News and Commentary

Trump Announces New Emergency Action To Combat Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: US President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening coronavirus crisis on March 11, 2020. President Trump said the US will suspend all travel from Europe for the next 30 days. Since December 2019, coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than 109,000 people and killed more than 3,800 people in 105 countries.
Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday night that the administration was taking emergency action to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China.

In a unifying speech, Trump announced that he was suspending all travel coming from Europe, excluding the U.K., and also highlighted the economic actions that he was enacting to prevent economic hardship from hitting those impacted by the coronavirus.

“My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak with you about our nation’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world,” Trump began. “We have been in frequent contact with our allies and we are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.”

“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” Trump said. “Our team is the best anywhere of the world. At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years. We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest-level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrible infection.”

“Taking early, intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe,” Trump continued. “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”

“After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans,” Trump said. “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at mid-night.”

Trump announced that the administration was cutting tape in a race to get a vaccine ready for the public as fast as possible.

Trump encouraged to elderly population to be very careful and avoid travel in crowded areas and urged nursing homes to suspend all medically unnecessary visits.

“To ensure that working Americans impacted by the virus can stay home without fear of financial hardship, I will soon be taking emergency action, which is unprecedented, to provide financial relief. This will be targeted for workers who are ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to coronavirus,” Trump continued. “I will be asking Congress to take legislative action to extend this relief.”

“To provide extra support for American workers, families, and businesses, tonight I am announcing the following additional actions: I am instructing the Small Business Administration to exercise available authority to provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus,” Trump continued. “Effective immediately, the SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories. These low-interest loans will help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus. To this end, I am asking Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $50 billion.”

“Using emergency authority, I will be instructing the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted. This action will provide more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy,” Trump added. “Finally, I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief. Hopefully they will consider this very strongly.”

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