U.S.

Trump: Feds 'will move heaven and earth to safeguard' U.S. citizens, urges continued mitigation efforts

(The Center Square) – President Donald Trump took a solemn tone Saturday when addressing the nation during his daily press briefing on the novel coronavirus.
Acknowledging that COVID-19 deaths will continue to mount in the coming days and weeks, Trump said the country will eventually get past the pandemic.
“Were fighting for you and we’re enduring all of this together,” Trump said. “There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. … We want to save lives. We want as few lives lost as possible.”
Trump said the federal government is working to get needed personal protection equipment where it’s most needed, but noted many states that aren’t hot spots are requesting more than they need.
“When the brunt of it comes, we want to be able to help the areas that need it,” Trump said. “We will move heaven and earth to safeguard our great American citizens.”
As of Saturday, the U.S. has more than 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,100 deaths. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that originated in China in December.
“We want to finish this war. We have to get back to work,” Trump said. “We have to open our country again.”
More than 40 U.S. states have instituted stay at home orders closing nonessential businesses and requiring residents to stay at home accept to buy food and medicines, visit the doctor, and go to essential jobs. The orders have led to record unemployment filings across the country.
Federal officials are working with the state of New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus battle in the U.S.
“We’re working very hard to get additional resources to New York, the epicenter of the virus,” the president said, adding that federal employees are helping staff hospitals in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. “It looks like New York is going to be hit very hard.”
Trump said certain media outlets need to stop spreading rumors and false fears. He didn’t identify which media outlets he was talking about, but he has been feuding with CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and others since he was first elected in 2016.
Trump talked to commissioners of the country’s major sports leagues Saturday, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLS, PGA, NASCAR and others who have suspended their seasons.
“They want to get back. They gotta get back,” Trump said. “They can’t do this.”
There’s no timeline for when the leagues will restart, but he said, “I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”
He said he also used the Defense Production Act to order 180 million masks from private businesses.
“We need the masks,” Trump said.
Health officials across the country have said they are running short on personal protection equipment such as masks and gowns.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said mitigation efforts such as stay at home restrictions and social distancing are working. He urged Americans to be patient and to continue staying at home and, when necessary to go out into the public, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
“That’s our most important tool,” he said. “This is what we really have to do.”
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