Trump administration to use Defense Production Act to get 60,000 coronavirus test kits

Trump administration to use Defense Production Act to get 60,000 coronavirus test kits
An Emergency Medical Technician works as people line up outside Elmhurst Hospital Center to be tested for the coronavirus, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the number of positive coronavirus cases in the state surged to more than 20,000, with more than half the cases in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer/AP)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to institute the Defense Production Act, or DPA, and now the act will be put into use.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will use the act to gather about 60,000 COVID-19 tests, The Wall Street Journal reported.

>> Coronavirus: What is the defense production act

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The act, which dates back to the Korean War, allows the president to require businesses to support the country in times of need. The act also allows for incentives given to businesses that do step up.

While Trump issued the order, he’s given the control of it to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to actually put it into use, according to The Wall Street Journal.

DPA is also being added to the contract that will get 500 million masks into the hands of the groups that need them, CNBC reported.

Before FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor told CNN that the agency would first use the act for the test kits, Trump tweeted that the act was in force, but hasn’t had to be used.

Gaynor said the government wants to be “thoughtful about not upsetting the balance, making sure we can get it out to the market and the federal government not consume it all.”

He added, “My current focus has been and will continue to be to make sure we get critical supplies to those places around the country that need it the most.”