Pelosi Statement on Seriously Belated Progress on Defense Production Act

March 27, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the President’s much-delayed and limited step to use the Defense Production Act to address shortages of ventilators but not of other key materials needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic:

“The news that the President will finally begin to use the Defense Production Act to mass produce ventilators is an important but seriously belated step.

“Much more must be done.  The President must use the full powers of this law to address the dire, widespread shortage of materials required to fight this pandemic, including diagnostic test supplies, masks and other personal protective equipment. 

“For far too long, the President has downplayed the need for these supplies and disregarded the evidence, at a grave cost to our country.  Just yesterday, the President questioned whether more ventilators were needed – after nearly 100,000 Americans were diagnosed and 1,000 tragically died from coronavirus.

“Our frontline health care workers, hospitals, health systems, local and state governments and the people they serve need to know that the federal government will be there for them in this time of great need."