Americans are cheering a recent order by President Donald Trump in which, as usual, he put America first.
In the battle against the coronavirus, President Trump said he has now invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to stop the exportation of much needed medical supplies and equipment.
President Trump informed the public about his decision during Friday’s White House coronavirus briefing.
“I‘m signing a directive invoking the Defense Production Act to prohibit the export of scarce health and medical supplies by unscrupulous actors and profiteers,” the president said.
Trump continued: “The secretary of Homeland Security will work with FEMA to prevent the export of N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. We need these items immediately for domestic use. We have to have them.”
During this pandemic, there has been a shortage of these vital supplies such that medical personnel, at times, can’t even protect themselves while treating the sick. And now, with more and more Americans becoming infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is even recommending that the general population cover their faces in public.
Suffice it to say that America needs all the medical supplies it can get.
Directive invoked, already
Despite this need, however, some American manufacturers have continued to stockpile these items and export them, which is why the directive is needed. In fact, the president revealed that he and his administration have already had cause to put it into effect.
“We’ve already leveraged the DPA to stop the hoarding and price gouging of crucial supplies,” Trump said. “Under that authority this week the Department of Health and Human Services working with the Department of Justice took custody of nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks, 600,000 gloves, as well as bottles, many, many, many bottles, and disinfectant sprays that were being hoarded.”
President Trump did stop short of revealing who these suppliers were. But, on Friday, there were reports that 200,000 face masks manufactured by 3M for the German police department were intercepted in Thailand and returned to the United States.
“All of this material is now being given to health care workers, most of it has already been given out,” the president said.
In a statement, 3M pushed back, saying that the new directive raises “significant humanitarian implications” and will “likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same.”