Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Stimulus package, ventilators, EPA and a war of words with the governors in today’s news

Medical professionals at work. @hellomikee via Twenty20

Less than a day after downplaying the country’s need for more ventilators, President Trump enforced the  Defense Production Act and ordered General Motors to make more equipment and signed the largest stimulus package in history.

“We did activate [the Defense Production Act] with respect to General Motors and hopefully maybe we won’t even need the full activation,” he said.

Later in his daily press conference, Trump urged General Motors to build ventilators in their Lordstown facility, but that plant was closed  and sold in November. Trump had applauded the sale in May on Twitter.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown  of Ohio, took to Twitter to respond.

It was a day full of firsts.

More than 100,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus and  the national death toll has exceeded 1,500. The country has more coronavirus cases than any other country,

For days New York has ranked  as the number one  state with coronavirus cases, New York City being the ultimate epicenter.  New York has 44,635 positive cases, its numbers more than five times the number of other states. And the death toll jumped to 519, making up about 40  percent of the nation’s toll. 

The New York Times predicts that if the rate of growth in coronavirus cases continues, the New York City area will suffer a more severe outbreak than those experienced in Wuhan, China, or the Lombardy region of Italy. With 25,573 confirmed cases and 366 deaths, New York City makes over half of the state’s total cases and the majority of its death toll Just two days ago, 13 people died of coronavirus within a 24-hour period at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.  The virus is spreading quickly in other metro areas like Detroit, Miami, Chicago and New Orleans.

 

Trump also signed a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill today, the largest economic stimulus package in modern U.S. history. The CARES Act includes direct payments of $1,200 to many individual Americans, including those who earn up to $75,000, and an additional $500 per child. 

But lost in the coronavirus news storm was the The Environmental Protection Agency suspension of all  environmental laws during the coronavirus.

This caused an uproar with environmentalists, including former Vice President Al Gore.

Trump also told Vice President Mike Pence who leads the coronavirus task force, not to call governors who don’t appreciate the White House’s efforts.

“I think they should be appreciative. Because you know what? When they’re not appreciative to me, they’re not appreciative to the Army Corps [of Engineers], they’re not appreciative to FEMA. It’s not right,”he said.

Trump has been taking direct criticism from the governors of New York, Washington and Michigan, all Democrats in states that have been hard by the virus.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, has butted heads with the president. 

And Governor Gretchen Whitman of Michigan, who he refereed to as “the woman” during his press conference,  tweeted we can not lose focus on the fight to beat the virus.


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