WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump assembled the Coronavirus Task Force for an early evening update. He was once again joined by. Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Trump says he’s looking to Easter to “re-open” the country, calling it a “great timeline”.
- He says the decision to loosen social distancing will be based on data and medical and economic data.
- He says FEMA is distributing more than eight million N-95 respirators, 14 million surgical masks, 2.4 million face shields, 1.9 million surgical gowns.
- He also says 4,000 ventilators have been sent to the areas of greatest need and many, he says are being sent to New York.
- He said the Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard are building four hospitals in New York which he said will be operational soon.
- Trump said four additional medical facilities, which he called “temporary but incredible”, are being built in different parts of the state.
- He says he is deploying the Navy hospital ship Comfort to New York (though it is still undergoing repairs in Norfolk).
- He said they are also building a hospital in New Jersey.
- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is continuing to work with Congress to pass what he called the “biggest and boldest relief package in American history”. The package, he says, will “deliver cash payments to “struggling Americans”.
- The package, he says, will include job retention loans and unemployment insurance, and a billion dollars to help doctors, nurses, and hospitals, along with the airline and cruise ship industry.
- Though he says he activated the Defense Production Act “quite a long time ago”, he insists he doesn’t have to use it because private companies are “heeding the call” to produce medical supplies.
- He says companies like Ford and 3M are already making face shields, though it will be weeks before factories can be retrofitted to be able to make these supplies.
- Trump talked about this showing the U.S. needs strong borders and can never be reliant on a foreign country for our survival.