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March 18, 2020
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

Secretary Azar Statement on President Trump’s Invoking the Defense Production Act

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act and delegating to the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority, if necessary, to order the production and distribution of healthcare supplies as they are most needed. HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:

“HHS has been working since January with American manufacturers to prepare for responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are coordinating closely with private suppliers, healthcare purchasers, and our federal partners like the Commerce Department to ensure that resources are going where they’re needed. President Trump’s bold invocation of the Defense Production Act gives his administration the necessary power to allocate healthcare supplies in the event that such a step is necessary. Through measures like a February notice of procurement for 500 million respirators, the Trump Administration is taking every step necessary to help American industry ramp up production of the products we will need to save lives.”

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: March 19, 2020

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