BE PREPARED: As numerous states are pausing their reopening plans after spikes in cases of COVID-19, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12) officially introduced her Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act on Wednesday afternoon.
With the first wave of the pandemic still hovering over the U.S., the New York Democrat is looking ahead with legislation that is meant to start to lay the groundwork to build domestic supply chains to ensure that the U.S. is prepared for future pandemics. Maloney first called for a bill to ensure domestic PPE manufacturing at a virtual press event in late May. At that time, she was joined by Fashion For the Frontlines’ co-chair Kay Unger, Fashion Girls for Humanity’s cofounder Julie Gilhart and other industry representatives who have been integral in helping to rev up local PPE production. Unger and others joined Maloney again on Wednesday virtually.
FEMA’s Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force projects that this month there will be a shortage of about 100 million medical gowns and 40 million N95 respirators, according to Maloney’s remarks, which were provided by a spokeswoman. Instead of relying on a global supply chain for PPE — especially on brokers in China, as is now the case — the Made in America Act would require that the Strategic National Stockpile maintain enough PPE to last for a yearlong global pandemic.
Maloney’s initiative calls for a minimum of 25 percent of the proposed expanded stockpile to be made in the U.S. The bill includes a tax credit to ease domestic manufacturers’ expenses in developing and expanding U.S. sources for end-to-end production. In addition to helping to safeguard Americans in the event of another global pandemic, the Made in America Act is designed to create jobs.