April 3, 2020
Secretary Azar Statement on New Defense Production Act Orders
On Thursday and Friday, President Trump signed two memoranda ordering the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security to use any and all authority under the Defense Production Act to 1) facilitate the supply of materials for ventilator production by certain manufacturers and 2) prevent the export of certain scarce and critical materials, including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 respirators and surgical masks, that have been the target of hoarders.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:
“President Trump’s latest orders under the Defense Production Act support HHS and FEMA’s efforts to ramp up ventilator production and ensure supplies of PPE that have been the target of hoarders—especially N95 respirators—go to America’s heroic healthcare workers rather than being exported. Thanks to the President’s bold actions and vision for an all-of-America response, U.S. companies have already dramatically scaled up ventilator production, with tens of thousands of new units expected to become available in the coming months. Meanwhile, FEMA and HHS have been working closely with states, purchasers, distributors, and manufacturers to ensure American healthcare workers are getting the PPE they need, with dozens of tons of supplies shipped to states by HHS and FEMA already. The President will use every necessary power FEMA and HHS have to save lives by boosting production of PPE and ventilators and sending them where they’re needed most.”