At a U. S. Senate Finance hearing on Tuesday, Senator Steve Daines posed questions to two Department of Homeland Security personnel on importing vital medical supplies from countries like China.
“It’s long overdue that we end our reliance on foreign countries like China to produce medical equipment, supplies and life saving drugs,” said Daines. “That’s why I’ve taken swift action to put America first in leading the effort in Congress to support ‘Made in America’ manufacturing as well as jobs. I was able to secure $10 billion in the CARES Act to accelerate the development and manufacturing of drugs and vaccines in the United States to treat and prevent the spread of coronavirus.”
Daines questioned DHS Official Thomas Overacker on the subject of importing medical supplies.
“Senator, we have had several meetings with HHS and Moderna,” said Overacker. “We have a meeting scheduled with them on Thursday. Our intention is to find out from them what they need to be imported, whether it’s production equipment and to expedite that. We expect that they will being importation in August, but in addition to the production equipment that would be needed to deliver 300 million doses of vaccine or whatever it may be, we’re going to work with them to identify what they need and we will expedite it.”
Daines wrapped up the hearing by reiterating his stand on imports from China.
“I introduced legislation to end our reliance on China for drug and medical manufacturing and bring those jobs back to the U.S.,” he said. “Being dependent on China is a threat to our national health as well as on our national security. America will be safe and stronger when we bring our pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing supply chains and those jobs back to the United States.”
Also testifying was Soraya Correa, Chief Procurement Officer with the Department of Homeland Security.