President Donald Trump awarded a $354 million contract Tuesday to U.S. drug producer Phlow Corp to begin manufacturing COVID-19 drugs on American soil — an attempt to reduce dependency on manufacturers overseas.
The contract is the first addressing concerns of White House officials that the U.S. is overly dependent on foreign nations for drug supplies, Reuters reported Tuesday. The four-year contract allows for an additional $458 million in government spending, depending on Phlow Corp’s performance.
“For far too long, we’ve relied on foreign manufacturing and supply chains for our most important medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients while placing America’s health, safety, and national security at grave risk,” Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said in a statement. (RELATED: ‘I Think It’s Reasonable’: Dr. Marc Siegel Defends Trump Physician, Blasts ‘Ridiculous’ Politicization Of Hydroxychloroquine)
The drug industry is not the only supply chain the U.S. is looking to bring home, however. Trump and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow have called for a wider strategy of bringing U.S. manufacturing in general back to American soil.
China currently manufactures the majority of U.S. pharmaceuticals, raising fears the country could hold the resources hostage. China has been widely criticized for allegedly falsifying its data on coronavirus cases and deaths. China recently admitted that it told laboratories in the country to destroy coronavirus samples.
The contract comes after Trump announced that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that he has in the past touted as a potential treatment for coronavirus. (RELATED: Obama Officials Said On TV That Trump Colluded With Russia — They Said Otherwise Under Oath)
Trump has repeatedly tested negative for coronavirus, and he and his closes advisers are now tested on a daily basis.