US DoD forms task force to meet medical equipment requirements

27 March 2020 (Last Updated March 27th, 2020 14:25)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has formed a new task force to meet medical and protective equipment requirements.

US DoD forms task force to meet medical equipment requirements
Tents were set up at Travis Air Force Base to offer food services to base personnel entering isolation or quarantine in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit: Heide Couch, Air Force.

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The US Department of Defense (DoD) has formed a new task force to meet medical and protective equipment requirements.

The move comes at a time when the US is struggling to contain Covid-19 that has already infected around 86,000 people in the country.

The joint task force will handle daily requests for medical and personal protective equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, and others.

It will coordinate with the Defense Production Act authorities for supplies, as well as work to reduce dependence on foreign procurement.

US Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment undersecretary Ellen M Lord said: “The task force will synchronise the DoD acquisition response to this crisis, working closely with all the services and defence agencies.

“The task force will leverage DoD authorities for maximum acquisition flexibility to provide resilient capability in the current health crisis.”

Furthermore, the department is working to enhance one repository that will include details on what is being offered in terms of technical assistance and manufacturing capability.

Lord also added that the department is working with the Congress and state governors to support military personnel, their families, defence contractors and citizens.

Lord stated: “We recognise how serious this pandemic and national emergency is. And we will remain fully transparent and provide oversight and accountability in all we do.”