Thank you for joining President Donald J. Trump and Senior Administration Officials for the White House briefing call on the Administration’s commitment to empower State, local, and Tribal leaders to effectively respond to COVID-19 and provide updates on CARES Act implementation. As President Trump stated, we are deeply grateful for your partnership and close coordination with the Administration in our campaign to vanquish the virus. While there are signs that our collective strategy to slow the spread is working, we are in a crucial phase, and it is important for State, Local, and Tribal leaders to remain committed to the distancing guidelines. Below, please find a recap of the call. We would also like to highlight several important announcements:
- CDC Updates Guidance Regarding Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19: On Friday, April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance recommending individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies), particularly in areas of significant community-based transmission. More here.
- CDC Provides Interim Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to COVID-19: On Wednesday, April 8, the CDC released new guidelines regarding when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. The guidelines advise that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. More here. Additional information about identifying critical infrastructure during COVID-19 can be found on the DHS CISA website here.
- The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce New and Expanded Lending Programs to Provide Up To $2.3 Trillion in Financing: On Thursday, April 9, Treasury launched a Main Street Business Lending program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, states, counties, and cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) will provide up to $500 billion in direct financing to states, counties, and cities to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. More here. MLF term sheet and guidance can be found here.
- President Trump Announces #AmericaWorksTogether: On Tuesday, April 7, President Trump announced a new hashtag to highlight Americans helping one another during the coronavirus pandemic. The President and Administration officials will use the #AmericaWorksTogether hashtag to promote companies that are hiring employees in the middle of the economic turmoil caused by the virus and those who are donating food and other supplies to front line health care workers. The President will also encourage people to use the hashtag when posting examples of Americans helping others during the crisis. We hope that you will join the President and Administration in using #AmericaWorksTogether.
COVID-19: Important Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Officials
- Coronavirus Guidelines for America: On Monday, March 16, the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued guidelines to help protect Americans during the global coronavirus outbreak. To keep the momentum going to #StopTheSpread and #BendtheCurve, on Tuesday, March 31, the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued revised guidelines – 30 Days to Slow the Spread (Español) – to extend the guidance for an additional 30 days. Even if you are young and otherwise healthy, you are at risk, and your activities can increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus for others. Everyone can do their part. The recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health.
- Up-To-Date Information: The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website – www.coronavirus.gov. The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent briefings, which can be viewed live here.
- COVID-19 Response and Recovery Primer: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. It is important that requests for assistance, including for critical supplies, get routed through the proper channels as soon as possible. Learn more about the response and recovery process via this important resource – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Response and Recovery Through Federal-State-Local-Tribal Partnership. FEMA’s public assistance guidance for COVID-19 response efforts can be found here. Guidance for Tribal Governments can be found here.
- Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidelines: On March 16th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued updated critical infrastructure guidance in response to the COVID-19 emergency. DHS issued revised guidance on March 28th (see Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response). The guidance, and accompanying list, is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard.
- Coronavirus Fact vs. Myth: Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. FEMA setup a website to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Fraud & Scam Protection: The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.
- Social Media Resources: Download the Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool. Follow the White House on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow HHS (Twitter/Facebook) and CDC (Twitter/Facebook) You can also find informational videos from Coronavirus Task Force members on mitigation, social distancing, etc. on the White House’s YouTube page.
- Mental Health Resources: Natural disasters – including such pandemics as the coronavirus outbreak – can be overwhelming and also can seriously affect emotional health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (or text TalkWithUs to 66746) – provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the Disaster Distress Helpline here.
- Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources: USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here. Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance. They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
Thank you again for your partnership in this whole-of-government, All-of-America effort to defeat the coronavirus. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (WH IGA) will continue to share pertinent information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can be of assistance. As a reminder, WH IGA is the primary liaison between the White House and the country’s State and Local elected officials and Tribal Governments.
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
William F. Crozer
Special Assistant to the President/Deputy Director White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs