Trump administration pushing for coronavirus relief package

By the Associated Press:

President Donald Trump is asking Congress to unleash a torrent of emergency economic aid to help people through the financial storm of the coronavirus crisis.

Sizable checks directly to Americans are part of the deal he wants. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Trump wants the money sent to the public within two weeks. But the president has to deal with skepticism in Congress over the broad economic rescue package for businesses and taxpayers.

The amount of the proposed checks hasn’t been disclosed but Mnuchin says it’s vital to get significant cash out to people quickly.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the Pentagon will provide 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to federal heath authorities to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Esper told Pentagon reporters on Tuesday that the ventilators are designed for use by deployed troops and that the military will need to train Health and Human Services personnel how to use them.

He says some may have “single-use” limitations. U.S. officials have talked about the shortage of ventilators to help treat patients with the virus. Esper also said that he’s asked the Navy to prepare the hospital ships for deployment.