WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- As COVID-19 continues to spread in the US, officials devised a federal plan.
- The plan urges President Donald Trump to “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support the military, energy, space, and homeland security programs.”
- An Australian National University research evaluates that the US could suffer up to $1.7 trillion GDP loss in 2020 if stringent measures won’t be taken.
COVID-19, which is now a pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization, continues to spread in the US, leading officials to devise a federal plan. The 100-page plan, with “For Official Use Only/Not For Public Distribution or Release”, warned that the coronavirus predicament could last “18 months or longer” and can include “multiple waves,” based on The New York Times report.
As stated in the plan, “Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure.” This could include “potentially critical shortages” of diagnostics capabilities, medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, and staffing in some locations.
The manuscript also mentioned that state and local governments, along with their critical infrastructure and communication channels, “will be stressed potentially less reliable.” As seen by The Times, the plan stated that “These stresses may also increase the challenges of getting updated messages and coordinating guidance to these jurisdictions directly.”
The federal plan has a provision of recommendations on how to mitigate the spread of the virus such as shutting down of schools and restricting public events, which have already been applied to many states and local governments.
It also calls for President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA), a federal law put in place in response to start of the Korean War, which authorizes the president to “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space, and homeland security programs.”
On Tuesday, Trump addressed issues on the DPA and told the media that it will be done if needed, but currently, “it’s certainly not ready.”
The US has confirmed over 6,400 cases, including 111 fatalities across all states and in some territories. As of Tuesday evening, the coronavirus has reached 140 countries and has taken away around 7,900 lives globally.
After negating the severity of COVID-19, Trump finally declared a national emergency last Friday. To enforce social distancing measures, he announced on Monday that people should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 individuals.
Experts have projected that if stringent measures won’t be implemented, the country’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases. Based on the new modeling from the Australian National University, the worst-case scenario that the US could suffer from is a $1.7 trillion GDP loss in 2020.