Biden Cost Virginia Thousands of Jobs with Failure on Domestic Production of Personal Protective Equipment

Biden Cost Virginia Thousands of Jobs with Failure on Domestic Production of Personal Protective Equipment

Virginia Republican Senate candidate Hung Cao says former President Donald Trump’s project to domestically produce personal protection equipment (PPE), such as medical gloves, that the Biden administration has dropped the ball on, would have led to thousands of new jobs in southwest Virginia.

Cao joined Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday, where host Matthew Boyle highlighted the Biden administration’s failures with the project, which originated amid a shortage of PPE during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, he zoned in on the rising number of imported nitrile gloves from China.

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“What’s happened under President Biden is the percentage of these gloves that are imported from China has skyrocketed to nearly the majority of them,” Boyle noted. “And meanwhile, there are empty factories that are built thanks to President Trump, but they aren’t making anything because of President Biden and because of Democrats like Tim Kaine that are sitting there in southwest Virginia.”

On top of this, Sens J.D. Vance (R-OH) and other Republican senators sent a letter on February 29 to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra expressing concerns about PPE supply chains and underscoring the Biden administration opted not to build on the “foundation established by Trump,” but to “start from scratch — and failed.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks during a news conference at the HHS Humphrey Building on October 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Boyle asked Cao if he holds concerns about the supply chain and America’s dependence on China for gloves should there be another pandemic, asking, “Are you concerned about this? Are you concerned about the U.S. dependence on this, and what are we doing to get these things made in America again?”

“That’s a great question,” Cao responded. “So, two percent of nitrile gloves are made in the United States right now, and with the bill that President Trump introduced, like you said, in southwest Virginia, where the economy’s gone bad because they demonize coal — they’re looking for other ways to do it — this would have created 2,500 jobs in southwest Virginia. Six factories. Right now, over 70 percent of the nitrile gloves are made in China.”


One shuttered plant in Wythe County underscored the bureaucratic failure in a contract with Blue Star. Construction for a rubber-production factory, which cost the federal government $123 million, was completed last spring, but the plant was shut down in the fall as the contractor was left without government-appropriated funds to create a factory to fashion the rubber into the nitrile gloves, the Washington Post reported:

Washington initially planned to build two factories with Blue Star, one to make the rubber and another to turn the material into medical gloves, which were in dangerously short supply in the early days of the pandemic. But by the time the rubber plant was erected, the worst of the pandemic and glove shortages had passed. Now, federal officials say, Blue Star’s contract is complete even though it still needs $60 million to hook up the rubber factory to utilities and $170 million to build an adjacent glove factory. The company will have to win a new contract or find private funding to move forward.

Blue Star shared exclusively with Breitbart News its compilation of government data showcasing that medical glove imports from China have tripled since 2019. In 2023, China “increased its share of imports of medical gloves to the United States to 44.15 percent” versus 14.2 percent in 2019, as Boyle previously reported. It is on track to account for 60 percent of medical gloves in the U.S. in 2024 at the current trajectory.

President Joe Biden holds a mask as he gives remarks on his administration’s response to the surge in coronavirus cases across the country from the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on January 13, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“This touches every American every day from the person who packs the meat in the stores to your food vendors to first responders like my wife, who’s an EMT, to everybody; even police officers have to wear it now… because they’re afraid of fentanyl touching and it gets absorbed into the skin,” Cao said. “We have to wear these things. We depend on them, and the Chinese quality is not the same as American quality. We live by a standard, and what if their standards are wrong? What if it was laced with something else? I’m just saying anything can happen when it’s not done in the United States, and we need to protect our country. We need to protect our people. And that starts with onshoring all these resources, especially personal protective equipment, PPE.”

Cao also noted that the Vance letter to Becerra followed a letter from Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) to Beccera, “touting how great he did to increase the production, but what they did is they offshored it to China.”

“I mean, this is a travesty, and Tim Kaine is 100% complicit with this,” Cao charged.

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

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[By: Nick Gilbertson

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