Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Joe Courtney (2nd District of Connecticut)
December 10, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Joe Courtney (CT-02) introduced the Pandemic Supplies Production Act to nationalize the production and distribution of essential supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we fight through this second surge of COVID-19 we need to make sure we have the supplies to combat the virus. The Pandemic Supplies Production Act would not only boost production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), tests, therapeutics and the vaccine when its available, but it will also centralize the distribution of these supplies by utilizing the Defense Logistics Agency. We need national leadership on this, not 50 different solutions. More than 280,000 Americans have already died from this virus, including more than 5,000 citizens of Connecticut. As experts have stated, having a national testing and equipment plan earlier in the pandemic could have prevented many deaths. We cannot wait any longer, we have to act now,” said Rep. Larson.
“There has been spectacular progress made in the effort to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, but we need to make sure our supply chain is ready to deploy a vaccine immediately. If we don’t have the support network to help distribute vaccines across the country, or to ramp up production of critical PPE and hospital supplies, then we’re not going to be ready,” said Rep. Courtney. “We need the harness the strength of the federal government to help establish that support network and defeat the virus, and Rep. Larson has helped lead the way in kicking our federal response into gear. The Pandemic Supplies Production Act would finally beef up the role of the federal government in ramping up supplies production, and in overcoming serious logistical challenges in delivering vaccines and supplies nationwide. I’m proud to join Rep. Larson in this important effort to help our communities overcome COVID-19.”
Larson and Courtney previously announced the legislation in November. Reps. Jim Himes (CT-04) and Jahana Hayes (CT-05) also cosponsored the legislation.
The Pandemic Supplies Production Act will:
- Assess and identify the private sector’s capacity to produce needed equipment, supplies, therapeutics, and vaccines;
- Invoke the Defense Production Act to the extent necessary to match the supply and capacity needed to meet the demand for ventilators, masks, medical supplies, other essential personal protective equipment, therapeutics, and vaccines needed to address the COVID-19 crisis and future pandemics;
- Require weekly reports be submitted to Congress on the status of the equipment and supplies distribution plan, the available resources and the production of equipment, ventilators, and medical protective gear, therapeutics, and vaccines;
- Establish the Defense Logistics Agency as the lead on acquisition and distribution of therapeutics, vaccines, PPE, and other critical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Mandate that the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency establish and maintain an online system through which states and local governments affected by a covered emergency may submit requests for covered items and establish procedures for fulfilling requests;
- Require reporting on the needs of the domestic manufacturing base for the mass production of a vaccine and other supplies; and
- Mandate an assessment of the identified needs, personnel and funding requirements, and timelines and milestones of operations for the response and recovery efforts of the Defense Logistics Agency during this pandemic or any future pandemic.