President Donald Trump held another briefing at the White House on the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in the United States. In particular, the President announced the closure of private and business trips to Canada and Mexico. However, Trump explained that closing the borders would not stop the current trade contacts between the three North American countries.
In turn, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, answering a question from a journalist on the same topic, noted that the ban on travel to and from Mexico and Canada to the United States would last as long as it is necessary to improve the epidemiological situation. Later in the day, the US and Canadian authorities issued a joint statement stating that the restriction on crossing the land border will come into force on March 21 and is still intended for 30 days.
Pompeo stressed that in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, China, Russia and Iran are spreading a “virus of disinformation,” telling about the situation in Western countries.
During the briefing, the President said that he had put into effect the law on defense production. This measure is intended to allow the US government to speed up the production of masks, respirators, ventilators, and other necessary equipment to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The President put the law into effect on Thursday evening.
When asked by a reporter about the reasons for this move, Trump said the law would allow States to get masks and other equipment and necessities to fight the virus.
According to the President, the administration on Friday suspended interest and payments on Federal student loans for at least the next 60 days.
Trump also clarified that the US Department of education will cancel school exams due to the mass closure of educational institutions across the country.
During a press conference, Trump said that he had great respect for China and Chinese President XI Jinping, but unfortunately, the epidemic started there and got out of control.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, referring to the “Chinese virus” – a term that Trump has used repeatedly, greatly angering Beijing, said during a briefing that Beijing’s slowness in exchanging information about the virus has created risks for people around the world.
The President clarified that he has a very good relationship with XI and considers him a friend, adding: “Unfortunately, it got out of control. It came from China, it got out of control. Some people are upset, I know. President XI loves China. He respects the United States. And I have to say that I have great respect for China and respect for President XI,” Trump added.