The Trump administration is considering using a 1950 wartime law to expand the production of masks and protective gear to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to an administration official.
Officials are weighing whether to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow the administration to expand the manufacture of products deemed necessary for national security.
Trump administration officials have said they would need a bigger stockpile of masks to prevent the spread of the virus. There have been internal discussions about using the law to require companies to scale up the production of medical masks and other wearable equipment.
No decisions have been made yet, though officials have testified publicly about the shortage of available N95 masks.
The Defense Production Act was first passed in 1950 as a response to the Korean War.
Reuters first reported that use of the act is currently under consideration.