US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Wednesday urged the president to nationalize the medical equipment supply chain "immediately" to improve distribution of equipment in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The topic of nationalization came up in a conference call organized by US Senator Amy Klobuchar that included healthcare industry leaders from around the country. Murphy said it was "inexplicable" the president had not already nationalized the supply chain.
"On a conference call with health care leaders this morning, organized by @amyklobuchar, sentiment was unanimous that the medical equipment supply chain needs to be nationalized immediately," the junior Senator from Connecticut tweeted. "Just inexplicable Trump does not do this. The chaos of existing system is costing lives."
Some industry trade leaders are also calling on the White House to centralize distribution. On Wednesday, the Advanced Medical Technology Association called on President Trump to take control of the distribution of life-saving ventilators, which are in short supply from the coronavirus outbreak.
"We believe the most effective way to address these allocation issues is for the Administration to designate a lead agency, such as FEMA, to oversee these allocation decisions with the active input of clinical experts," association CEO Scott Whitaker wrote in a letter quoted in NPR.