is to accelerate the flow of vital supplies to our front-line medical providers,” said Rep. Slotkin in a statement. “I would not ordinarily advocate for legislation telling the executive branch how to manage a crisis, but I cannot ignore the outcry from my district and my state. We need federal action now, and if the president will not use his authorities, I will do everything I can to push him to act.”
According to Ryan’s office, the Trump Administration has said on multiple occasions that it has already begun the process of getting additional medical supplies like masks and gloves to medical personnel working on the front lines but there has been no meaningful action yet.