The United States federal government have prepared a coronavirus response plan, which indicates that the virus could affect the U.S. for up to 18 months.
The U.S. federal government has warned the American people about the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the country, indicating that the aftermath of the pandemic could impact the United States for up to 18 months. According to The New York Times, a 100-page plan prepared by the Trump administration notes that the virus could come and go in "multiple waves," making it difficult to effectively stop it entirely. Earlier this week, Trump said that the pandemic is thought to last until July or August in the U.S., but the latest predictions see the ultimate fallout of the virus impacting the country for as long as a year-and-a-half.
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However, the plan also outlines the potential steps that the government could take in order to control the spread of the virus. The government is considering invoking the The Defense Production Act of 1950, a law that would require private companies to increase their production of essential goods, like respirators and ventilators, under the command of a sitting president. "During World War II, our country adapted to the demands of the time to produce mass quantities of bombers, tanks, and many smaller items needed to save democracy and freedom in the world. We know what the demands of this time are, and we must act now to meet these demands," said Michigan's Representative Andy Levin and other House Democrats. Trump addressed the possibility of utilizing this law during a recent press briefing, explaining that while the DPA has been a topic of discussion, the administration hopes to avoid it unless absolutely necessary.
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"Well, we’re able to do that if we have to," he noted. "Right now, we haven’t had to, but it’s certainly ready. If I want it, we can do it very quickly. We’ve studied it very closely over two weeks ago, actually. We’ll make that decision pretty quickly if we need it. We hope we don’t need it. It’s a big step." The plan also told Americans to prepare for shortages of certain services and resources as a result of coronavirus. "Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure," the plan reads. "This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE [personal protective equipment] and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations."