President Donald Trump declared himself a ‘wartime president’ during a Wednesday press conference after he invoked the Defense Production Act to counter the coronavirus outbreak.
“Do you consider America to be on a wartime footing in terms of fighting this virus,” a reporter asked Trump. (RELATED: Trump Invokes Defense Protection Act As Coronavirus Ravages Economy)
“I do, I actually do,” Trump responded. “I view it as a — in a sense a wartime president — that is what we are fighting. It’s a very tough situation. You have to do things. You have to close parts of an economy that six weeks ago were the best they ever been. We had the best economy we ever had and then one day you had to close it down in order to defeat this enemy.”
He continued, “But we’re doing it, and we’re doing it well. The American people have been incredible.”
Earlier in the press conference, the president invoked the Defense Production Act, a Cold War era measure, that will pressure companies to increase the production of urgent medical supplies to fight COVID-19. The number of coronavirus deaths surpassed 100 Wednesday with over 200,000 cases of the virus world wide, according to the Washington Post.
Trump later said he believed airline companies would recover from the economic fallout of the virus, but that America need to “win the war first.”
“They go from the best year they ever had to go to no passengers because of what we had to do in order to win this war. It is a war,” Trump remarked. “We want to make sure they all stay together so that after the war is won we can immediately go right back up to where we were, and even beyond. I think we’ll go beyond where we were. A lot of people are saying that. We’re poised to do that, but we have to win the war first.”