FEMA: Test kits secured without DPA
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration said late Tuesday it was able to secure additional coronavirus test kits without wielding its powers under the Defense Production Act, despite announcing earlier that it planned to use the law for the first time to obtain the materials.
“At the last minute, we were able to procure the test kits from the private market without evoking the DPA,” said Lizzie Litzow, spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Earlier Tuesday, FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor told CNN his team planned to “use the DPA for the first time” to obtain about 60,000 coronavirus test kits to help health care workers confront a widespread shortage of medical supplies amid the unfolding crisis.
“There’s some test kits we need to get our hands on,” he said, adding that the administration would also insert “DPA language” into mass contracts for 500 million masks.
The Korean War- era law allows President Donald Trump to address the shortage of medical supplies by directing private companies to expedite the production of medical equipment. Trump invoked the DPA last week but has resisted calls from governors and other officials to put it into practice as the administration scrambles to expand coronavirus testing across the country.