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Mon May 4, 2020, 12:58 PM

Sen. Sanders, Khanna Unveil Emergency Medical Supplies Procurement Act

Washington, May 4 Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.-17) unveiled the Emergency Medical Supplies Procurement Act to mobilize the federal government to close the gap in the production of health care equipment.


Outrageously, nearly three months after the first known COVID-19 death in the United States, health care providers across the country are continuing to report supply shortages. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has failed to utilize the full powers of the federal government, including special authorities like the Defense Production Act (DPA), to respond to the urgent needs of states and communities to save lives.

Massively increasing our testing capacity must be the foundation to any long-term plan to return to in-person educational institutions, businesses, and public settings. Testing in the United States has plateaued at 100,000 to 200,000 tests per day due to continued shortages of key supplies and materials. Public health experts estimate that the U.S. must increase testing to 500,000 to one million people per day before considering relaxation of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Health providers and testing centers are reporting continued shortages of swabs, reagents, RNA extraction kits, and other personal protective and testing equipment, severely limiting their ability to scale-up private and publicly operated testing centers.

While Congress recently appropriated $1 billion to the Defense Production Act, that pales in comparison to the amount of supplies needed to protect frontline health care workers and increase testing capacity. The Sanders-Khanna legislation provides an additional $75 billion for the Trump administration to purchase or manufacture personal protective equipment (such as surgical masks, N-95 respirator masks, surgical gowns, and face visors); ventilators; testing reagents and compounds; approved vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals; and any other medical supplies or hospital infrastructure that are necessary.

The legislation would also require the Trump administration to respond to state requests for urgent and critical health care supplies as quickly and aggressively as possible using special authorities such as the DPA, National Emergencies Act, and Stafford Act. Additionally, the Sanders-Khanna legislation incorporates forceful oversight and accountability provisions to ensure that no member of the Trump family or administration personally benefits from this funding. The bill also requires the submission of a weekly report on the implementation and obligation of resources to states and other localities.


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Reply Sen. Sanders, Khanna Unveil Emergency Medical Supplies Procurement Act (Original post)
Donkees May 2020 OP
Newest Reality May 2020 #1

Response to Donkees (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2020, 01:10 PM

1. Good.

We are most definitely going to need more bills like this for the long-term.

It has to be clear, even as we go through this incredibly difficult time, that pandemics are a real threat and won't end with COVID-19. We should act as if there could be a new one in the next year or two in order to be prepared.

That is especially so due the failing, Neo-Liberal policies that help drive an unhealthy leanness for the sake of profit when it is obvious that there will always be times when we need some fat ready for the calamities that are inevitable.

We also face some curious variables that could contribute to an increase in mutations and pandemics. Climate change itself is having a universal impact on life in general. That impact will be increasing for the foreseeable future.

And, add to that the potential, ancient viruses and bacteria that are lying right now in the permafrost just waiting to be released. There have already been some indications of that. Climate change is rapidly melting that permafrost. If I were on an advisory panel about future threats, I would put that one in bold type and even fund research on areas where that is happening now in order to assess that threat. This is another one that hindsight won't help. It is another potential crisis, frozen, waiting and starting to thaw out.

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