In an exquisitely-timed press conference at the White House Rose Garden, Donald Trump announced that he was invoking a national emergency due to the COVID-19 virus and then introduced a slew of CEOs of companies that would be assisting the regime by directly profiting from the outbreak. This caused stocks to rocket upwards in the last half-hour of trading on the NYSE, and the Dow put back nearly all of its record losses yesterday with a record point gain of nearly 2,000 today.
President Donald Trump on Friday announced a new series of measures to combat the coronavirus and treat those who are affected while pushing back on criticism that his administration was unprepared to confront the pandemic.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump declared a national emergency that could free up $50 billion to help fight the pandemic and said that he was empowering the secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain laws and regulations to ensure the virus can be contained and patients treated.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government … I am officially declaring a national emergency," Trump said.
"Two very big words," he added.
Trump said the action would "open up access" to up to $50 billion "for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease."
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other top federal officials and corporate executives from companies such as Walmart, Trump said that the ability to waive certain laws and regulations would allow for easier admission to nursing homes and end limits on the length of hospital stays and the number of beds available.
He announced that 1.4 million new tests for coronavirus would be available next week and that 5 million would be available within the next month — although he added that "I doubt we'll need that" quantity. He also said there were plans to allow "drive-thru" virus tests.
In an unusual and lengthy news conference, a parade of business leaders took turns speaking after Trump — before the president and other federal officials made additional key announcements related to the administration’s coronavirus response.
Trump shook hands with several of those business leaders as he introduced them at the lectern — a breach of best practices recommended by public health experts across the U.S.
After corporate leaders spoke, Trump and other officials finally announced additional measures to confront the pandemic, which included the waiving of interest on federal student loans and the purchase of “large quantities” of oil for the U.S. strategic oil reserve. Officials also said they would be offering guidance to suspend all visitations to nursing homes, with exceptions being made only for end-of-life situations.
I don't have much more to add here except that it was basically the best example of disaster capitalism I've ever witnessed in my life. Trump literally brought out the CEOs of major pharma, medical, retail and tech companies and said these companies, not the government, would be heading the federal response to COVID-19.
Stocks gained over 9% on the news. It's the most Trumpian thing I've seen, and it worked like a charm.
"Consumers." You hear that, American citizens who contract the novel coronavirus? You need not worry, because your Federal government is making sure you will be taken care of...— 🌊ⒿⒶⓎ🇺🇸ⒷⓇⓄⓌⓃ🗽 (@TheMrJayBrown) March 13, 2020
AS "CONSUMERS." pic.twitter.com/OfIPZhem0b
We're all "consumers" now.
Welcome to the corporatocracy.
Wal-Mart and CVS are now in charge of COVID-19 testing.
Good luck, America.