March 20, 2020

Governor and NH Congressional Delegation Urge President to Help Speed Up the Distribution and Production of Critical Medical Supplies

WASHINGTON – New Hampshire’s Governor and Congressional Delegation today urged President Trump to take additional action to swiftly get critical medical supplies such as personal protective equipment, swabs for diagnostic testing, and ventilators to New Hampshire and states across the country.

The letter from Governor Sununu, Senators Hassan and Shaheen, and Representatives Kuster and Pappas thanks President Trump for his announcement today that he will use the Defense Production Act to help expand domestic manufacturing capacity of critical medical supplies and urges further action to quickly get supplies to the front lines.

The Governor and Congressional Delegation wrote, “Given the urgent situation facing health care providers across our state and the country, we urge you to supplement this action by both immediately distributing additional existing materials from the National Strategic Stockpile while domestic production of these supplies ramps up, and also following through on today’s announcement by pushing federal agencies and manufacturers to develop, sign, and execute on contracts to produce supplies as quickly as possible.”

They pointed out that addressing these shortages requires leadership from the administration, writing, “States alone cannot address these shortages, especially when they are competing against each other and the federal government to purchase available resources. We need a coordinated federal response to distribute current inventories, ramp up production, and quickly get needed supplies to states.”

The letter concludes, “We thank you for taking this first step today, and we stand ready to work with you in New Hampshire to address these unprecedented challenges.”

Click here or see below for the full letter:

Dear President Trump:

We appreciate your announcement today that you are putting the Defense Production Act into effect to help expand domestic manufacturing capacity of critical supplies. Given the urgent situation facing health care providers across our state and the country, we urge you to supplement this action by both immediately distributing additional existing materials from the National Strategic Stockpile while domestic production of these supplies ramps up, and also following through on today’s announcement by pushing federal agencies and manufacturers to develop, sign, and execute on contracts to produce supplies as quickly as possible.

New Hampshire and states across the country are running dangerously low on supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, including personal protective equipment, swabs needed to conduct diagnostic tests, and ventilators. States alone cannot address these shortages, especially when they are competing against each other and the federal government to purchase available resources. We need a coordinated federal response to distribute current inventories, ramp up production, and quickly get needed supplies to states. 

While we have world-class medical professionals, first responders, and hospital facilities in New Hampshire, the lack of basic supplies is threatening our ability to combat this crisis. The first step to help address these shortages is to distribute additional supplies from the National Stockpile and from any other available federal sources to provide immediate support while new production ramps up.

 

Second, we ask that you take steps to ensure that we see results from your announcement today under the Defense Production Act as soon as possible. The authority under this Act can help bring the full force of the enormous manufacturing capacity of the United States to bear against this pandemic – but implementing it will require continued strong leadership and oversight. The Defense Production Act allows you to give priorities and allocation authorities to emergency management agencies, establish voluntary agreements with private industry, and utilize a variety of incentives to expand and restore domestic manufacturing capabilities for these desperately needed medical supplies and equipment. Now you must take further steps to turn this announcement into tangible results by ensuring that agencies quickly draw up contracts with manufacturers and begin to produce these supplies immediately.

In addition, we urge you to use the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program network to identify manufacturers with relevant expertise or excess or idle production capacity, take steps to put appropriate quality control measures into place, and then prioritize and accelerate the production of needed medical equipment.

We thank you for taking this first step today, and we stand ready to work with you in New Hampshire to address these unprecedented challenges.

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