President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he plans to use the Defense Production Act to increase national cotton production by at least 20 million per month to test coronavirus.
Trump said the government is close to completing a partnership with one of the producers to produce an additional 10 million swabs per month for coronavirus test kit, which is used to collect specimens from the patient’s throat or nose. Trump said he is preparing to use the Defense Production Act on other producers to increase cotton production by more than 20 million per month.
Trump did not disclose the names of the manufacturers. A FEMA spokesman was not immediately available for comment. The President previously enacted Defense Production Act in companies like General Motors and General Electric to additional ventilator manufacturers, although many already ramped up production.
“We’ve had a little trouble with one so we call, as in the past you know, we called in the Defense Production Act and we will get swabs very easy,” said Trump. “Swabs easy. Ventilator difficult. ”
Trump announcement came after the governor cited the lack of swabs and reagents as impeding their ability to perform more tests coronavirus. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the country could triple the number of tests carried out if the key components are made available.
Whitmer Trump asked the government to enact the Defense Production Act to improve the swab and production of reagents.
“We do not even have enough swabs believe it or not and we’re ramping that up,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “But, at the national level to say that we had what we needed and really did not have the guidance to countries on the only responsible because we are not there yet.”
At the White House news conference Sunday, Trump said that the swabs were previously sent to countries but some of them “do not know where they are.”
“We have them come up with tens of millions. We have them come in at a level that you would have so much wipes you would not know what to do with them, “said Trump.
Earlier on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence said the government had “laid a solid foundation for testing for phase one.” He said that there is quite a test for any governor who meet the criteria for 14-days decreased the number of cases outlined by the White House to move to phase one and start to reopen their country’s economy.
Experts have warned, however, against the opening of this state before testing widely available. Some people say that as many as 20 to 30 million people per day will need to be tested before the semblance of normality to return to the economy.
There are currently more than 150,000 tests performed per day, Pence said, but that number could be “doubled” once enabled laboratories across the country.