WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said during Wednesday’s White House press briefing that he will be invoking the Defense Production Act.
“Right after we finish this conference, I’ll be signing it and it’s prepared to go,” Trump said.
CNN reported last month that the Trump administration was considering using the 1950 wartime law to expand the production of masks and protective gear to prevent the spread of the virus.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Defense Department will make available up to 5 million N95 masks and other personal protective equipment from US strategic reserves.
“The first 1 million masks will be available immediately,” he said.
He also said they are also prepared to distribute “up to 2,000 operational deployable ventilators for use as needed” the Department of Health and Human Services.
Readying the ships
On Wednesday, President Trump announced the Comfort and the Mercy, two mobile field hospitals that have full resuscitation and emergency stabilizing surgical capabilities, are being prepared to take care of patients off of the coast of New York and California.
According to the Navy website the facility is “designed to be assembled and operational in 10 days,” as a self-sustaining medical facility.
HUD to stop evictions
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will also be providing immediate relief by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.
Speaking at the White House, Trump said the move from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would provide relief during the coronavirus outbreak.
There are growing fears in the White House and on Capitol Hill that the coronavirus outbreak could send the economy into a damaging recession — and that aggressive intervention by Washington is needed immediately to reverse course.