During the last presidential debate, and in commercials run on television by partisan political actors, we’ve heard to an excessive degree that the Trump administration did nothing while the coronavirus pandemic ran rampant.
So, MPN decided to take a look to see exactly what was done with the help of the Washington Examiner
The publication identified 74 actions the administration took to deal with the virus.
Entire Government response:
- Declared a national emergency, providing over $42 billion in federal funding to states, territories and tribes.
- Signed legislation securing $8.3 billion for coronavirus response.
- Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response act, which American families and businesses impacted by COVID-19 would receive the strong support they needed.
- The president created the White House Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate the government’s response.
- Named Vice President Mike Pence to head lead the task force, who then appointed Dr. Deborah Birx to coordinate the White House Coronavirus Response.
- President Trump held numerous teleconferences with that nation’s governors to coordinate response efforts and to assure federal support.
- President Trump approved major disaster declarations for severely impacted states, such as New York, Washington, and California.
- In January, President Trump issued a travel ban from China as soon as that country was identified as being ground zero for the virus.
- Announced further travel restrictions from other global hotspots, including the European Union, Ireland, and Iran.
- American citizens returning from travel-restricted countries were directed to specific airports, where they would be screened and isolated as necessary.
- Mutual agreements were reached with Mexico and Canada to restrict non-essential travel across our northern and southern borders.
- The administration said it would expeditiously return aliens who cross between ports of entry or were not otherwise permitted to enter the country, since the facilities at which such persons would be detained cannot support quarantine and might have been needed to assess potential cases.
- Raised travel warnings to their highest level for other hot spot locations, including Japan and South Korea.
- The president expanded airport screenings in order to identify travelers showing symptoms of COVID-19 and instituted mandatory quarantines.
- The United States State Department issued a global level 4 travel advisory, which urged Americans to avoid all international travel due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
Expanded Testing Accessibility
- The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approval for new commercial coronavirus tests to significantly expand testing across the U.S.
- President Trump secured legislation that will ensure Americans are able to be tested for free.
- The administration worked with state and local partners, as well as the private sector, to open drive-thru testing sites.
- The administration, in cooperation with the private sector, worked to develop a website that Americans could use in order to determine whether they needed to get a test, and where to go.
- Health and Human Services provide funding in order to accelerate the development of rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19.
- The FDA cut red tape to expand testing availability.
- Admiral Brett Giroir—the Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the Public Health Service—has been appointed to coordinate coronavirus testing efforts.
- The FDA has empowered states to authorize tests developed and used by laboratories in their states.
- The Department of Defense set up 15 coronavirus testing sites worldwide.
- The president signed legislation which required more reporting from state and private labs in order to ensure public health officials had the data they needed in order to respond to the outbreak.
- DoD and HHS worked to airlift hundreds of thousands of swabs and sample test kits from Italy to the United States.
Supporting Impacted Businesses
- The Small Business Administration announced disaster loans which provided impacted businesses with up to $2 million.
- SBA also relaxed criteria for disaster assistance loans—expanding small businesses’ access to economic assistance.
- President Trump directed the Energy Department to purchase large quantities of crude oil to supplement the strategic oil reserve.
- President Trump has held calls and meetings with business leaders from across the board, including pharmaceutical, airlines, health insurers, grocery stores, retail stores, banks, etc.
- The Treasury Department approved the establishment of the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to provide liquidity to the financial system.
Helping Families and Working Americans
- The administration negotiated legislation which provided tax credits for eligible businesses that gave paid leave to Americans affected by the virus.
- The administration took action to provide more flexibility in unemployment insurance programs for workers impacted by the coronavirus.
- The Treasury moved Tax Day from April 15 to July 15.
- The president signed legislation that provided funding and flexibility for emergency national aid for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families.
- USDA announced new flexibility to allow meal service during school closures.
- USDA announced collaboration with the private sector in order to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals per week to students in rural schools closed due to the virus.
- The administration halted foreclosures and evictions for families with FHA-insured mortgages.
- The Department of Labor announced up to $100 million in dislocated worker grants in response to the coronavirus.
