President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act in the US response to the Coronavirus pandemic, noting that HUD will suspend foreclosures through end of April, as work is underway to evaluate possibility of self-tests for virus.
The Defense Production Act (DPA) is the primary source of Presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the U.S. industrial base to support military, energy, space, and homeland security programs. Homeland security programs eligible for DPA support include:
- Efforts to counter terrorism within the United States;
- Emergency preparedness activities conducted pursuant to title VI of the Stafford Act;
- Protection and restoration of critical infrastructure; and
- Continuity of Government.
LIVE: Press Briefing with Coronavirus Task Force https://t.co/3WQV4egsWc
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 18, 2020
Addressing the “Chinese virus”, Trump said that FEMA has been activated in “every region, at the highest level.”
The President also said that work is underway to evaluate whether a self-test is feasible. If possible, he says it would free up health professionals who are administering the test.
Perhaps most notably, Trump said HUD is “suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April” as Mike Pence said what we already knew, namely that there are now cases in all 50 states.
Separately, pence reiterated that people who aren’t showing symptoms for Covid-19 shouldn’t be getting tested, and said that the administration is issuing a regulation today that will allow doctors and medical professionals to practice across state lines. This could allow health workers to move to hotspots and places that need more help.
Speaking at the same presser, Dr. Birx said that there are “concerning reports” coming out of France and Italy of young people being seriously ill.