The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it “will invest $75.5 million in Defense Production Act Title 3 funding to increase swab production by 20 million per month starting in May.”
“Puritan Medical Products was awarded the contract, which will quickly establish a new manufacturing facility capable of doubling its current monthly output of 20 million to 40 million swabs,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement.
Some context: President Trump announced Sunday he will compel a US company to make swabs under the Defense Production Act, but Peter Navarro, his trade adviser who Trump tapped to coordinate DPA use, clarified to CNN Monday that the White House plans to use the act to give Puritan Medical Supplies federal funding to boost production.
“As Ben Franklin might have said today ‘For want of a swab, a test was lost.’ This swift DPA action by the Trump administration will help America continue to rapidly build up its testing capacity. It underscores the many and varied uses of DPA authorities to secure our supply chain and onshore production of critical resources in our public health industrial base,” Navarro said in a statement.
The Defense Department said that “Puritan is securing a facility in Pittsfield, Maine where it will build its manufacturing facility. Puritan is also adding 150 employees to staff the new factory which will start production in May.”
“More jobs for Maine is a nice bonus,” Navarro added.