Trump Considering ‘Special Powers’ to Combat Coronavirus
February 29, 2020 | by James G. Dalton
President Trump is reportedly considering invoking “special powers” in order to combat the coronavirus situation at a faster pace.
According to The Daily Wire:
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering invoking special powers through a law that would allow the United States to rapidly and aggressively beef up its domestic manufacturing capabilities to combat the coronavirus.
The Defense Production Act, which was “passed by Congress in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, would mark an escalation of the administration’s response to the outbreak. The virus first surfaced in China and has since spread to other countries including the United States,” Reuters reported. “The law grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons.”
The report noted that White House officials and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were considering using the law to rapidly produce protective gear in preparation of a possible outbreak in the U.S.
“Let’s say ‘Company A’ makes a multitude of respiratory masks but they spend 80% of their assembly lines on masks that painters wear and only 20% on the N95,” a White House official told Reuters on background. “We will have the ability to tell corporations, ‘No, you change your production line so it is now 80% of the N95 masks and 20% of the other.’”
Despite media reports to the contrary, the administration launched a coronavirus task force over a month ago which is being led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and is coordinated with the National Security Council.