Administration Action on Coronavirus // Testing and Supplies

March 17, 2020
Updated 6/16

What is the Administration Doing to Accelerate Production of a Vaccine?

Find more information on the vaccine progress and Operation Warp Speed here.

How is the Administration increasing access to the production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer?

The FDA has issued two guidance documents to communicate its policy for the temporary manufacture of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products. These guidance documents will be in effect for the duration of the public health emergency. The guidance for manufacturing firms that prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer use and for use as health care personnel hand rubs can be found here. The guidance for the temporary compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers by pharmacists in state-licensed pharmacies or federal facilities and registered outsourcing facilities can be found here.

How is the Administration increasing access to personal protective equipment (PPE)?

The Administration is working with industry partners to increase capacity. Moreover, the USTR moved quickly to grant tariff exclusions to reduce the cost of a broad range of medical and health-related items, including hospital gowns and headwear, medical gloves, face masks, surgical drapes, biohazard bags, cleansing wipes, anti-microbial linens, and protective glasses.

How is the Administration increasing access to personal protective equipment (PPE) through the Defense Production Act (DPA)?

The Defense Production Act (DPA) confers broad presidential authorities to mobilize domestic industry in service of the national defense, defined in statute to include “homeland security, stockpiling, space, and any directly related activity” like emergency preparedness activities.

The President’s actions to utilize the DPA prioritizes the production of health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.

The Administration can access DPA funds immediately to retrofit pharmacies and parking lots for drive thru and drive up testing, for example, according to the Financial Services Committee.

Finally, the President’s action allows the Administration, if it becomes necessary, to order the distribution of health and medical supplies to where they are most needed.

What other measures is the Administration taking to expand access to personal protective equipment (PPE)?

The Administration is working with industry partners to increase capacity. In fact, the private sector has stepped up to make sure that we do everything possible to provide supplies to our healthcare workers and first responders.  The President signed a memorandum directing his Administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers. HHS announced it will be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile. And the Department of Defense announced it will be providing 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to assist.

How is the Administration increasing access to personal protective equipment (PPE) through trade?

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) moved quickly to grant tariff exclusions to reduce the cost of a broad range of medical and health-related items, including hospital gowns and headwear, medical gloves, face masks, surgical drapes, biohazard bags, cleansing wipes, anti-microbial linens, and protective glasses.

How can my district company help in this crisis?

HHS is coordinating the Defense Production Act (DPA)vetting process. Interested parties can find more information here.