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.
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."