Bipartisan Measure Would Implement a Program to Rebuild Strategic National Stockpile
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) last week helped introduce legislation to strength U.S. supply chains and establish domestic reserves of critical medical supplies for future public health emergencies.
Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act of 2020, which would begin to rebuild the Strategic National Stockpile and strengthen domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing to ensure better preparation for future public health emergencies.
“The coronavirus pandemic exposed risks in not maintaining a stronger U.S.-based infrastructure for critical medical supplies,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on Senate appropriations subcommittees overseeing homeland security and federal health programs.”
“This legislation would establish a framework to improve and renew the Strategic National Stockpile so that the health and wellbeing of Americans isn’t unfairly jeopardized by bad actors like China,” she said.
S.3827, introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), would authorize appropriations through FY2023 to implement a supply chain manufacturing flexibility program to:
- Create incentives to manufacture medical supplies domestically to enhance supply chain elasticity;
- Establish and maintain domestic reserves of critical medical supplies like PPE and diagnostic tests; and
- Work with medical supply distributors to refresh and replenish supply stocks held in reserve by the Strategic National Stockpile.
A lack of critical medical supplies across the existing domestic supply chain complicated the initial U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation forced the United States to rely on China and other nations to manufacture and deliver this equipment.