Wuhan Coronavirus: Trump Shoots Down National Lockdown, Suspends Interest on Federally Held Student Loan Payments
On a national lockdown: “We are working with the governors and I don’t think we’ll ever find it necessary.”
President Donald Trump told the media that the government “temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans” for 60 days. The Department of Education chose not to”enforce standardized testing requirements for the current school year.”
Trump also shot down rumors that his administration will force a national lockdown.
A few states have chosen to basically lockdown, but Trump said it won’t happen at the national level:
President Trump does not think a national lockdown order is needed as the US continues to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump’s remarks Friday afternoon come after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 100% of non-essential workers should stay home.
“I don’t think so,” Trump said when asked about the need for a national lockdown. “Essentially you’ve done that California and New York have done that. I don’t think so. Because you go out to the midwest and other locations and they’re watching their television but they don’t have the same problems.”
Trump added: “We are working with the governors and I don’t think we’ll ever find it necessary.”
Many districts have closed their schools and some do not when they will reopen. The DoE decided not to enforce standardized test requirements for this year.
Trump also chose to waive interest “on student loans and federally held student loan payments will be suspended for 60 days.”
He said if they need to extend it they will.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Mexico and the U.S. have restricted travel except for trade and workers:
“President Trump announced on Wednesday, the United States and Canada jointly agreed to restrict non essential traffic across ourborders, it goes into effect at midnight and excluding crossing the border unless for work or other essential reasons. The United States and Mexico have agreed to restrict non-essential travels across our shared border. Both our countries know the importance of working together to limit the spread of the virus,” Pompeo said.
Following Pence’s remarks, Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary, said neither agreement with Canada or Mexico applies to lawful trade or commerce.
“We’ll continue to maintain a strong supply chain across our border,” Wolf said.
Defense Production Act
From The Wall Street Journal:
President Trump said that he would start using his powers under a Korean War-era law to increase the production of ventilators and masks, as hospitals around the country warn of shortages.
“I invoked the Defense Production Act, and last night we put it into gear,” Mr. Trump said Friday in the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House. “We are invoking it to use the power of the federal government to help the states get things they need like masks and ventilators.”
He didn’t immediately provide more details, and he made conflicting statements on whether he had ordered companies to make more equipment—at one point saying he hadn’t and later saying he had. Mr. Trump declined to name any companies that had been mandated to produce medical supplies. The president said auto maker General Motors had expressed interest in producing ventilators.
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