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President Trump suspends evictions, home foreclosures amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 12:30 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 14:04:16-04

(WTXL) — President Donald Trump says that he is suspending all home foreclosures and evictions “until the end of April.”

He made the announcement at Wednesday's briefing.

"Today, I’m also announcing that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April," Trump said during Wednesday's briefing.

Trump also said that he is invoking the Defense Production Act to expand the U.S. response to the outbreak. The federal provision, “confers upon the president a broad set of authorities to influence domestic industry in the interest of national defense,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

Trump said he would sign the act “in case we need it” as the government bolsters resources for an expected surge in cases of the virus. Trump also said his coronavirus task force is sending a hospital ship to New York City and they plan on docking a similar ship off the west coast as well.

During the same press conference, Vice President Mike Pence said the Department of Health and Human Services will issue an order to allow doctors to practice across state lines. He added that elective procedures should be delayed for the time being.

The coronavirus task force's briefing comes as confirmed cases of the virus have doubled in the U.S. since Monday. Part of the reason for the spike in cases is increased testing capacity, thanks to emergency approvals by the FDA over the weekend.

The briefing also comes a day after the Trump administration said they are looking into providing direct cash payments to American citizens. Administration officials said more details would be released on their plan in the coming days.