Reps. Katko, Brindisi Urge Administration to Coordinate with Manufacturers to Address Medical Supply Shortages in Central and Upstate New York

March 20, 2020
Press Release

SYRACUSE, NY— Today, U.S. Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) called on the Administration to use the authority invoked under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to immediately expand and mobilize necessary medical supplies for hospitals in Central and Upstate New York. Additionally, with a growing number of travel restrictions being imposed nationwide to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, the lawmakers requested the Administration coordinate closely with medical device and supply manufacturers to enable these companies to assist in meeting increasing supply needs.

With confirmed Coronavirus cases continuing to surge nationwide, and growing exponentially in New York, hospitals in Central and Upstate New York are already experiencing growing shortages in important medical supplies such as ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To ensure healthcare providers have the necessary resources to protect themselves and care for patients, the lawmakers urged the Administration to utilize the authority under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to keep pace with the growing demands on our healthcare system.

Reps. Katko and Brindisi wrote, “In the interest of providing expeditious relief to patients and healthcare providers, we ask that you immediately use these authorities to mobilize necessary resources and expand the production of ventilators, PPE, and other essential medical resources. The Federal Government must continue to signal strong support for our doctors, nurses and medical professionals as the impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s hospitals continues to escalate.”

The full text of their request can be found below:

March 20, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump,

We are writing to express our strong support for efforts that strengthen the U.S. supply chain for medical supplies and devices as part of our nation’s ongoing response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, we are writing to emphasize the importance of coordination with manufacturers, as well as state and local governments, to maintain production in the coming weeks.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to surge nationwide, our hospitals are already beginning to face severe shortages in critical resources such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). Healthcare providers in Central and Upstate New York have begun to raise concerns about the impact that this equipment shortage will have on their ability to provide adequate care in the case of a sudden influx of patients.

For this reason, we support your decision to invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950 and ensure that the availability of medical resources keeps pace with growing demands on our healthcare system. In the interest of providing expeditious relief to patients and healthcare providers, we ask that you immediately use these authorities to mobilize necessary resources and expand the production of ventilators, PPE, and other essential medical resources. The Federal Government must continue to signal strong support for our doctors, nurses and medical professionals as the impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s hospitals continues to escalate.

In addition to these efforts to expand production, we ask that you coordinate closely with medical device and supply manufacturers in the coming weeks to ensure their ability to meet increasing demands. As necessary workforce and travel restrictions are deployed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that federal, state, and local officials recognize the essential role that these businesses play in supporting our healthcare providers. An effective national response to this pandemic is incumbent on the strength of our medical supply chain.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter.