President Donald Trump said during Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing that he has twice used the Defense Production Act during the coronavirus pandemic but then “withdrew it” because “we don’t need it.”
His comments appeared to clarify a disconnect between his own rhetoric and statements made by Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter Gaynor in recent days.
“I talked about the Defense Production Act a lot,” POTUS said Thursday in response to a question in the White House’s Brady Briefing room. “I can enact it with a pen.”
“We have actually used it on two minor occasions and then withdrew it,” he continued. “But for the most part, the companies, we don’t need it. We say we need this, and they say, ‘don’t bother we’re going to do it.’”
Gaynor told multiple outlets Sunday that Trump had not yet activated DPA, prompting POTUS to tweet that he had given several car companies the “go ahead” to begin producing coronavirus ventilators. Shortly after the tweet, a senior FEMA official told Daily Caller the agency was overseeing the car companies’ production under DPA.
On Tuesday, Gaynor reversed course, saying during a CNN