Rep. Katko Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Require Immediate Mass Production of Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19

Syracuse, NY— To address New York’s critical shortage of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other medical supplies, today U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) introduced the bipartisan Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act. 

With Governor Cuomo calling for 30,000 additional ventilators for New York State, Rep. Katko’s legislation would require the President to use the authority invoked under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to produce no less than 200,000 medical ventilators, 500 million N-95 respirators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of gloves, 20 million surgical gowns, and any other medical material deemed necessary to protect frontline providers. These supplies would be distributed to states based on the number of COVID-19 cases and individuals at high-risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 in each state.

Rep. Katko has worked continuously with local hospitals and medical facilities to address shortages in medical supplies. OnFriday, Reps. Katko and Brindisi urged the Administration to coordinate with manufacturers to address these shortages in Central New York.  Following an announcement that the Administration would implement the Defense Production Act to increase access to tests kits, Rep. Katko introduced the bipartisan Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, furthering his efforts to increase access to essential medical supplies

“Our number one priority has to be addressing the shortages in medical supplies that hospitals and medical facilities in Central New York and across our state currently face. Without sufficient testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilators, we handcuff the response effort and leave frontline providers vulnerable to infection,” said Rep. Katko.  “To address this, today I introduced the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, bipartisan legislation that will dramatically increase the production of medical supplies by requiring the President to use the authority invoked under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to produce an additional 500 million N-95 respirators, 200,000 medical ventilators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of gloves, and 20 million surgical gowns. While the Administration took an important first step by acting on my request and formally implementing the Defense Production Act to increase access to testing kits, far more must be done to provide our hospitals with the resources they need. In the coming days and weeks, I will continue my work with frontline providers, as well as local and state officials to address shortages and communicate Central New York’s needs to the Administration.”

Rep. Katko introduced this measure alongside Reps. Ryan (D, OH-13) and Slotkin (D, MI-8), along with over 30 additional cosponsors.