President-elect Joe Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to boost coronavirus vaccine numbers soon after being sworn into office, one of his coronavirus advisers Monday morning said on CNBC.
Dr. Celine Grounder, a member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, explained that though the Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for two vaccines so far, “there’s a lot that needs to be done” in order to actually reduce coronavirus transmission rates.
“You will see [Biden] invoking the Defense Production Act,” she continued when asked what specifically the president-elect will do differently than the current administration. “The idea there is to make sure that the personal protective equipment, the test capacity and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply so that those aren’t limiting steps in all of this.”
“You’re going to see a lot more testing,” Grounder added. “If we don’t see those invisible — so to speak, the mild and asymptomatic cases of disease — if you don’t know they exist, it’s very difficult to prevent spread from those people you are going to see a big increase in testing.”
The Biden-Harris transition team did not respond to the Daily Caller’s inquiries on DPA by press time.
President Donald Trump hinted in December at invoking DPA to ensure the federal government could acquire enough coronavirus vaccine doses to inoculate the entire population. (RELATED: Trump Ends Coronavirus Vaccine Event By Denying That Biden Won The 2020 Election)
“We’ll invoke the Defense Production Act, but we don’t think it will be necessary,” Trump stated at an Operation Warp Speed event at the White House. “If it is, it’s a very powerful act, as you know, because we’ve used it very, very successfully.”
Trump has not yet invoked the act on vaccine production, but the administration announced just before Christmas another deal with Pfizer for an additional 100 million doses of its approved coronavirus vaccine.
“With these 100 million additional doses, the United States will be able to protect more individuals and hopefully end this devastating pandemic more quickly,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement coinciding with the announcement. “We look forward to continuing our work with the U.S. government and health care providers around the country.”