The Defense Production Act was accepted in 1950 during the Korean War era. The law was accepted under the presidency of Mr. Harry Truman. The order was approved by the 81st United Congress of the United States of America. The law was first enforced on 8th September 1950. The law was made to organize the production of goods under Government authorities. The law was passed to maintain product supplies during the war.
The law was used by many Governments under different circumstances. The law was altered more than twenty times to make it even better. The amendments were made to make the law according to modern times.
The Defense Production Act allows the Government to have complete command over the production and manufacture of products. Usually in the United States, the firms are independent to do whatever they like. There is no interaction between the Government and retailers. The Production Act 1950 ensures command over the production and manufacture rate and financial assistance if needed. The Government can provide financial support to increase the production
Shortages and The Defense Production Act:
The Defense Production Act is used when the United States has run out of or is about to meet the shortage. These shortages can be related to food or medical supplies. The shortages are mainly of daily use materials. The Defense Act is used to overcome the shortages by ordering the companies to produce as much as possible to meet the requirement.
The shortages were previously handled responsibly and the results were successful. The recent usage of this Defense Production Act 1959 is by the Government of Donald Trump. He used the Act to overcome the shortage of N95 respirators. N95 respirators were being used in bulk by the citizens of the United States.
N95 respirators are the only respirators that can provide protection against airborne particles up to .3 microns. This measure for prevention is not found in any other respirator. Hence, N95 respirators are used during any pandemic or other health emergency. N95 respirators can also filter 95% airborne fluid which is huge.
This quality makes N95 respiratory the one and only. N95 respirators are widely used by doctors. Surgical masks are also used as a preventive measure against germs but they can only protect against large fluid droplets.
N95 respirators were being sold easily at retail stores and command locals were having a nice time by using N95 respirators and afterward having parties. People were using N95 respirators as a protective shield against diseases but were not practicing social distancing. Doctors have appealed the locals to use N95 respirators but not this much. Leaving houses were restricted except if urgent. This prevention was ignored
N95 respirators were being sold in huge numbers to citizens. This is one of the main reasons why the United States of America had run out of N95 respirators and other PPEs. The locals were not worrying about the need for personal protective equipment by doctors and were using N95 respirators in numbers. People started to stock N95 respirators.
The shortage started to slowly raise its head. Without proper distribution of personal protective equipment and N95 respirators, the shortage was not possible. But, the United States was under the shortage of N95 respirators.
The United States has the law which states that their retailers and companies are free to manufacture whatever they like whenever they like. The companies are free to sell and export their products. The manufacture per day and price distribution all are under the company. When the Defense Production Act is enforced this law is broken.
N95 respirator shortage:
The N95 shortage made a big gap between needs and availability. This gap could only be filled by the enforcement of the Defense Production Act. The N95 respirator distribution was being made differently by the CDC during the pandemic. This resulted in a shortage. The Government of the United States of America had to enforce the Defense Production Act of 1950.
Donald Trump tweeted on 18 March that the Defense Production Act will only be used in specific circumstances. Trump had thought that the day would never come where the United Started had to take strict measures.
After the enforcement of the Act, all the companies of the United States were under the Government. Donald Trump took control and command over companies and ordered them to produce as many N95 respirators as they could. The 3M had to produce twice the annual amount of N95 respirators produced.
Donald Trump also instructed many companies that are not related to N95 respirators to produce N95 respirators following the FDA's guidelines. The companies tried their level best to produce N95 respirators of the best quality.
Non-PPE companies that were instructed to produce N95 respirators:
Many companies were instructed to manufacture N95 respirators under the Defense Production Act. The companies were producing N95 respirators following the FDA's guidelines and following NIOSH standards.
General Motors is the leading vehicle and vehicle parts producing company in the United States of America. This company was ordered by Trump to produce N95 respirators in these circumstances. The company was also provided with financial help though it was never needed.
General Electric Company:
This company works on recent technology and provides upgrades to products. This company is responsible for the production of ventilators of modern technology but have never worked on personal protective equipment.
After official orders, the company started to work on the cause. The production of quality products by General Electric was ensured. The N95 respirators manufactured by General Electric were approved by NIOSH. Afterward, they were distributed among doctors and nurses.