The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2020
** PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP HAS MOBILIZED THE FULL RESOURCES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS
“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people. I will always put the wellbeing of America first.” – President Donald J. Trump
MOBILIZING ALL FEDERAL RESOURCES: President Donald J. Trump is leveraging the full power of the Federal Government to protect the health and safety of the American people.
* President Trump is exercising statutory authorities to declare a national emergency in response to the coronavirus.
* The unprecedented action the President is taking invites States, territories, and tribes to access over $42 billion in existing funding to combat the coronavirus.
+ The Administration has taken decisive action to ensure State, local, and tribal leaders have the resources they need to provide protective measures for their communities.
+ The Small Business Administration also has authority and available funding to make over $7 billion in loans to qualifying small businesses to assist economic recovery.
* President Trump is directing further actions across his Administration in response to the coronavirus.
+ The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced guidance to limit medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes to protect vulnerable elderly Americans
+ The Secretary of the Education will be waiving interest on all student loans held by the Federal Government.
+ The President is directing the Department of Energy to purchase large quantities of crude oil for the strategic reserve.
* The President is urging every State to set up emergency operational centers and is asking every hospital to activate its emergency preparedness plan.
EMPOWERING HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: The President’s emergency declaration will give healthcare providers on the front lines of this pandemic the flexibility they need to respond.
* President Trump continues to cut through every piece of unnecessary red tape that may hinder our response efforts and make every Federal resource available.
* The President will empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive provisions of certain laws and regulations and give maximum flexibility to healthcare providers to care for their patients.
* The declaration will provide HHS with critical authorities to waive:
+ Certain laws to enable telehealth, remote doctors’ visits, and hospital check-ins
+ Licensing requirements so doctors from other states can provide services in areas with the greatest need.
+ Critical Access Hospital requirements to allow those hospitals to have more beds and longer lengths of stay
+ The requirement of a 3-day hospital stay prior to admission to a nursing home.
+ Rules hindering hospitals’ ability to bring additional physicians on board or obtain needed office space.
+ Restrictions on where hospitals can care for patients.
* The Administration will be working to eliminate every obstacle possible to ensure healthcare providers can deliver Americans the care they need.
RAPIDLY EXPANDING TESTING: The Trump Administration is working to rapidly expand coronavirus testing across the nation and make sure Americans who need them have access.
* President Trump is mobilizing resources across the Federal Government to accelerate testing and expand access for more Americans.
+ The President wants to make sure that those who need a test can get a test safely, quickly, and conveniently.
* The Administration is working with the private sector to open up drive-through testing collection sites in critical areas impacted by the coronavirus.
* The Administration is working with Google to develop a website Americans can go to determine whether a test is needed and, if so, facilitate testing at a nearby location.
* The Food and Drug Administration is issuing emergency authorization for new commercial coronavirus tests that will help significantly expand testing across the country.
+ One new test produced by Roche has already been authorized and authorization is coming for another test very shortly.
+ Up to 2 million additional tests are expected to be available next week thanks to these efforts.
* President Trump and his Administration are working to provide maximum flexibility for States to approve labs for coronavirus testing.
* HHS recently announced it is providing funding to help accelerate the development of two rapid diagnostic tests.
* The Administration has designated Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir to take the lead in coordinating testing efforts to ensure seamless access for patients, doctors, and hospitals.
* The Administration continues to cut red tape that restricted who qualifies for testing.