Today’s White House coronavirus press briefing revealed that President Donald Trump has ordered that foreclosures and evictions cease for 60 days in an effort to mitigate the unemployment caused by coronavirus job losses. The briefing also outlined steps being taken to mass produce masks and ventilators in an expedited manner.
Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said President Donald Trump ordered the “immediate cessations” of foreclosure and eviction proceedings. The White House also asked those who are struggling with mortgage payments to contact their providers to discuss forebearance on loans where unemployment is an issue.
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Many cities and counties have already taken steps to halt those processes, although the federal order will add teeth to those efforts.
Discussions continue on an economic stabilization package of about $1.3 trillion to $1.4 trilliion. If an agreement is reached in the House, the Senate could consider the package as soon as Monday.
The issue of a lack of medical supplies was raised, with the administration insisting that they are recruiting companies to mass produce needed masks and ventilators. President Trump said he had not used the Defense Production Act because of a volunteer effort by companies such as Hanes, which is retrofit its normal apparel lines to produce masks.
“We want them on the open market from the standpoint of pricing,” Trump said, adding Honeywell, 3M, and Pernod Ricard USA as other companies stepping up.
Just under 200,000 Americans displaying coronavirus infection symptoms have been tested, according to Vice President Mike Pence. He advised against panic testing in order not to overwhelm medical facilities.
“If you don’t have symptoms, don’t do a test,” Pence said. “It is another way that the American people can make sure that we are preserving resources.”
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