Biden to use Defense Production Act for vaccine production: adviser
President-elect Joe Biden plans to use the Defense Production Act to boost production of the coronavirus vaccines, an adviser said on Monday.
Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory team, said to expect Biden to invoke the law, which gives the president broad authority to increase the manufacturing output of critical items in a national emergency, once he is sworn in next month.
“You will see him invoking the Defense Production Act. The idea there is to make sure the personal protective equipment, the test capacity and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply so that those aren’t limiting steps in all of this,” Gounder told CNBC in an interview.
Biden’s advisory team was reportedly consulting with experts earlier this month on if the law should be invoked to help produce and administer more vaccines over concerns the Trump administration has been too optimistic that mass vaccination will occur by the spring.
Trump has used the Defense Production Act during the COVID-19 pandemic, first in March to order General Motors to ramp up the production of life-saving ventilators. He also invoked it in April to order meat processing plants to stay open.
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