With the pandemic on course to kill more Americans than died in World War II, President-elect Joe Biden is planning to invoke a wartime law to boost vaccine production, according to a member of his COVID-19 advisory board. "You will see him invoking the Defense Production Act," Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, tells' CNBC's Squawk Box. "The idea there is to make sure the personal protective equipment, the test capacity, and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply so that those aren’t limiting steps in all of this." The law, enacted during the Korean War, will give Biden authority to compel manufacturers to make vaccine components.
President Trump used the law earlier this year to boost the production of ventilators and to keep meatpacking plants open, the Hill reports. A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson says the president has also used it more than a dozen times in connection with vaccine production. Sources told the New York Times last week that Pfizer had asked the Trump administration to invoke the law as part of a deal to supply 100 million more vaccine doses because it was short of some vital components. The Biden transition team is reportedly concerned that the Trump administration's vaccination timeline is too optimistic. According to the CDC, only 2 million people have received their first dose of COVID vaccine. The administration said its goal was to vaccinate 20 million by the end of this month. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)