N95 masks and the Defense Production Act

Under President Harry Truman, the 81st United Congress of the United States of America had approved the Defense Production Act. The Act was approved during the Korean War period. The main purpose of passing the law was to organize the production of goods in industries. To ensure that the United States of America will not head towards a shortage of any necessary production.

The law has been going through amendments several times since 1950. The amendments were made under every Government. The purpose of amendments was to make the law even better and useful for modern times.

The Defense Production Act is used by the Government of the United States to force companies to manufacture any product at any rate. This Act is used by Governments when the United States is heading towards a shortage of any product. 

This Act provides the Government command over the production rate. The Government can provide financial facilities to companies if needed. This Act enables to Government to prioritize their commands over other orders 

The Act mainly means that the Government can now put their order on the front line and can provide financial assistance when needed. The Act was used by many Governments and the companies are mostly not happy with it. The companies are forced I increase their production rate per day. It is a difficult task. 

The companies usually try their level best to maintain balance. They try that the United States is the wealthy of all goods. In this case, they will not be forced for producing and manufacturing products by the Government's will.

N95 respirator shortage:

N95 respirators are widely used respirators during health emergencies. People from all over the world use the N95 respirator as a protective shield against diseases and infections. N95 respirators are the only respirators that can protect against airborne particles as tiny as .3 microns. 

This quality makes N95 respirators superior to other respirators. Surgical masks are also used to protect against diseases. But, surgical respirators can only protect against large droplets of fluid. 

N95 respirators were tested effective against the pandemic of coronavirus. Doctors have pledged the use of N95 respirators to prevent the spread of viruses. These respirators were being used by almost every person in the world. The N95 respirators were easily available at retail stores as well as online stores around the world.

People started to sell N95 respirators in numbers and so on the United States of America had run out of N95 respirators. The doctors and nursing staff were the ones that were suffering the most by the shortage.

The shortage grew from bad to worse. The situation went out of control. 3M increased production per day but, retail stores were still selling N95 respirators to locals. This is the main reason for the early shortage of N95 respirators.

The United States has a law that their firms are independent to do whatever they like. This policy resulted in a nightmare during the pandemic. The Government started to take preventive measures. These measures included limiting N95 respirators to doctors and nurses of the United States.

Defense Production Act 1950 and N95 respirators:

When the shortage of N95 respirators was out of control by the companies, locals, and doctors. There was only one thing left was to apply the Defense Production Act 1950. This act enables the Government to control the production and manufacture of products by various companies. 

Me. Trump had stated on 18 March that he will use this Act when the conditions are worsened. He had thought that the condition will be normal within a month or two but to his surprise, the controls were worsening by each passing day. The day came when Trump had to sign the order for enforcing the Defense Production Act. 

The order worked right and Trump’s Government took control over N95 and other PPE production under its reigns. 3M’s CEO Mr. Romans stated that he did all he could to stop the shortage from increasing. They are working to double their production in the orders of Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump also ordered many non-PPE companies to start the production of N95 respirators and other personal protective equipment. 

After Application of the Defense Production Act:

After the order of production under Government. The companies started to manufacture N95 respirators as many as possible. Because of Government control over firms, the companies were only producing N95 respirators for a couple of days until the shortage was a bit eased.

The Defense Production Act worked well. The United States was successfully able to overcome its shortages and everything was back to normal. The risk of coronavirus is still present but the public is not allowed to have their hands in the N95 respirators.

Mr. Trump has also stopped many companies including 3M to export N95 respirators to other countries. This was a setback to many countries that only use 3M manufactured N95 respirators. After the shortage was eased and the Act was uplifted 3M started to manufacture and export more than usual.

Conclusion:

The Defense Production Act is used to take production and manufacturing under the Government of the United States. During the pandemic of coronavirus, the United States was facing a shortage of PPEs and especially N95 respirators. The law was used to overcome the shortage. The Government was successful and the shortage was restored.

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