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A 100-page contingency plan recently delivered to government policymakers says the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. could stretch on for 18 months – and possibly longer, according to a report.
The nation could see “multiple waves” of the outbreak, possibly causing widespread shortages of key goods – and potentially affecting the level of health care available to the public, the plan says, according to The New York Times.
The outbreak has sickened more than 9,300 people in the U.S. as of late Wednesday and killed more than 130.
The plan, dated last Friday, suggested that President Trump consider invoking the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law, as a means of making sure the nation has the medical supplies it would need in such a prolonged crisis, according to The Times, which obtained the report from a source.
The president invoked the act Wednesday during a White House news briefing with members of the Coronavirus Task Force.
“It can do a lot of good things if we need it,” the president told reporters.
The 1950 act was periodically used during both the Korean War and throughout the Cold War, and was last invoked in June 2017 by Trump to provide technology in the space industrial base.
If events described in the coronavirus contingency plan come to pass, “State and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and communications channels, will be stressed and potentially less reliable,” the plan says. “These stresses may also increase the challenges of getting updated messages and coordinating guidance to these jurisdictions directly.”
The plan was not marked classified but was labeled “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release,” the newspaper reported.
It can be read by clicking here.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this story.