NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and other local and state elected officials will unload three Boeing Dreamlifter aircraft filled with vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 response efforts on Monday.
One notable lawmaker will be absent from the event, though. Senator Lindsay Graham believes the United States should not have to rely on foreign protective equipment.
“We don’t want to ever have to rely on China or anyone else for our basic health care needs,” Sen. Graham said in a statement to News 2. “Coronavirus has been a painful wakeup call that we are too reliant on nations like China for critical medical supplies. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that South Carolina leads the way when it comes to getting the medical supply chain out of China.”
He went on to say, “With our experience in textile and advanced manufacturing, South Carolina is one of the strongest states – maybe above all others – who can make America independent from China when it comes to medical supplies.”
That is why Senator Graham plans to introduce legislation this week that would include personal protection equipment under the Berry Amendment, to make sure products are readily made in America at places like Milliken and Company in the South Carolina upstate.
“The ultimate goal is for all of the protective equipment that our nurses and our doctors depend on, to keep them safe and us safe, will be made in America; and let it be said that South Carolina will lead America when it comes to returning the medical supply chain.”
Senator Graham believes Milliken will be able to produce five million gowns. He also expects his legislation to have bipartisan support in the senate.
The delivery of those PPE at Boeing will take place Monday afternoon. News 2 will carry that event live on-air and online.