HRC Calls on President Trump to Invoke Defense Production Act Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) sent a letter with more than 70 national organizations urging Trump to fully invoke the authority of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to advance the manufacturing of critically needed medical equipment to help ensure that frontline health care providers are able to continue to provide the care needed to their patients with COVID-19.

“President Trump must exercise the authority of the Defense Production Act now, and ensure that health care providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are fully supported and able to respond to all patients in need,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “As this global pandemic impacts communities around the world, vulnerable populations, including people of color, LGBTQ people, people living with HIV and people with disabilities, are at even greater risk of falling ill. We must ensure that our nation’s health care providers and workers are fully equipped and supported to fight COVID-19 and save lives. Our country cannot wait any longer — our elected leaders must do their jobs to ensure our nation can respond effectively during the ever-evolving landscape of this pandemic.”

The DPA grants the government broad authority to influence domestic industry in the interest of the national defense or in a public health crisis. A complete application of the DPA would allow the federal government to better coordinate a national response, compel companies to produce essential equipment at a fair price and ensure that states have the critical supplies they need.

HRC recently published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage, and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma. Read the full brief here, and find a full list of all of HRC’s efforts and COVID-19 resources at this link.

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