Instead of being perturbed by President Trump’s expanded presidential powers under the Defense Production Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging the president to wield his newfound authority immediately.
Topping in the list of Pelosi’s concerns is the critical shortage of medical supplies necessary to handle the coming influx of patients likely to require intensive care. Experts fear the numbers will overwhelm our healthcare apparatus, especially if young people don’t take COVID-19 risks seriously.
Since the last people who survived the deadly Spanish Flu as adults (which probably originated in Kansas) died twenty years ago, it’s unclear if those who haven’t will start taking anything seriously. Perhaps dire warnings from epidemiologists and policymakers will change their minds.
All of this makes Trump’s willingness to act decisively critical, according to Pelosi.
Fox News further reports:
“The President must immediately use the powers of the Defense Production Act to mass produce and coordinate distribution of these critical supplies, before the need worsens and the shortages become even more dire,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “There is not a day to lose. We must put more testing, more protective equipment and more ventilators into the hands of our frontline workers immediately.”
The act, which was first enacted in 1950 as a response to the Korean War and has since been re-invoked more than 50 times, would streamline production of medical supplies to help the country battle the coronavirus pandemic and require businesses to sign contracts or fulfill orders deemed necessary for national defense.
It’s part of an expansive effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down most of daily life in the U.S. in recent weeks.
But he tweeted late Wednesday that he was only using it if deemed necessary “in a worst case scenario.”
I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020