New Defense Production Bill Seeks $75 Billion From Coronavirus Stimulus

The DPA is requesting funding for medical supplies The Defense Production Act is requesting an increase in its funding to ensure a supply of medical equipment that is much...

(Photo: Anthony Wallace / AFP-Getty Images)

The DPA is requesting funding for medical supplies

The Defense Production Act is requesting an increase in its funding to ensure a supply of medical equipment that is much needed for treating and preventing coronavirus cases. Representative Ro Khanna is pushing Congress for a war time-like response for funding for ventilators and masks for patients and medical workers.

The DPA legislation gives the president broad powers over supply chains and force manufacturers to face the pressing needs for medical supplies for this pandemic while negotiating fair prices. The DPA applies caps a fund of $750 million and $50 million for each individual contract, with the president holding the power to wave the $50 million cap in the case of an emergency.

Currently, Trump is resisting using the legislation implying that nationalization of businesses doesn’t work out too well. The spokesperson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Murphy, explains that the DPA was designed for defense industry products from a single domestic supplier but this can harm industry sectors including medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

The DPA will help many medical facilities that aren’t prepared for the surge in medical supplies during the highest demand. The current estimates according to the federal government indicate they will need $7 billion for 3.5 billion N95 masks.

Ventilators are also in high demand with increasing medical cases with the American Hospital Association estimating they will need 790,000 ventilators that is estimated to cost $40 billion. Reports indicate that healthcare workers will be needing to have the equipment to prevent infection including their own powered-air purifying respirators that should cost a total of $50 billion with each mask costing $1,800.

The DPA is gaining more support from other politicians including the spokesperson for the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, Evan Hollander, and Nancy Pelosi. Despite the desperate need for medical equipment, the portion of funds is unknown.

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