Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the federal government’s response to the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the United States:
Congress can immediately help manufacturers respond to the COVID-19 virus by passing critical liability protections for manufacturers of health care equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across America, manufacturers are already working to support the response to this public health challenge and to find additional ways to expand those efforts. With the inclusion of these vital legal protections in the supplemental appropriations bill, manufacturers can confidently increase new production of even more desperately needed equipment to save lives and keep our communities—and our world—safe, secure and healthy.”
BACKGROUND: The NAM supports efforts to apply liability protections for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–certified respiratory protective devices used in the current public health emergency by amending the PREP Act. Under a PREP Act declaration, the federal government assumes liability for covered items identified as countermeasures in a public health emergency. Currently, only FDA-regulated items, such as vaccines, drugs and other products, are eligible for PREP Act coverage. NIOSH-certified respirators are not covered but are recommended by the CDC to keep health workers safe from airborne exposures. Additional legal certainty provides the necessary incentives to the market in the effort to add manufacturing capacity by diversifying and expanding the current supply.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.