Speed Reads

wartime

Trump says he's a 'wartime president' now, activates Defense Production Act

President Trump on Wednesday said during a White House press conference he considers himself to be a "wartime president" as the United States battles the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's a very tough situation," he said. "You have to do things, you have to close parts of an economy that six weeks ago were the best they've ever been. We had the best economy we've ever had. And then one day you have to close it down in order to defeat this enemy."

Trump wasn't all talk in this case, though. The president also said Wednesday he would sign the Defense Production Act "in case we need it" as part of a government effort to increase the availability of resources — especially the production of medical supplies and equipment like much-needed ventilators — as the country gets ready for a surge in COVID-19 cases.