MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today led a coalition of 16 attorneys general in urging President Donald J. Trump to fully utilize the Defense Production Act to immediately prioritize the production of masks, respirators, and other critical items needed by health care workers, law enforcement, and other first responders across the United States.
“Medical professionals and first responders need resources now,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The President must act without further delay and use his broad power to address the ongoing shortages in critical supplies.”
News reports from Wisconsin and around the country have highlighted shortages in equipment and testing.
In the letter, Attorney General Kaul and other attorneys general urge President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to dramatically increase (1) health care capacity; (2) the supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers, law enforcement, and other first responders; and (3) COVID-19 testing capacity. The U.S. health care system needs more ventilators and ICU beds. Those on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus need personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, eye protection, gloves, gowns, sanitizers, cleaning supplies, and thermometers. There is a nationwide need to increase the supply of the reagents and swabs used for COVID-19 testing so that testing can be expanded substantially and, in turn, better-informed medical decisions can be made, public health officials can more effectively tailor their decisions to local conditions, and the coronavirus can be better understood and defeated sooner.
Joining Attorney General Kaul’s letter to the president are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C.
Read the letter here.