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AG Kaul joins 15 states, ask Trump to 'fully utilize' Defense Production Act

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:20 PM CDT
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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul led a coalition of 16 attorneys general on Tuesday in asking President Trump to "fully utilize" the Defense Production Act.

The act would immediately prioritize the production of masks, respirators, and other critical items needed by health care workers, law enforcement, and other first responders across the United States, according to the release.

“Medical professionals and first responders need resources now,” Kaul said. “The President must act without further delay and use his broad power to address the ongoing shortages in critical supplies.”

In the letter, Kaul and other attorneys general urge President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to dramatically increase health care capacity; the supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers, law enforcement, and other first responders and COVID-19 testing capacity.

"The U.S. health care system needs more ventilators and ICU beds," according to the release.

Those on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus need personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, eye protection, gloves, gowns, sanitizers, cleaning supplies and thermometers.

"There is a nationwide need to increase the supply of the reagents and swabs used for COVID-19 testing so that testing can be expanded substantially and, in turn, better-informed medical decisions can be made, public health officials can more effectively tailor their decisions to local conditions, and the coronavirus can be better understood and defeated sooner," according to the release.

Joining Kaul’s letter to the president are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Washington D.C.

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