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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Federalize Medical Supply Chain

Personal Protective Equipment
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Democrats in the U.S. Senate are pushing for legislation to federalize the medical supply chain in response to COVID-19. Among them are Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The bill would require President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act, which compels manufacturers and distributors to produce and deliver supplies during a crisis.

Schumer says it would be used to create more PPE and other equipment for health care workers.

“President Trump has had scattershot focus, and he has failed to effectively marshal the full power of the federal government. It’s forced our frontline health care workers to go on a scavenger hunt for their lives and means governors have to bid against each other to get supplies.”

Murphy agrees.

“We wish it weren’t necessary. We wish the president were taking the necessary steps to require more production of masks and face shields and components for tests. But he has fiddled for long enough.”

The bill would create posts for an officer in charge of logistics of production, and an independent inspector general to oversee implementation of the act.

The bill is also sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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