Protective mask

History’s Peter Shulman identifies a way to meet the demand for personal protective equipment

The Defense Production Act Was Designed for Emergencies Like Coronavirus

How Stuff Works: Peter Shulman, associate professor of history, spoke about the concern that the United States won’t have enough personal protective equipment like face shields, gloves, gowns and masks for health care workers, or ventilators and other medical equipment for those who are sick—and powers the U.S. president possesses to redirect manufacturing processes to produce such vital items: “It absolutely could be an effective tool. I don’t think it’s necessarily the only tool. … But it’s the law that’s on the books. It already exists. The authority already exists to do a good chunk of what we need. That’s why it’s there.”