Sherrill, Menendez Lead Entire New Jersey Delegation in Calling on Secretary Azar to Utilize Defense Production Act

Sherrill receives her environmental award.

Sherrill, Menendez Lead Entire New Jersey Delegation in Calling on Secretary Azar to Utilize Defense Production Act

 

Implementation of Defense Production Act Critical to Prioritizing Production of Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Providers and First Responders

 

 

Parsippany, NJ — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) led a bipartisan request from the entire New Jersey congressional delegation today calling on U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to utilize the authority delegated to him by the President under the Defense Production Act. Immediate action from HHS would help ensure that sufficient equipment is being manufactured to keep our communities safe and halt the spread of COVID-19. New Jersey now has the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the United States, with more than 4,400 confirmed cases and 62 deaths across the state.

 

“In our home state of New Jersey, the need is particularly acute. New Jersey has the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, and our supply of respirators, eye protection, face masks, and other protective gear is rapidly decreasing,” the lawmakers wrote. “In some regions of New Jersey, healthcare providers estimate that their supplies will run out in a matter of days based on current usage levels – usage which is predicted to dramatically increase in the coming days and weeks. Deepening the need, New Jersey has only received a fraction of the supplies it has requested from the Strategic National Stockpile.”

 

The letter was signed by Representative Sherrill, Senator Menendez, Senator Cory Booker, and Representatives Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

 

The full text of the letter is available here and below: 

 

March 26, 2020

 

The Honorable Alex Azar

Secretary of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Dear Secretary Azar:

 

The President’s Executive Order of March 18, 2020, designating the equipment needed to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus as meeting the criteria set forth by the Defense Production Act, was an important step toward ensuring that our healthcare providers and first responders have the resources they need to keep our communities safe. Personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and testing reagents are all in short supply, and increased production is desperately needed.

 

To that end, we write to urge you to utilize the authority delegated to you by the President under the Defense Production Act to ensure that sufficient equipment is being manufactured to keep our communities safe and halt the spread of COVID-19.

 

In our home state of New Jersey, the need is particularly acute. New Jersey has the second highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, and our supply of respirators, eye protection, face masks, and other protective gear is rapidly decreasing. In some regions of New Jersey, healthcare providers estimate that their supplies will run out in a matter of days based on current usage levels – usage which is predicted to dramatically increase in the coming days and weeks. Deepening the need, New Jersey has only received a fraction of the supplies it has requested from the Strategic National Stockpile.

 

Healthcare providers and first responders are our first and best line of defense against COVID-19. We cannot afford to risk running out of PPE; the lives of providers, responders, and the public depend on it.

 

We are immensely proud of New Jersey’s healthcare providers and first responders, who have selflessly and tirelessly worked to contain and confront this pandemic. We have also been overwhelmed by the resilience of New Jersey companies, many of whom have offered to re-tool production lines to begin to manufacture PPE. Many others who already produce PPE are working around the clock to increase their output. They need support from the federal government, and the President’s delegation under the Defense Production Act gives you the tools to provide it. We look forward to working with you to ensure New Jersey receives the protective equipment it needs.

 

Sincerely,

 

###

(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

News From Around the Web

Podcasts