State Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware) today wrote U.S. Senators Robert P. Casey, Pat Toomey and U.S. Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon and Chrissy Houlahan urging the utilization of the federal Defense Production Act for the production of personal protection equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“In the last 72 hours, one request from health care leaders and workers has come to the fore – the need to secure a ready supply of PPE,” wrote Killion. “While I am aware the Trump Administration has invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) in response to the COVID-19 emergency, I urge you use any and all means necessary to prompt the Administration to use its authority under DPA to marshal our nation’s industrial capacity to produce PPE without delay.”
The DPA, enacted in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, gives the President broad powers when invoked. Included among them is the authority to force industry to expand production and the supply of basic resources.
While the Trump Administration has stated they will utilize other authorities granted under the DPA, particularly those related to hoarding and price-gouging, it has yet to exercise its ability to expand production of PPE.
Killion noted that the region is the epicenter of the COVID-19 emergency in Pennsylvania.
“[Our] health systems, hospitals, facilities and the healthcare professionals who serve those seeking treatment will be tested like never before in the weeks ahead,” wrote Killion. “They should not have the added burden of worrying about the supply of PPE.”
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis,” commented Killion. “It is the test of a lifetime for us as Americans and Pennsylvanians. With swift action and decisive leadership, we will meet this challenge and I thank Senators Casey and Toomey and Representatives Scanlon and Houlahan for their efforts.”