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Is it time for President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act?

President Donald Trump speaks during press briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force, at the White House, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald J. Trump should immediately invoke the Defense Production Act to help prevent the U.S. healthcare system from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern, said Monday.

The Defense Production Act, enacted in 1950 at the start of the Korean War, enables the president to require companies to produce goods necessary for national defense. Flynn said Trump should use the law in order to prevent a shortage of ventilators, masks, and other medical equipment that will be needed if millions of Americans are infected with COVID-19.

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