Travel Suspended Between US And Mexico; School Standardized Testing Won't Be Enforced
Non-essential travel will be suspended between the U.S. and Mexico, President Donald Trump announced alongside members of the White House coronavirus task force Friday morning. The closures take effect at midnight.
The restrictions join those announced earlier this week for travel between the U.S. and Canada. Trump said both the northern and southern borders are being treated equally.
Trump said that he applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as New York's governor, for the steps they're putting in place to deal with coronavirus. Task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci also praised the governors.
The Department of Education won't be enforcing standardized testing with students in kindergarten through 12th grade this year, Trump said.
All interest on federally owned student loans has also been waived, according to Trump. Payments have also been suspended with no penalties. Trump promised more good news for those with student loans to be announced at a later date.
President Trump said he is invoking the Defense Production Act to help get N95 masks and ventilators to the states.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke about efforts to make more ventilators available, as well as announcing a federal purchase of additional N95 masks.
Responding to concerns about senators who sold stocks following briefings about coronavirus by saying that he thought all of the senators involved were honorable people, but that he doesn't know about it. He also specifically named California Sen. Dianne Feinstein as someone whose name he had heard being involved.
The president said that talks related to the coronavirus with the Senate are ongoing.
As announced earlier, federal tax day is moving to July 15, Trump noted.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx noted that the fatality rate in Italy for coronavirus was twice that for men as for women.
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