President Trump invokes a 1950 law to protect American workers

It looks like American adults will receive two separate relief checks from the government, with the first going out April 6 and the second on May 18, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The amount would be dependent on family size and income, but the Washington Post reports that many Americans could receive a total of $2,000.

The aid would be part of the mammoth stimulus package still being worked out by the White House and Congress.

This proposal also may include $300 billion to help small businesses avoid layoffs. Also Wednesday:

  • Invoking a law: President Trump said he would invoke the Defense Production Act to increase production of equipment such as ventilators, respirators, and protective gear for medical workers, reports the New York Times. The 1950 law gives the president authority to take such action in the name of national defense. “It can do a lot of good things if we need it and we will have it all completed, signing it in just a little while,” said Trump, per ABC News.
  • Floating hospitals: Trump also said one Navy medical ship has been dispatched to New York City and another to the West Coast. These ships, likened to floating hospitals, won’t treat COVID patients but will instead treat other types of patients to relieve the strain on hospitals, says the Navy, per NBC News. One of them is the USNS Comfort, which has 1,000 beds, including 80 designed for intensive care, per the Times.
  • No evictions: Trump also ordered the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April, reports the Hill. “So we’re working very closely with [HUD Secretary] Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD,” said Trump.
  • Controversial term: In his news conference and in a tweet before it, Trump again referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.” Trump is increasingly using the phrase, notes NPR, even though many, including the head of the CDC, discourage it.

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