By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
President Trump has issued Executive Order 13910, Preventing Hoarding of Health and Medical Resources To Respond to the Spread of COVID-19. The March 23, 2020, order builds on E.O. 13909, which determined that the health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, including personal protective equipment and ventilators, met the criteria specified in section 101(b) of the Defense Production Act (50 USC 4511(b)). E.O. 13909 also delegated section 101 prioritization and allocation authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19. The Act authorizes the President to require businesses to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services as necessary to promote the national defense, and to offer incentives within the domestic market to enhance the production and supply of critical materials and technologies when necessary for national defense. In addition, the Act grants the President the ability to allocate or control the general distribution of materials, services, and facilities.
Delegation of Authority. E.O. 13910 seeks to prevent the hoarding of health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and sanitizing and disinfecting products. Accordingly, E.O. 13910 delegates to the HHS Secretary the President’s authority under section 102 of the Act (50 USC 4512) to prevent hoarding of these COVID-19 response resources. The delegation includes the authority to prescribe conditions with respect to the accumulation of these resources, and to designate any material as a scarce material, or as a material the supply of which would be threatened by persons accumulating the material either in excess of reasonable demands of business, personal, or home consumption, or for the purpose of resale at prices in excess of prevailing market prices. The order further delegates to the HHS Secretary the President’s authority to implement any restrictions on hoarding, including the authority under section 705 of the Act (50 USC 4555) to gather information, such as information about how supplies of resources are distributed throughout the nation.
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