Nurses Union Endorses the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act

NNU applauds announcement of legislation to increase national production of personal protective equipment

National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union of registered nurses in the United States, applauds Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on the announcement of the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act. This new legislation would establish an effective and transparent system for the immediate increase in production and delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical medical supplies. The legislation will be introduced in the House by Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and Tim Ryan (D-MI).

“Nurses across the country have been risking their lives to care for patients without the correct personal protective equipment and, as a result, nurses are getting sick, and nurses are dying of COVID-19,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, executive director of NNU. “Our country has failed to protect health care workers on the front lines of this pandemic so far, and we need the federal government to immediately and fully invoke the Defense Production Act in order to increase production of PPE, and to create an efficient and transparent process of distribution. The Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act would achieve this goal, and it would save the lives of nurses, health care workers, and our patients.”

The proposed legislation would establish an executive officer to oversee the acquisition and logistics for the production and delivery of essential medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. This officer would have all authorities available under the Defense Production Act of 1950, and would make recommendations to the president on production orders that should be made to increase national production of PPE and other supplies. The bill also requires national assessments on a weekly basis to determine the supply requirements for critical medical equipment and supplies, and these reports must identify the industry sectors and manufacturers that could expand production of PPE and other medical supplies. The legislation ensures increased transparency in the distribution of supplies and equipment.

“National Nurses United strongly endorses this legislation, and we demand that Congress include this legislation in its next coronavirus response package,” said Castillo.