Even before President Trump had completed perhaps the most important address of his presidency, national media outlets focused more on style than substance. That left many Americans asking “What just happened?” as some of the major steps the government is taking to control the virus were ignored in media reports.
Below are the actual steps being taken by the Trump administration to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Restricting travel from affected areas
- President Trump is issuing a proclamation under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to restrict travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in certain European countries.
- Section 212(f) of the INA only applies to the movement of human beings, not goods or cargo.
- The restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area, 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days.
- Those who are exempt from these restrictions, such as American citizens, will be directed to a limited number of airports where screening can take place.
- There is extensive travel back and forth between Europe that heightens the risk here in the United States.
- The President is announcing an economic assistance package to help support businesses and workers who have been harmed by this outbreak.
- President Trump has instructed the Small Business Administration (SBA) to exercise available authority to provide loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus.
- These loans will help overcome disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
- The President is calling on Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $50 billion.
- The President will be instructing the Department of the Treasury to defer tax payments for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus.
- This action will provide more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy.
- President Trump is calling on Congress to immediately pass payroll tax relief.
- The President announced that he will soon be taking emergency action to provide financial relief for workers who are ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to the coronavirus.
- The President also called on Congress to take action to extend this relief for workers.
Protecting health of Americans
- The President is leveraging all of our resources to respond to the coronavirus, bringing together government and private industry in a collaborative response.
- The Trump Administration declared a public health emergency in January to bolster response efforts.
- President Trump took early action to help curb the spread of the virus from other countries to the United States, providing important time for response and preparations.
- In January, President Trump acted quickly to restrict travel from foreign nationals traveling from China.
- In February, the President restricted travel for individuals recently traveling from Iran.
- The Administration put into place mandatory screening for all travelers coming into the country from Italy and South Korea.
- Travel advisories for severely impacted areas like Italy and South Korea have been raised to their highest level.
- The President directed his Administration to make general-use face masks available to our healthcare workers.
- The Administration’s actions will help make millions of general-use respirators available to keep healthcare workers safe and mitigate transmission of the virus.
- President Trump signed into law more than $8 billion to fund response efforts.
- The Administration has taken bold steps to incentivize the development of therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Working across the public and private sectors, the Trump Administration continues to drastically expand testing capacity.
- More than 1 million tests have been distributed nationwide, with another 4 million tests being shipped out by the end of the week.
- Testing is now available in every State lab in the country and commercial labs are now deploying tests, which will help generate a dramatic increase in availability.
- The Trump Administration has released guidance on how to keep businesses, schools, community gathering places, and families safe.
- From the start, President Trump has made keeping the public informed a top priority.
- The Administration has announced that health plans with health savings accounts will be able to cover coronavirus testing and treatment without co-payments.
Ending his address to the nation, the president stated, “Together we are putting into policy a plan to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against coronavirus to save lives in America and the world. America will get it done!”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice