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As the number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases finally surpassed 83,800, President Donald Trump addressed the nation Thursday at a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing where he shared just how much the federal government is spending on relief measures.
“Over $100 billion for our amazing doctors, nurses and hospitals; $45 billion for the disaster relief fund, more than doubling the amount available – this is tremendous stuff,” Trump said. “Twenty-seven billion dollars for the coronavirus response, including $16 billion to build up the strategic national stockpile with critical supplies including masks, respirators and all sorts of pharmaceuticals.”
Medical personnel talk outside the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
He continued his speech explaining how $3.5 billion will be used “to expand assistance to child care providers and child care benefits to health care workers, first responders and others on the front lines of the crisis.”
Another $1 billion will go to the Defense Production Act procurement, which provides the federal government increased control over industrial production in times of emergency.
“We are, as you know, using the act but we use it only when necessary,” Trump explained. “We use it as leverage, we generally don’t have to use it to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M in Maplewood, Minn., that has been contracted by the government to produce extra marks in response to the coronavirus outbreak. (REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi)
Trump commended the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the strides it has made thus far in combatting the coronavirus.
“As of today, FEMA has shipped over nine million N95 masks, 20 million face masks, 3.1 face shields, nearly 6,000 ventilators, 2.6 million gowns, 14.6 million gloves, and we’re sending more every day,” Trump remarked. “And we have a tremendous amount of equipment coming in. A lot of great companies are making equipment right now. The ventilators, they take a little longer to make but we have a lot of companies making them.”