Coronavirus: Trump Declares National Emergency, Speaks Together With Top CEOs, Shakes Their Hands

Chris Menahan
Mar. 13, 2020

President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday afternoon and moved to free up $50 billion for states to manage the coronavirus outbreak.

He spoke together with a group of top CEOs from Walmart, Target and Walgreens and more and shook many of their hands.

Hopefully, he and Pence did not catch the virus from Bolsonaro aide Fabio Wajngarten or any of the two-thirds of congress who attended AIPAC (a sixth AIPAC attendee was just diagnosed), same goes for CPAC.

Trump was asked during the press conference about standing next to Wajngarten and he said he personally feels fine and has "no symptoms."

He later said he was going to get tested regardless.

The average time for symptoms to show is 5 days.

This was pretty funny:

From NPR:
Trump said the declaration would give HHS broad authority to enable doctors and hospitals "maximum flexibility" to respond to the virus and care for patients.

He also said the federal government would work with the private sector to expand testing, but said people should only take the test if they have "certain symptoms." Trump said up to half a million tests would be available early next week, and said a list of locations would probably be announced on Sunday night. He said 5 million tests would be available by next month.

Trump said drive through test locations would be established in certain critical locations, with help from Google.

Trump declared "This will pass, this will pass through and we're going to be even stronger for it."

"This is proactive, leaning forward, trying to stay ahead of the curve" action, said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, said his company would make space in its parking lots for the drive through clinics. The CEOs of Target, Walgreens and CVS also said their companies would be helping in the response. And, he said, the government would take advantage of the low oil prices and buy oil for the strategic petroleum reserve. "We're going to fill it right to the top," Trump said.
The markets reacted well to the news (on top of the $1.5 TRILLION the fed just injected):

Remember this next time we're told there's no money for the wall, e-verify or a UBI.

I don't know all the implications of everything he laid out but I didn't hear anything about aggressive quarantines or how we're going to get face masks. He did say they ordered a lot of respirators but didn't say where they were coming from or who was going to produce them.

Regardless, spending $50 billion on the coronavirus compared to $1.5 trillion to juice the markets as industry is shutting down doesn't strike me as very prudent.

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