Thursday, March 19, 2020

Trump signs the Defense Production Act to Combat Coronavirus

President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to expand production of ventilators, masks and other emergency medical supplies. The DPA requires companies to accept and prioritize contracts from the government and to prioritize "materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense."

At the same news briefing, Vice President Pence said that the Department of Health and Human Services soon will issue a regulation to “allow all doctors and medical professionals to practice across state lines to meet the needs of hospitals that may arise in the adjoining areas.”

Trump stated last night that, "I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!"

Read more about it:

What exactly is the Defense Production Act?
Source: Navy Times
March 19, 2020
President Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked a Korean War-era law as part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to boost private industry production of supplies needed for the health crisis.

New Jersey asks for Military Intervention and More News about the Coronavirus Epidemic

  • New Jersey has reported over 400 positive cases of COVID-19 and five deaths, according to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He is requesting that the military get involved due to shortages of hospital beds. Senator Menendez joined the New Jersey Delegation in a letter to Trump, which reads in part:

    “The State of New Jersey is already working around the clock to revitalize and expand hospital infrastructure, but it will need support from the federal government to be sufficiently prepared for the anticipated influx of severe COVID-19 cases,” New Jersey’s congressional delegation wrote in a letter to President Trump. “New Jersey has already mobilized its national guard to investigate how to increase hospital infrastructure. Furthermore, our state’s Health Commissioner has been working with hospitals in reopening closed hospital wings, and is reviewing if it is possible to restore a closed hospital. Support at the federal level will help our state to meet its needs and allow those who contract the coronavirus to receive lifesaving healthcare.”

  • Mental Health America (MHA) announced that 1,015 additional mental health screeners nationwide have screened with a severe anxiety result in the month since the coronavirus worry began to emerge. “We have been monitoring an overall increase in anxiety screening since the middle of February, when concerns about COVID-19 began to grow,” reported Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA

  • In a ruling that blocks the Trump Administration’s stricter work requirements for certain recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the attorneys general for 19 states, the District of Columbia, the City of New York, and 3 private plaintiffs, to temporarily block the finalized rule that would have gone into effect on April 1, and stripped benefits from an estimated 700,000 able-bodied adults without dependents, or ABAWDs.

    Even without the ruling, the Family First legislation that was just passed to assist Americans during the Coronavirus crisis suspends this requirement temporarily.

  • To meet the needs of borrowers who may be impacted by the coronavirus, last week Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) reminded mortgage servicers that hardship forbearance is an option for borrowers who are unable to make their monthly mortgage payment,” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said in a statement.

  • “As with any other event that negatively impacts a borrower’s ability to pay their monthly mortgage payment, FHA’s suite of loss mitigation options provides solutions that mortgagees should offer to distressed borrowers – including those that could be impacted by the Coronavirus – to help prevent them from going into foreclosure. These home retention options are located in FHA’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 Section III.A.2,” FHA said in a statement

  • Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), to introduce legislation that would ensure Americans are able to vote this year, despite disruptions caused by COVID-19. The bill would expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states, and allowing voters who did not receive an absentee ballot to use a printable ballot currently only provided for military and overseas voters. The legislation comes as five states have already postponed primaries in response to the pandemic.