President Donald Trump has activated all aspects of the federal government to meet the outbreak and spread of coronavirus affecting Americans. President Trump acted quickly to ensure free testing for coronavirus and instituted key travel bans to halt the entry of infected people into our country. He has worked with the private sector to waive copays for coronavirus treatment, invoked the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce needed virus-related equipment, and made the tough call—on the basis of advice from medical experts—to extend social distancing guidelines.
The actions taken by the Trump administration illustrate the bold and multi-faceted approach needed to protect the health and safety of all Americans. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law by President Trump and will direct financial assistance to those harmed by the impact of Coronavirus, including individuals, businesses, states, and hospitals across our country.
As it relates to our state, Florida is receiving over $8.2 billion to offset coronavirus-related expenses, as well as $1.32 billion directly to the community health centers that are in the non-stop fight to test and treat coronavirus patients. In addition to the $27 million Florida received from the CDC at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump recently approved Florida’s Major Disaster Declaration, making an additional $45.4 billion from FEMA available to the Sunshine State.
This federal aid for Florida comes alongside the good news that Governor Ron DeSantis has managed to secure 100 percent of Florida’s requests for federal medical equipment, and made the tough and necessary decision to sign an executive order for Floridians to stay at home as we work to defeat this virus. This bold action by Gov. Ron DeSantis is proof that his first priority is to protect Floridian’s lives. At every turn, Gov. DeSantis has worked closely and effectively with President Trump to get medical equipment to our heroic health care workers and place the safety of Floridians above all other concerns.
Unfortunately, in a time of crisis, there are political and media attempts to cast shade on the Trump administration’s efforts. Despite these shameful counterproductive efforts, real progress is being made at every level and the public sees the results.
President Trump’s administration and the task force led by Vice President Mike Pence have kept Americans safe, but the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be far-reaching. After we are able to put Americans back to work and reopen our economy, it will be time to think hard about our shared priorities as a country.
While this pandemic will reform many aspects of American life, it will not change our can-do identity as a nation. Our future policies should not foster dependence on politicians - our workforce does not want long-term handouts from Washington. They want to go back to work.
Our American freedoms are based on the safety of our citizens and guaranteed by the strength of our economic institutions. In this age of divisive politics, this administration’s response has fostered an incredible sense of community and purpose.
Soon, it will be time to rethink and reform our border security. Soon, it will be time to rethink our relationship with China. And very soon, it will be time to rebuild our economy on a modified global trade perspective. President Trump’s continued leadership is key to our future success.
Our work is just getting started, but I am confident in the continued strength of this administration’s whole-of-government response and ability to put us on the path to a whole-of-government recovery.
U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., was first elected to Congress in 2018.