America should make and stockpile its own personal protective equipment, says Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.). She says a bill that she's introduced will help ensure that China doesn't have the drop on us the next time a pandemic or medical crisis hits.
"One clear lesson of this pandemic, I think, is the importance of an adequate, domestically-produced supply of PPE," Walorski told the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
“It’s so critical to focus on domestic manufacturing because, quite simply, we can’t trust China. It’s becoming clear that China manipulated the basic economic laws of supply and demand by hoarding supplies and downplaying the true scale and danger of the virus, allowing it to spread even farther and wider," she said.
Walorski said she was upset that hospitals in her district and across Indiana were forced to pay higher prices for PPE than normal, and believes it was because of hoarding by China.
Walorski said she introduced the Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act of 2020 to "strengthen the strategic national stockpile, to improve the federal response to future disasters and pandemics by enhancing medical supply chain elasticity, improving the domestic production of personal protective equipment, and partnering with industry to refresh and replenish existing stocks of medical supplies".
“I keep hearing this notion that holding China accountable is nothing more than a distraction. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting to the bottom of China’s role in PPE shortages is at the very core of ensuring adequate supplies to protect frontline workers," she said.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), has been calling for action to hold China accountable. The Chinese government has promised retaliation, and that Banks would feel political pain from China's manipulation of the economy.