Declaration of national emergency in the US is a part of the new measures adopted by the Trump Government to control the roiling health crisis, affecting the stock market trade movement and causing disruptions to everyday life.
Does Trump's denial to be tested mean he could be infected?
In complete denial of the fact that missteps were taken by the US health department that led to the aggravation of the crisis, Trump insisted that slow test-kit distribution for testing coronavirus symptoms earlier was the fault of previous administrations.
In a gathering of retail executives of US companies at the Rose Garden event, Trump announced donating resources for a coronavirus testing-drive at locations across the country. However, companies indicated that no specific details were provided on when the test kits would be made available and how many tests could be offered as a part of the drive. Announcing the test kits, Trump said, "he did not believe all Americans should rush to be tested. We don't want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn't be doing it. And we don't want everybody running out and taking -- only if you have certain symptoms."
Once the test kits are available, the one person he suggested would take the test first, is himself. Does this indicate Trump might be coronavirus infected? After he recently came into contact with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's communications director, Fábio Wajngarten, who was tested positive just days after traveling with Bolsonaro to a meeting with Trump and senior aides in Florida. This is the first time that someone with a dangerous virus was in close proximity to the US President. However, "Trump does not plan to be tested or go into self-quarantine," the White House said.
According to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, "Both the President and the Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time." Do these all indicate less seriousness on the part of the President to get himself coronavirus tested in the interest of the nation and other members in the government?
If these steps are any proactive action taken by the President to prevent himself from contracting and spreading the virus, especially after he shook hands with every retail executive at the recent Rose Garden event before the announcements were made, and the last executive denied shaking hands but offered an elbow bump instead.
Trump had earlier dismissed the disease as "so well under control" and a "hoax" perpetrated by Democratic politicians. The US government's inability to ramp up coronavirus testing facilities for the nation and provide immediate aid in times of crisis has invited lots of criticism for the White House administration. With his administration coming under fire for being too slow in making the tests available for the citizens at large, the Trump government has announced a "new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities."
Coronavirus scares: Ivanka Trump goes into self-isolation
On the other hand, his daughter Ivanka Trump seems to have taken the coronavirus threat seriously and self-isolated herself post-meeting with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, days before he was tested positive for coronavirus.
While the White House Medical Unit in accordance with the CDC guidance confirmed that Ivanka Trump was showing no symptoms of the coronavirus, and did not need to self-quarantine, but she has decided to isolate herself at her home "out of an abundance of caution until further guidance was given."
After meets with Dutton and Martin, Ivanka later attended an event at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump and Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, who had allegedly tested positive for the virus but has denied the reports since then.
Distribution of test-kits for Coronavirus testing
The US FDA approved Roche's diagnostic tests within 24 hours and approved another scientific equipment maker Thermo Fisher quickly to ramp up the capacity to provide diagnostic tests for its citizens and combat the viral spread of the disease.
Roche tests to be distributed to the specialist labs well-equipped with machines would be able to conduct half a million tests by early next week. Also, additional 1.4mn tests can be made possible, once Thermo Fisher equipment is approved.
Trump in his orders declared every state to set up emergency operation centers "effective immediately" and asked, "every hospital in the country to activate its emergency preparedness plan."
The emergency orders will "confer broad new authorities" to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who will "waive provisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospitals - all hospitals -- and health care providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus."
The waivers to be issued will include - critical access limits on numbers of beds and length of stay at the hospital, rules to bring additional physicians on board at certain hospitals and waivers on federal licensing requirements. Trump also announced a waiver on interest on student loans, and the need to purchase more crude oil to fill the US reserves "right to the top." With the crisis taking new forms and demands to increase, US states will continue to review their needs and seek federal assistance.
Further plan of action
Trump added later, "It could get worse. The next eight weeks are critical. Some of the doctors say it will wash through, it will flow through. Interesting terms."
Also, a new online portal is in the making, but not a national-scale website. Meanwhile, Google's parent company Alphabet Inc.is launching a small-scale website to begin triaging California-based patients only.
On the national emergency action plan, Trump said, it would "unleash the full power of the federal government" and called on Americans to join forces saying "Through very collective action and shared sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus."