U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Santa Clara, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, are co-sponsoring a bill that seeks to kickstart the federal government's efforts to produce more health care equipment in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The "Emergency Medical Supplies Procurement Act" would allot an additional $75 billion for President Donald Trump's administration to buy personal protective equipment -- including surgical masks, N-95 respirator masks, surgical gowns and face visors -- as well as ventilators, testing reagents and compounds, approved vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and any other medical supplies or hospital infrastructure deemed necessary.
A statement released by Khanna's office claims the Trump Administration hasn't used the full powers of the government to respond to urgent needs.
"It's been three months, but somehow the Trump Administration continues to drag its feet in ramping up the production of critical testing and protective equipment that our health care providers are begging for," Khanna said in a statement.
"Testing is the key to safely restarting our economy and this bill provides the federal government with the resources and directives that will get us where we need to be," he said.
Khanna's office said the legislation would require the Trump administration to submit a weekly report on their obligation to distribute resources to states and other local municipalities.
The current testing count of 100,000-200,000 per day needs to be increased to at least 500,000 to 1 million before social distancing and stay-at-home orders be relaxed, according to Khanna's office.
People can see the full bill online at https://khanna.house.gov/sites/khanna.house.gov/files/Emergency%20Medical%20Supplies%20Procurement%20Act%20--%20Final%20Text.pdf.