Read President Trump’s speech on the coronavirus pandemic: full transcript
My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak with you about our country’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus epidemic that started in China and is now spreading around the world.
Today, the World Health Organization officially announced that it is a global pandemic.
We have been in frequent contact with our allies and we are mobilizing all the powers of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.
It is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront an alien virus in modern history. I am convinced that by counting and continuing to take these strict measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we will eventually defeat this virus quickly and quickly.
Since the dawn of time, nations and peoples have faced unforeseen challenges, including large-scale and very dangerous health threats. This is how it always has been and always will be. It is only how you respond, and we respond with great speed and professionalism.
Our team is the best in the world. At the very beginning of the epidemic, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions in China and implemented the first federally mandated quarantine in more than 50 years. We have declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrific infection.
And by taking early and intense action, we have seen far fewer cases of the virus in the United States than those currently in Europe.
The European Union has not taken the same precautions and restricted travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States have been sown by travelers from Europe.
After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all Americans.
To prevent new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will take effect at midnight Friday. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to field conditions.
There will be exemptions for Americans who have gone through proper checks, and those bans will not just apply to the sheer amount of trade and freight, but to various other things as we get the hang of it. approval. Everything that comes from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will not apply in the UK either.
At the same time, we are monitoring the situation in China and South Korea. And, as their situation improves, we will reassess the restrictions and warnings currently in place for a possible early opening.
Earlier this week, I met with executives in the health insurance industry who agreed to waive all user fees for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to those treatments and ‘avoid surprise medical bills.
We are reducing massive amounts of paperwork to make antiviral therapies available in record time. These treatments will greatly reduce the impact and scope of the virus.
Additionally, last week, I enacted an $ 8.3 billion fundraising bill to help the CDC and other government agencies fight the virus and support vaccines, treatments and distribution of supplies. medical. Testing and testing capabilities are developing rapidly, day by day. We are moving very quickly.
The vast majority of Americans: The risk is very, very low. Young people and healthy people can expect a full and rapid recovery if they contract the virus. The highest risk is in the elderly population with underlying health problems. The elderly population must be very, very careful.
In particular, we strongly recommend that nursing homes for the elderly suspend all medically unnecessary visits. In general, older Americans should also avoid non-essential travel in crowded areas.
My administration coordinates directly with communities with the biggest outbreaks, and we’ve posted advice on school closings, social distancing, and reducing large gatherings.
Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow.
Each community faces different risks and it is essential that you follow the guidelines of your local leaders who work closely with our federal health experts – and they are the best.
For all Americans, it is essential that everyone take extra precautions and practice good hygiene. Each of us has a role to play in beating this virus. Wash your hands, clean frequently used surfaces, cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough, and most importantly, if you are sick or unwell, stay home.
To ensure that American workers affected by the virus can stay at home without fear of financial hardship, I will soon take unprecedented emergency measures to provide financial relief. This will be targeted for workers who are sick, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus.
I will ask Congress to take legislative action to extend this relief.
Thanks to the economic policies we have put in place over the past three years, we have by far the best economy in the world.
Our banks and financial institutions are fully capitalized and incredibly strong. Our unemployment is at a historically low level. This vast economic prosperity gives us the flexibility, reserves and resources to deal with any threat that comes our way.
This is not a financial crisis, it is just a temporary moment that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.
However, to provide additional support for American workers, families and businesses, I am announcing the following additional actions tonight: I call on the Small Business Administration to exercise the authority available to provide capital and liquidity to businesses affected by the coronavirus.
Effective today, the SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories. These low-interest loans will help small businesses weather temporary economic disruption caused by the virus. To that end, I call on Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $ 50 billion.
Using the emergency authority, I will ask the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain negatively affected people and businesses. This action will bring more than $ 200 billion in additional liquidity to the economy.
Finally, I call on Congress to give Americans immediate payroll tax relief. Hopefully they will take this very seriously.
We are at a critical moment in the fight against the virus. We have made a saving gesture with early action on China. Now we have to do the same with Europe. We will not delay. I will never hesitate to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the life, health and safety of the American people. I will always put America’s welfare first.
If we are vigilant – and we can reduce the risk of infection, which we will do – we will significantly hinder the transmission of the virus. The virus won’t stand a chance against us.
No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States. We have the best economy, the most advanced healthcare, and the most talented doctors, scientists and researchers in the world.
We are all in there. We must put politics aside, stop partisanship and unite as a nation and family.
As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.
Our future remains brighter than one can imagine. By acting with compassion and love, we will heal the sick, treat those in need, help our fellow citizens and emerge from this challenge stronger and more united than ever.
God bless you and God bless America. Thank you.