DoD to use DPA to produce 39M N95 masks

The defense department will invest $133 million to increase domestic N95 production capacity


By Laura French

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has announced its first use of the Defense Production Act to increase the nation's supply of needed resources during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The White House approved the DoD's use of the Korean War-era law to respond to the pandemic on April 10, according to a statement from DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about COVID-19 in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington, as Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, supply chain task force lead at FEMA, listens. The Department of Defense announced its first use of the Defense Production Act to boost N95 production on Saturday, April 11. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about COVID-19 in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington, as Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, supply chain task force lead at FEMA, listens. The Department of Defense announced its first use of the Defense Production Act to boost N95 production on Saturday, April 11. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The department's first use of the DPA will be to boost production of N95 masks by more than 39 million over the next 90 days, Andrews said. 

The DoD will invest $133 million to increase domestic N95 production capacity. 

"The increased production will ensure the U.S. Government gets dedicated long term industrial capacity to meet the needs of the nation," Andrews said in the statement. "Additional details, including the names of the companies, will be provided in the coming days when the contract is awarded." 

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