Trump working with health advisors on plan to reopen economy
Catch up on the top industries and stocks that were impacted, or were predicted to be impacted, by the comments, actions and policies of President Donald Trump and his administration with this weekly recap compiled by The Fly:
1. WORKING ON REOPENING AMERICA: President Trump's aides, reassured by virus data showing fewer deaths than previously projected, are working to reopen America, Jonathan Swan of Axios reported on Thursday, citing a senior White House official. The source said there's a considerable amount of internal energy aiming for a May 1 reopening. While the White House is not close to making a decision, officials insist they'll reopen the government based on data, not dates.
This comes a day after Bloomberg's Mario Parker reported that the Trump administration is working on plans to reopen the U.S. economy that depend on testing considerably more Americans for the coronavirus than has been possible to date. The effort would likely start in smaller cities and towns in states that haven't yet been heavily affected by COVID-19, while bigger cities such as New York, Detroit, and New Orleans would continue to be shuttered, Parker said.
2. 166.5M RESPIRATORS OVER NEXT 3 MONTHS: Earlier this week, 3M (MMM) and the Trump Administration announced a plan to import 166.5M respirators over the next three months to support healthcare workers in the U.S. 3M and the Administration worked together to ensure that this plan does not create further humanitarian implications for countries currently fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, and committed to further collaborate to fight price gouging and counterfeiting. 3M will import 166.5M respirators over the next three months primarily from its manufacturing facility in China, starting in April. The plan will also enable 3M to continue sending U.S. produced respirators to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary source of supply.
Shares of 3M were under pressure last week after President Trump tweeted that the government "hit 3M hard" and that the company "will have a big price to pay" over "what they were doing with their Masks." In response, 3M said that the administration requested the company cease exporting respirators made in the U.S. to the Canadian and Latin American markets, noting that ceasing all export of respirators produced in the U.S. would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, meaning that the net number of respirators being made available to the U.S. would actually decrease. Following last week’s developments, the Trump Administration had formally invoked the Defense Production Act, or DPA, to require 3M to prioritize orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for its N95 respirators.
3. HHS CONTRACT WITH GM: The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday the first contract for ventilator production rated under the Defense Production Act, to General Motors (GM). GM's contract, at a total contract price of $489.4M, is for 30,000 ventilators to be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August, with a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1.
4. FINANCIAL INTEREST IN PLAQUENIL MAKER SANOFI: President Trump has a financial interest in Sanofi (SNY), the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine, which he has encouraged coronavirus patients to try, The New York Times' Peter Baker, Katie Rogers, David Enrich and Maggie Haberman reported.
5. ECONOMIC COVID-19 TASK FORCE: The White House is expected to announce soon formation of a second coronavirus task force, this one devoted to getting the U.S. economy back going again when the time is right, according to Reuters, citing a senior administration official. The task force is expected to include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow, among others, the official said.
"Week in Review" is The Fly's weekly recap of its recurring series of "Trump Effect" exclusive stories.