The Asian Age

Trump Calls Himself 'Wartime President’ US President Trump also deployed two navy hospital ships to fast track the coronaviru­s treatment


Washington, March 19: Describing himself as a “wartime president” fighting an invisible enemy, President Donald Trump invoked rarely used emergency powers to marshal critical medical supplies against the coronaviru­s pandemic. Trump also signed an aid package — which the Senate approved earlier Wednesday — that will guarantee sick leave to workers who fall ill.

Trump tapped his authority the 70year-old Defense Production Act to give the government more power to steer production by private companies and try to overcome shortages in masks, ventilator­s and other supplies.

Yet he seemed to minimize the urgency of the decision, later tweeting that he only tapped the Defense Production Act “should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario under

● in the future.”

“Hopefully there will be no need,” he added, “but we are all in this together!”

● The pandemic was starting to show its effects in the job market.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployme­nt benefits surged last week by 70,000.

Trump’s mixed messaging came as he took a series of other extraordin­ary steps to steady the nation, its day-to-day life suddenly and fundamenta­lly altered.

The Canada-U.S. border, the world’s longest, was effectivel­y closed, save for commerce and essential travel, while the administra­tion pushed its plan to send relief checks to millions of Americans.

Trump said he will expand the nation’s diagnostic testing capacity and deploy a Navy hospital ship to New York City, which is rapidly becoming an epicenter of the pandemic, and another such ship to the West Coast. And the Housing and Urban Developmen­t

Department will suspend foreclosur­es and evictions through April to help the growing number of Americans who face losing jobs and missing rent and mortgage payments.

But as Trump laid out efforts to help the economy, markets plummeted. Gone were nearly all the gains that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had made since Trump took office.


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