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Mnuchin: Trump may invoke DPA to produce future coronavirus vaccine

Mnuchin: Trump may invoke DPA to produce future coronavirus vaccine
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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrats call Trump's COVID-19 response 'among the worst failures of leadership in American history' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, Biden set for weekend swing state sprint Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' MORE said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE is open to invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) again for the production of a future coronavirus vaccine.

The DPA is “a very important tool, it should be used carefully,” Mnuchin said Thursday in an interview with The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association -Trump enters debate week after NYT obtains his tax returns The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden asks if public can trust vaccine from Trump ahead of Election Day | Oklahoma health officials raised red flags before Trump rally Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' MORE for the Advancing America's Economy virtual event.

“I know the president is very much willing to use it if we need to use it. I got an update on vaccines yesterday and the investments that BARDA [the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority] is making, which I think is really terrific and in many cases they have commitments to take over large amounts of the vaccines,” he said.

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“The DPA is a very important tool to protect the American workers, and if the president needs to use it he will,” Mnuchin added.

The DPA, established in 1950 during the Korean War, allows the president to require businesses to prioritize production of essential materials for national defense.

Trump had already invoked it during the coronavirus pandemic for the production of ventilators and personal protective gear, as well as when he signed an executive order requiring meat production plants to remain open.

The Hill’s event was sponsored by Wells Fargo and Siemen’s.