3/23/20: Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing


The President: Well,
thank you very much. And I see we have fewer
people because of the virus problem, and we
appreciate you being here. And this is getting to
be more and more social distancing, and
that’s fine. That’s the way it should
be, and it’s too bad. We extend our best wishes
to the person affected. And we feel sure that he
or she will be better very soon. And thank you
for being here. America continues to
mobilize every segment of our society to turn the
tide in the battle against the virus. I want Americans to know
that we will get through this challenge. The hardship will
end; it will end soon. Normal life will return. And our economy will
rebound very, very strongly. But, right now, in the
midst of this great national trial, Americans
must remain united in purpose and
focused on victory. To every single American,
please know that the sacrifice you’re making at
this time is saving lives — many, many lives. It’s very important that
we totally protect our Asian American community
in the United States and all around the world. They’re amazing people,
and the spreading of the virus is not their fault
in any way, shape, or form. They’re working closely
with us to get rid of it. We will prevail together. It’s very important. From the beginning, we
have been working closely with our nation’s best
scientists and medical professionals, and we will
continue to do so until we have defeated the virus. Our public health experts,
who are terrific, are studying the variation in
the disease across the country, and we will be
using data to recommend new protocols to allow
local economies to cautiously resume
their activity at the appropriate time. We also have a large team
working on what the next steps will be once the
medical community gives a region the okay — meaning
the okay to get going, to get back; let’s
go to work. Our country wasn’t
built to be shut down. This is not a country
that was built for this. It was not built
to be shut down. My administration
continues to work with Democrats and Republicans
to reach an agreement on an urgent relief bill for
the millions of American workers and small
businesses and large businesses that were badly
affected by the medical difficulty that we’ve had. If you had a viable
business in January, we are committed to ensuring
the same is true in the coming weeks. In fact, we want to make
it even better than it was before, and we’re doing
things to help in that regard. America will again, and
soon, be open for business — very soon — a lot
sooner than three or four months that somebody
was suggesting. A lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be
worse than the problem itself. We’re not going to let the
cure be worse than the problem. At the end of the 15-day
period, we’ll make a decision as to which way
we want to go, where we want to go, the timing. And essentially, we’re
referring to the timing of the opening —
essentially, the opening of our country, because we
have it pretty well shut down in order to get rid
of this invisible enemy. Two weeks ago, we moved at
record speed to pass paid sick leave and paid family
medical leave and approve $8 billion, including
money for the development of treatments
and vaccines. And we’re doing tremendous
work in both — on both fronts. The vaccines are coming
along very quickly. Now Congress must
demonstrate the same bipartisanship again and
join together to pass the Senate bill as written,
and avoid playing any more partisan games. They have to get together
and just stop with the partisan politics. And I think
that’s happening. I got a call a little
while ago; I guess they’re getting closer. It should go quickly
and must go quickly. It’s not really a choice. They don’t have a choice. They have to make a deal. This should not be a time
for political agendas but rather one for focusing
solely and squarely on the needs of the
American people. We are going to save
American workers, and we’re going to
save them quickly. And we’re going to save
our great American companies, both
small and large. This was a
medical problem. We are not going to let it
turn into a long-lasting financial problem. It started out as a purely
medical problem, and it’s not going to
go beyond that. We’re just not going to
allow that to happen. Our country was at its
strongest financial point. We’ve never had an economy
like we had just a few weeks ago, and then it got
hit with something that nobody could have ever
thought possible. And we are fixing it. We’re fixing it quickly. And I want to just thank
the American people for what they’ve been through
and what they’re doing. Our country will be
stronger than ever before, and we fully
anticipate that. And it won’t be that long. Let me provide you with
an update on critical supplies: FEMA is
distributing 8 million N95 respirator masks and 13.3
million surgical masks across the country right
now, focusing on the areas with the greatest need. We have shipped 73 pallets
of personal protective equipment to New York City
and 36 pallets to the State of Washington. In the past 96 hours,
FEMA has also received donations of approximately
6.5 million masks. We’re having millions and
millions of masks made as we speak, and other
personal protective equipment, which we will
be distributing to medical hotspots. We’re focused on some of
the hotspots across the nation. We’re seeing an outpouring
of creativity and innovative ideas widely
shared between the federal health leaders, governors
and mayors, the scientific community, and members
of the private sector. Really working together. Everybody is
working together. I’m pleased to report that
clinical trials in New York will begin existing
for existing drugs that may prove effective
against the virus. At my direction, the
federal government is working to help obtain
large quantities of chloroquine. And you can look from any
standpoint tomorrow, in New York — we think
tomorrow pretty early — the hydroxychloroquine and
the Z-Pak, I think as a combination, probably, is
looking very, very good. And it’s going to
be distributed. We have 10,000 units
going, and it’ll be distributed tomorrow. It’ll be available and is
now; they already have it. They’re going to
distribute it tomorrow morning to a lot of people
in New York City and New York. We’re studying it very
closely, watching it very closely. You probably saw a couple
of articles today came out where a gentleman — they
thought he was not going to make it. He said goodbye
to his family. They had given him the
drug just a little while before, but he
thought it was over. His family thought
he was going to die. And a number of hours
later, he woke up, felt good. Then he woke up again,
and he felt really good. And he’s in good shape. And he’s very happy for
this particular drug that we got approved in
record-setting time. There’s never been
anything even close to it. And I want to thank the
FDA, which has been incredible, and Dr. Hahn
— Stephen Hahn — a highly respected man. But they’re doing
everything possible to increase production and
available supply of these drugs — not only this
drug, but also others that are coming. Remdesivir is coming
from Regeneron. A couple of others
are also under study. But the one that I’m very
excited about right now is the one we just mentioned. And I think there’s
a real chance. I mean, again, we don’t
know, but there’s a real chance that it could have
a tremendous impact. It would be a gift from
God if that worked. That would be a
big game changer. So we’ll see. But distribution starts
tomorrow morning, early, in New York. And I think a lot of
people are going to be — hopefully they’re going
to be very happy with the result. But we’re all going to
be watching closely. It’s something
we have to try. It’s been very, very
successful on malaria. Very, very successful. And countries with malaria
have had a interesting thing happen. They take this particular
drug — it’s a very powerful drug — and there
is very little semblance of the virus in
those countries. And there are those that
say because this drug is very prevalent because
of the malaria. So we’ll see what happens. I’m also announcing that
we’re postponing the deadline for compliance
with REAL ID requirements. At a time when we’re
asking Americans to maintain social
