by WorldTribune Staff, March 20, 2020
The White House on March 19 released a list of the actions President Donald Trump has taken since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
In just the past few days: Trump has announced that the U.S. and Canada have mutually agreed to close the northern border to nonessential travel;
Trump also announced he is invoking the Defense Production Act, which gives the federal government broad authority to direct private companies to meet the needs of the national defense;
The Department of Housing and Urban Development 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;
The President launched a partnership with the Ad Council, media networks, and digital platforms to communicate public services announcements about the coronavirus;
The Navy will be deploying two medical ships to help support impacted areas.
List of key actions the Trump administration has taken amid the coronavirus outbreak:
President Trump signed legislation securing $8.3 billion for coronavirus response.
President Trump declared a national emergency, inviting States, territories, and tribes to access over $42 billion in existing funding.
To leverage the resources of the entire government, the President created a White House Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate response.
Vice President Mike Pence named Dr. Deborah Birx to serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.
In January, President 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 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 President announced that the U.S. and Canada have mutually agreed to close the northern border to nonessential travel.
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.
The administration is working to provide states with flexibility to approve coronavirus testing laboratories.
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.
Helping impacted businesses
The Small Business Administration has announced disaster loans which provide impacted businesses with up to $2 million.
The President has met with bank executives, insurers, pharmaceutical executives, and other industry leaders.
The President directed the Energy Department to purchase large quantities of crude oil for the strategic reserve.
President Trump has held calls and meetings with business leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, airlines, health insurers, grocery stores, retail stores, banks, and more.
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 President has directed the Education Department to waive interest on student loans held by the federal government.
The Treasury Department is deferring tax payments for certain impacted individuals and businesses.
President Trump has called on Congress to pass a payroll tax cut.
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 Department of Labor announced up to $100 million in dislocated worker grants in response to the coronavirus national health emergency.
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 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.
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.
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.
Developing vaccines and therapeutics
The administration is working to help accelerate the development of therapeutics and a vaccine to combat the disease.
The Trump 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.