(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) will receive $399,138 in federal funding through the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law. Specifically, the funding was awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Office of Advanced Manufacturing and will be used to support ARMI’s efforts to create and share a roadmap to bolster America’s domestic supply chain for vaccines and personal protective equipment for the COVID-19 and future pandemics.
“A robust, well-prepared domestic supply chain with the capacity to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment and to produce and deliver a vaccine are vital components of our response strategy for COVID-19 and must be for other future health challenges,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why one of my top priorities has been to address the severe inadequacies in our domestic supply chain that this crisis exposed. I’m very pleased ARMI has been awarded these federal funds that we fought for, which will be put to good use towards creating a comprehensive roadmap to help alleviate these issues today and tomorrow, and I will continue to work across the aisle to help ensure our nation is prepared for all emergencies.”
“This federal grant to ARMI will help them develop strategies to improve our supply-chain system and get personal protective equipment and medical supplies where they're needed most,” Senator Hassan said. “I am pleased that Manchester’s ARMI has been chosen to help with our country’s pandemic response and recovery efforts, and I look forward to continue supporting ARMI in this endeavor and all the other important work that ARMI does every day.”
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen how critical it is for our communities – especially those on the frontlines and in essential jobs – to have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and we know that we won’t be able to begin our ‘new normal’ until we have a vaccine,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This CARES Act funding will help strengthen our supply chains for vaccines and PPE, which is imperative to combating COVID-19 and putting this pandemic behind us. I was proud to introduce the Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act this week to help ensure that our nation is prepared to produce and administer a vaccine once available, and I will continue working to equip New Hampshire with the resources and support it needs to get through this pandemic and other public health emergencies.”
“In order to protect the lives and livelihoods of Granite Staters and Americans, it is critical that we are able to scale up the production of personal protective equipment and vaccines to meet unprecedented needs,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am glad that Manchester’s ARMI has been recognized for its leadership is being tapped to play an integral role in bolstering our domestic supply chain. ARMI’s work will keep Americans safe and save lives while we continue to safely re-open our economy and our nation.”
Shaheen has led efforts to secure urgently needed personal protective equipment for New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen previously introduced the Homeland Procurement Reform Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to increase the amount of PPE it procures from American companies. That legislation was designed to ensure that the domestic supply chain for PPE is capable of supplying the critical items that FEMA and other federal agencies need during a national emergency. This bill has bipartisan support. In April, Shaheen introduced legislation that lays out a framework for an effective COVID-19 response by federalizing and adding critical oversight and transparency to the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment. Shaheen called on the administration to fully utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ensure the VA has the supplies and equipment needed to protect veterans from COVID-19. With the state’s congressional delegation, Shaheen has sent multiple letters to the Trump administration requesting rapid assistance to ensure New Hampshire health care providers have the supplies needed to address coronavirus cases the state is experiencing. In addition, Shaheen sent a letter pressing the administration for information on the distribution of critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment. Senator Shaheen repeatedly called for the President to invoke the Defense Production Act and introduced legislation to expedite the procurement of medical equipment, under the DPA.
Shaheen has also worked to ensure the domestic supply chain has the means and resources needed to quickly build and distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine. In April, Shaheen and Hassan called on the administration to immediately address concerns regarding the domestic supply chain for hypodermic needles and syringes needed to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to the nation once one has been developed. Last month, the Senators followed up by urging the administration to release a detailed strategy that provides this vaccine free of charge to all Americans.