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National Emergency – Two Very Big Words

Empty Shelves
America hoards toilet paper in the face of a global pandemic

Yesterday afternoon President Donald Trump declared a U.S. national emergency to combat the spread of the Chinavirus (COVID-19) which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic. Today at a noon press conference the President revealed that he has been tested for contamination and is awaiting the results to be returned from the lab.

“I had my temperature taken coming into the room … I also took the test last night,” Trump told the press corp who also had to have their temperature taken to enter the White House briefing room. One CNN reporter had a high temperature and was turned away from the presser. VP Mike Pence said that he would be talking with the White House physicians after the press conference and happily get tested himself. The new temperature reading protocols for entering the White House and testing of leaders at the highest level of government confirmed the seriousness of the epidemic.

On Monday travel restriction that went into effect for continental Europe last night will be extended to England and Ireland. President Trump initially banned Travel from China at the end of January but as Chinavirus spreads new hot spots must be restricted. It’s important to note that these travel restrictions do not prevent US citizens and green card holders from entering the country but they will need to be screened and possibly quarantined when they deplane.

The prospect of restricting domestic travel was raised by reporters and it was confirmed that the administration is considering closing off travel from select US locations. “If you don’t have to travel, I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said and he also praised retailers like Apple for closing their stores. The President suggested that people stop shaking hands and said he understood the impulse to hoard supplies and food. The goal of all these executive orders and policies is to slow community spread of the Chinavirus and thereby “flatten the curve” of infection.

The positive impact of social distancing

At yesterday’s Rose Garden announcement President Trump said, “To unleash the full power of the federal government to this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency – two very big words.” With over 2,000 cases of infection and over 50 deaths recorded in different regions of the country the Chinavirus is national. Because the USA is in the early stages of this pandemic infecting its people it is and emergency. Yesterday’s declaration opens up to $50 million in funds that can be moved to state and local governments to fight the contagion.

During the President’s announcement yesterday the financial markets rallied and the Dow took off like a rocket ship finishing the day up almost 10%. Later in the day the House passed bipartisan legislation to mitigate the financial impact of the Chinavirus on the American people. Trump is supporting the legislative relief and the Senate is scheduled to vote on it next week.

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