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‘What Makes America So Great’: FEMA Head Says Trump Hasn’t Invoked Law He Said He Did to Compel Manufacture of Vital Supplies



The head of FEMA is contradicting President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the Defense Production Act has been invoked to require U.S. manufacturers to produce critical supplies, in this case medical supplies like masks and ventilators to help in the war against the coronavirus.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Pete Gaynor says Trump not invoking the law – and falsely claiming companies are doing enough on their own – is “what makes America so great.”

Gaynor took to the Sunday shows to promote U.S. businesses while claiming, falsely, that President Trump doesn’t need to compel the production of the critical supplies and equipment despite countless cries for help from physicians, nurses, other medical practitioners and the groups supporting and representing them.

“Has the president as of now, Sunday morning, ordered any companies to make more of any of these critical supplies?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the FEMA chief.

“No,” Gaynor replied. “We haven’t yet. It really is leverage, I think, to demonstrate that we can use it, the President can use it at any time. It’s really amazing that how great America is – all these companies are coming up asking us what they can do.”

Later Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Gaynor told Chuck Todd “we have hundreds of requests right now” from governors for supplies. But then he called invoking the Defense Production Act an “insurance policy,” and “a lever” to invoke if they deem necessary.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Gaynor added. “Companies from around the country volunteering to do all sorts of things to help Americans. And so we haven’t had to use it yet,” he said of the Defense Production Act.

“This is what makes America so great. Every company pitching in.”

On Friday Trump announced, “I invoked the Defense Production Act, and last night, we put it into gear. We moved the National Response Coordination Center to the highest level of activist [Sic]. I mean, if you — if you take a look at what we did, the level of activation has been increased to a grade one level, which is the highest level. We’re providing historic support to small businesses and to the states.”

He later said: “We are using it,” as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake noted on Twitter.

Trump is not ordering companies to manufacture vital life-saving supplies and equipment, but he is letting them make what they want, and price gouge – meaning there are not enough and they are too expensive.


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