Rep. Andy Levin Statement on President Trump’s Invocation of Defense Production Act

March 18, 2020
Press Release

Following President Trump’s announcement that he will exercise his authority under the Defense Production Act, Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) made the following statement:

“Invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950 was a great step, and I thank the president. It is essential that the president make urgent use of all authorities granted to him by the Act to direct the domestic production of supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He must do this until we see actual results — that we have the testing capacity, respirators, other personal protective equipment, isolation units, and everything we need to protect our first responders, health care workers and the American people.

“I just got off a conference call I conducted with the 21 municipalities in Michigan’s 9th District.  I have been talking to our hospital leaders. Let me put it plainly — we do not have anything like the testing capacity we need — yes, still, on March 18 — and we are not prepared for the kind of mass infections and casualties we have been told to expect.

“I will continue to press President Trump and his administration to call the CEOs of companies relevant to our most urgent needs into the White House, give them precise production quantities and dates they have to meet, and give them 48 hours to present a plan to produce what we need. If they cannot provide satisfactory plans, the Defense Production Act gives the president powers to take additional steps to make sure we do what we have to do to protect the American people in the greatest public health crisis in a century.”

“There is not one minute to spare. We cannot let partisanship, ego or the aim to score political points get in the way of what we must do to save lives. Let’s get this done.”

Last week Congressman Andy Levin wrote a letter signed by 57 House Members urging the president to invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950. Rep. Levin has since made repeated calls for President Trump to use his authority under the act to meet the urgent need for vital medical supplies, including ventilators, under extreme demand during the coronavirus pandemic.