WASHINGTON D.C. - President Donald J. Trump has addressed the nation once again concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Saturday, March 14, Trump, wearing a navy USA hat, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force (WHCTF) held a press conference to give the nation an update on how he and his administration are handling the spread of the virus. The WHCTF had just concluded a meeting before the conference.
“The results are very, very good. When you compare this to whats happening around the world, we’re very proud of our people,” said Trump. “There has been a tremendous amount of coordination with states, with cities and their little, smaller forms of government, things are going well, they are coordinating with us.”
Trump expressed his appreciation for the hard work done by the WHCTF and those who have aided them in the battle against the illness.
“We are using the full power of the Federal government to defeat the virus,” said Trump. “Last week we secured an initial 8.3 billion dollars from congress for the Coronavirus. That was quickly done and efficiently done, I thank all members of congress. Yesterday, I declared a state of emergency because it opened up avenues that we would have never been able to open up without it and will make more than 50 billion dollars available to us immediately for disaster relief funds for states, territories and local governments.”
An bi-partisan agreement was reach on Friday, March 13, on a legislative packet that will provide “strong support for families and communities dealing with the virus”. The bill will provide free testing kits to all Americans, paid sick and family leave for those who have the virus and to aid in the care the children in those families.
Trump said that he was honored that the stock market set an all-time record, jumping up during his 45-minute press conference on Friday.
“That was something to watch,” said Trump.
The WHCTF is under the guidance of Vice President Mike Pence and is comprised of Dr. Deborah Birx; Dr. Anthony Fauci; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the leader of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General and Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“They have been led by Mike Pence and the work they are doing is incredible,” said Trump.
Pence took over the press conference and updated the public on what the WHCTF is doing.
“We continue to implement the president’s vision, not just for the whole of government’s response to the Coronavirus, but for the whole of America,” said Pence. “The focus of our task force today and going forward is on implementing the president’s public and private partnership on testing, focusing on ensuring that state and local authorities have the guidance and support to ensure mitigation particularly in areas where we have seen community spread and we are continuing to lean in on the president’s direction on addressing capacity issues in our hospitals.”
Pence spoke of the legislation recently approved by the House of Representatives that is now headed to the Senate in the coming week.
“If you are sick, now you need not be concerned, if you are hourly wage earner in America, you need not be concerned about staying home. If you are sick, stay home. You’re not going to miss a paycheck, because of this legislation moving through the congress will make sure that your employer, including small businesses, will have the ability to provide paid leave for you,” said Pence.
The biggest change to the situation is the announcement of the suspension of travel to the UK and Ireland.
“The president has made a decision to suspend all travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland, effective midnight, Monday night EST,” said Pence. “All of our health experts presented information… and made a unanimous recommended to the president that we suspend all travel to the UK and Ireland.”
Americans who are overseas will still have the ability to return to the United States, via 13 airports where screening measures have been put in place.
Pence also spoke about the dangers to senior citizens.
“We continue to emphasis that the risk of serious illness for the average American remains low. But the data shows that seniors with serious underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable population,” said Pence. “Let’s make sure that every American around them is practicing the best kind of hygiene, the best kind of measures to make sure that they’re not exposed.”
Pence will address all the governors of 50 states and detail the progress that the WHCTF team is making at 5 p.m. EST tomorrow, March 15.