South Carolina's senior Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced legislation last week that he cited as important during a recent SCBIO webinar, saying it will make sure that essential medical personal protective equipment is made in America.
With support from other senators, Sen. Graham introduced the U.S. Made Act of 2020 to “decrease U.S. dependence on countries like China for personal protective equipment for our health care providers."
“With the spread of coronavirus, the inability of the United States to be self-sufficient with our supply of PPE has shown itself to be a national security issue,” he stated. “Just as the United States does not rely on China to supply military uniforms or equipment, we must not rely on them to supply PPE.”
Items declared national priorities include testing swabs, surgical and respirator masks, face shields, surgical and isolation gowns, sanitizing and disinfecting wipes, gauzes and bandages, and privacy curtains, beds and bedding.
The bill also outlines personal protective equipment acquisition requirements for the Strategic National Stockpile, and establishes an investment credit for qualifying personal protective equipment manufacturing projects.
“Coronavirus has been a painful wake-up call that we are too reliant on nations like China for critical medical supplies,” Sen. Graham noted. “Without changes, China remains set to dominate the PPE market for years to come. We have seen firsthand the problems not having a reliable source of PPE places on our health care system. The Chinese grip on this critical supply chain must come to an end, and this legislation accomplishes that goal.”