Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Delaware, joined Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin; Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut; and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, on April 30 to announce legislation that lays out a framework for an effective COVID-19 response by requiring strong coordination at the federal level and adding critical oversight and transparency to the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment.
The Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act requires the president to utilize all available authorities under the Defense Production Act to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic through an equitable and transparent process.
44 other Senate Democrats support this legislation, as well as AFL-CIO, SEIU, the National Nurses United, and United Steelworkers. Reps. Katie Porter, D-California; Jason Crow, D-Colorado; Elissa Slotkin, D-Michigan; and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, will introduce the House companion of this legislation.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic began plaguing our communities, I have urged President Trump to use his full authorities under the Defense Production Act to adequately address supply shortages that continue to put our health care workers and their patients at heightened risk,” said Carper. “That has still not happened. It’s why, today, I am proud to join Sens. Murphy and Baldwin to introduce the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act, a bill that would require the president to exercise those authorities to immediately address the shortage of critical testing, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies. It is past time for the Trump administration to take all necessary measures to respond to this pandemic with the urgency it demands. If Sen. McConnell wants the Senate to reconvene next week, legislation, like this, to address the urgent needs of those on the front lines should be what we are working on.”
“The lack of a clear, coordinated national supply chain strategy to help frontline health care workers respond to this pandemic is creating chaos and likely costing lives,” said Coons. “Hospitals and health care systems and even states and cities are competing with one another to get basic supplies to treat patients and contain the outbreak — that’s unacceptable. The federal government should lead a clear, nationwide strategy to acquire and distribute the life-saving medical equipment that is so desperately needed in communities across the country.”
The full text of the bill is available at bit.ly/3aPi3By.