Saturday, March 14, 2020

New COVID-19 Legislation to Help Families and Communities / All Travel From UK and Ireland Suspended

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 10:27 AM

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President Donald Trump announced he supported a legislative package passed last night by the House of Representatives designed to help families and communities prevent and recover from potential COVID-19 outbreaks at a White House press conference Saturday.

The bill, the result of negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and administration officials, provides for free COVID-19 tests "for all Americans" and will "provide paid sick leave for those who need it," Trump said at the conference. The president also said the new bill would give relief to businesses affected though tax credits.

"We're all in this together. This is something nobody expected," Trump said. "It came from China, but it's nobody's fault."

The bill, already passed by the House, will now move to the U.S. Senate, which will return to work on Monday.

Trump also said the nation is producing and stockpiling millions of respirator masks in an attempt to prepare for a "worst case scenario."

Vice President Mike Pence said the bill would expand Medicare and Medicaid for the uninsured and is working with insurance companies to waive co-pays for those in need of COVID-19 testing. Businesses could also expect tax relief if affected by coronavirus. Pence also urged citizens to stay home if they're sick.

"If you're sick, stay home," Pence said. "You're not going to miss a paycheck."

Pence said the task force will hold another press conference Sunday at 2 p.m. MST detailing the bill.

The vice president confirmed all travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland will be suspended at midnight on Monday. However, he stressed Americans and legal residents would be allowed to return and would be subjected to testing and a 14-day self quarantine upon arrival to the U.S.

Earlier in the conference, Trump hinted that new restrictions loomed for state-by-state travel to areas affected by COVID-19 outbreaks. The announcement is expected to be made on Monday, officials said.  

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