President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a news conference in the press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
On the day the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus — otherwise known as Wuhan Flu — a pandemic, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office to discuss what the administration’s plans and recommendations are going forward.
In a shocking move, the president has suspended all travel from Europe, excluding the UK, for the next 30 days beginning Friday. He indicated that coronavirus cases in the U.S. were “seeded” by people traveling from Europe because Europe failed to take the early actions the U.S. took in implementing travel restrictions.
Additionally, the president spoke to several requests he will be making to Congress to help in fighting the spread of the virus. Telling the nation that it “only matters how you respond and [the U.S. is] responding with great speed and professionalism,” Trump announced that he is requesting an additional $50 billion dollars be legislated to the Small Business Administration in service of low interest loans states can use to help shore up response capabilities.
The president also announced another $8.3 billion as part of a funding bill to help the Centers for Disease Control and other relevant agencies in their fight against the virus.
The president reiterated his desire to wive the payroll tax for affected workers, and his intent to financially help workers who are quarantined or otherwise working from home.
Trump noted that testing and testing capabilities, as well as anti-viral production, is expanding rapidly and the risk to young, healthy Americans is very low. But he did warn the elderly to take extra precautions.
“No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,” Trump finished.”We are all in this together.”