The saying “May we live in interesting times” is proving a bit too “interesting” these days. However, we are brilliant and innovative Americans and we are doing what we do best, which is adapting and figuring out ways to make things work.
Along these lines, I wanted to share today’s updates from The White House, including the long list of everything President Trump and his Administration are doing to respond to the Wuhan Coronavirus. (See below.)
Additionally, so many of you have signed up for the training sessions we’ve scheduled for late March and April. We are working hand-in-hand with the RNC to move our March 28th trainings to virtual sessions, and we hope you can participate online from home. We will keep you apprised of our April sessions, in case these need to be virtual, as well. For our Grassroots Meeting, please still plan to join us on March 25th as we will all meet via conference call, rather than in person!
“Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” – 2 Chronicles 20:15
Be well, my friends,
Maryland National Committeewoman
Republican National Committee
Paid for and authorized by Nicolee Ambrose.
HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force Discuss Progress on Response Efforts
SLASHING RED TAPE AT THE FDA
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, I want to share with you exciting progress that the FDA is making with the private sector as we slash red tape like nobody has ever done it before.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I’ve directed the FDA to eliminate outdated rules and bureaucracy so this work can proceed rapidly, quickly, and, I mean, fast. And we have to remove every barrier.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies and we’re working on scaling these to allow many more Americans to access different drugs that have shown really good progress – really good promise.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The FDA has also approved compassionate use for a significant number of patients.”
PROGRESS ON THERAPEUTICS
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus. Now, a drug called Chloroquine and some people would add to it Hydroxychloroquine … it’s shown very encouraging – very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “There are promising therapies produced by Gilead, and that’s Remdesivir, Remdesivir. And that’s a drug used for other purposes that’s been out and it’s had very good results for other purposes, but it seems to have a very good result having to do with this virus. And that drug also has been approved, or very close to approved in that case, by the FDA.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “The FDA is committed to continuing to provide regulatory flexibility and guidance. But let me make one thing clear. FDA’s responsibility to the American people is to ensure that products are safe and effective. And — we are continuing to do that.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “On testing, we want the American people to know, once again, that testing is available in all 50 states and is becoming increasingly available literally every hour of the day.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Because of the public-private partnership that the President initiated several weeks ago with major commercial labs, I am pleased to receive a report today that tens of thousands of tests are being performed every day.”
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “With the passage of last night’s legislations, state and private labs are now required, by law, to report all coronavirus testing directly to the CDC, which will give the American public, and also give our researchers, timely and important information.”
HEALTHCARE EQUIPMENT SUPPLIES
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We continue to work with health care providers, businesses, and state leadership to identify available supplies, not merely in the federal stockpile, but much more importantly, available across the private sector.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Following the signing of last night’s bill, all of those masks now have liability protection and the companies can sell industrial masks to hospitals.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We’re seeing a dramatic increase in production. Honeywell alone is repurposing a factory that was destined for Mexico to produce another 120 million masks per year. 3M is increasing output to 420 million masks per year.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We’ve literally identified tens of thousands of ventilators that can be converted to treat patients. And we remain increasingly confident that we will have the ventilators that we need as the coronavirus makes its way across America.”
CALL FOR BLOOD DONATIONS
SURGEON GENERAL ADAMS: “Blood centers are open now and in need of your donation. I want America to know that blood donation is safe and blood centers are taking extra precautions at this time based on new CDC recommendations.”
SURGEON GENERAL ADAMS: “Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement. So give blood today.”
MAKING SHIPS AVAILABLE FOR RESPONSE EFFORTS
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “One of the things that happened this morning: I spoke with Micky Arison of carnival cruise lines, and he’s going to make ships available.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “So in addition to the big medical ships that you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they will be docked at New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco – different places. So I want to thank Mickey Arison. That’s carnival cruise line.”
What You Need To Know | President Trump’s Decisive Action on Coronavirus: Containment, Mitigation, and Innovation
President Trump has taken action to stem the spread of the virus, mitigate its impact on the U.S., and find innovative solutions to address this outbreak.
CONTAINMENT: President Trump has taken action to restrict travel from impacted areas and secure our borders.
- President Trump implemented travel restrictions on travel from China in January.
- The President placed further travel restrictions on Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Iran.
- The Administration raised travel warnings to their highest level for hot spot locations.
- The President expanded airport screenings and instituted mandatory quarantines.
- The U.S. and Canada have mutually agreed to close the northern border to nonessential travel.
MITIGATION: President Trump is working every day to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus here in the United States.
- The Administration is keeping the public informed so that every American can do their part.
- The Administration launched a website – coronavirus.gov – to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
- The President announced guidelines for Americans to follow and do their part to stem the spread of the virus.
- The President launched a partnership with the Ad Council, media networks, and digital platforms to communicate public services announcements about the coronavirus.
- The Task Force has recommended mitigation strategies to heavily impacted communities, like those in New York, Washington, and California.
- CMS announced guidance to protect vulnerable elderly Americans and limit medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes.
- President Trump is working to ensure healthcare providers have the resources and flexibility they need to respond to this outbreak.
- In January, the Administration declared the coronavirus to be a public health emergency.
- The President announced he is invoking the Defense Production Act.
- The President signed a memorandum directing his Administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers.
- HHS announced it will be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile.
- The Department of Defense announced it will be providing 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to assist.
- The President took action to give HHS authority to waive rules and regulations so that healthcare providers have maximum flexibility to respond to this outbreak.
- CMS dramatically expanded telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries, ensuring more patients can access their doctors remotely while avoiding exposure.
- CMS and the VA are working to limit nonessential, elective medical procedures to free up healthcare resources.
- The Navy will be deploying two medical ships to help support impacted areas.
