President Trump just announced he is declaring a national emergency which will open access to additional federal funds. States are being urged to set up emergency operation centers. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will have authority to waive various laws/regulations regarding a variety of health care and licensing requirements. There will be new partnerships with the private sector to increase testing. FDA has also approved a new private testing method developed by Roche. There will be a screening website developed by Google where people can go to respond to a prescreening questionnaire that will direct the person before determining if getting a test is necessary. People could be directed to drive-through testing facilities. Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and other pharmaceutical manufacturers will be involved in some of these testing and related efforts.
The President did not make any comments regarding food assistance programs.
In response to a question he said the negotiations with the House on the coronavirus response bill are continuing, and that he believes the House “has not been willing to give enough.”
More to come.