Trump vows to replenish Strategic National Stockpile of coronavirus PPE

Stockpile will be replenished with 3 months worth of PPE, much of it made in US

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President Trump vowed Thursday to rebuild and replenish the Strategic National Stockpile in an effort to help combat the coronavirus pandemic as the country prepares to reopen the economy.

"As our country begins a safe and gradual reopening, we're launching a monunmental effort to replenish and rebuild the Strategic National Stockpile," Trump said during a visit to Pennsylvania medical supply distributor Owens & Minor. "Going forward, we'll build on the system to create a stockpile that is not only the best resourced in the world but also evolves to meet all of the new threats that can happen."

Trump said the administration will "dramatically increase" the reserve of personal protective equipment by stockpiling three months' worth of supplies rather than the normal one to three weeks' worth.

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He also said "much of" the PPE will be made in America.

According to the president, the federal government has awarded contracts for American companies to build roughly 200,000 ventilators in the United States and has ordered 800 million N95 respirators and face masks.

"Many of them are manufactured by Owens & Minor," Trump added. "Many of the things that we're doing and delivering happily to places that were not able to get it, done by Owens & Minor."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
OMIOWENS & MINOR25.13+0.02+0.08%

As part of an investment in Del Rio, Texas, Owens & Minor will produce 20 million N95 masks per month.

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The move is part of the administration's goal to bring "critical manufacturing permanently back to America" after Trump said the United States has been too reliant on other countries.

"My goal is to produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world," Trump added.

President Donald Trump participates in a tour of Owens & Minor Inc., a medical supply company, Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In order to help do that, the president has invoked the Defense Production Act to grant new authority to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to bring "vital factories, pharmaceutical producers and most importantly jobs back home where they belong."

"This federal agency normally invests in economic development projects in other countries. I said how about investing in our country," Trump said. "We want everybody to do well but we have to take care of America first, its got to be America first."

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The effort to protect Americans from future outbreaks and bring jobs back to the United States comes as over 2.9 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, pushing two-month coronavirus job losses to 36 million.

According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 1.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 85,000 deaths in the United States.

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