WASHINGTON (WLNS) – President Trump and members of the Coronavirus Task Force give an update on the COVID-19 federal response.
President Trump opened the coronavirus task force briefing by echoing his tweet on Asian Americans, a message that comes after days of casting coronavirus as “China virus” and “Chinese virus.”
“It’s very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States and all around the world. They’re amazing people. And the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form. They’re working closely with us to get rid of it. We will prevail together, it’s very important,” he said, emphasizing the word “Asian.”
The President added, “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem. At the end of the 15-day period, we’ll make a decision as to which way we want to go.”
Additionally, President Trump said he hopes the United States will soon be “open for business.”
“And essentially, we’re referring to the timing of the opening, essentially, the opening of our country. Because we have it pretty well shut-down in order to get rid of this invisible enemy.”
President Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is distributing millions of masks and that personal protective equipment for medical professionals is being shipped to what he described as “hotspots” around the country.
President Trump said FEMA will distribute 8 million N95 masks, the type recommended for protection against coronavirus.
He said 73 pallets of personal protective equipment will be shipped to New York, and 36 pallets will be sent to Washington state – two areas where Covid-19 has hit particularly hard.
“We’re having millions and millions of masks made as we speak,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing.
President Trump said the badly-needed supplies will go to “medical hotspots” around the country.
“Across the nation, we are seeing an outpouring of creativity and innovative ideas,” President Trump said. “The scientific community and members of the private sector are really working together.”
Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice has seen some evidence of hoarding and price gouging on health and medical resources.
Barr said a new executive order provides, “the authority to address, if it becomes necessary, hoarding that threatens the supply of those necessary health and medical resources.”
He also said this won’t affect Americans who have stocked on toilet paper and other necessities.
“I want to stress that we’re not talking about consumers or businesses stockpiling supplies for their own operations,” he said at the briefing. “We’re talking about people hoarding these goods and materials on an industrial scale for the purpose of manipulating the market and ultimately deriving windfall profits. If you have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about.”
Vice President Mike Pence said during Monday’s White House press briefing that 313,000 coronavirus tests having been completed with more than 41,000 tests have come back positive.
In the past, Pence noted the testing numbers he provides do not include community hospitals or community labs, but he did not make that disclaimer during the press briefing Monday.
He added all state and hospital labs are now required to report their coronavirus test numbers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We also reminded the governors today that all state laboratories, all hospital laboratories, are now required, by law, to report the results of coronavirus tests to the CDC,” Pence said.
Stocks fell about 3% on Wall Street Monday as Congress hit another roadblock in talks to inject nearly $2 trillion into the coronavirus-weakened economy, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Earlier today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered 10 million Michigan residents to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.GOV. WHITMER EXECUTIVE ORDER
There are now 1,328 confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan with 15 fatalities, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. According to the state, there are 12 cases confirmed in Ingham County.
Over 1.5 billion people around the world were ordered or urged to stay in their homes as of today, according to a report by the Associated Press.