WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released the following statement after President Joe Biden announced new Executive Orders utilizing the Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly increase the production and stockpiling of vaccine, medical and testing supplies, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). The executive actions also dramatically boost public transparency; increase coordination with State and local entities, private industry and essential workers; and create a COVID-19 response coordinator to coordinate all elements of the COVID-19 response, including the production, procurement and distribution of critical medical supplies.
“Since March of last year, I’ve been calling for the full power of the Defense Production Act to be unleashed so we can massively scale up production of Made in America medical supplies, PPE and testing equipment. The previous administration failed to do this, which has created supply chain issues that are having dangerous impacts on the nation’s response to COVID-19,” said Senator Baldwin. “I applaud President Biden for taking action to activate authorities under the DPA that will increase our national production of the supplies we need to get through this pandemic, and his efforts to provide the leadership and transparency that the American people deserve. Now we must keep working together to stop the spread of this deadly virus, get the vaccine equitably distributed and administered, and help those who are struggling to get by.”
The country has continued to experience supply chain issues that are having dangerous impacts on the nation’s response to COVID-19, as well as the nation’s ability to scale up vaccine production and distribution. President Biden’s Executive Orders will take immediate action to fill supply shortfalls for vaccination supplies, testing supplies, and PPE, and to ensure that these critical supplies equitably reach American communities, especially communities of color and other underserved communities.
The President’s Executive Orders will direct relevant agencies to exercise all appropriate authorities, including the DPA, to accelerate manufacturing, delivery, and administration to meet shortfalls in equipment and supplies needed for the COVID-19 response, to include what is necessary to support a transparent and equitable national vaccination plan.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Senator Baldwin has been calling for the full activation of the DPA to ramp up nationwide production of testing supplies, PPE and medical equipment. Senators Baldwin and Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently lead their colleagues in supporting President Biden’s use of executive action to utilize all authorities under the DPA that will help deploy a more functional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Baldwin also led the call for this action as part of her Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act, which calls for using the DPA to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic through an equitable and transparent process.
An online version of this release is available here.