Sunday Coronavirus Update: National Guard Support Activated

Sunday Coronavirus Update: National Guard Support Activated

Indianapolis – March 22, 2020 – President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force team updated the nation and media on Sunday in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.  The president began the briefing wishing good health to the Republican Congress Members who have tested positive for COVID-19 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Last Friday, the National Guard announced the deployment of 1,000 troops across six states as part of the national support response to the coronavirus pandemic efforts. Today, President Trump said that there would be no cost to the states for the NG assistance. As authorized, New York, California and Washington states have National Guard troops deployed in support in these efforts.

The president discussed the naval ship “Mercy being deployed to address the surging capacity of people being tested positive for the coronavirus, along with eight large federal medical stations & four small medical stations with 2,000 beds, and that as soon tonight the White House may approve a disaster declaration for California,” President Trump said. In addition, he said, that an “approved disaster declaration for Washington state happened earlier today and Washington will receive three large federal medical stations & four small medical stations with 2,000 beds.”

Regarding New York, President Trump stated that FEMA would provide 4 larger stations with 1,000 beds in New York this week. The Army Corps of Engineers will provide support to build “alternate care sites” in New York. The president listed all the medical supplies so far sent to New York: 186,416 N95 masks, 444,078 surgical masks, 84,560 face-shields, 68,944 surgical gowns and 245,486 gloves.  “All supplies sent to New York were from federal stockpile to help with coronavirus outbreak,” President Trump said.

President Trump signed Bill S. 3503 on Saturday and said “it will ensure the GI bill covers distance learning.” The S. 3503 bill is to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to treat certain programs of education converted to distance learning by reason of emergencies and health-related situations in the same manner as programs of education pursued at educational. President Trump also praised Honeywell for producing millions in N95 masks.

“We’re at war,” President Trump said, noting, “this is a challenging time and we will meet the moment. As long as we are united, we’re enduring a great national trial. … As long as I am your president you can be confident that I will always fight for you. The enemy is now attacking 144 countries and it is vicious, but we will be totally victorious.”

(courtesy of White House Twitter)

Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, Peter Navarro spoke briefly saying “We are getting what we need without the heavy hand of government coming down.”  Explaining that the President hasn’t actually employed his powers under the Defense Production Act just yet. Navarro also had a message to hoarders: if you got any large quantities of material that this country needs right now, get them to market or get them to us. We’ll pay you a fair price. But if you don’t do that, we’re going to come for you.” 

FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, mentioning the call-up of National Guard in the three states emphasized, “This is not martial law.” The National Guard is routinely called upon to assist local areas in times of emergencies.

(courtesy of White House Twitter)

Vice President Pence took the podium following Administrator Gaynor, he started out by speaking so highly of the bipartisan spirit of the negotiations on Capitol Hill to reach the next stimulus package, a package that so far is struggling to gain needed support. Vice President Pence updated everyone on the numbers of people who have received coronavirus test which is “254,000 people and about 30,000 people have tested positive.” Vice President Pence touched on the CDC and DHS that will issue guidance tomorrow that will allow those exposed to coronavirus to return to work more quickly by wearing a mask.

(courtesy of Mike Pence & White House Twitter)

Remarks from the Coronavirus Task Force follow:

Full video of briefing:

(courtesy of Right Side Broadcasting Network)

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