On Friday, March 13, the President of the United States (POTUS) held a news conference regarding the global pandemic COVID-19 and declared a national emergency. This declaration will open up $60 billion to help the fight against the virus. Every state has been requested to set up Emergency Operations Centers and every hospital in the United States is activating emergency preparedness plans to meet the needs of Americans everywhere. The declaration also allows officials at the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to waive laws to enable telehealth so that remote doctor visits are feasible. The National Guard has said that it will deploy a maximum of 1,000 troops in six states by the end of the day (Friday). The Guard is also evaluating military bases across the country to use for “isolation housing” to stock medical supplies.
An announcement was made regarding a new partnership with the private sector to increase the capacity to test for COVID-19. 1.4 million tests are to be available next week and 5 million within a month. Pharmacies and retailers are planning to make drive thru tests available in critical locations so that individuals are able to get tested for the virus while remaining in their vehicles. Google is in the process of developing a website to determine whether or not a test is warranted and if so, to facilitate testing at a convenient location. Labs are to provide results within 24-36 hours after testing. On Sunday evening, the public will receive specific guidance on when the website will be operational.
The President also announced a few emergency Executive actions that have been implemented such as waiving interest in all student loans via helped from federal government agencies. Based on the price of oil, the Secretary of Energy has also purchased large quantities of crude oil for storage in the U.S. strategic reserve. Ultimately, these measures are aiming to save the American taxpayer billions of dollars, improve the oil industry, and help establish energy independence. When questioned about other specific targeted measures that the Administration is taking, the President stated that a report will be released in two hours regarding additional steps.
When questioned on the President’s photograph with an individual that was tested positive for COVID-19, he stated that he has no symptoms. When asked about how long the American people will have to remain in an emergency state, the President stated that it is impossible to predict the time element.
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