Mnuchin: Trump may invoke DPA to produce future coronavirus vaccine
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that President Trump 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 Cusack 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.
“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.