distancing, we do [not] want to require people to
go with their local DMV. We will be announcing the
new deadline very soon. It’s going to be announced
in a very short moment. Overnight, we successfully
brought home 103 American citizens after they had
been stranded for 10 days in Brazil,
following a cruise. We want to thank the
Brazilian government and their great President. Most of those returned
were senior citizens. My administration, in
cooperation with Governor Greg Abbott of Texas
and the private sector, coordinated their safe
return to the United States. So thank you to
Governor Abbott. Terrific governor,
terrific man. Earlier today, I signed an
executive order invoking presidential authority
under Section 4512 of the Defense Production Act to
prohibit the hoarding of vital medical equipment
and supplies such as hand sanitizers, face masks,
and personal protective equipment. We have a lot of face
masks; a lot of equipment is coming in. And we have some people
hoarding, and Attorney General Barr is going to be
speaking about that in a second. We want to prevent price
gouging, and critical health and medical
resources are going to be protected in every form. Under this directive, the
Secretary of Health and Human Services is
authorized to designate essential health and
medical supplies as scarce. So he’ll designate certain
supplies and medical elements as scarce, and
that means it will be a crime to stockpile these
items in excessive quantities, which is
happening to a relatively small degree, we think,
but nevertheless it’s happening. We can’t let it happen. And we can’t let them
resell them at excessive prices, which some
people are doing. Very simply, we will not
allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American
citizens for their own profit. So we’re going to be
watching that with our great Attorney
General very closely. The Department of Justice
will be aggressively prosecuting fraudulent
schemes related to the pandemic. Yesterday, federal
prosecutors took action in their first case, shutting
down a website selling a totally fake vaccine — if
you can believe that one. As President, I will
always fight to protect Americans from
being exploited. Thankfully, all throughout
the country, we’re witnessing extraordinary
acts of compassion, benevolence, and unity. Construction companies
are donating masks by the hundreds of thousands. Manufacturing workers
are transforming their assembly lines. Citizens are volunteering
to deliver food and medicine to the elderly. We’re truly seeing
America at its best. We’re really seeing things
that people never thought even could happen. Frankly, we never thought
this could happen. But the way most Americans
are working toward getting it solved and just doing
what they have to do to make this go away
has been incredible. It’s been incredible. I want to take a moment to
thank the everyday heroes who are making our vast
effort against the virus possible. And thank you to the
healthcare workers and the first responders. These are very
brave people. Thanks also to the
hardworking men and women of Federal Express, UPS,
the United States Postal Service, and the truckers
who are maintaining our supply chains
and supply lines. We thank you very much. Great job. We also want to give our
regards and thanks to everyone at our grocery
stores working the night shift so that shelves can
be restocked, and the restaurant workers and
delivery drivers keeping our families fed. So many of these
restaurants, it’s incredible — they’re
doing service where people come and they pick
it up — delivery. I mean, it’s been
incredible what they’ve been doing. Totally different business
than they were in, other than they cook food. Other than that, it’s
like a totally different business. Most of all, I want to
thank the American people for rising to the
challenge and showing incredible courage,
determination, patience, grace, and grit. From New York to Seattle
and everywhere in between, your acts of selflessness
and sacrifice and ingenuity are a powerful
testament to the American character. It’s really being shown. It’s really showing up at
a level that people are really respecting. All over the world,
they’re respecting. And the world
has problems. We’re at 148
countries now. A hundred and forty-eight
countries are affected by the invisible scourge. And all of the uplifting
reflections of the American spirit are out
there for everyone to see. Together, we will care
for our fellow citizens. And we will win this war,
and we’ll win it much sooner than people think. And we’ll be back in
business as a country pretty soon. You’ll be hearing about
that also pretty soon. Now I’d like to ask
Attorney General Bill Barr to say a few words. And we’ll take questions
in a little while. Thank you. ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Let
me start by thanking you, Mr. President and Mr.
Vice President, for your decisive leadership in
this unprecedented battle to save American lives. At the Department of
Justice, we’re working hard to protect the
health and safety of our personnel, while at the
same time keeping our enforcement efforts
at full throttle. So I’d like to thank all
of my colleagues and law enforcement, not just
those at the federal level, but of all our
state and local partners: the police officers, the
sheriffs, the deputies who are protecting and serving
their communities, often at great risk
to themselves. What I’d like to do here
is start with a few remarks about the order
that the President mentioned to ensure the
availability of critical medical and health
supplies from hoarding and price gouging. On March 18th, the
President issued Executive Order 13909 invoking the
Defense Production Act with respect to the health
and medical resources needed to respond to
the spread of COVID-19, including PPE
and ventilators. We have started to see
some evidence of potential hoarding and
price gouging. And so, earlier today, the
President signed a second executive order, providing
the authority to address, if it becomes necessary,
hoarding that threatens the supply of those
necessary health and medical resources. Under Section 102 of the
Defense Production Act, the President is
authorized to prohibit the hoarding of needed
resources by designating those materials as
“scarce,” or as materials whose supply would be
threatened by persons accumulating
excessive amounts. Once specific materials
are so designated, persons are prohibited from
accumulating those items in excess of reasonable
personal or business needs, or for the purpose
of selling them in excess of prevailing
market prices. It is a crime to engage
in prohibited activity. In today’s executive
order, the President is delegating to the
Secretary of HHS this authority to protect
against hoarding by designating these
critical items. Now, no items have been
designated yet, and the Department of Justice is
going to be working with HHS to identify cases
where a hoarding may be impeding the supply
of health and medical resources needed to
respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we convened our
first task force meeting — a national task force
that will be working on the supply chain issues
and specifically on the problem of hoarding
and price gouging. And we are designating
in each of our 93 United States Attorney’s Offices
a lead prosecutor who will be responsible in that
district for pursuing these cases. I will also want to say
that we have not waited for this order
to be signed. As we have received
evidence recently, we have already initiated
investigations of activities that are
disrupting the supply chain and suggestive
of hoarding. I want to stress that
we’re not talking about consumers or businesses
stockpiling supplies for their own operations. We’re talking about people
hoarding these goods and materials on an industrial
scale for the purpose of manipulating the market
and ultimately deriving windfall profits. If you are — have a big
supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not
something you have to worry about. But if you are sitting on
a warehouse with masks — surgical masks — you will
be hearing a knock on your door. So with that, Mr.
President, I’ll turn it back to you. The President:
Thank you very much. Deborah, please. Dr. Birx: Thank you. Thank you, Mr.
