Indianapolis March 28, 2020 – On March 17, President Donald Trump invoked the the Defense Production Act of 1950, which permits him to direct industry to produce critical equipment, in the effort to confront the crisis over coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday he signed the first measure under this PDA authority, a Presidential Memorandum to authorize Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to require the General Motors Company to start the production of ventilators. The number of ventilators GM is required to make is unclear and only the Secretary can determine the appropriate number.
After the signing the memorandum, POTUS had this to say:
“Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators. Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
(courtesy of whitehouse.gov)