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Transparency Is Critical for the Defense Production Act to Be Effective and for Allocation of Supplies

Washington, DC – The following is a statement by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anand Parekh and Senior Vice President Bill Hoagland on the critical need for a transparent gap analysis of supplies to effectively respond to COVID-19.

“The Bipartisan Policy Center appreciates the work of the administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency in working with states to ensure the right critical medical material and personal protective equipment get to the right areas at the right time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government has the unique ability and visibility to ensure coordination, provide logistical support, and direct manufacturing of material and equipment all of which are crucial in the response to this public health emergency.

“While the administration has sought voluntary private sector commitments to increase supply, what has been missing is a transparent gap analysis of material and equipment which modeling suggests we would need over the course of this pandemic. Without that transparent analysis, it’s very difficult to know whether voluntary private sector commitments will be enough and to what extent the Defense Production Act (DPA) should be invoked. While the administration has used the DPA in several occasions over the last two weeks, BPC recommends that the full gap analysis be disclosed so the private sector has better visibility into what exactly is required, such as the specifications, quantities, regulatory approvals needed, and timelines. If it appears that the current industry supply chain will not be able to meet these targets in the necessary timeframe, the administration could quickly use the DPA.

“We also recommend that the administration provide transparency on how it is allocating critical medical material and personal protective equipment based on the multiple inputs it is receiving, including state inventory, modeling data, and current federal government and private sector supply chain estimates. Many health care providers continue to experience shortages of these essential items, so ensuring the allocation process is equitable and based on need is critical.”