Vice President. To start, I want to really
thank all the ministers of health around the world
who have been sending us their data, despite the
fight that they’re in themselves, particularly
our European colleagues. They continue to send us,
primarily, their mortality data, which is really very
critical, because when you’re in the midst of
this level of fight — that many of the European
countries are — following mortality data will give
you the best insight right now on how the epidemic
is proceeding in those countries, because they
really can’t be testing at the level to really
understand the depth and breadth of
their new cases. In the mortality data that
has been provided to us, there has been no child
under 15 that has succumbed to the
virus in Europe. There was the one
14-year-old in China. So we still see that
there is less severity in children, and so that
should be reassuring to the moms and
dads out there. To Generation Z and to my
millennial colleagues who have been really at the
forefront of many of these responses: Less than
1 percent of all the mortality is less than 50. And so this is, I think,
also a very important point. That doesn’t mean that
individuals won’t have severe disease. So still 99 percent of all
the mortality coming out of Europe, in general, is
over 50, and preexisting conditions. The preexisting condition
piece still holds in Italy, with the majority
of the mortality having three or more
preexisting conditions. I think this is reassuring
to all of us, but it doesn’t change the need to
continue to protect the elderly. And in order to protect
the elderly, we all need to continue to do the
President’s directives and guidance for the next week
of the 15-day challenge. Finally, I wanted to
really close by thanking the laboratory personnel
that have been at the frontlines. Two hundred and fifty
thousand tests have been run in the last
seven days. This happened because
these large commercial laboratories are doing
around-the-clock runs. And remember, all of them
are being exposed to the virus in the same way from
the swabs, yet tirelessly they have worked on and
on to get those results available. They are still getting
more tests than they can run per day. That’s because we were
primarily expanded into the — what we call the
“Roche high-throughput TriCore machine.” Those results have been
getting to the clients, and we’ve asked them to
prioritize hospitalized patients. There was a breakthrough
today, and I think you’ll see this from the FDA, in
— for all of those of you who are waiting for
self-swabbing options, those are going to be
available sometime this week, to be able to —
individuals do their own tests. That said, remember, these
platforms are keeping up with those who need to be
diagnosed in the hospitals and those who come to the
emergency room quite ill, so the hospital beds can
be freed up for those that don’t have COVID. So that will be critical
that if you don’t need a test and if it doesn’t
change your clinical course, do not come
in to be tested. And I think that mortality
data that I gave you should be very reassuring
to all of you. Finally, to conclude:
New York City. The New York metro area of
New Jersey, New York City, and parts of Long Island
have an attack rate close to 1 in a 1,000. This is five times what
the other areas are seeing. There — through the
high-throughput lab investigations, we’re
finding that 28 percent of the submitted specimens
are positive from that area, where it’s less than
8 percent in the rest of the country. So to all of my friends
and colleagues in New York: This is the group
that needs to absolutely social distance and
self-isolate at this time. Clearly the virus had been
circulating there for a number of weeks to have
this level of penetrance into the general
community. The President: Thank
you very much, Deborah. Mike, go ahead. The Vice President: Thank
you, Mr. President. The White House
Coronavirus Task Force met today, but we also
convened, at the President’s direction, a
conference call with the nation’s governors and
we focused on efforts at mitigation, at
testing and supplies. We discussed the
President’s recent approval of disaster
declarations for Washington and
California and New York. But we also assured
governors who’ve submitted major disaster
declarations that we will be reviewing them in an
expeditious manner to ensure the full resources
of the federal government are brought to bear. The President wanted us
to make it clear that the federal government will
do whatever it takes to support an effort that is
locally executed, state managed, and
federally supported. We reiterated that to our
governors today, listened to them about their
specific needs, and, frankly, made it clear
to them that while the President has published at
Coronavirus.gov the “15 Days To Slow the Spread”
for every American — and millions of Americans
are addressing these commonsense guidelines to
prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the days
ahead — we made it clear to the governors that
this President and this administration fully
supports decisions that governors are making in
communities and states that are particularly
impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, and we
are grateful for their efforts. We also spoke to the
governors about the importance of the
legislation that is currently being negotiated
on Capitol Hill and asked them to encourage members
of the House and the Senate to move
very quickly. The bill that is currently
being negotiated, the President said that he
believes will be resolved soon. And we’re
encouraged by it. It will speed direct
payments to families. The average family of
four will receive $3,000 directly. There’ll be payroll
subsidies for small businesses around America
to keep people on the payroll while they might
be required to stay home; unemployment insurance
benefits; assistance to hospitals and
major industries. And we continue to urge
the Congress to act and ask the governors to
engage their delegations. On the subject of testing,
we reiterated our thanks to states across the
country that are rapidly expanding testing at
drive-through sites and at community sites. And as Dr. Birx just
reflected, because of the unprecedented public and
private partnership that the President initiated
with our commercial labs, we stand here today with
313,000 tests having been completed, with the test
results delivered to Americans, and still
somewhat more than 41,000 have contracted
coronavirus. But this state-run effort
is continuing to receive the full support of our
team at FEMA and at the U.S. Public Health Service. We’re deploying personnel,
we’re deploying resources, and testing is literally
expanding around the country by the hour. As Dr. Birx also
mentioned, the FDA has been in the process of
reviewing less invasive methods of testing. The President and I both
reflected on the fact that we have been tested and
we’ve been working with the FDA to make
it possible for self-collected nasal
swabs, where individuals could, at the end of their
nasal passage, collect a sample. And I’m pleased to report
that self-collected swabs can now be collected
in clinics and at drive-through
testing sites. This will expedite the
testing process, of course, but it will
also reduce the risk to healthcare providers
for exposure to the coronavirus, and it will
minimize the drain on personal protective
equipment. With the current test that
goes pretty significantly up the nasal passage,
people have to wear gear and then change
out the gear. And this new
self-administered test will actually not require
the drain on personal protective equipment. And it’s all a part of
our effort, as Admiral Polowczyk will discuss in
just a few moments, to meet the supply needs that
we have across the country but to meet them with
efforts at conservation as well. On the subject of testing,
it’s important to remember, as the Old
Book says, it is not the healthy who need a
doctor, but the sick. And so, if you don’t have
symptoms, you don’t need to get a coronavirus test. We encourage every
American to adhere to that so that the testing
resources are available for people that
are symptomatic. We also will be issuing
today, from Health and Human Services, new
guidance to direct all commercial labs to
prioritize testing for hospitalized patients. And that guidance is
going out tonight. We also reminded the
governors today that all state laboratories, all
hospital laboratories are now required by law to
report the results of coronavirus
tests to the CDC. On the subject of supplies
and our meeting today at FEMA, we received a report
of the new Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force. Rear Admiral John
Polowczyk is leading that up at FEMA, and the task
force is working to identify medical supplies
that exist in the marketplace today, to
evaluate the National Stockpile, and also
working with industries around the country to
produce even more of the critical medical supplies. And as the President said,
businesses across America are stepping up and maybe
as never before in our history. 3M, in fact, has diverted
500,000 N95 masks from commercial customers, and
they’re being delivered today to New
York and Seattle. Facebook, we would
acknowledge, has donated their emergency reserve of
over 700,000 N95 masks to healthcare workers. And these are just a few
