Trump enacts Defense Production Act on March 18 to force industries to manufacture medical supplies needed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

First enacted in September 1950 in response to the beginning of the Korean War, the Defense Production Act has three major sections that substantiate the President’s authority.
The DPA has been enacted 50 times over the last 70 years Trump enacted the Defense Production Act on March 18 to force industries to manufacture medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19.

Available and stockpiled medical supplies are completely insufficient as hospitals, health workers and state/local officials are running out of protective gear (face masks, gowns, gloves, etc.) necessary to keep front-line doctors, nurses and health workers safe so they can provide essential services to people now experiencing the coronavirus.

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(As of March 18, John Hopkins University data indicated there are now 6,500 confirmed US cases among the +200,000 worldwide cases of the coronavirus.)

Trump said at a press briefing on March 18, “There’s never been an instance liker this where no matter what you have it’s not enough.”

Medical professionals and elected officials are increasingly sounding the alarm concerning these shortages. Normally, China is the main supplier of such medical devices but due to the trade war and China’s own need for this protective gear, there are not enough devices needed here in the US. Enacting the DPA is one sure-fire way to ensure that such devices will be available as soon as they are needed.

Hospitals need additional ventilators (breathing machines) that will likely be in high demand in the coming weeks and months as COVID-19 continues its spread throughout the country. Health workers also need N95 respirators, thought to be significantly more effective at blocking viruses than loose fitting surgical masks.

Enacting the DPA is not as unusual as it sounds. It has thus far been invoked some 50+ times by several presidents from Harry S. Truman forward.

According to Wikipedia, the Defense Production Act has three major sections…

The President may require businesses to sign contracts and/or fulfill orders though necessary for national defense.
The President may authorize regulations or orders or specific agencies to provide materials, services and/or facilities to promote national defense
The President may control the civilian economy to ensure that necessary materials essential to national defense are available for defense needs.

In addition to invoking the DPA on March 18 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Trump invoked it once before in June 2017 to authorize technology needed for the country’s space industry.

Thanks to Wikipedia and The Hill for content data and sources.

Also read: Trump and Trudeau Agree – Close US-Canadian Border to All “Non-Essential” Traffic

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