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Coronavirus Press Conference: Trump administration proposes sending direct checks to affected workers

4 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, March 17 2020 Mar 17, 2020 March 17, 2020 8:30 AM March 17, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: ABC News

WASHINGTON - Members of the Coronavirus Task Force held a Tuesday morning press conference from the White House.

During the conference, the Trump administration proposed sending direct checks to workers who'd been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the administration hopes to send checks directly to Americans sometime within the next two weeks. 

“We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. What we heard from hardworking Americans, many companies are now shut down whether bars or restaurants, Americans need cash now and the president wants to get them cash now. I mean now in the next two weeks,” Mncuhin said. "We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly," he said, adding that more details would be revealed later today.

The Coronavirus Task Force also mentioned plans to expand telehealth to any of the 62 million medicare beneficiaries who need it. 

Until now, full telehealth benefits have been restricted to patients who live in rural areas, but now patients across the nation, regardless of their home address, will be able to access telehealth for a variety of services. 

In addition to this, certain HIPPA requirements will be relaxed, which will allow doctors to utilize their own phones while using telehealth methods to treat patients. 

It was also mentioned that the President's emergency declaration allows the government to provide a number of medicare waivers, an aid that a number of

Florida residents have already benefited from. 

Members of the Task Force also touted the U.S.'s testing capbailities. 

During the press conference, it was announced that nearly 32,000 tests have already been performed and that drive-thru labs are blossoming all over the country.  

The federal government had a hand in setting up 47 of these sites and plans to dispatch 140 officers to assist in testing patients. 

Officials claimed that over the next few months, it will become obvious that  the majority of the tests used around the world were not of the same quality as the tests used in the U.S.

During the conference, Amb. Deborah Birx, the White House's point person on the coronavirus, asked Americans are asked to follow guidelines regarding testing. 

"We're asking the younger generations to stop going out to public places, to bars and restaurants," she said before explaining that if people continue to ignore caution about social isolation, the virus will continue to spread. 

Footage of the press conference is available below. 

   

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