By George Miller
President Trump just spoke (6-11-20, 9pm ET) on the World Health Organization-declared worldwide Coronavirus pandemic and US actions He claimed the most aggressive, comprehensive response to a health threat effort ever. He described “tough measures” to significantly reduce the threat and expeditiously address Coronavirus (COVID19).
Trump met with banking and health care executives, as well as congressional., agency and administration officials to develop much of this.
He said that the(controversial) travel restrictions from China, Korea, Iran, etc have significantly helped slow the spread of the virus in the US, which was much better off than Europe for that reason. A similar ban on travel from Europe will take effect (minus the UK) on Friday at midnight. There will be certain exemptions for screened people for urgent circumstances. He did not describe how to invoke that.
Co-payments for Coronavirus related diagnoses/treatment will be suspended by the major health care organizations, which will cover it.
$8.3 billion has been appropriated for CDC and other agencies for anti-viral therapies, medical equipment/supplies and vaccines.
Trump said the risk to young, healthy people is very, very low, but that they should take precautions.
Risk to seniors is substantially higher, especially those with medical conditions. Unnecessary nursing home visits are to be suspended. Non-essential travel for such people should be avoided.
He did not address large gatherings, which have been much discussed and many have already been cancelled,or postponed.
Trump called upon the public to heed local officials’ guidelines for things such as school closures, events, etc.
He recommended extra precautions:
- Washing hands
- Covering face when coughing/sneezing
- Staying home if sick
Other sources have recommended “social distancing.”
He said nothing about wearing masks and nothing about enforcement of anything mentioned in the speech.
Trump said that unprecedented steps will be taken to financially assist people and businesses impacted by the pandemic, including those who are ill/quarantined, or care for patients.
He claims that the economy is strong enough to absorb the blows, that banks are “fully capitalized,” unemployment at historical lows, the system is flexible with reserves, that this is not a financial crisis, just a temporary thing to be overcome.
He said that unity and non partisanship is very important.
Trump added that the Small Business Administration will be capitalized to offer low interest loans to firms impacted by the pandemic. He asked for $50 billion funding from Congress, also to defer tax payments from affected individuals and businesses and to cut payroll taxes immediately.
Wrapping up, the President said that the US will not hesitate to take necessary steps to reduce the chance of infection and that no nation is doing as much as the U.S. Trump said we have the best economy, best health care, most talented researchers and scientists. He said we must not let partisanship interfere, that unity was very important and that America has always risen to significant challenges. The 11 minute speech was unusually brief for him.
George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.