Trump declares a national emergency — what you need to know
Walmart, Target, other execs join coronavirus fight
Executives from the private sector, including Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Becton Dickenson (BD), Quest Diagnostics, Roche, Signify, LabCorp, CVS, and LHC Group, join President Trump to discuss what is being done to combat coronavirus in the U.S.
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will join FOX Business' Lou Dobbs Friday at 7PM ET.
Calling them "two very big words," President Trump declared a "national emergency" Friday afternoon, pledging $50 billion dollars to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus,” the president declared.
So what does the national emergency entail?
New Powers for Health and Human Services
Trump said he was giving "broad new authority" to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to give "maximum flexibility to respond to the coronavirus and care for patients." That would involve the waiving of federal regulations for doctors and hospitals. Doctors are licensed by individual states and are only allowed to practice in states where they hold a license. These new powers, Trump said would allow for hospitals "to bring additional physicians on board" and increase "telehealth" opportunities, which utilize electronic information and telecommunications technologies.
Tapping Into Corporate Resources
The administration will attempt to expand coronavirus testing around the country by implementing "drive-through" sites at retailers, including Walmart and Target.
"When we got the call yesterday from the White House we were eager to do our part to help serve the country given what we are facing that is certainly important to do. We should all be doing that," Doug McMillion the CEO of Walmart, said at the Whtie House Rose Garden press conference, "So we've been asked to make portions of our parking lot available in select locations in the beginning and scaling over time as supply increases so that people can experience the drive-through (testing) experience."
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McMillon was joined by the CEOs of Walgreens, CVS and Target who also pledged support. Added McMillion, the head of the country's largest retailer, "We'll stay involved and do everything we can do from the supply chain point of view to be of assistance."
In addition, Trump said, "Google is helping to develop a website to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing." The tech giant, according to the president, has "1,700 engineers working on this right now."
David Pierre, the COO of Signify a high tech mobile clinician network, said his company was prepared to expand the cause of testing.
"We stand ready to help and provide our clinicians to be where they are needed be they in retail clinics or the home,” he said.
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Trump said the Department of Energy would purchase more crude oil for the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in the wake of the recent price war between Russia and Saudia Arabia which also threatens U.S shale companies and recently helped roil the stock market. Of the energy reserves, Trump said he was "going to fill it up to the top."
Student Loan Help
While offering few details Trump said he will be waiving "interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies and that will be until further notice.” The move, he said, was designed to "help our students and their families."
After a chaotic week in the stock market — including a dramatic drop following a prime time address by the president on Tuesday — Friday's announcement was greeted well on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average shot up nearly 2,000 points, about 10 percent, at the announcement's start and The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also surged more than 9 percent.
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