President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to get needed medical supplies on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, mobilising the federal government to marshal the private sector to combat the pandemic.
Trump had said earlier in the week he would tap the act as needed. He said Friday he has put that "in gear."
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he implored Trump during a phone call Friday to invoke the Korean War-era act immediately to order the manufacture of ventilators and other critically needed medical gear.
The president told Schumer he would, then could be heard on the telephone making the order. He yelled to someone in his office to do it now, said Schumer's spokesman, Justin Goodman.
Trump also announced an effective closure of the US border with Mexico, prohibiting most travel except for trade. That brings it in line with the restriction on the Canadian border earlier this week.
The president, addressing reporters at the White House, announced a suspension of federal standardized testing for students and assistance on federally owned student loans.
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