Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is one of several lawmakers urging the Trump administration to unleash the power of the Defense Production Act. The measure, which was enacted during the Korean War, could require manufacturers to make additional "critical materials and goods." Critical goods like ventilators, which currently appear to be in short supply at hospitals.
I just sent a letter to @HHSGov @SecAzar urging him to use the Defense Production Act to immediately order the production and distribution of ventilators, which are critical to treating individuals infected by COVID-19.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 20, 2020
Trump was initially reluctant to use the Defense Production Act because, he said, “governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work," adding that the administration was "not a shipping clerk.” He would only enforce the law in a "worst-case scenario." But, on Friday, the president decided to invoke the act.
According to Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) spokesman Justin Goodman, it was Trump's conversation with the senator Friday morning that served as the last push the president needed.
NEWS, per SCHUMER team: SCHUMER AND TRUMP spoke at 11 a.m. on the phone.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 20, 2020
SCHUMER urged him to invoke Defense Production Act to get ventilators and other equip going for those in need
PER SCHUMER spox: Trump yelled to someone in his office to do it now.
Schumer and Trump spoke on the phone around 11 a.m., acc to Schumer's office. Schumer urged Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act immediately, then:— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 20, 2020
"POTUS told Schumer he would, and then POTUS yelled to someone in his office to do it now."
Regardless of when the president decided to use the Defense Production Act, most would agree it's good news.