- The President is rapidly expanding testing across the country to identify cases.
- The FDA issued emergency approval for new commercial coronavirus tests to significantly expand testing across the country.
- HHS is providing funding to help accelerate the development of rapid diagnostic tests for the coronavirus.
- The FDA is empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by laboratories in their states.
- The Administration is ensuring that all Americans can be tested regardless of their financial situation.
- The President secured legislation to ensure Americans are able to be tested for free.
- CMS is giving flexibility to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus tests and treatment.
- The Administration announced that health plans with health savings accounts will be able to cover coronavirus testing and treatment without co-payments.
- President Trump is supporting working Americans and their families who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
- The Administration negotiated legislation which will provide tax credits for eligible businesses that give paid leave to Americans affected by the virus.
- The Administration took action to provide more flexibility in unemployment insurance programs for workers impacted by the coronavirus.
- The President has directed the Education Department to waive interest on student loans held by the federal government.
- The Administration is deferring tax payments for certain impacted individuals and businesses.
- USDA announced a new collaboration with the private sector to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals a week to students in rural schools closed due to the coronavirus.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development is halting foreclosures and evictions for families with FHA-insured mortgages.
- The Administration is providing relief for businesses who have been affected by this outbreak.
- The Small Business Administration has announced disaster loans which provide impacted businesses with up to $2 million.
- The President directed the Energy Department to purchase large quantities of crude oil for the strategic reserve.
- President Trump has held calls and meetings with leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, airlines, health insurers, grocery stores, retail stores, banks, and more.
INNOVATION: President Trump is promoting innovative solutions to meet the challenges we are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Trump Administration is working with the private sector to find innovative solutions to expand testing.
- The Administration is working with the private sector to develop a website that Americans can utilize to determine whether they need a test and, if so, where to get it.
- The Administration is working with state and local partners and the private sector to open up drive-through testing sites.
- The Administration is working to help accelerate the development of therapeutics and a vaccine to combat the disease.
- The National Institutes of Health has announced the beginning of a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine candidate.
What You Need To Know | President Trump is Cutting Red Tape and Empowering Coronavirus Response Efforts________________________________
President Trump is cutting red tape to empower federal, state, local, and private sector response efforts.
PROVIDING FLEXIBILITY FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS
- President Trump took action to give HHS the authority to waive certain rules and regulations to provide flexibility to healthcare providers in response to the coronavirus emergency.
- The President signed legislation removing restrictions preventing manufacturers from selling industrial masks – which can readily protect healthcare workers – directly to hospitals.
EXPEDITING AND EXPANDING TESTING
- FDA empowered certain qualified laboratories to use validated coronavirus tests while their Emergency Use Authorization requests were under review.
- The FDA took action to empower states to authorize tests developed and used within their borders.
ENABLING MORE TELEHEALTH
- CMS removed restrictions on telehealth for Medicare patients, dramatically expanding access across the country.
- HHS lifted HIPAA penalties to enable healthcare providers to expand telehealth for their patients.
- The Department of Education has given broad approval to colleges and universities to allow them to more easily move their classes online.
- USDA waived certain requirements to allow children to continue receiving meals during school closures.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES
- SBA relaxed criteria for disaster assistance loans – greatly expanding small businesses’ access to economic assistance.
What The Admin Is Saying | Secretary Mnuchin Discusses the Administration’s Economic Response on Fox Business
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joined Fox Business this morning to discuss the Administration’s economic response to the coronavirus outbreak.
RELIEF FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, FAMILIES, AND BUSINESSES
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “The President is determined to go big and support the American economy.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “We’ve announced a trillion-dollar plan. The first part of this is $300 billion that goes to small businesses. That money needs to be used to hiring people, keeping people on the payroll. And if they do, there will be loan forgiveness on that afterwards.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “The second component, and you know I referred to this as checks in mail. But that’s — it’s really money direct deposited. Most people we have all their information. And the plan is $500 billion in two tranches. The first one would be a $1,000 per person, $500 per child. So for a family of four, that’s a $3,000 payment. As soon as Congress passes this, we get this out in three weeks. And then six weeks later, if President still has a national emergency, we’ll deliver another 3,000 dollars. So that’s a lot of money to hardworking Americans.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “The third component is $200 billion that we can use for more facilities with the FED like we’ve been doing, for secured lending to airlines, and for other critical industries.”
OVERCOMING THIS CHALLENGE
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “We are going to get through this. This is not a financial crisis that will go on for years. We are going to destroy this virus and our economy will come roaring back better than ever.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “I think you’re going to see a lot of pent-up demand. I think you’re going to see – when we get through the next few months and Americans see what’s happening and we’ve killed this virus – people are going to be comfortable going back to work, we’re going to be opening back businesses, and people are going to continue what they do. You know, they’re going to live, they’re going to shop, they’re going to eat out, they’re going to enjoy restaurants and travel and entertainment. And we will go back to a normal world.”
SUPPORT FOR AMERICAN BUSINESSES
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “This isn’t a bailout. So, let me just say, you know, that for small businesses, we’re providing liquidity. If people have shut down their restaurants because they’ve been told to, that’s not bailout. We’re doing things to encourage them to keep their workers. And as relates to the big companies like the airlines, we’re looking at making secured loans on market terms.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “These are about very, very good companies that have been instructed to shut down, so they need liquidity. That’s with what they need. And in most cases, my expectation is they’ll be able to pay back those loans. In the case of small businesses, if they can’t afford to pay back those loans, we’ll forgive them.”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “Yesterday, I was very pleased to see Mark Calabria announce that both Fannie and Freddie are going to suspend foreclosures for 90 days. They’re also going to issue forbearance. HUD did the same thing. So that’s a giant part of the market.”