WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) joined the entire Senate Democratic Caucus in sending a letter to President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence demanding answers about supplies and equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) critical to addressing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The senators asked the President and Vice President to confirm any relevant supply and equipment shortages in the SNS, to outline their strategy to close any such shortages, and to clarify how they plan to use Defense Production Act powers to increase production of supplies and equipment needed for the pandemic response.
“State, local, territorial, and tribal public health agencies are leading the response to the pandemic. These departments know their communities well and are making the best decisions they can to keep their citizens safe. However, our constituents working as health care providers and front line responders in hospitals, public health departments, and throughout their communities report the health care system is woefully under-resourced, especially in our rural, underserved areas and minority communities that are often overlooked. This problem is most acute with shortages of supplies and equipment that are desperately needed to test for and treat COVID-19 patients,” wrote the Senators. “We urge you to be proactive and utilize the powers that you invoked on March 18, 2020, under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to mobilize private industry to manufacture the supplies and equipment needed to address this crisis.”
Read the Senators’ full letter here.