FEMA: Test kits se­cured without DPA

USA TODAY International Edition - - CORONAVIRU­S PANDEMIC - Court­ney Subra­ma­nian USA TO­DAY and Michael Collins USA TO­DAY NET­WORK – TEN­NESSEE

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 first 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 first 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.

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