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article imageTrump executive order expected on American-made medical supplies

By Karen Graham     Mar 11, 2020 in Politics
Washington - President Donald Trump is expected to announce an executive order Wednesday insisting on American-made medical supplies and pharmaceuticals in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a person familiar with the plan.
The announcement will take place during the president's Oval Office address to the nation on the U.S. response to the coronavirus, hours after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus has expanded rapidly in the U.S. as officials in New York, California and Washington declare states of emergency and politicians announce self-quarantines. The outbreak in the U.S. has now reached 1,103 infected with the virus and resulted in 33 deaths.
Word of the planned announcement, from a person who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, comes at a time when the Trump administration is again experiencing another tumultuous day in the unfolding crisis.
The White House is now under pressure to make a boatload of important decisions, from whether or not to free up additional federal funds, to postponing the April 15 income tax due date. Earlier today, Trump directed Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to take whatever steps are necessary to allow doctors and nurses to use masks made for industrial use while those made specifically for health care are in short supply.
“Those industrials will work for medical,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to the Associated Press. “We can just do that for an 18-month period and there’d be millions more available.”
File photo showing employees of German pharmaceuticals group Bayer checking Aspirin Complex drugs in...
File photo showing employees of German pharmaceuticals group Bayer checking Aspirin Complex drugs in Bitterfeld, eastern Germany
Jens Schlueter, DDP/AFP/File
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, voiced his concerns over diversifying the supply chain and reducing the U.S. reliance on imports - especially from China, during a private lunch with Trump and GOP senators this week. Trump apparently agreed with Rubio, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private session and spoke on condition of anonymity
Rubio has since praised Trump's upcoming announcement, saying the expected order “a very strong first step toward increasing domestic production by enforcing Buy American requirements for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, as well as fast-tracking approval” by the Food and Drug Administration of “critical products impacted by the coronavirus outbreak’s strain on the supply chain.”
China is the key supplier of the chemicals that make drugs work, as well as finished medicines for the U.S. market. Those include the active ingredients for antibiotics and pills to treat common chronic conditions such as heart disease. Many of these ingredients are shipped to India, which makes most of the world's supply of generic medicines.
However, India recently restricted the export of 13 active pharmaceutical ingredients, and finished drugs made from those chemicals, to protect its domestic drug supply during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the restricted drugs are mostly antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and a fever reducer, all of which are used for supportive care of patients with coronavirus symptoms because there is no approved medicine to treat the virus.
More about Trump, Executive order, Medical supplies, americanmade, Masks
 
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