WASHINGTON (INTELLIHUB) — President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday ahead of nationwide city lockdowns and the incremental shutdown of society.
National Guard troops began their deployment in 8 states on Friday as the general public continues to buy and hoard presumably essential supplies to ride out the pandemic.
The governors of California, Maryland, Washington, Rhode Island, New York, Lousiana, and Florida continue to move toward ordering the complete lockdown of entire towns and cities.
President Trump said during a White House press conference on Friday that the country has now entered a different phase in the fight to mitigate the coronavirus and made clear that measures the government will be taking over the coming days will save countless lives.
“To release the full power of the federal government with this effort today I am officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “The action that I am taking will open up access for $50 billion… to fight against this disease.”
Trump called on governors in all states to activate their emergency operations centers immediately and ordered hospitals across the U.S. to activate their emergency preparedness plans.
Shockingly, the new emergency orders will broaden the authority of the Department of Human Health Services (HHS) which, in a nutshell, allows for law enforcement and military to detain anyone suspected of being infected or suspected of having come in contact with the infected.
Additionally, the president confirmed that the secretary of HHS will coordinate with both hospitals and the government to waive laws that will allow the fast-tracking of treatment.
Trump to have sweeping powers under coronavirus emergency
Via Mint Press News:
The decision to classify government coronavirus preparations in mid-January, followed by the decision to coordinate the domestic response with the military and with intelligence deserves considerable scrutiny, particularly given that at least one federal agency, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), will be given broad, sweeping powers and will work closely with unspecified intelligence “partners” as part of its response to a pandemics like COVID-19.
The CBP’s pandemic response document, obtained by The Nation, reveals that the CBP’s pandemic directive “allows the agency to actively surveil and detain individuals suspected of carrying the illness indefinitely.” The Nation further notes that the plan was drafted during the George W. Bush administration, but is the agency’s most recent pandemic response plan and remains in effect.
Though only CBP’s pandemic response plan has now been made public, those of other agencies are likely to be similar, particularly on their emphasis on surveillance, given past precedent following the September 11 attacks and other times of national panic. Notably, several recent media reports have likened coronavirus to 9/11 and broached the possibility of a “9/11-like” response to coronavirus, suggestions that should concern critics of the post-9/11 “Patriot Act” and other controversial laws, executive orders and policies that followed.
While the plans of the federal government remain classified, recent reports have revealed that the military and intelligence communities — now working with the NSC to develop the government’s coronavirus response — have anticipated a massive explosion in cases for weeks. U.S. military intelligence came to the conclusion over a month ago that coronavirus cases would reach “pandemic proportions” domestically by the end of March. That military intelligence agency, known as the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), coordinates closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct “medical SIGINT [signals intelligence].”
The coming government response, the agencies largely responsible for crafting it and its classified nature deserve public scrutiny now, particularly given the federal government’s tendency to not let “a serious crisis to go to waste,” as former President Obama’s then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel infamously said during the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, during a time of panic — over a pandemic and over a simultaneous major economic downturn — concern over government overreach is warranted, particularly now given the involvement of intelligence agencies and the classification of planning for an explosion of domestic cases that the government believes is only weeks away.
Still, think it’s just the flu?