President Donald Trump will sign an executive order requiring the U.S. government to buy "essential" drugs from U.S.-based factories, according to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who made the announcement in a conference call on August 6.
As part of the order, called "buy American," U.S. officials will develop a list of essential medicines and medical supplies. The order will also remove some of the regulations on U.S. drug manufacturers.
“If we’ve learned anything from the ‘China virus’ pandemic, it is that we are dangerously overdependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines, for medical supplies like masks gloves, goggles and medical equipment like ventilators," said Navarro.
The move is part of the president's nationalistic approach to governing. In July, Kodak was granted a $765 million government loan to boost production of a variety of drugs.
The order comes as the U.S. struggles to control the coronavirus pandemic. There are over 18.8 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 708,000 deaths. The U.S. has 4.8 million cases with over 158,000 deaths. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 52,265 new cases reported Wednesday. 681,537 new tests were reported. And 1,403 deaths were reported yesterday.