examples of the generosity of businesses. We’re also seeing
companies step forward to repurpose their
manufacturing facilities to create ventilators,
to create equipment. And I know I speak for the
President when I say how grateful and proud
we are for that. We also discussed with
the governors a real breakthrough on the
availability of ventilators. We called on the governors
to serve at all — survey all outpatient surgical
centers and hospital operating rooms because
surgical ventilators that anesthesiologists use,
because of an FDA decision rendered this last
weekend, those can be easily converted now to
ventilators that can be used for people struggling
with severe illness from the coronavirus. And so we called on
our governors, in conversations with state
leaders, to survey all of their surgical centers and
hospital operating rooms to identify
that equipment. And with the new FDA
guidelines, they’ll be able to convert those to
help meet the needs of ventilators across
the country. We are now eight da ys
into the President’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread,”
and the American people are rising to
the challenge. We’re doing this. But in the days that
remain between now and the end of the 15 days, we’re
going to need every American to take
this seriously. Listen to your state and
local health authorities where there may be
additional and stronger guidance in areas where
the coronavirus spread has been more severe. But for every American,
know that the part that you do, that your family
does, and that you do in your community to put into
practice these principles of social distancing —
using a drive-through at a local restaurant —
will make an enormous difference in lowering
the trajectory of the coronavirus spreading
across our country. It’s going to take all of
us, but with the ongoing cooperation of the
American people, with compassion, with the
ingenuity of American industry, with dedicated
leadership at the state and federal level, I know
that we can slow the spread, we can protect our
most vulnerable, and we will heal our land. The President: Thank
you, Mike, very much. Admiral, please. REAR ADMIRAL POLOWCZYK:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. So, I’m Rear Admiral
John Polowczyk. I’m the Supply Chain
Task Force lead at FEMA. My task is to increase the
supply of critical medical supplies, which include
personal protective equipment and ventilators
— items like that. I just want to take a few
moments to explain the organization that we’ve
stood up this week, in the last few days,
and our approach. So you have a
chart behind me. I have a focused — two
focus leads: one on personal protective
equipment, medical supplies, and a focus
lead on ventilators. Operating under four lines
of effort — the first line of effort you
see is “Preservation.” And the leaders tonight
have talked about that — the ability to make
our stuff last longer. “Acceleration.” We have a team of people
that are searching the globe for personal
protective equipment, figuring out where it is,
figuring out if we need to buy it or just transport
it and get it here faster. We have a line of effort
called “Reallocation.” We’re working with our
industry partners to illuminate the
supply chain. There are many vendors,
many distributors, all on a separate system. Nobody has one sight
picture for that supply chain. We’ve brought our
industry partners in. We’re weaving that
together to make better allocation decisions and
understand where it is and where it needs to go. We have a line
called “Expansion.” You’ve heard some
of that today. If those that are wanting
to convert plants, those that want to get into the
business, we have the tools to help them
to go do that. So, two focus areas right
now: PPE and ventilators. Four lines of effort —
working the problem of the task to get more here and
increase the supplies. Thank you, sir. The President:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. The Press: Thank
you, Mr. President. If I could — the
Washington Post is reporting that total
deaths today crossed 100 for the first time. This morning, your Surgeon
General, on “The Today Show,” said he wanted
Americans to understand that this is going
get really bad. Do you share
that prognosis? The President:
Of course I do. It’s going be bad, and we
have a lot of people dying from the flu, as you know. We have a very bad
flu season on top of everything else. It’s very bad. It looks like it
could be over 50,000. And certainly this is
going to be bad, and we’re trying to make it so that
it’s much, much less bad. And that’s what
we’re doing. I think we’re doing a
very good job of it. If you look at other
countries, what they’ve been through, and you look
at the kind of numbers and compare them to ours —
which is a much larger country than most —
the numbers are pretty amazing. And it started with the
fact that we stopped people from coming in from
a highly affected area and infected area. And that was a
good thing to do. So, yeah, it’s bad. And it’s going to —
obviously, the numbers are going to increase with
time, and then they’re going to start
to decrease. And we’re going to be
opening our country up for business because our
country was meant to be open and working with
others, but especially for our workers. And the engine for that
whole system is we have to have companies. And these companies are
loved by our workers because they’re paying big
salaries and big — big dollars to our workers. And we’re going to get it
all going again very soon. Hopefully very, very soon. Please. The Press: Sir, I’m just
trying to reconcile the two things that you just
said: One, that things are going to get
very, very bad. And two, that you want to
get the country opened back up — The
President: Yeah. The Press: — as
quickly as possible. So I guess my question is:
If, in a week, Dr. Birx or Dr. Fauci are telling you,
“We need to continue these measures for the health of
the vulnerable populations of the country,” are you
going to say, “I’m sorry the economy is
too important”? The President: Well,
you’ll see what happens. I understand the
question very well. It’s a — it’s a
great question. But we can do two
things at one time. I will say this: Our
country has learned a lot. We’ve learned about
social distancing. We’ve learned
about the hands. We’ve learned about
staying away, at least during the time that this
is even a little bit around — this disease or
— or whatever you want to call it — many
different names. You can call it many
different names — but the virus, while it’s around. And we can start thinking
about — as an example, parts of our country are
very lightly affected. Very small numbers. And, you know, you look at
a state — great governor — Pete Ricketts,
Nebraska. You look at the kind of
numbers they have out there. They have one of the
great — one of the great hospitals there, too,
relative to what we’re talking about. But you look at Nebraska,
you look at Idaho, you look at Iowa, you look at
many — I could name many countries that are
handling it very, very well and that are not
affected to the same extent, or, frankly, not
even nearly to the extent of New York, which is
really — I’m dealing with Governor Cuomo, and
we’re dealing very well together. We’ll be sending that
ship up, by the way. As you know, we have a
ship going to Los Angeles. We’ll also be — the ship
is coming out of a very large repair. It’s all ready to go
and very soon will be. And over the next three
or four weeks, that’ll be coming up to New York. It will go to New York
Harbor and it’ll be fully supplied. So they’re working
on that right now. The Press: And just — and
maybe Dr. Birx can speak to this — do you share
the President’s optimism that in a week we might
have a situation where we can say, you know, there’s
a few hotspots, but much of the country will
be (inaudible). The President: Well, I
didn’t say a week, but I said soon. It’s going to be soon. It’s not going to be three
or four months, as some people were saying and
a lot of people thought originally. But I would certainly
let you answer. The Press: Yeah. And are your worried that
some of the cities and states that haven’t had
the infection yet are lagging indicators and
that we’re going to start seeing cases (inaudible). Dr. Birx: So you raise
two important issues. One, I think you all know,
a lot of our tests have had to go to hospitals at
this time so that we can diagnose people who are at
risk to give them options to get these new
therapeutic options. None of these therapeutic
options are available if you don’t know
your diagnosis. So we’ve been very
much focused on that. With adding Abbott, Thermo
Fisher, Hologic, and now Cepheid platforms —
Cepheid is that new platform that is point
of care, but slower. So, you know, you’ve got
to match the throughput, the need to what kind
of equipment you have. Now that we have all
those platforms moving simultaneously, we can go
back to doing case finding and surveillance in the
areas that have the most lower numbers, as well
as doing mitigation more aggressively in the places
that have higher numbers. We went out with a
very blunt force. I mean, we have to all be
honest — we had to do that because we weren’t
sure where the virus was and where it is going. I think, over this week,
we’re concentrated on figuring out exactly where
