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Highlights from Coronavirus Task Force and day one of the Paycheck Protection Program

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

On Friday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting applications for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

On day one of the PPP, more than $3.5 billion in guaranteed loans were processed for small businesses to keep employees on payroll, according to President Trump. 

In the president’s press briefing on Friday evening, Congressman Kevin McCarthy reported that Bank of America received more than 10,000 loans in two hours.

“Bank of America has really stepped forward and done a great job,” said President Trump.

The SBA and the Treasury Department are ensuring the money gets to small businesses as quickly as possible. 

Today, the CDC announced additional steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. Based on studies of asymptomatic cases, the CDC is advising the voluntary use of non-medical cloth face coverings.

Nationwide’s Blue Cross Blue Shield program announced it will not charge copays to coronavirus patients for the next 60 days. Hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed through the economic relief package, reported President Trump.

President Trump invoked the DPA to prohibit the export of scarce health and medical supplies. The Secretary of Homeland Security will work with FEMA to ensure N95 masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment are used for domestic purposes. 

The Department of Health and Human Services recently took custody of hoarded medical supplies, which included nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks, 600,000 gloves, as well as bottles and disinfectant sprays.

The Department of Defense will provide nearly 8.1 million respirators, 200,000 of which have been provided to New York City.

The Army Corps of Engineers has assessed more than 100 facilities in all 50 states and is rapidly building temporary hospitals and  alternative care sites.

Vice President Mike Pence reported that more than 1.5 million coronavirus tests have been performed across the country. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

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