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House of Delegates speaker asks CISA to designate Viatris Morgantown plant as critical infrastructure

MORGANTOWN – House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw on Friday joined those seeking federal intervention to keep Viatris’ Morgantown pharmaceutical plant open beyond its scheduled July 31 closure.

Hanshaw, R-Clay, sent a letter on Friday to U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly asking her to designate the plant as critical infrastructure needed to maintain national security and to designate its employees as essential workers.

“I would like to add my voice to the resounding calls from others asking your agency to take a close and careful look at the Viatris manufacturing facility in Morgantown,” he wrote.

Like Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, and Rep. David McKinley, R-W.V.a., before him, he asks CISA to declare the plant as critical infrastructure and the employees as essential workers.

He agrees with them and others, he wrote, “that we must do whatever we can to save this facility and the many jobs involved. It’s been among our state’s top 10 employers for many years running, and the closure of this facility would be devastating to the community. I’m hopeful we can all work together to avoid outsourcing any more American jobs.”

Fleischauer sent her letter to CISA on Monday and McKinley sent his on Wednesday.

In addition, a group of 40 organizations led by Our Revolution, the progressive organization founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders, sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday urging him to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep the plant operating as a matter of national security.

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