The latest items to apparently be in great demand but short supply amid the coronavirus crisis are the cotton-tipped swabs used for various testing procedures.
President Donald Trump revealed on Sunday, however, that he would be using the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ensure that there would be an ample supply of swabs to fulfill all of the current and future testing needs, the Washington Examiner reported.
Shortage of swabs
The president addressed the issue of a shortage of swabs during his daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on Sunday, even displaying a packaged swab as a prop while discussing the problem and his proposed solution.
“We’re close to finalizing the second partnership through which a U.S. manufacturer would convert its existing plant to produce over 10 million additional swabs per month,” Trump said, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “And we should be ready to announce this in a very short period of time.”
Trump said he’s “preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by over 20 million additional swabs per month.”
“We’ve had a little difficulty with one, so we’re going to call in — as we have in the past, as you know — we’re calling in the Defense Production Act, and we’ll be getting the swabs, very easily,” he said, according to the transcript.
President Trump: “We’re preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by 20 million additional swabs per month.” https://t.co/zJCPvL2MMO pic.twitter.com/FcSAS1sJhq
— ABC News (@ABC) April 19, 2020
Using the DPA
Though President Trump declined to name the company that he intended to invoke the Defense Production Act on to compel the production of cotton swabs for testing, the Examiner noted that other media sources have indicated it is a company based in Maine that is known as Puritan Medical Products.
Bear in mind, the invocation of the Defense Production Act doesn’t necessarily mean that the company in question was or is resistant to helping the federal government in a national crisis, which is what many seem to assume is the primary purpose of the DPA. The act can also be used in a more cooperative manner to assist a company that would like to help, but currently is incapable of increasing its capabilities in order to meet the request of the government.
President Trump has previously used the DPA to compel and assist companies in the production of face masks and ventilators when those items were in high demand but short supply.
Per usual, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger when it comes to keeping Americans safe.