the virus is and making projections about where
it’s going and the impact of our mitigation pieces. We learned this, in
tackling epidemics around the world, you have to
focus the resources and the intervention and the
structural prevention interventions in the
areas where the virus is circulating; otherwise,
people never understand why you’re doing this and
they don’t have any virus. So it has to be very
tailored, geographically, and it may have to also
be very tailored by age group, really
understanding who’s at the greatest risks and
understanding how to protect them. The Press: But there’s
data showing that in three months, as the President
said, we won’t need broad — to follow these broad
guidelines that we’ve — that he’s laid out. Dr. Birx: The only data
that we all have — and I think you all know what it
is — the two areas that have moved through their
curve is China and South Korea. So those are the two
countries that we’re learning from. Those were 8- to
10-week curves. Each state, and each
hotspot in the United States, is going to be
its own curve because the seeds came in at
different times. So Washington State
is on their curve. They’re about two weeks
ahead of New York. And so each of these have
to be done in a very granular way to really
understand where we are. And the charge that the
President has given us is to use all of our data
analytics and all of our data inputs to really
define those issues about where the virus is, where
is it going, and what predictions we can make
about when — where we are in that bell-shaped curve. The President: I think
that’s a great definition. And I will say we’re going
to be watching our senior citizens very closely. We’re going to be watching
certain hotspots like New York. And within New York, you
have areas which are troubling, and we’ll be
working with the governor and the mayor and
everybody else on those spots. But at the same time, at a
certain point, we have to get open and we have to be
— we have to get moving. We don’t want to lose
these companies, we don’t want to lose
these workers. We want to take
care of our workers. So we’ll be doing
something, I think, relatively quickly. But we’ve learned a lot
during this period. This was a very
necessary period. Tremendous information
was gained. But we can do two
things at one time. You know — and again, I
say we have a very active flu season; more
active than most. It’s looking like it’s
heading to 50,000 or more deaths. Deaths, not cases. Fifty thousand deaths,
which is — that’s a lot. And you look at automobile
accidents, which are far greater than any numbers
we’re talking about. That doesn’t mean we’re
going to tell everybody, “No more driving of cars.” So we have to do things
to get our country open. But this has been an
incredible period of learning, and we’ll have
announcements over the next fairly short period
as to the timing. Jon, please. The Press: Mr. President,
I want to ask about these guidelines on testing. Obviously, Senator Rand
Paul has tested positive for coronavirus, but he
was not in contact with anybody who was known
positive and he didn’t have any major symptoms. Under your guidelines,
under the guidelines that have been outlined here,
he would not have gotten a test. He got one anyway. So what do you say to him? He’s pointed out that if
he hadn’t gone basically in defiance of these
guidelines and got tested, he might still be showing
up to the Senate right now — The President: Yeah,
I’ll let — The Press: — and infecting the
whole of your Senate. Dr. Birx: So that’s why
this was important. (Holds up the “15 Days
to Slow the Spread” guidance.) That’s why this
recommendation to the American people was
important — because we have been saying that
there is a level of asymptomatic
or mild spread. And that’s why each person
has to be responsible. Each person has to be
responsible in the way that they decrease their
interaction with others — the six feet — and you’re
all very social distanced, so thank you — but also
assuming that everyone that you’re interacting
with could be positive. And that goes into the
handwashing piece, and that gets into the other
piece we talked about, is surfaces. I think until we really
figure out the respiratory transmission versus the
surface transmission — and this hard surface
transmission; not fabric — we’ll be really
critical, because that is a way the virus could
spread on subways or metros where people would
be holding on to things that other people had
recently held on to. So that’s the
real question. The Press: But if we can
just keep with the example of Rand Paul. And, obviously, there are
many other people that would be in a similar sit-
— but just keep with this one example: If he hadn’t
gotten that test, he would still be showing up to the
Senate every day, to his place of work. You wouldn’t want
that, would you? Dr. Birx: If he had
been following these guidelines, he wouldn’t
have been infecting others because of the social
distancing, washing your hands, doing everything
that we talked about. So we’ve talked about also
how people make choices because of their jobs;
that they have to come in. You’ll notice I was not
here over the weekend. I think this is the part
that we really need to take personal
responsibility for. Saturday, I had a
little low-grade fever. The President: Uh-oh. Dr. Birx: So, actually,
probably a GI thing, but, you know, I’m meticulous. I’m a physician. I looked it up. I ended up piggybacking
from Walter Reed. So I got a test late
Saturday night, and I’m negative. I stayed home another day
just — The President: Phew. Thank you for saying that. Dr. Birx: Yeah,
just to make sure. That’s how we
protect one another. So, you know, unless
everybody is taking their temperature every day, we
can’t say that he had no symptoms. These are the kinds of
things that we have to do for one another. This is the personal
responsibility that I’m talking about that we
all have to practice. The Press: And, Mr.
President, when you said you didn’t want the
cure to be worse than — The President:
Than the problem. The Press: — than the
problem itself, so are you saying that if we kept
these measures that we’re doing now in place for a
couple of months — two or three months — The
President: Well, they will be in place. At some point, we’re going
to open up our country, and it’s going to
be fairly soon. The Press:
Weeks or months? Because you seem to be
kind of leaning more towards weeks. The President: I’m not
looking — I’m not looking at months, I can
tell you right now. We’re going to be opening
up our country, and we’re going to be watching
certain areas. And we’re going to be
practicing everything that — that Deborah is
referring to right here. I mean, we’re going to
be watching this very closely. But you can’t keep it
closed for the next, you know, for years. Okay? This is going away. We’re — we’re going to
win the battle, but we also have — you know,
you have tremendous responsibility. We have jobs, we have —
people get tremendous anxiety and depression,
and you have suicides over things like this when you
have terrible economies. You have death. Probably and — I mean,
definitely would be in far greater numbers than the
numbers that we’re talking about with regard
to the virus. So, we have an obligation;
we have a double obligation. We have a great country. There’s no country like it
in the world, and there’s no economy like
it in the world. I mean, we had — we were
— we were just blazing. We were coming out with
numbers that — some numbers weren’t even
reported because it was already — this
had happened. They were meaningless. I got numbers about myself
that were meaningless. Because by the time the
numbers came in, you know, it’s a whole different
world with this. But I will tell you that
we can do both things, Jon. We can do them both
at the same time. I mean, that’s okay. What we have gone through is a
tremendous learning process. And we’ve also solved a
lot of problems, but we’ve gone through a tremendous
learning problem — you know, situation. Now, we’re building
hospitals in New York, we’re building hospitals
in California, we’re building hospitals in
the State of Washington. We’ve been in touch
with the governors. Today, I spoke with a man
that I happen to like; I spoke with Phil
in New Jersey. And we’re — we’re going
to be doing something very meaningful in New Jersey. We’re doing something. I spoke with J.B. Pritzker; he
called me today. We’re going to be helping
them out in Illinois. We’re doing a lot of
things in Florida. We’re doing a
lot of things. And between FEMA and the
Army Corps of Engineers, and the Admiral and your
group, in terms of the purchasing. That’s what he
does, he purchases. He’s supposed to be great. I’ll tell you in
about two days. But he’s going to
do a fantastic job. So we have an incredibly
talented group of people. But yeah, we’ll be doing
two things and three things at one time, while
at the same time, though, we’re going to be watching
very closely the hotspots. We’re going to be taking
care and watching very closely our senior
citizens, especially those with a problem
or an illness. We’re going to be watching
them very, very closely. And we can do that and
have an open economy, have an open country. And we have to do that because that causes other problems. And maybe it causes much
