What You Need To Know | President Trump’s Coronavirus Response Efforts-03/19/2020
President Trump and his Administration are working every day to protect the health and wellbeing of Americans and respond to the coronavirus.
- 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.
- The Vice President 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.
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.
RELIEF FOR 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 numerous calls and meetings with business leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, 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 President has directed the Treasury Department to defer 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.
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
- The Administration launched a website – coronavirus.gov – to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
- 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 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 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.
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.