LANSING, Mich., March 24, 2020 – In an effort to update the American people on coronavirus and the efforts to combat its spread, President Trump and the White House Task Force on coronavirus are set to hold a virtual town hall with Fox News. In the past days and weeks, the Trump Administration has taken aggressive action in working to curb the coronavirus crisis, and its effects using a whole-of-government approach to help the people of our country get through this crisis.
“President Trump has been aggressive and thorough in working to end this crisis and provide aid for the American people.” said Chairman Laura Cox, Michigan Republican Party. Cox continued, “From delaying Tax Day to an Executive Order deterring price gouging and supply hoarding, President Trump’s whole-of-government approach has been outstanding in seeking to protect the health and well-being of our country.”
Below is a list of 74 Actions Taken by Trump to “Fight Virus, Bolster Economy” – courtesy of the Washington Examiner.
- President Trump declared a national emergency, inviting States, territories, and tribes to access over $42 billion in existing funding.
- Trump signed legislation securing $8.3 billion for coronavirus response.
- Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, ensuring that American families and businesses impacted by the virus receive the strong support they need.
- To leverage the resources of the entire government, the president created a White House Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate response.
- Vice President Pence named Dr. Deborah Birx to serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.
- The president has held multiple teleconferences with our nation’s governors to coordinate response efforts and offer his full support.
- The president has approved major disaster declarations for impacted states like New York, Washington, and California.
- In January, Trump reacted quickly to implement travel restrictions on travel from China, buying us valuable time to respond to the virus.
- The president has announced further travel restrictions on global hotspots, including Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Iran.
- American citizens returning from travel-restricted countries are being routed to specific airports, where they can be screened and isolated as needed.
- The United States reached mutual agreements with Mexico and Canada to restrict non-essential travel across our northern and southern borders.
- The administration announced it will expeditiously return aliens who cross between ports of entry or are otherwise not allowed to enter the country, as the facilities in which these aliens would be held cannot support quarantine for the time needed to assess potential cases.
- The administration raised travel warnings to their highest level for other hot spot locations, like Japan and South Korea.
- The president has expanded airport screenings to identify travelers showing symptoms and instituted mandatory quarantines.
- The State Department issued a global level 4 travel advisory, urging Americans to avoid all international travel due to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide.
EXPANDING TESTING ACCESSIBILITY
- The FDA issued emergency approval for new commercial coronavirus tests to significantly expand testing across the country.
- The president secured legislation that will ensure Americans are able to be tested for free.
- The administration is working with state and local partners and the private sector to open up drive-through testing sites.
- The administration is working with the private sector to develop a website that Americans can utilize to determine whether they need a test and, if so, where to get it.
- HHS is providing funding to help accelerate the development of rapid diagnostic tests for the coronavirus.
- The FDA cut red tape to expand testing availability.
- Admiral Brett Giroir – the Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the Public Health Service – has been appointed to coordinate coronavirus testing efforts.
- The FDA is empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by laboratories in their states.
- The Department of Defense has set up 15 coronavirus testing sites worldwide.
- The president signed legislation requiring more reporting from state and private labs to ensure our public health officials have the data they need to respond to this outbreak.
- DoD and HHS worked to airlift hundreds of thousands of swabs and sample test kits from Italy to the United States.
SUPPORTING IMPACTED BUSINESSES
- The Small Business Administration has announced disaster loans which provide impacted businesses with up to $2 million.
- SBA relaxed criteria for disaster assistance loans – expanding small businesses’ access to economic assistance.
- The president directed the Energy Department to purchase large quantities of crude oil for the strategic reserve.
- Trump has held calls and meetings with business leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, airlines, health insurers, grocery stores, retail stores, banks, and more.
- The Treasury Department approved the establishment of the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to provide liquidity to the financial system.
HELPING FAMILIES AND WORKING AMERICANS
- The administration negotiated legislation which will provide tax credits for eligible businesses that give paid leave to Americans affected by the virus.
- The administration took action to provide more flexibility in unemployment insurance programs for workers impacted by the coronavirus.
- The Treasury Department moved tax day from April 15 to July 15.
- Trump signed legislation providing funding and flexibility for emergency nutritional aid for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families.
- USDA announced new flexibilities to allow meal service during school closures.
- USDA announced a new collaboration with the private sector to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals a week to students in rural schools closed due to the coronavirus.
- The administration is halting foreclosures and evictions for families with FHA-insured mortgages.
- The Department of Labor announced up to $100 million in dislocated worker grants in response to the coronavirus national health emergency.
- The White House worked with the private sector to launch a central website where families, students, and educators can access online education technologies.
- Trump signed legislation to provide continuity in educational benefits for veterans and their families who attend schools that have had to switch from in-person to online learning due to the coronavirus.
- The Department of Education has given broad approval to colleges and universities to allow them to more easily move their classes online.
- The Department of Education set interest rates on all federally-held student loans to 0% for at least 60 days.
- The Department of Education announced borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments on federally-held student loans for at least two months.
- The Department of Education is providing waivers for federal testing requirements to states that have had to close schools.
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
- The administration launched a website – coronavirus.gov – to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
- The president launched a partnership with the Ad Council, media networks, and digital platforms to communicate public services announcements about the coronavirus.
- The president announced guidelines for Americans to follow and do their part to stem the spread of the virus.
- The Task Force is holding nearly daily press conferences to provide the American people with the latest information.
- The Task Force has recommended mitigation strategies to heavily impacted communities, like those in New York, Washington, and California.
- CMS announced guidance to protect vulnerable elderly Americans and limit medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes.
SUPPORTING PATIENTS AND HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS
- In January, the administration declared the coronavirus to be a public health emergency.
- The president donated his fourth-quarter 2019 salary to the Department of Health and Human Services for coronavirus response efforts.
- The president took action to give HHS authority to waive rules and regulations so that healthcare providers have maximum flexibility to respond to this outbreak.
- CMS is giving flexibility to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus tests and treatment.
- CMS created new billing codes for coronavirus tests to promote better tracking of the public health response.
- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinated with the NIH, the tech industry, and nonprofits to release a machine readable collection of 29,000 coronavirus-related research articles, which will help scientists discover insights to virus’ genetics, incubation, treatment, symptoms, and prevention.
- The administration announced that health plans with health savings accounts will be able to cover coronavirus testing and treatment without co-payments.
- CMS dramatically expanded telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries, ensuring more patients can access their doctors remotely while avoiding exposure.
- HHS lifted HIPAA penalties to enable healthcare providers to expand telehealth access for patients.
- The VA established 19 emergency operations centers across the country and put in place visitation restrictions to limit patients’ exposure.
- CMS and the VA are working to limit nonessential, elective medical procedures to free up healthcare resources.
- The Navy will be deploying two medical ships to help support impacted areas.
- The president announced Carnival Cruise Lines will be making ships available for hospitals to use for non-coronavirus patients.
STRENGTHENING ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES
- The president announced he is invoking the Defense Production Act.
- The president signed a memorandum directing his Administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers.
- HHS announced it will be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile.
- The Department of Defense announced it will be providing 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to assist.
- The president signed legislation removing restrictions that prevented manufacturers from selling industrial masks – which can readily protect healthcare workers – directly to hospitals.
DEVELOPING VACCINES AND THERAPEUTICS
- The administration is working to help accelerate the development of therapeutics and a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.
- The FDA is evaluating existing drugs that could serve as potential therapeutics for coronavirus patients.
- The administration is actively working with drug manufacturers to monitor any potential drug supply chain issues.
- The administration is expanding research and consulting with experts to better understand the transmission of coronavirus.
- The National Institutes of Health has announced the beginning of a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine candidate.
(Source: Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard, March 23, 2020)