President Donald Trump announced Wednesday at the White House he would invoke the Defense Production Act.
The act allows the president to expand the supply of resources from American industry to support the fight against the Chinese coronavirus, according to FEMA.
“Just in case we need it … it can do a lot of good things if we need it,” Trump said. Invoking the Defense Production Act would give the administration the authority to speed up the production of needed resources, such as medical masks and hospital ventilators.
Trump made the announcement to Americans at the White House press briefing room on Wednesday afternoon.
The president also said FEMA would be activated on a level one disaster to offer federal support for the coronavirus response.
“FEMA now is fully engaged at the highest levels,” Trump said. “Today, FEMA is activated in every region. We are at level one, level one being the highest level.”
The president praised FEMA for handling recent hurricane response during his administration and promised that they would help significantly.
“This is a very different kind of work for FEMA, but they will come through as they always do,” Trump said.
He recalled the heroism and sacrifices expressed by Americans in World War II and urged people to meet the moment.
“We must sacrifice together, because we are all in this together, and we’ll come through together,” Trump said. “It’s the invisible enemy that’s always the toughest enemy, the invisible enemy, but we’re going to defeat the invisible enemy.”