This week, the New York Times revealed that one of Senator Susan Collins’ biggest financial backers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been lobbying the Trump administration against utilizing the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of desperately needed ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) for our nation's health care professionals. The Chamber of Commerce is “one of DC’s heaviest hitters” and is behind 1820 PAC, the group spending huge sums of outside money on “major air cover” for Senator Collins’ reelection effort.
While Collins’ corporate special interest backers are lobbying against measures to get more supplies to our hospitals, according to the Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, “the amount of (personal protective equipment) we need does not match what we are receiving” from the federal government. It’s long past time for the Trump administration to act to end the shortage of health care equipment, as the Portland Press Herald Editorial Board called for last week. Every day that corporate special interests in Washington stand in the way, they are putting American lives at risk.
“At a time when Maine’s hospitals and health care workers are in dire need of medical supplies, it is shameful to see Senator Collins’ corporate backers lobbying against a measure that would ramp up production of this lifesaving equipment,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “Senator Collins must stand up to the corporate special interests backing her campaign and call for Trump to invoke the full powers of the Defense Production Act to end the shortage of the equipment that Maine’s health care workers need to do their jobs safely.”