(CNSNews.com) - HUD is planning to suspend all foreclosure and evictions for renters and homeowners until the end of next month, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
“Today I am also announcing that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. So we are working very closely with Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD,” he said at a White House press briefing with the coronavirus task force.
The president also announced Wednesday that he will be invoking the Defense Production Act, which will speed up the production of much needed medical supplies such as respirators and other medical equipment.
“I would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus. I will be invoking the Defense Production Act, just in case we need it,” Trump said.
The administration is planning to send one of two hospital ships to the state of New York, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
“We are sending, upon request, the two hospital ships are being prepared right now. There are massive ships. The big white ships with the red cross on the sides. One is called the Mercy, and the other is called the Comfort. They are in tip-top shape. They soon will be. They are getting ready to come up to New York. I spoke with Governor Cuomo about it. He's excited about it,” Trump said.
"We haven't made the final determination as to where it's going to go on the West Coast. The Comfort is located now in San Diego, and we’ll be picking a destination very shortly. Those two ships are being prepared to go, and they can be launched over the next week or so depending on need,” the president said.
Trump also announced that a vaccine is undergoing human trials in just eight weeks - the fastest time on record.
“Earlier this week, the first clinical trial of the vaccine candidate for the virus began in Washington state, as you probably know. The genetic sequence of the virus was first published in January, but thanks to the unprecedented partnership between the fda, nih, and the private sector, we’ve reached human trials for the vaccine just eight weeks later. That's a record by many, many months,” he said.
Furthermore, the president announced another step in expanding testing capacity with a new self-swab so that people can swab themselves to test for the virus.
It used to take years to do this and now we've done it just in the very short while. That’s the fastest development in history of what we are doing with regard to the vaccine, we are making very, very big progress. Today I can announce further steps to expand testing capacity. We are working with several groups to determine if the self-swab, the much easier process than the current process that’s not very nice to do. I can tell you, because I did it.
We have a current process that is a little bit difficult. If you have it done -- the groups are working on determining if a self swab by an individual is as effective as the other. The other is very effective, very accurate. But we are going to see if we can do a self-swab, which would be a lot more popular, I can tell you that. And that would be administered also by a health official, but it would be a lot easier to do.
The fact is that the health professionals -- it would free up a lot, let me just say. The self-swab is what it is, you do it yourself. The other has to be issued by a health professional, and it is something that is quite difficult, and we think it is working out for the self-swab. If it would test positive, the people would go and they would do what they have to do, but we think that's probably working out. I've asked the FDA to cut through the red tape and reduce regulatory barriers,