BREAKING: Trump announces he is invoking Defense Production Act to fight coronavirus

Fox News reports President Trump on Wednesday announced that he is invoking the Defense Production Act as part of the administration’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The act ensures the private sector can ramp-up manufacturing and distribution of emergency medical supplies and equipment. The move gives the White House the authority to increase production of masks, ventilators and respirators, as well as expand hospital capacity to combat the coronavirus.

He made the announcement at a press conference along members of the coronavirus pandemic task force

Trump has held a number of press conferences as the crisis has escalated, in an effort to keep the public informed and to preview measures the administration is taking. He had previewed Wednesday’s conference by saying he would “discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!”

On Saturday he announced that he was extending the European travel ban to include the U.K. and Ireland.

On Tuesday, he spoke at a press conference where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the administration wants to send checks to Americans “in the next two weeks” in an effort to help people cope with the economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.