Trump wants quick checks sent to public in virus response

The White House coronavirus task force held a press briefing as COVID-19 spreads, impacting markets and daily life across the U.S. and abroad.

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 10:52 AM

The Trump administration is urging U.S. construction companies to donate their inventories of safety masks to hospitals and forgo new orders as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence said the single-use N95 masks, which are designed to filter 95% of airborne particles and commonly used in the construction industry, are "perfectly acceptable" for hospital use.

Pence, who is heading up the White House Coronavirus Task Force, visited the Minnesota headquarters of 3M, the maker of the N95 mask, earlier this month to discuss the production increase.

Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams have said the average American does not need to go out and buy a mask. They have urged Americans to leave the masks for medical professionals.

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The Trump admiration is allowing Americans to delay paying their taxes and is hoping to send stimulus checks directly to people as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is encouraging Americans who can to file their taxes on or before April 15 to do so so that they don’t lose out on their tax refunds.

But he says that, if Americans owe the IRS money, they can defer up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for corporations without interest and penalties for 90 days.

President Donald Trump and Mnuchin also say during a White House briefing that they want to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks in an effort to curb the economic impact of the pandemic.

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President Donald Trump is insisting that the U.S. can be “rolling again” quickly after the coronavirus outbreak if “we do this right.”

Trump spoke as he opened Tuesday's daily coronavirus briefing at the White House. A day earlier, Trump urged the American public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. He also urged the elderly to stay at home and practice social distancing for the next couple of weeks.

Trump says that Americans' public health and the U.S. economy can be protected through what he says are "shared sacrifices" and "temporary changes."

The president adds that, “if we do this right, our country and the world frankly, but our country can be rolling again pretty quickly.”

Across the United States, over 4,660 people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus and 95 people have died.

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