The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • President Trump on Friday bucked the U.S. business community by using the Defense Production Act to order General Motors to ramp up production of ventilators. Trump’s move, which came after the business community lobbied against the use of the emergency powers, forces GM to prioritize ventilators after a deal with the White House faltered.
  • President Trump on Friday signed a bipartisan $2 trillion economic relief package aimed at helping American workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill includes $1,200 one-time payments to many Americans; sets up a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund to help struggling industries like airlines; allocated $377 billion for aid to small businesses; and boosts the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for four months, among other provisions.

  • President Trump said Friday that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro would become the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator for the federal government as the administration seeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Trump, by way of a signing statement, noted that his administration would quite simply override a provision in the nearly 900-page stimulus bill that would require the country’s newest inspector general–just created and tasked with overseeing the disbursement of the stimulus funds–to report to Congress any time the administration stonewalled about where or how those funds were being spent.
  • President Trump blasted Democratic governors in Washington and Michigan for criticizing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, bemoaning that they had not offered appreciation for his efforts. 

Trump said, “I want them to be appreciative. I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true.” “I want them to be appreciative. We’ve done a great job. And I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about Mike Pence, the task force, I’m talking about FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers.”

The president said he’s told Pence not to call the governors of Washington and Michigan, suggesting the vice president is “wasting [his] time.”” You know what I say? If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump added.

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorization for a new coronavirus test that takes just 15 minutes to complete. The test’s maker, Abbott, announced the news Friday evening in a press release, saying it plans to start delivering 50,000 tests per day starting next week.
  • President Trump signed an executive order on Friday that allows the Pentagon to mobilize former U.S. troops and members of the National Guard to help supplement troops already being used to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
  • Trump just said he is considering “ordering” a two-week “enforceable quarantine” of NY, NJ and CT to “restrict travel” from those states “because they are having problems down in Florida with New Yorkers going down & we don’t want that.“

UPDATE: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory late Saturday night for the New York tri-state area after President Trump said he had requested the measure in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

  • Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the faces of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, said that, based on what he’s seeing, the U.S. could experience between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from Covid-19.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the U.S. economy would bounce back later this year to levels seen before the coronavirus outbreak began.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that 170 ventilators shipped by the federal government to help his state respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus were “not working” when they arrived. Newsom also noted that the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units had doubled since Friday in his state.
  • The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, decades-old malaria drugs championed by President Donald Trump for coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence.

The agency allowed for the drugs to be “donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible,” HHS said in a statement

  • President Trump clashed with “PBS NewsHour” reporter Yamiche Alcindor during a press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak after she questioned him about recent comments he made about whether some requests from governors related to the pandemic were overblown or unnecessary.

“Why don’t you act in a little more positive? … It’s always get ya, get ya, get ya,” Trump said to Alcindor. “You know what? That’s why nobody trusts the media anymore … Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don’t be threatening.”

  • President Trump has issued a major disaster declaration for Washington, D.C., allowing the city to access federal funds to help the district’s efforts in combating the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to spread in the city and the country.
  • President Donald Trump announced Sunday evening that he was extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April rather than easing them as early as this week, and took credit for avoiding a worst-case scenario death toll that could have exceeded 2 million.
  • During the daily White House coronavirus briefing in the Rose Garden, Trump suggested that hospitals had squandered or done worse with masks and were “hoarding” ventilators, and that states were requesting equipment despite not needing them.

Trump’s boldest claim was about masks. He noted the current demand wasn’t commensurate with what hospitals usually use and suggested masks were “going out the back door.”

“It’s a New York hospital, very — it’s packed all the time,” he said. “How do you go from 10 to 20 [thousand masks per week] to 300,000? Ten [thousand] to 20,000 masks, to 300,000 — even though this is different? Something is going on, and you ought to look into it as reporters. Are they going out the back door?”

Other Administration News

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs told the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe that the Secretary of the Interior has ordered that their reservation be disestablished and their land be taken out of trust.

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