Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said President Donald Trump should use emergency wartime powers that he invoked a day before to force American companies to produce medical supplies to curb the spread of the CCP virus.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
“Right now, shortages of critical medical and personal protective equipment are harming our ability to fight the coronavirus epidemic, endangering front-line workers and making it harder to care for those who fall ill,” Pelosi said in a statement.
The White House has to implement the Defense Production Act to make and distribute those critical products before the demand for them surges, she argued.
“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,” Pelosi said.
On Wednesday, Trump invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act, a rare step for a president, allowing the federal government to force private industry to produce items in the name of national security.
I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
Trump said in a news conference that he is essentially a “wartime president” amid the fight to curb the CCP virus spread. “We are ordering thousands and thousands of ventilators,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
But later, in a post on Twitter, the president said he doesn’t have plans to immediately use the powers.
“I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future,” he said. “Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!”
Fifty-seven House Democrats last week wrote a letter (pdf) to Trump calling on him to use the Defense Production Act for critical supplies during the pandemic.
The Senate, at the same time, passed a second House stimulus package and are now urgently working to pass a third one to help workers, small businesses, and some industries as they deal with the fallout of closed schools, shuttered businesses, and layoffs.
In especially hard-hit New York City, which now has thousands of CCP virus cases as of Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Trump to deploy the U.S. military.
“They can save the most American lives and right now that’s places like New York City,” he wrote. And soon it’s going to be a lot of other places. Mr. President, give the order.”