- The White House worked with the private sector to launch a website where families, students, and educators could access online technology.
- The president signed legislation to provide continuity in educational benefits for veterans and their families who attend schools that have had to switch from in-person learning due to the coronavirus.
- The Department of Education gave wide-ranging approval to colleges and universities to permit them to move classes online more easily.
- The Department of Education set interest rates on all federal-held student loans to 0% for at least 60 days
- The Department of Education also announced that borrowers could suspend their payments on federally held student loans for two months (that was eventually changed to putting student loans in forbearance until the end of the year, still interest free).
- The Department of Education provided waivers for federal testing requirements to states that have had to close schools
Informing the Public
- The administration launched a website—coronavirus.gov—to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
- The president launched a partnership with the Ad Council, media networks, and digital platforms to communicate public service announcements about the coronavirus.
- President Trump announced guidelines for Americans to follow and do their part to stem the spread of the virus.
- The Coronavirus Task Force initially held daily press conferences and briefing in order to keep the American people informed with the latest information.
- The Task Force recommended mitigation strategies at the onset of the virus to heavily impacted communities, such as those in New York, California, and Washington.
- CMS announced guidance in order to protect vulnerable elderly Americans and limit medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes (guidance which was ignored by Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), Ned Lamont (D-CT) and others, leading to higher than acceptable deaths of elderly nursing home patients.
- Supporting Patients and Healthcare Providers
- In January, the administration declared the coronavirus a public health emergency. Democrats in Congress were distracted by their obsession with the impeachment scam.
- The president donated his fourth-quarter 2019 salary to the Department of Health and Human Services for coronavirus response efforts.
- The president took action to give HHS authority to waive rules and regulations so that healthcare providers had maximum flexibility to respond to the outbreak.
- CMS gave flexibility to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus tests and treatment.
- CMS created new billing codes for coronavirus tests to promote better tracking of the public health response.
- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinated with the HIH, the tech industry, and nonprofits to release a machine-readable collection of 29,000 coronavirus research articles, intended to help scientists discover insights to virus’ genetics, incubation, treatment symptoms and prevention.
- The Trump administration announced that health plans and with health savings accounts were permitted to cover coronavirus testing and treatment without co-pays.
- CMS expanded telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries, which ensured patients could access their doctors remotely while avoiding exposure.
- HHS lifted HIPAA penalties in order to allow healthcare providers to expand telehealth access for patients.
- The Veterans Administration established 19 emergency operations centers across the country and put in place visitation restrictions to limit patients’ exposure.
- CMS and the VA are working to limit nonessential, elective medical procedures to fee up healthcare resources.
- President Trump directed two Navy hospital ships, the Mercy and the Comfort to New York and Los Angeles to add additional support to those areas.
- President Trump announced Carnival Cruise Lines would make their ships available for hospitals to use for non-COVID patients.
Strengthening Essential Medical Supplies
- President Trump announced that he would be invoking the Defense Production Act if needed.
- The president signed a memorandum which directed the administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers.
- HHS announced it would be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile.
- The Department of Defense announced it would provide 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to assist.
- President Trump signed legislation that prevented manufacturers from selling industrial masks—which can readily protect healthcare workers—directly to hospitals.
Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics
- The administration worked to accelerate the development of therapeutics and a vaccine to combat the coronavirus (Operation Warp Speed).
- The FDA conducted an evaluation of existing drugs which could possibly serve as potential therapeutics for coronavirus patients.
- The administration has been working alongside the drug manufacturing companies to ensure the drug supply chain remained intact.
- The administration expanded research and consulting with experts to better understand the transmission of coronavirus.
- The NIH began clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine, which as of today is well underway.
As a reminder, all of this took place within the first several weeks of the pandemic, while Congressional Democrats were obsessing over a sham impeachment for President Trump.
While all of this was going on, Nancy Pelosi, Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo, and others were encouraging people to “go to Chinatown, come downtown to see a show, come to our restaurants.”
Joe Biden called President Trump a xenophobe for closing our borders to China.