Exclusive: Elizabeth Warren and Jan Schakowsky have a plan to end mask and medicine shortages amid the Covid-19 crisis (Vox)

The Democratic lawmakers want the government to take responsibility for manufacturing coronavirus supplies.

Under a new bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a new federal agency would take responsibility for eliminating protective gear shortages and other supply scarcities critical to the coronavirus response.

The legislation, (which was) released on Thursday and shared first with Vox, seeks to remedy the critical supply shortages reported in some Covid-19 hot spots. It also serves as a counter to President Donald Trump’s reluctance to exploit the full power of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to address those problems.

The bill would set up a new Emergency Office of Manufacturing for Public Health within the US Health and Human Services Department. That agency would be charged with guaranteeing “an adequate supply of drugs, devices, biological products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and other supplies necessary to diagnose, mitigate, and treat COVID-19 and to address shortages in products used to treat non-COVID conditions and illnesses,” according to a summary of the bill.

The office could enter into contracts with private manufacturers to produce those supplies or it could assume responsibility for manufacturing itself. The bill text authorizes the federal government to construct manufacturing facilities if necessary to perform that work. Separate from addressing supply needs, the bill would also authorize the government to construct facilities that could produce vaccines and other therapeutics as soon as they become available…

To read the entire article from Vox, click https://www.vox.com/2020/4/30/21241842/coronavirus-covid-supply-shortages-ppe-elizabeth-warren


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