Baldwin, Senate Colleagues Call for Administration to Fully Utilize Defense Production Act & Protect Veterans from COVID-19
“This Administration must prioritize VA’s sacred mission to care for our nation’s veterans who are especially vulnerable during this pandemic”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In order to better protect veterans, health care professionals and all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and 14 of their colleagues in calling on the Administration and its Coronavirus Task Force to make full use of the Defense Production Act (DPA).
The depletion of medical supplies nationally and a broken federal procurement and distribution process has left the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—the nation’s largest health care system—scrambling to secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits, ventilators, and supplies necessary to combat the ongoing public health crisis. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the Senators implored the Administration to fully invoke the DPA to address the nation’s staggering shortage of supplies, VA’s broken supply chain, and support the Department in its critical mission to protect veterans, health care workers, and communities from the virus.
The Senators noted that the Administration’s procurement and distribution system has forced VA to implement austerity measures that have left health care workers on the front lines scrambling to protect themselves and veterans in the community. The Senators urged the Supply Chain Task Force, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work in a coordinated manner to support VA in its unique mission to serve as the nation’s back-up health care system in times of emergency.
The Senators highlighted, “Our nation made promises to provide the care our veterans earned through their service to defend the freedoms we all hold dear. The Administration’s slow response and lack of a coordinated nationwide effort undermines the services the VA can provide veterans. As such, the Administration must act aggressively to better utilize all the tools at hand to bring all Americans through this crisis. We must recognize that we share the same goal—to save lives. Making better use of the DPA is one way to do just that.”
In addition to Baldwin and Tester, the letter was signed by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Bernard Sanders (I-VT).
The Senators’ letter to Vice President Pence is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.
- WI Daily: 539 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Mar 3rd, 2021
- City Aims To Vaccinate Every Educator In Two Weeks - Graham Kilmer - Mar 3rd, 2021
- NEW: Senator Johnson Plans to Delay COVID Relief Through Senate Stunt - Opportunity Wisconsin - Mar 3rd, 2021
- Evers Says Schools May Need Summer Classes - Shawn Johnson - Mar 3rd, 2021
- City Hires Private Firm To Track COVID-19 Violations - Graham Kilmer - Mar 3rd, 2021
- Racine Prison Quarantines Entire Housing Unit - Isiah Holmes - Mar 3rd, 2021
- WI Daily: 324 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Mar 2nd, 2021
- 34 Vaccine Doses Spoil at Wisconsin Center - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 2nd, 2021
- 8.7% of State Now Fully Vaccinated - Graham Kilmer - Mar 2nd, 2021
- Statement from the Milwaukee Health Department - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Mar 2nd, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin, Hoeven Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Alleviate Feed Shortages for Farmers and RanchersFeb 24th, 2021 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Senators’ Bill Provides Flexibility for Haying and Grazing of Cover Crops
Bipartisan Commission Will Start Work on U.S. Attorneys and Federal Judgeship