Trump refusing calls to force companies to make critical coronavirus supplies: NYT
(AFP / MANDEL NGAN)

President Donald Trump has not yet used the "extraordinary powers to force American industries to produce medical supplies, materials and equipment" needed for health care workers to adequately respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported Friday.


"President Trump and his advisers are resisting calls from congressional Democrats and a growing number of governors to use a federal law to mobilize industry to provide badly needed resources to help halt the spread of the coronavirus, days after the president said he would consider using that authority," the newspaper reported.

"Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers have privately said they are adhering to longstanding conservative opposition to big government, a view that reflects the administration’s conflicted view of how it should handle a crisis unlike any a modern president has faced," The Times explained. "But there’s a growing chorus of pleas from Democratic lawmakers and governors to use the act to increase production of masks, ventilators and other supplies."

The extraordinary powers in the act could help America's shortages.

"The Defense Production Act, passed by Congress in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, granted President Truman the power to spur the production of aluminum, titanium and other needed materials during wartime. Since then, it has been used for both the prevention of terrorism and to prepare for natural disasters," the newspaper reported.

"The act would give the administration the authority to override companies’ existing contracts, and direct supplies to hot spots like New York City or Seattle. It could also help mobilize funds for retooling factories, refitting pharmacy drive-throughs into testing sites, and ramping up production of an eventual vaccine," The Times explained.