bigger problems than the problem we’re
talking about now. You understand. Jeff, please. The Press: Mr. President,
following up on that same topic and on your tweet,
do you think that the cure, so far, has been
worse than the problem? The President: I think the
cure has been very tough. This has been a very tough
— this was an operation. This was somebody going to
a doctor and saying, “You need an operation.” And we’ve had
an operation. We’ve learned a lot and we
fixed a lot of problems. One of the things we fixed
— if you look at the obsolete system that this
administration inherited, it wasn’t meant for this. It was meant for a
small group of people. And even for that it was
not very good and very obsolete. We now have a testing
sit- — we have a testing program now that will
hopefully be able to be used for many years into
the future should we have another event like this. I don’t think you’ll have
another event like this. This is very unique. You look back into time,
you look back decades and decades — we can name
them all, even if you go back 10 years -you know,
you go back to ’09, but that wasn’t like this as
it turned out, but they lost a lot of people. We were early. We were early, Jeff,
because of the fact that we closed early. That was a big move. Please, Kristen [sic]. The Press: Mr. President,
just one follow-up. I just want to follow
up on that, sir. The President: Yeah,
go ahead, Jeff. The Press: You had said
previously, I think from this podium, that the
virus could still be with us through July or August. By suggesting now that
we might, or that the government might change
these standards or these recommendations soon —
The President: Well, it’s not change. It’s — no, we’re doing
things — The Press: — or alter them in some way. The President: This was a
learning experience for the people of the country
and even for — The Press: I’m just wondering if that
timeframe has changed for you: the July-August —
The President: If what’s changed? The Press: The July-August
timeframe of when you think the virus will
be under control. The President: Well, I
think we’ve learned a lot. I think that there’s so
much discipline now that we never had. Nobody ever said,
“Don’t shake hands.” I did, actually, before
I became a politician. Once I became a
politician, then it’s hard getting used to not doing
it, because, you know, you do it with everybody —
with literally thousands of people a week. You’re shaking hands with
big groups of people. And, you know, we’ve —
there’s a lot of — we’ve learned a lot. There’s a great discipline
that this whole country has learned having to do
with distancing, having to do with shaking hands. I think a lot of it’s
going to stay long after the virus has gone. I really think is probably
good practice anyway, but I think it’s going to stay
long after the virus is gone. The Press: But in terms
of that July-August timeframe? The President: But we can
— we have to open our country, because that
causes problems that, in my opinion, could be
far bigger problems. Far bigger. This — look, this is
a medical — a severe medical situation that
could cause problems far beyond the medical and
then increase the medical problems to things that
had nothing to do with this original
medical problem. We can’t let that
happen to our country. We have the greatest
country in the world. I’m not going to
let that happen. But these two weeks that
we have spent has been an incredible learning
period and process. Please, Kristen [sic]. The Press: Yeah, I have
two questions for you. The President: Go ahead. The Press: One, you said
it’s likely going to be weeks, not months, before
you suggest easing these guidelines that
you put out. Have any of the doctors on
your team told you that’s the right path to pursue? The President: We — I
spoke to them today and I was telling them that we
have two things to look forward. Don’t forget, the doctors
— if it were up to the doctors, they may say,
“Let’s keep it shut down. Let’s shut down
the entire world.” Because, again, you’re up
to almost 150 countries. “So let’s shut down the
entire world, and when we shut it down, that would
be wonderful and let’s keep it shut for a
couple of years.” You know, we
can’t do that. And you can’t do that with
a country, especially the number-one economy
anywhere in the world, by far. Number-one economy
in the world. You can’t do that. The Press: So you’re
saying (inaudible). The President: Because —
well, it causes bigger problems than
the original. That’s why I talk about
the cure being worse than the problem. We can’t have the cure be
worse than the problem. But what we have done —
so this is not retracing. This isn’t anything. We have done it really
well, because this two-week period
has been good. And I’m not saying
it ends at that time. You know, we have another
seven days or so. I’m not saying it
ends at that time. But I am saying it’s been
like this incredible learning process. That’s going to go
into the future. That’s going to go even as
we open up our country. And we’re going to be
watching New York and we’re going to be
watching California. We’re going to be watching
the State of Washington and other places. Illinois is
becoming a hotspot. And we can do —
we can do both. Now, we may quarantine
— I mean, we will be quarantine — quarantining
many people in these areas. There are other areas that
just aren’t affected, or they’re affected
very little. And why would we close
down a hundred percent of the country? There are areas within New
York — where New York will be open — but there
are areas within New York — Remember this: New York
has the New York Stock Exchange, it has NASDAQ. It has the exchanges. To close the New York
Stock Exchange and NASDAQ and all of — with all of
the great work they’re doing — I mean, they’ve
gone largely to computer. You look at the floor,
it’s incredible what they can do, but
it’s fully open. But we don’t want
to be doing that. Q So you’re saying — The
President: But we can do — what I’m saying,
basically, is that we can do two things
simultaneously. And we’ve had this
incredible learning period. Plus, people have been in
a period, and they won’t be calling, “Oh gee…” — because I’ve got many,
many people that now come to me and say, “We get it. We think we can really do
it now and do it while we’re open.” So, at some point,
we’ll be setting some guidelines. We’ll be setting
some datelines. And we’ll be
announcing them in the not-too-distant future. The Press: Have any of
the doctors on your team endorsed easing the
federal guidelines? The President:
Not endorsed. We talk together, and I
think they’re okay with it and I’m okay with it. But this could be a
much bigger problem. This could create a much
bigger problem than the problem that you
start off with. Now, other nations are
going to have to do what they’re going to do,
but they’ll probably do something very similar,
but in our case, much more so than anywhere else
because of the magnitude of our economy — the
tremendous size of what we’ve built and what
we have and the jobs involved. You know, you have 160 —
almost 160 million jobs in this country now —
the most ever, by far. By far, the most ever, the
number of jobs — almost 160 million. So we can’t turn that off
and think it’s going to be wonderful. There’ll be tremendous
repercussions. There will be a tremendous
death from that. Death. You know, you’re
talking about death. Probably more death from
that than anything that we’re talking about with
respect to the virus. The Press: Do you think
there’ll be more death if we continue with these
strict guidelines than if we ease them? The President: No, I think
we’re going to do them both. I think — that’s
what I’m saying. I think we can
do them both. Now, we haven’t announced
a date, but we’re getting fairly close to
coming up with a date. And it’s a much shorter
period of time than I’ve been hearing
the news report. And I think everybody
should be happy with that. But great knowledge
was gained. Please. The Press: But to follow
— I had two questions. I had two questions for
you, Mr. President. My second one is on what
your economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said today. He was talking about this,
and he said that there are going to be some difficult
tradeoffs if you do ease these guidelines, because
he wants the economy to reopen again. The President: You mean
with the Democrats, you’re talking about? The Press: No, no. He was saying — he was
talking about how you said, you know, the cure
shouldn’t be worse than the problem — The
President: Yeah The Press: — and he was talking
about reopening the businesses, getting the
economy going back and going again. What are those
difficult tradeoffs? The President:
Well, it is true. I mean, if he said — I
didn’t hear him say that, but if he said, “difficult
tradeoffs,” sure. It’s less convenient. Before, you walk and you’d
hop in the subway and you grab the handle and you go
down to wherever you’re going on Wall Street, and
you do all sorts of things and you go in and you open
the doors going into your great buildings or
into the exchanges. And now you’re not going
to have to, you know, maybe think about doing
that, or you’re going to think about doing
it a different way. No, no, there are
many tradeoffs. It’s a different life. And maybe it’ll remain
that way, frankly, after the invisible
