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Biden congratulates Trump on implementing Defense Production Act

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE congratulated President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE for implementing the Defense Production Act on Friday to push General Motors to produce ventilators to combat the coronavirus but added it should have been used a month ago. 

"The good news I heard just about 10 minutes ago is the president has just finally implemented the act and he's ordered GM to make ventilators," Biden said during a virtual roundtable with Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement MORE (D-Calif.) and first responders.

 

"That's some really good news," he added. "Now we were suggesting he do that over a month ago, but the point is he's done it and I congratulate him for it." 

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"But now the president must use all of the authorities available to help him make masks, gowns and other PPE equipment available, and he has to do it today," Biden said, referring to personal protective equipment.

The president's reelection campaign and his allies say that there is no evidence Biden publicly called for using the Defense Production Act a month ago, claiming that the call came after Trump announced he was invoking the measure last week. 

Trump used the act on Friday to get GM to make ventilators after lashing out at the company earlier on Twitter.

Trump previously had indicated that he wanted to use the act as leverage on companies, but that he did not want to actually use it to force them into action. 

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The president's use of the act came one day after he doubted that New York really needed 40,000 ventilators, as the state's governor had said. 

Biden has called for Trump to make much greater use of the Defense Production Act, which grants the president extraordinary powers in times of crisis to compel private companies to manufacture critical supplies. Hospitals and state leaders have warned for days about looming shortages of masks, ventilators and materials needed to conduct testing.