President Donald Trump gave a briefing on the coronavirus at the White House Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Here's what was discussed:
- Donald Trump confirmed that last night he approved a major disaster declaration for New York. He said he worked closely with Governor Andrew Cuomo. He called it an “unprecedented” federal response.
- He said it was the first time the Stafford Act, a law designed to bring orderly emergency disaster assistance to state and local governments, has been used for a disaster declaration.
- Trump said he had a “very good call” with small business owners, calling small businesses the “economic engine of this country.”
- He said he is going to Capitol Hill to talk about the medical situation, and that the financial situation is “moving along nicely”.
- Trump said he has been in communication with foreign countries, and said the virus is now present in 148 countries.
- The president repeated that he has reached agreements with Canada and Mexico to suspend non-essential travel, while keeping trade open.
- He said he has spoken with many hospital systems, organizations representing nurses and doctors, heads of airlines, cruise ship companies and businessmen who control the “biggest companies in the world.”
- He said he’s had a “very significant call” with religious leaders.
- He also reiterated the move of tax day to July 15th, the suspension of taxes, penalties and payments on student loans and evictions for homeowners.
- Trump said again he invoked the Defense Production Act, though he is still not using it, and that companies are voluntarily retrofitting to make masks, ventilators and hand sanitizer.
- He talked about signing legislation for family sick leave at no cost to employers, and that the government is working to pass additional legislation for relief for small businesses and workers, saying it had never been done before.
- Testing, he said, is going “very well”.
- Trump said the National Response Coordination Center has moved to “level one” and is coordinating with the nation’s governors.
- Finally, he once again touted the drugs that the FDA is rushing to approve that he believes can be re-purposed as therapeutics for Coronavirus, something Dr. Anthony Fauci has downplayed.