Lawmakers implore total implementation of Defense Production Act

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Mr. Gaynor didn't say where or how the government would be allocating the test kits, using its emergency authority that President Trump invoked Wednesday.

"We're going to use it, we're going to use it when we need it, and we're going to use it today", he said.

A group of lawmakers recently urged President Donald Trump to immediately implement all Defense Production Act (DPA) powers to expedite the production of needed materials during the coronavirus emergency.

The law, which dates to the Korean War of the 1950s, grants the president broad authority to "expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space and homeland security programs", according to the FEMA website. "We want to be thoughtful and meaningful on how we do it for the best result". "The second thing we're going to do is insert some language into these mask contracts we have for the 500 million masks". "At the last minute we were able to procure the test kits from the private market without evoking the DPA", FEMA press secretary Lizzie Litzow said.

The Trump administration was expected to start wielding its powers under theDefense Production Act for the first time Tuesday to obtain about 60,000 coronavirus test kits to help health care workers confront a widespread shortage of medical supplies amid the unfolding crisis.

"We're actually going to use the DPA for the first time today".

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USA associations representing doctors, nurses, and hospitals recently sent a letter to the president Saturday that said that "America's hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses urge you to immediately use the DPA". "Millions of masks coming as back up to States", Trump said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Monday that "we need the federal government to use the Defense Production Act so that we can get the medical supplies we desperately need", adding, "We can't just wait for companies to come forward with offers and hope they will".

More context: The Defense Production Act is a Korean War era law that gives government the power to completely control the entire supply chain, from forcing companies to make the items they need most, until resuming the distribution and allocation of these supplies.

Critics have accused the president of moving too slowly to use the law's muscle to ramp up production of critically needed supplies, including N95 respirators and ventilators.

The states have said they need Trump to take over distribution, as the current process forces the 50 states to compete, the federal government, and hospitals for medical supplies.

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