US suspends all foreclosures, evictions til May; Trump invokes act to marshal the private sector in response to pandemic

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus alongside Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 9, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he’ll invoke the Defense Production Act to marshal the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump also says the Department Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.

More than two dozen Senate Democrats have been urging Trump to invoke the Korean War-era law to increase production of needed masks, ventilators and respirators. Use of the law will also help expand hospital capacity to combat the coronavirus.

Trump announced at a White House briefing Wednesday that he will sign the papers to invoke the act later in the day. The U.S. has had 116 virus-related deaths and over 7,300 infections.