More than dozen state attorneys general on Tuesday in a letter to President Trump urged him to fully invoke the Defense Production Act to kick the production of medical equipment into a higher gear.
Signing on to the letter: New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“We are in a war with the coronavirus and if we don’t act now, the consequences could be catastrophic,” she said. “We believe that every person, every company, and every industry wants to step up and do their part to help, so by invoking the full powers of the Defense Production Act President Trump can unite the nation in the goal of getting us through this pandemic.”
The call echoes what Governor Andrew Cuomo has sought over the last several days now as the crisis grows in New York, which has the largest number of confirmed cases in the country.
The state alone is expected to need as many as 30,000 additional ventilators, which Cuomo has said he is willing to purchase.
The state is now expected to have even more people hospitalized as a result of the pandemic, with higher-end estimations growing from 110,000 patients to the revised 140,000 people, as early as within two weeks.
The push to use the decades-old production law would enable faster production of hospital supplies like gowns, masks and other protective gear, expand hospital capacity and speed testing availability.
“We are on the brink of catastrophic consequences resulting from the continued shortage of critical supplies,” the letter to Trump from the attorneys general states. “The federal government must act decisively now and use its sweeping authority to get as many needed supplies produced as soon as possible for distribution as quickly as possible.”