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Response to h2ebits (Reply #46)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 01:05 PM

56. "Biden boosted production by invoking the National 'whatever it is called' Act"



Defense Production Act (codified in 50 USC Ch. 55)

Biden to use Defense Production Act for gloves, COVID-19 vaccines

60 million more at-home tests will be available by end of summer, administration says


By Ariel Cohen
Posted February 5, 2021 at 3:24pm

The White House COVID-19 task force announced Friday that the Biden administration plans to use the Defense Production Act to ramp up manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, surgical gloves and at-home testing kits as part of an effort to increase supplies and reduce long-term dependence on foreign suppliers. The administration said it will use the DPA to contract with six more COVID-19 at-home test suppliers, which should result in more than 60 million at-home tests becoming available by the end of the summer.

This news comes just days after the administration announced a $231.8 million deal with at-home COVID-19 test-maker Ellume to produce 100,000 test kits per month for the United States from February to July, with a goal of ramping that number up to 19 million tests per month by the end of the year. The COVID-19 task force did not yet disclose who makes the tests or how much the tests will cost, as the contracts aren't final. COVID-19 Response Team Supply Coordinator Tim Manning said the U.S. would work with these companies to construct new domestic plants and production lines.

The administration also plans to help Pfizer ramp up its COVID-19 vaccine production by expanding the priority rating on Pfizer's vaccine production contract to ensure the drugmaker gets first dibs on specific products and materials it needs to produce vaccines. This will now include filling pumps and tangential flow filtration skid units, two critical components of vaccine manufacturing. This action should have an immediate impact, officials said. This move could help Pfizer reach its production goals of delivering 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. by May. Since Jan. 20, the new administration has increased vaccine supplies to states by more than 20 percent. Right now, one of the factors restraining manufacturing is limited equipment and ingredients, Manning said.

Finally, the administration said it will leverage the DPA to increase the production of surgical gloves, something the country needs more of now. Currently, the U.S. is nearly completely reliant on overseas manufacturers of surgical gloves, Manning said. So, the United States will build plants to produce the raw materials for surgical gloves so they can be produced in the U.S. By the end of the year, the administration hopes to make 1 billion nitrile gloves per month in the U.S, although this will satisfy only half of the country's demand for surgical gloves. Due to procurement law restrictions, the task force cannot say who it is contracting with until the contracts are finalized. Manning said the contracts usually take about four to five weeks to finalize and officials are roughly halfway through the process, so more details are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/02/05/biden-to-use-defense-production-act-for-gloves-covid-19-vaccines/

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