April 7, 2020

COVID-19: Update from The White House

COVID-19: Update from The White House

The White House Coronavirus Task Force issued guidelines – 15 Days to Slow the Spread (Español)– to help protect all Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak. Even if you are young and otherwise healthy, you are at risk—and your activities can increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus for others. Everyone can do their part. The recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health. As of yesterday, President Trump extended these guidelines through April 30th throughout the nation.

Find the guidelines here:

www.coronavirus.gov : the most up-to-date, verified information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website

The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent briefings, which can be viewed live here.

Apple has partnered with the FEMA and the CDC to create an app and an online screening tool to help keep you updated, educate you about symptoms, and let you know whether or not you should be tested. Learn more here: https://www.apple.com/covid19

FROM SENATOR TILLIS: FAQ on Relief Checks for North Carolinians

Who is eligible to receive a relief check? All U.S. residents with gross income up to $75,000 and $150,000 for married couples, who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible social security number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per child. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for the head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. To ensure you get a check, you need to have either filed a tax return in either 2019, 2018 or go fill out and file the free 2020 return on the IRS’s website.

How will I receive the relief check? For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a check as IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return is filed, or in the alternative their 2018 return. This includes many low-income individuals who file a tax return in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The check will be sent out (via mail or direct deposit) from the Department of Treasury to the IRS, directly to you.

The relief check will be distributed however you received your money following your 2019 tax return or in the alternative your 2018 return. If you signed up for a direct deposit, you will get a direct deposit.  If you opted for a paper check, you will receive a paper check. The IRS and Treasury are still crafting and finalizing the guidelines for this program, so additional information should become available on their website in the coming days.

To ensure you get a check, you need to have either filed a tax return in either 2019, 2018 or go fill out and file the free 2020 return on the IRS’s website.

If I haven’t filed my 2019 taxes, then what? If you filed a tax return for 2018, the checks will be based on your 2018 return. It is recommended that you complete your tax return for 2019 income ASAP. Will I get a check if I receive tax-exempt income such as social security or disability? Yes, relief checks are available regardless of income source. If you did not file taxes and have tax-exempt income such as social security or disability, you’ll need to complete a free tax return filing through the IRS. This information, when available, will be updated at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Will the checks be taxed? The check is not considered taxable income per the Senate Finance Committee.

What if someone says they can help me get my check sooner?If someone tells you they can get your check to you sooner, they are a scam. If you have any questions, contact my office. The IRS will be updating the following page with info as it becomes available: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

How will checks be sent? You will receive your check based upon how you accepted your 2018 or 2019 tax return (via mail or direct deposit). While Secretary Mnuchin has yet to announce an official timeline for the checks, the IRS did say they could begin issuing payment within three weeks.  Those with direct deposit information should see their check significantly faster than those who utilize paper checks.


On March 13, 2020, President Trump took decisive, unprecedented action by declaring a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of the Stafford Act, making FEMA funding and coordination assistance available to every State, territory, and tribe across the Nation for the emergency protective measures they are undertaking to protect the American public. The nationwide emergency declaration increases Federal support to the White House Task Force as it leads the ongoing Federal response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On the same day, President Trump exercised statutory authorities pursuant to the National Emergencies Act to declare a national emergency in response to COVID-19, giving healthcare providers on the front lines of this pandemic the flexibility they need to respond.

Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for both public health and safety as well as community well-being. Certain critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. On Saturday, March 28, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – released updated guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce (see Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response). The guidance and accompanying list are intended to support State, Local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Background: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authorities to secure critical infrastructure. Consistent with these authorities, on March 16, CISA, in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector, issued updated critical infrastructure guidance in response to the COVID-19 emergency. The guidance and accompanying list identify workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It also includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The industries they support represent, but are not limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works. Decisions informed by this list should also take into consideration additional public health considerations based on the specific COVID-19-related concerns of particular jurisdictions.


The following list of identified essential critical infrastructure workers is intended to be overly inclusive reflecting the diversity of industries across the United States. Click the image to read more about essential critical infrastructure.


The use of unified command enables jurisdictions and those with authority or responsibility for the incident to jointly manage and direct incident activities and requests through a common channel. The COVID-19 response utilizes the NRF to organize specific levels of response. Implementing the NRF ensures an accurate flow of needs from bottom to top and the flow of information from top to bottom. State or tribal Executive requests must be channeled to FEMA, via the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), before contacting other Federal agencies. Table 1 below provides guidance on levels of response command. Click the image below to learn more about response and recovery from a federal to the local level.