Support fully utilizing the Defense Production Act to obtain PPE, medical and diagnostic testing supplies needed for response to COVID-19 pandemic
April 25, 2020

Resolution

Whereas, President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; and

Whereas, the United States does not have the supplies that it needs to fight the novel coronavirus, including PPE for healthcare workers such as N95 respirator masks, medical supplies and devices such as ventilator machines for patients who are having difficulty breathing, and diagnostic testing supplies including testing swabs and testing reagents; and  

Whereas, a shortage of PPE has led to widespread crisis rationing of N95 masks in U.S. hospitals, a consequence of which is that healthcare workers are becoming infected with COVID-19, and some are dying; and

Whereas, pandemic simulation estimates put the number of ventilators that might be needed at 742,500, and there are only 160,000 ventilators in U.S. hospitals and 16,600 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile; and

Whereas, the U.S. has only tested 1 percent of its population and is in last place globally in the percentage of tests administered to its population; and

Whereas, if the economy is to reopen, it is vital that we have sufficient PPE and mass testing supplies, among other things; and

Whereas, the president has the authority to invoke and utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA), to allow the government to authorize incentives to expand domestic capacity for PPE manufacturing, prioritize domestic production of PPE, and establish voluntary agreements with private industry to coordinate industry PPE production and distribution of PPE materials; and

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT urges the president and federal officials to fully utilize the DPA in order to obtain the PPE needed from private industry to keep our healthcare and other frontline essential workers safe, to care for our communities, and to produce testing supplies needed to diagnose those among us who may have been exposed or who may be ill with symptoms indicative or COVID-19; and

Be it further resolved, that reopening the economy without first ramping up our testing capability is both dangerous and irresponsible, and puts our communities, workers, and children at greater risk.

  • Passed by the CFT Executive Council on April 25, 2020