About an hour ago, President Trump held a press conference in which he significantly ratcheted up the federal response for the foreign Chinese Wuhan Kung-Flu virus.
President Trump announced Wednesday he will invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow the administration to force American industry to ramp up production of medical supplies that are in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Hospitals and states have pleaded with the administration for more supplies to protect doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic.
“There’s never been an instance like this where no matter what you have it’s not enough,” Trump said at a White House briefing with reporters.
“If we need to use it, we’ll be using it at full speed ahead.”
The invocation of the Defense Production Act is a direct response to the possibility of a shortage of procedure masks for medical personnel.
Other things are also happening
Big news today from @realDonaldTrump:
He is invoking the Defense Production Act to mobilize the private sector.
FEMA is fully engaged.
HUD is suspending foreclosures & evictions through April.
US Navy hospital ships are being mobilized.pic.twitter.com/VFeptL6lsQ
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) March 18, 2020
USNS Comfort and Mercy are being prepared for duty. This won’t be quick and it is a double-edged sword as the medical personnel will be reservists who are activated and taken from other medical facilities where they now work as civilians. US Army Corps of Engineers specialists are doing site visits of substandard hospital emergency suites in New York to begin work on renovating them (they will be engineers, architects, and procurement types developing specifications for contracts, not actual construction teams). FEMA teams are being dispatched…based on its history, I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. And the border with Mexico will be closed even to people seeking asylum.
Trump says FEMA is activated in every region, at the "highest level" https://t.co/PWA8oleIi0
— Bloomberg (@business) March 18, 2020
President just confirmed that he plans to enact travel restrictions on the southern border with Mexico to non-essential travel.
Here's my story on how travel restrictions on the northern and southern border will likely work: https://t.co/hkRt0ihZtU
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 18, 2020
While we can debate the necessity and efficacy of those moves ad infinitum, what can’t be debated is the political impact. This is the federal government basically pulling out all of the stops.
Then we have this:
biden sends out a statement demanding trump invoke the Defense Production Act minutes after trump…invokes the Defense Production Act pic.twitter.com/D2R0EnoBVg
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) March 18, 2020
Instead of throwing in random suggestions from the sideline, the Biden campaign is struggling to play catch-up. But never fear, by next week Biden will be claiming credit for it.