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What You Need To Know - President Trump Is Leading an Aggressive Coronavirus Response and Preparation Effort

March 03, 2020

The Trump Administration has taken action to aggressively prepare for any coronavirus development, including requesting new funding and authorities from Congress. Because of the decisive action taken early on by President Trump, the risk of infection for Americans remains low and precious time has been gained to implement a whole-of-government response.

  • The Administration has taken unprecedented steps to ensure that travelers do not spread the virus in the United States.
    • The President suspended entry into America of certain foreign nationals who have recently traveled to China and who pose a risk of transmitting the disease.
    • We've imposed travel restrictions on most non-citizens coming from China and Iran to America while also instituting a mandatory quarantine of Americans returning from China.
    • Airport screenings have been expanded to identify anyone showing symptoms.
    • The State Department Travel Advisory was increased to the highest level for regions of Italy and South Korea, and we are working with Italy and South Korea to create effective exit screenings for passengers coming to the United States.
  • The Administration has declared a public health emergency and has utilized reserved funding to help support response efforts to the virus, including increased education to identify cases.
  • The Trump Administration is in regular communication with State and local officials to make sure every community is prepared for any future coronavirus development.
    • On March 2, the Vice President participated in a discussion with over 50 of the Nation's governors to continue coordination with governors and state and local officials to respond to and prepare for the coronavirus.
    • On February 24, the White House met with over 40 State, county, and city health officials from over 30 States and territories on how to respond to the coronavirus.
    • On February 10, the Coronavirus Task Force provided an update at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting about the U.S. response to the coronavirus.
  • Multiple agencies are prepared to assist state and local governments in dealing with any new development that may arise from the coronavirus.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has mobilized state health departments to receive returned travelers.
    • Across the country, 62 Public Health Emergency Preparedness programs are part of the multi-agency infrastructure working on quarantine, isolation, case finding, protecting health care workers, and assuring medical supply chains.
    • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is readying over fifty teams to respond and support states and territories that may need assistance.
    • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is communicating with public housing authorities and homeless service providers.
  • The Administration has taken steps to ensure medical professionals have the tools they need to confront any outbreak of the coronavirus.
    • More than 30 million masks have been stockpiled and a request for funds to purchase additional resources has been provided to Congress.
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC are taking action to increase access to respirators, including N95S, by granting an emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow healthcare personnel to use certain industrial respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak in healthcare settings.
    • FDA issued a new policy to help expedite the availability of diagnostic tests for coronavirus in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S.
    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for providers and laboratories to test patients for coronavirus, allowing for better tracking of the public health response for this particular strain of the coronavirus to help protect people from the spread of this infectious disease.
  • The U.S. is working to expedite the development of a vaccine, therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies that can be sued both to protect from infection as well as treat people already infected and is consulting experts and expanding research to better understand the transmission of coronavirus.
    • On March 2, the President, Vice President, and members of the Coronavirus Task Force met with pharmaceutical executives to discuss how the federal government can help accelerate vaccine development.
    • In partnership with the private sector, the Department of Energy identified a potential drug target in a newly mapped protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
    • Therapeutics can be developed within months as well as monoclonal antibodies and form a bridge of a comprehensive response to effective treatment and prevention during the vaccine development timeline.
    • Between the new funding and authorities being requested, the Administration expects to allocate at least $2.5 billion in response to the coronavirus.
      • This vital funding will be used for a wide ranging response, including public health preparedness, laboratory testing, quarantine costs, and the development of vaccines.
      • The funding will increase personal protective equipment for the national stockpile.
    • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) committed of $37 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious Diseases for 26 countries affected by novel coronavirus or at high risk of its spread.
    • Agencies across the Administration are constantly communicating with their relevant stakeholders on how their policies and programs are impacted by the Coronavirus.

Mike Pence, What You Need To Know - President Trump Is Leading an Aggressive Coronavirus Response and Preparation Effort Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351027

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