President Trump in an Oval Office address said he is taking “strong but necessary” actions to keep new cases of the Coronavirus from entering the United States by restricting all travel from Europe for 30 days, and taking “emergency action” with a series of stimulus measures to prop up the American economy from the side effects.
“We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people,” Trump said during a prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office Wednesday night. “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
The restriction will go into effect Friday at midnight, and will not apply to Great Britain.
“We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus,” Trump said, calling the Coronavirus a “horrible infection.” “These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.”
Trump said health insurance companies have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments and extend insurance coverage for the treatment and prevent surprise medical billing.
Regarding efforts to help bolster the economy after the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak has sent the markets into a tailspin and erased more than half of the gains it had made since Trump was elected, Trump announced several relief measures.
“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,” the president said.
He called on Congress to pass a temporary payroll tax cut and authorized the Treasury Department to defer tax payments without penalties for businesses and individuals who have been affected. Such measure would effectively give businesses $200 billion in liquidity.
Lastly, Trump announced that he has instructed the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans to businesses in areas hit by the pandemic to help overcome temporary economic disruptions. He asked Congress to increase funding to the program by $50 billion.
“This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation,” Trump said.
Following his address, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced the president’s events in Nevada and Colorado this week is canceled “out of an abundance of caution.”