scourge is gone. Maybe it’s going
to stay that way. Not a bad thing
to stay that way. But, no, there
are tradeoffs. There’s no question
about that. But I actually think it’s
going to — I think, in the end, we’re going to
end up being bigger, better, and stronger. We’re — we have
learned a lot. Please. The Press: Thank you, sir. We’re seeing an increase
of cases in Latin America and the Middle East — The
President: Yeah, that’s true. The Press: — and
some places in Asia. The President:
Latin America. The Press: Are you
considering a new round of travel ban? The President: No,
we’re not really. I mean, something like
that could happen, I guess, but we’re
not really. They thought we were going
to have bans within the United States; we
didn’t do that. We’re not going
to have that. Hopefully that’ll
take care of itself. No, in Latin America,
there is a — there’s been an uptick. Yeah, please. The Press: Mr. President,
just quickly, a second question: What prompted
you to say at the beginning of your —
beginning of your comments that you’re going to
take care of the Asian Americans? Has there been something
in particular that was prompting you? The President: Yeah,
because it seems that there could be a little
bit of nasty language toward the Asian Americans
in our country, and I don’t like that at all. These are
incredible people. They love our country, and
I’m not going to let it happen. So I just wanted to make
that point — The Press: Do you think you
contribute to the (inaudible)? The President: — because
they’re blaming China. People are blaming China
— The Press: — by calling this the
“Chinese virus”? The President: — and they
are making statements to great American citizens
that happen to be of Asian heritage. And I’m not going
to let that happen. Please. The Press: Mr. President,
you say you want to reopen the country, but most
schools across the country are closed. Two states now are closed
for the rest of the school year. How are parents supposed
to go back to work and educate their
children right now? The President: Yeah, the
governors of the various states will have
a lot of leeway. If we open up, and when we
open up, the governors in certain states — for
instance, if you go to some of the states I just
mentioned, those schools are going to be open. In many cases,
they’re open now. But the schools are
going to be open. In other cases — Governor
Cuomo, Gavin Newsom of California — certain
governors are going to maybe have a
decision to make. Now, they may make a
decision to keep them open in a certain part of
New York and maybe in Westchester County, or
wherever it may be, they’ll keep them closed. But they’re going
to have leeway. We’re giving the governors
a lot of leeway. The Press: Do you agree
with the decision to close it several months
out at this point? These governors are saying
they’re expecting a peak in the next couple of
months and have made the decision for the
rest of the year. The President: The
governors are going to make those decisions. That’s going to be
up to the governors. And they’re very capable. They’ll be able to
make the decisions. Please. The Press: Sir, will
you explain why a 2-trillion-dollar economic
stimulus is needed if you are going to reopen the
country in a period of weeks, not months? The President: Because the
virus has had a big impact on our country, so we’re
going to give a stimulus so that the workers
can live their life. It was not their fault. It wasn’t the
workers’ fault. And we are going to give
a kick so that — it’s a kick. And this way, we think the
workers can get a fair start. The small businesses,
we’re taking very good care of. We want to take care of
these small businesses. They really are the
engine of this country. A lot of people
don’t know that. You know, everyone thinks
of these great big, beautiful businesses —
who, by the way, have been very badly hurt also. But the small businesses
have really, historically, been the engine, and they
still are — the engine of the country. And you’d be amazed;
the workers love those businesses. And the workers contact
us, and they want us to help those businesses
because that’s where they’ve made their living. That’s where they — you
know, they’ve been paid a lot of money
over the years. And, you know, you’ve been
seeing what’s happened over the last three years
where salaries and wages have gone up very
substantially for those workers. And then we got caught
by this sudden craziness coming into our country
and coming all over the world. So we need to make sure
that the companies are strong and that the
workers are strong. And that’s what
we’re doing. And, you know, hopefully
the Republicans and Democrats are going to
be able to make a deal. They’re actually fairly close, but we’ll see what happens. Please. The Press: But does it
still need to be $2 trillion, is my question. Can it be smaller
at this point? The President: Well, one
of the things: You’re going to have to save companies that have been shattered. You’re going to have to
save various — I mean, you know a lot of the
companies yourselves. We have a company that
was, I think, the greatest company in the
world, named Boeing. Boeing is going
to need some help. Now, Boeing had some
difficulty before that’s unlike others. We have other companies
that didn’t have a problem coming in. Boeing had the obvious
problem that everybody knows about, from a little
more than a year ago — a double problem —
and it was a big one. And then, on top of it, as
they’re getting ready to really show their stuff —
on top of it, we all get hit by this. And, obviously, the
airlines are going to have a problem. But the airlines aren’t
going to be buying from Boeing or from anybody
else right now because of this — this difficulty. So we have to work
with the airlines. We have to work with
the cruise lines. We have to work with the
companies like Boeing. Because Boeing is,
potentially, again, a great company. They had a very rough
period of 13 months. A very rough period. A horrible period. An unbelievable period. If you would have told me
this would have happened to Boeing, I wouldn’t
have believed it. Because to me it was, you
know, truly one of the great — one of the truly
great; probably almost one point of GDP, if you
can think of that. It’s hard to believe that
a company could have that kind of an impact. But Boeing, we have to
work with it for two reasons. Number one, it’s a great
company that we have to save. And number two, it
produces unbelievable numbers of jobs. And so, you know, the
numbers have to be reflective of that
kind of a thing. Please. You know what
I’m going to do? We have wonderful people
behind us that are working very hard. And we want Bill to get
back to the Department of Justice, and we want the
Admiral to start going and doing your job, and the
same thing with Deb. If anybody would have any
questions — maybe I’ll ask Mike to stay around. But if anybody would have
any questions for the group, and otherwise I’ll
let them go back to work. Please. The Press: If we could
clarify with Dr. Birx. We seem to be talking
about different geographical slopes on
this; the curve would be changing. And yet, you just said the
20 percent number that is coming out in New York
gives an indication that we don’t quite know when
the seeds — to use your metaphor — were planted. So how confident are you
on the start dates of each curve for each of the
geographical areas? The President seems to
be indicating we’ll be adjusting the
policy for it. Dr. Birx: So that’s
a very good question. So, what we do know is
now we can backtrack from people who get very
seriously ill to when they probably got infected,
which is when they were exposed. And so when you start
backing out each of those pieces, when you start
seeing hospitalized patients, you know that
the virus has probably been there for three to
four weeks, substantially circulating within
the population. So that’s what
we’re looking for. Now, as all of our testing
is improved — and we want to really applaud the
group who has worked on it — you know, if you look
at the pandemic flu preparedness, all of
this was built on a flu platform. It was never, ever
thought that you’d have a simultaneous respiratory
disease hitting at exactly the same time as your
flu hits in the country. And so when you’re
doing all of your flu surveillance, you could
have small cases of these pneumonias and flu-like
illnesses, characterized as a flu-like illness
for the last four to six weeks. And so that’s really a
caution to all of us. And so when we get through
all of this, we’ll be looking at each of the
pandemic preparedness plans. A long way of saying we
know Washington State is a little bit ahead of New
York because of the hospitalization records. What we will get to, as a
country, with the amount of testing that will be
available, is being able to do what the
President talked about simultaneously —
simultaneously doing containment contract [sic]
tracing at the same time you’re doing mitigation. And I think, right now,
we put everything into mitigation. Yet, if we geographically
get specific data by zip codes and counties, we’ll
be able to approach this in a very laser-focused
way, making sure that what we’re doing in each of
those areas is absolutely appropriate for where they
are in their own little bell-shaped curve. The Press: Dr.
