WASHINGTON (WJW) — President Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force are holding a news conference Wednesday evening to inform the American people on the latest efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Social distancing, so important. Such an important phrase,” the President said at the beginning of his Wednesday evening news conference. “The more lives we can save and the sooner we can eventually get people back to work, back to school and back to normal.”
The President says that officials in the House and Senate are close to passing a $2 trillion virus relief package aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak. The plan offers aid to American families, individuals, small and large businesses, and several state and federal government agencies.
“I encourage the House to pass this legislation and send it to my desk,” President Trump said. “I will sign it immediately.”
He says he hopes this bill will allow our economy to quickly soar again after we defeat the virus.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who negotiated the stimulus package with Senate leaders until 2 a.m. Wednesday, said he expects the package will sustain the economy for about three months.
President Trump also added that if more economic relief is needed, it will be provided.
“If we have to go back, we will go back,” he said.
Additionally, the government is setting up a $45 billion fund to support disaster relief. They have also designated funds to replenish the “very depleted” stockpile of medical supplies and work on the development of a vaccine.
Officials are also working to get necessary supplies to hospitals and healthcare facilities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently in the process of shipping 9.4 million N95 respirators and 25 million surgical masks to the states.
“We all have a role to play in winning this national battle, it’s really a worldwide battle,” said the President.
Earlier Wednesday the United States Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed an order freezing the movements of all US troops overseas for 60 days due to the pandemic. This means US service members overseas or currently scheduled to deploy from the US will stay in their current locations for the next 60 days.
The Food and Drug Administration also said it is expediting clinical trials of blood plasma treatments for coronavirus patients who are critical.
President Trump also says that medical professionals have been conducting “very large testings throughout the country.”
To date, there are more than 55,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 800 people have died.