U.S. President Donald Trump moved on Wednesday to accelerate production of desperately needed medical equipment to battle the coronavirus pandemic and said an estimate that U.S. unemployment could conceivably reach 20 percent was a worst case scenario.
Scrambling to address the virus after initially playing it down, Trump said he is invoking the Defense Production Act, putting in place a law that will allow the U.S. government to speed production of masks, respirators, ventilators and other needed equipment.
“We’re going to defeat the invisible enemy,” said Trump, who said the unfolding crisis had basically made him a “war-time president.”
Trump said he would invoke another law that would allow U.S. authorities to turn back migrants seeking to cross the southern border of the United States illegally. The border will not be closed, he said.
“No, we’re not going to close it, but we are invoking a certain provision that will allow us great latitude as to what we do,” he said.
Trump has made staunching the flow of migrants across the border with Mexico a central pillar of his presidency and has poured billions of dollars into building a border wall that is far from completed.
US-Canada border to close:
Donald Trump has announced the border with Canada will be closed to “non-essential traffic”. It comes after the US restricted travel from much of Europe and other countries impacted by the coronavirus.