April 30, 2020

Manchin Announces Bill To Federalize Medical Supply Chain, Increase National Production And Create A Fair Process For Supply Delivery

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced legislation that lays out a framework for an effective COVID-19 pandemic response by federalizing and adding critical oversight and transparency to the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment. The Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act requires the president to utilize all available authorities under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic through an equitable and transparent process. 

“I continue to hear from all sectors of West Virginia - healthcare professionals, community leaders, first responders, business owners, concerned parents, and workers - about the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), additional testing, and resources. Companies across America are able to produce the necessary medical supplies we need to fight the COVID pandemic, but President Trump has yet to use the full authorities of the DPA to ensure they do. The Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act would allow us to immediately produce the supplies our healthcare professionals need right here in the United States so we can slowly and safely re-open our businesses and communities,” said Senator Manchin.

The Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act would:

  • Require publicly reported national assessments on a weekly basis to determine national critical equipment supply and requirements.
    • These reports will also identify industry sectors and manufacturers most ready to fill orders, stockpiles that can be refurbished or repaired, manufacturers that could expand production into PPE and medical supplies, and supplies and equipment that can be redistributed to new hotspots. 
  • These reports would also include direct outreach with essential employees and health care workers.

o   Establish an Executive Officer to oversee acquisition and logistics for COVID-19 equipment production and delivery.

o   The Executive Officer will have all the authorities available under the DPA.

o   The Executive Officer is required to issue major purchase orders under DPA for supplies identified in the assessments, oversee all distribution of critical medical supplies, and make recommendations to the President on increasing national production capacity of supplies.

o   The Executive Officer will be a civilian position appointed by the Secretary of the Defense and will be authorized additional uniformed and DOD civilian personnel in supporting roles.

    • The Executive Officer will ensure that all unused supplies in excess of need will be turned over to the Strategic National Stockpile.
    • The Executive Officer will terminate after confirming to Congress that all State and territorial medical supply needs have been met and national stockpiles have been replenished.
  • Increase transparency regarding the distribution of supplies and equipment.
    • The Executive Officer is required to publicly post all states’ requests for assistance, metrics and criteria for amount and destination of distribution, metrics for determining hotspots and areas of future concern, and production and procurement benchmarks.
  • Require a comprehensive plan for COVID–19 testing, including viral and antibody testing.
  • Establish a comprehensive plan to address necessary supply chain issues in order to rapidly scale up production of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Require a GAO report to identify lessons learned and make recommendations on future pandemic response.
  • Establish an Inspector General to oversee implementation of the Act.

Bill text can be found here.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.