President Donald Trump announced that he will be invoking the Defense Production Act in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The president told reporters during Wednesday’s White House press briefing that he would be invoking the 1950 wartime law “just in case we need it.”
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
“I think you all know what it is and it can do a lot of good things and we need it. We will be completing it, signing it in just a little while, right after we finish this conference, I’ll be signing it and it’s prepared to go,” Trump said.
The move would help increase the production of medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the spread of the virus as all 50 states and the District of Columbia have confirmed cases. The president’s announcement came after many calls from lawmakers to invoke the act which would mobilize private industry in the production of protective gear, such as masks, to deal with the pandemic.
On Monday I called on President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act. Today he did so. Now we must take bold and immediate action to protect Americans from the coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/fHYFv9Nskw
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) March 18, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden also demanded that Trump sign the order after the president had already said he would.
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
Trump also noted during Wednesday’s press conference that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been activated in the U.S.
“Today, FEMA is activated in every region. We are at level one, level one being the highest level which we will work with, and we’ve been working with FEMA. I’ve done a lot of work with FEMA. They’re incredible. It’s always been on hurricanes or tornadoes,” Trump said. “This is a very different kind of a work for FEMA, but they will come through as they always do. We have tremendous people, tremendous talent in FEMA.”
He also confirmed that a US Navy ship was being deployed to New York City and another to a West Coast location to help with hospital needs.
“They are being prepared right now. They’re massive ships. They are the big, white ships with the Red Cross on the sides,” Trump said.
The president addressed suspending foreclosures and evictions as well.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April,” he said.
While the president was announcing all of the updated actions in response to the outbreak, the liberal media continued to pander to the Chinese government, repeatedly confronting Trump about the names being used for COVID-19.
“Why do you keep calling this the ‘Chinese Virus’,” one agitated reporter asked.
“It’s not racist at all,” Trump calmly replied. “No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”
REPORTER: “Why do you keep calling this the ‘Chinese Virus’.. a lot of people say it’s racist?”
TRUMP: “Because it comes from China, its not racist at all. It comes from China.. I want to be accurate.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 18, 2020
He doubled down when pressed again, referring to China’s contention that the U.S. is responsible for the virus.
“I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point — maybe they’ve stopped now — that it was caused by American soldiers,” Trump said Wednesday. “That can’t happen. It’s not going to happen, not as long as I’m president. It comes from China.”
CLIP: President Trump is asked about the term ‘Kung Flu’
Watch complete news conference here: https://t.co/GwQnJ0pwmo pic.twitter.com/ElDbKUvrgU
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 18, 2020
The president was also asked about a White House staffer who allegedly used the term “Kung Flu” to describe the illness.
“I wonder who said that…I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent. It comes from China,’ Trump said.
Twitter users ridiculed the media for focusing on the wrong things again in an effort to make the president look bad.
It is so tragically appropriate that we should spiral into a great depression while arguing about what we should call the virus that started it
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 18, 2020
and it’s all because people keep thinking “orange man bad”
— elizabeth 🇺🇸 (@elizabethhwang_) March 18, 2020
Does she realize the attitude in her voice when she asks the question?
— Paul Clement (@411Clement) March 18, 2020
I find it ironic that they claim it’s racist to call it the Chinese Virus but they’re so willing to call Russia the enemy of the country and don’t even worry about how that affects Russian Americans.
— Cori 🐰 (@_montoni) March 18, 2020
What do you call food from China? What do you call checkers from China? What do you call lanterns from China?
— Brent Chappell (@brentchappell) March 18, 2020
God I LOVE @realDonaldTrump and @VP @WhiteHouse @PressSec
for sticking to their guns and calling it the CHINESE VIRUS. We do NOT let the media or China decide WHAT WE SAY IN THIS COUNTRY. #ChineseVirus
— Minnis B Maga 🇺🇸 (@bemin7412) March 18, 2020
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