by Hossein Khorram
President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force are leading an unprecedented, comprehensive, and aggressive whole of America approach to slow the spread of the virus. His actions have been bold and decisive while his detractors have dithered and carped.
• The Administration’s response began early. In January 31, President Trump declared the coronavirus a public health emergency and suspended entry into the U. S to help stop the spread.
• President Trump, the CDC, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Pence, released guidelines for all Americans to follow. President Trump announced new voluntary CDC guidelines for Americans to wear non-medical masks. The CDC published a data-centered coronavirus surveillance report on coronavirus.gov.
• On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency which granted access to $42 billion to fight the coronavirus.
• For the first time, President Trump declared that a major disaster exists within all 50 states at once.
• The White House announced President Trump donated his fourth quarter salary to fight the coronavirus.
• Nearly 3 million tests have been completed in the United States. The FDA is close to approving an antibody test.
• During the national coronavirus pandemic, President Trump and his administration have provided economic relief to workers and small businesses across the country.
• At the direction of President Trump, Tax Day was moved to July 15.
• On March 27, President Trump signed the bipartisan $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The CARES Act is providing much needed relief to our small businesses and workers and helped stabilize the economy. Direct assistance to families and workers is being provided through recovery checks. Individuals were eligible for checks up to $1,200 and married couples filing jointly are eligible for checks up to $2,400, with an extra $500 for each child.
▪ The Treasury Department launched a web portal to help Americans who did not file tax returns receive their coronavirus relief payments under the CARES Act. The CARES Act strengthens and expands unemployment insurance for Americans who cannot work due to the coronavirus disaster. Included in the CARES Act was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) a nearly $350 billion program that provides 8 weeks of cash flow assistance to small businesses. Students can defer student loan payments for 6 months.
Additional funding in the CARES Act:
▪ $17 billion in small business debt relief.
▪ $45 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund.
▪ $19 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to support our veterans.
▪ $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers.
▪ $16 billion for personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators, and medical supplies.
▪ $4.3 billion for the CDC.
• Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump’s pro-growth agenda put the economy in a very strong position and when we defeat the virus the economy will come roaring back.
• The USDA worked to deliver 1 million meals per week to rural kids out of school.
• President Trump ordered the Department of Energy to purchase oil for the strategic petroleum reserve.
• The U.S. Navy deployed the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy hospital ships.
• The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy announced a public-private consortium to advance coronavirus research and provide access to computing technology for researchers.
• President Trump signed a Defense Production Act memo to allow General Motors to “accept, perform, and prioritize federal contractors for ventilators.
• The Army Corps of Engineers built 22 temporary field hospitals including one at the Javits Center in New York City. They also constructed 18 alternative care sites in 18 states.
• 26 Project Airbridge flights arrived in the U.S. carrying PPE and other medical supplies.
• Cigna Humana waived co-pays for coronavirus treatment.
• Blue Cross Blue Shield waived out of pocket costs for coronavirus patients.
• President Trump activated over 29,000 National Guard troops to respond to the outbreak.
• Answering President Trump’s call, private sector companies including Ford Motor Company, Apple, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and 3M stepped up to produce PPE and medical supplies.
• The State Department brought home more than 50,000 Americans stranded overseas as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions.
• The Trump Administration issued recommendations to nursing homes to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
• At least 10 drugs to potentially be used against the coronavirus are currently in clinical trial.
• 19 potential coronavirus therapies are being tested and another 26 potential therapies in active planning for clinical trials.
• Vice President spoke with over 400 leaders of the African American community, including the NAACP and National Black Nurses Association to discuss the impact of the pandemic on African Americans who have been hit especially hard.
As you can see President Trump has gone over, above and beyond in this war to save American lives.
Hossein Khorram is the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy Vice-Chair and Trump Victory Washington State Finance Co-chair.