Trump has yet to deliver on his biggest promises for coronavirus relief


Donald Trump promised a freeze on evictions, COVID-19 testing at major pharmacy chains, and a Google website to make finding test sites easier. But all have major caveats.

Donald Trump has been taking to the White House briefing room daily to talk about how his administration is addressing the novel coronavirus and about the results of measures the government is taking to try to slow the spread of the pandemic.

But in the process, he's not only lied and distorted facts, but he's also made promises that so far have either run into roadblocks or weren't as sweeping as he had made them seem.

Here's a look at Trump's promises, and where they've so far fallen short:

"Google is helping to develop a website. It’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location," Trump said at a March 13 press conference.

Nearly two weeks after this website was promised, it still only exists to help identify testing locations in four counties in California. In order to gain access, you must create an account through Google and provide a host of personal identifying information, such as your phone number and address.

And the questions are outdated, asking if you've come in contact with people who have traveled abroad — even though the virus is in the United States and spreading fast among people who have not been traveling overseas.

When the website will cover more people is unknown, as is how much it will help given the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

At the same March 13 press conference, Trump promised "many, many locations" of drive-thru testing at stores such as Walmart, Target, and CVS.

Nearly two weeks later, few testing sites exist.

Walmart, which has more than 5,000 stores across the country, only has two testing sites operating, both in the Chicago area.

Meanwhile, the CEO of CVS said Tuesday that a lack of protective gear — such as masks — has slowed the company's ability to get testing sites up and running. So far, CVS only has one test site open and is limiting testing to first responders and health care workers.

"One of the rate-limiting steps is the availability of protective gear for those that are manning those sites, and that’s something that we’re working through,” Larry Merlo told CNBC.

Target has not opened any test sites and has yet to say when it plans to, CNBC reported.

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April," Trump said at a March 18 briefing.

This promise is misleading.

Not every renter or homeowner in the country will be protected from eviction if they cannot make rent or mortgage payments.

Only homeowners whose mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration or were obtained through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be protected from eviction.

And according to NBC News, that applies to just 8 million mortgage-holders. It notes that, as of 2017, there were an estimated 43 million households in rental properties in the United States.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.