Coronavirus Information Report

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 18: Flanked by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House March 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump announced on Twitter that the U.S. and Canada will close their border to non-essential traffic to try and stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a press conference at the White House today (March 18) President Trump said that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be providing “immediate relief to renters and homeowners” by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.

President Trump began the news conference on Wednesday by referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” and said he was invoking the Defense Production Act, and that FEMA was activated at Level 1, the highest level, across the United States.

According to The New York Times, The Defense Production Act of 1950, a Korean War-era law, authorizes a president to take extraordinary action to force American industry to ramp up production of critical equipment and supplies such as ventilators, respirators and protective gear for health care workers.

He also reiterated that the Canadian/U.S. border had agreed to close the border; he had tweeted about that earlier in the day.

When he was if he was encouraging discrimination against Asian Americans by calling the coronavirus a “Chinese virus,” Trump said he wasn’t. “It’s not racist at all, no, not at all,” he said. “It [the coronavirus] comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China.” He later added when questioned about it again, said, “I think they would agree with it, 100%. It comes from China.”