WASHINGTON (CNN) – The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump is invoking the Defense Production Act to clear up supply-chain issues encountered in the manufacturing of ventilators.
“Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives,” Trump said in a statement.
Thursday’s order comes amid increased fears of ventilator shortages around the country. The use of these lifesaving medical devices has skyrocketed among critical coronavirus patients.
The order, the statement said, will help domestic manufacturers “secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus.”
The President also said the move “will save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators.”
The order, which came in the form of a presidential memorandum, directs the supply of materials to make ventilatorsto six companies: General Electric Co., Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., Medtronic Public Limited Co., ResMed Inc., Royal Philips N.V. and Vyaire Medical Inc.
It also directs acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to “use any and all authority available under the Act to facilitate the supply of materials” to these companies.
Previously, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to produce more ventilators.
The President has faced pressure to use the act to procure medical equipment and protective equipment for dealing with the coronavirus in the US.
The Defense Production Act, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is “the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space and homeland security programs.”