WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Congressional efforts to ramp up the production of COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment are underway, and several lawmakers are ensuring that the nation builds a robust manufacturing system and a supply chain that doesn’t heavily depend on foreign imports.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, said many on the front lines of the pandemic still don’t have the equipment they need.
“Equipment is ending up where the price is highest, not where the need is greatest,” Murphy explained.
To combat this, Murphy introduced the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, which would require the federal government to take over the entire medical supply chain.
“The federal government should be finding the equipment, purchasing it and then distributing it to the places of highest need,” Murphy said.
Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-New York, said his main goal is to ensure supply shortages won’t happen again if the country battles another pandemic in the future.
“I think it’s important to have those things made here in this country because they’re so critical in times of national emergency,” Brindisi said.
Brindisi has introduced legislation that would require medical manufacturing and the supply chain that supports it to return to American soil.
It appears that so far, Democrats and Republicans have found common ground.
“I’ll support anything that returns that capacity to this country,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said.
While Congress is working on legislation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, believes President Donald Trump should be doing more.
“Appointment of czar in effect or the use of the production act, or better, both at the same time,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal said with lives at stake, Trump and Congress should act now.