Pelosi Statement Calling on President Trump to Use Defense Production Act Powers Immediately

March 19, 2020
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Pelosi today called on President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to address widespread shortages of key materials during the coronavirus epidemic, including ventilators, diagnostic test supplies, masks and other personal protective equipment.  Last week, 57 House Democrats wrote a letter to the President asking him to invoke the Defense Production Act.  Yesterday evening, President Trump tweeted that he had signed the Defense Production Act but was not yet invoking its powers.

“Right now, shortages of critical medical and personal protective equipment are harming our ability to fight the coronavirus epidemic, endangering frontline workers and making it harder to care for those who fall ill. 

“The President must immediately use the powers of the Defense Production Act to mass produce and coordinate distribution of these critical supplies, before the need worsens and the shortages become even more dire.  There is not a day to lose.  We must put more testing, more protective equipment and more ventilators into the hands of our frontline workers immediately.”