Birx, one more. The President: Go ahead. Please. The Press: Dr. Birx, when
will the government roll out the antibody tests so
people can know possibly if they’ve been exposed? Dr. Birx: So all —
several of them have come to the FDA, I believe. Obviously that’s something
I am very interested in for two reasons. One, it will give us a
retrospective on where these infections were, who
was actually infected, and how really asymptomatic
versus mild versus all of that comes into
the spectrum. Secondly, by people who
have high titers of those antibodies, those can
become our solution with plasma freezes for those
in need and the making of hyperimmune globulin. So knowing who they are
becomes really critical. But I think we’re still
a couple of weeks out. I have to go back and talk
to the FDA on where each of these are. Because this is what saved
us with — when you do flu swabs, when you do strep
throat swabs, and now where you can
do an HIV test. So these are the kinds of
tests that we know will be critical in the future. I wanted to say one other
thing because you see a lot of numbers out there
about 70 percent of the population is going to get
infected or 60 percent of the population based
on those models. Understand that the way
you get to that number is you do nothing and it goes
through three cycles. So, they’re talking about
this cycle that we’re currently in, another
cycle in 2021, and a third cycle in ’21/’22, in order
to get that level of population infected. And you know we will have
vaccines most likely by the ’21/’22 season. And we’re going
to hopefully have therapeutics in the fall
of the next season. So the reason we’re so
much focused on blunting the curve for this piece
is, if the virus comes back, we’ll have much
more facility both for diagnosis, testing,
monoclonal antibodies, treatments, and
then the vaccine. The Press: And, Dr. Birx,
a question about the serology blood tests,
which some people said hold some real
promise here. When will those be FDA
approved and when would they be widely available? Dr. Birx: So that’s what
she was just asking about. So these IgG and IgM —
both point of care — I can tell you it would be
no problem making ELISA today. But then you’re drawing
blood, you’re processing blood, you’re running
plates; that’s what we did in the past. We really want a
finger-prick-type assay where you can just put a
fingerprint on and get your IgG and IgM. So that’s what we’re
working on right now. The Press: So,
realistically, how long until that’s approved
and available? What do you — Dr. Birx:
I can’t answer because I have to look at where each
of the companies are that are in their
development processes. The Press: Sounds
like a while then. Dr. Birx: Well, there’s
some that are developed now that they were
using in Singapore. So we’re looking at those
to see how those work. The President: We
have — we have some. Should be fairly quickly. The Press: So we’re
looking at those but, you know, we’re very
quality-oriented because we want to make sure we
don’t give people false negatives or
false positives. The President: I have
a question for you. So we have a lot of very
angry media all around this room, and they want
one of these seats, but because of social
distancing, we are keeping them empty. And they are
keeping them empty. Will there ever be a time
when all of those really angry, angry people — who
don’t like me to start off with, but now they really
don’t like me — will there ever be a time when
these seats are full, like full to the brim like it
used to be, where people are almost sitting
on each other’s lap? And this whole row over
here is packed, and now they’re outside wanting to
get in, and they’re very jealous of all of
these reporters. Will we ever have that
again, or is that something that will be —
you know, it’ll look like this forever? Dr. Birx: So we’re
learning a lot about social distancing and
respiratory diseases. And I think those are the
discussions we had to have in the future. It was what you were
talking about — changing our whole behavior
patterns of what we touch, and being
conscious of that. I remember, when I was
worried Saturday morning, I was trying to think,
what all did I touch on Friday? Did I touch a doorknob? Did I do this? Did I do that? Did I not wash my hands? I mean, you go through
this whole piece. Did I touch my
face by accident? So I think this — this
awareness that we all now have, that we didn’t have
before, where we would have pushed through that
door or turned that doorknob because we were
in such a hurry — now I think all of
us think twice. I think all of
you think twice. The President: But when
the virus is gone, will the people be allowed to
sit next to each other again, in your opinion, in
a tight room, with a tight — Dr. Birx: I don’t know. You’ll have to look and
see if we have a new respiratory piece. Certainly this is the way
we set up every clinic around the world when
we’re worried about TB and TB transmission. The Press: Dr. Birx, I’m
wondering if you can comment on new measures
that Britain has put into place. Also, Germany has said
that it doesn’t want to have crowds of less than
two people, except for families, which is a
pretty restrictive number. Does that inform your
thinking as you are coming up with advice for this
next period for the President and the
Vice President? Dr. Birx: The President
and Vice President have asked us to look at every
single scenario, in every single country, because
the more data we have, the more our decisions can be
completely data-informed and really understanding
what impact that has. I mean, we’re interested
right now — I mean, Italy obviously waited until
about March 7th. The virus had been
circulating for almost four weeks before
actually going into that methodology. But for the first time, it
looks like their number — their mortality rates are
starting to decline, which would be an illustration
that things that they did two and three weeks ago
may actually have an impact. Those are the kinds of
data we’re looking at very carefully, as well as very
careful data within the United States of exactly
where the virus is, what’s the attack rate, has it
moved out of its more confined geography, and
really looking at each of those pieces of
information. It’s a lot of data
to go through. The Press: What do you
make of Germany and Britain’s moves? Dr. Birx: Well, I think if
you remember, just a week ago, Britain had a very
different approach. So everybody is
adapting to their data. I haven’t looked at the
data that informed that decision, so I can’t
really comment on how they got to that decision
there or in Germany. The Press: Dr. Birx, just
to be clear, do you agree with the President’s push
to reopen the country? He said some of his
doctors that he’s talking to about this — he says,
“I think they’re okay with it.” Are you okay with that? Dr. Birx: What the
President has asked us to do is to assemble all the
data and get us — give him our best medical
recommendation based on all the data. That’s what he’s
asked us to do. And so that’s what we’ll
be doing this week. We were going to have to
do it this week anyway — The President: Right. We were going to do that. Dr. Birx: — because we
had to make a decision, come Monday, about the
15 days to reduce social spread. So this is consistent with
our mandate to really use every piece of information
that we can in order to give the President our
opinion that’s backed up by data. Not our perception, but
our opinion that’s backed up by data. The Press: With the data
now, do you think you could in a week? Like, what would your
assessment be right now, looking forward? Dr. Birx: Well, we’re
pulling all of the data pieces in now, and
that’s really critical. I don’t like to — I will
never speculate on data. I will have to see the
data in order to really understand it. The President: And I
think a big factor is the mortality rate. We’re talking about
the mortality rate. You know, when we first
started, people were thinking about 3 and 4
percent, and now we’re talking about a much
lower number than that. I think it’s a — The
Press: What is the number? The President: I think
it’s a number that will be a lot different than
people thought. Dr. Birx: The mortality
rate is driven almost exclusively, as we have
talked about, by people with preexisting
conditions and older. So that has become — from
the very beginning, that was our emphasis. You know, when we started
two or three weeks ago talking with one another,
our focus has been on how do we protect those with
preexisting conditions and the elderly. And I think these steps
were about protecting with preexisting conditions. So the whole key to
changing the mortality rates is not just the
hospital care, but preventing them from going
into the hospital to begin with, because you don’t
need — want them to be infected. The President: But it’s —
it’s much lower than we originally thought. I mean, frankly,
it’s a lot lower. Dr. Birx: Yes. The Press: And do
you have an estimate? Do you have a number? Dr. Birx: Well, the — you
know what the estimate in Wuhan was originally. It was over 3 percent. When they look outside of
Wuhan, it was about 0.7 percent. It depends very much. In South Korea, it was
about 0.7, 0.8 percent. But I don’t want —
that’s like a tyranny of averages. And I — you know, that’s
not having — that’s probably missing 50,
60 percent of the data because no one was
testing asymptomatics. Remember, in every country
you had to be symptomatic to get a test. So we — you know, we’re
making case fatality rates when we’re missing a
significant part of the data. So, if anything, it will
go lower, but I don’t want people — I don’t — that
should not be reassuring because the death rates
escalate with age and preexisting conditions. So I really want to be
clear that, although it may be very low if you’re
under 40 or very low if you’re under 50 and very
low if you’re under 70, there is an
inflection curve. There are people — the
average age of the person who’s dying in Italy
is in the mid-80s. So there is, really, a
significant issue in our older generation that
we feel strongly about protecting. The President: But,
Doctor, this is just very interesting,
the whole thing. It’s an incredible
subject. When somebody is very
sick, they go to a doctor, go to a hospital, they
record it — they’re very sick, and then they live
or they don’t live. See what happens. But when somebody isn’t
very sick at all — I’ve heard people that they
don’t even know they had it, and they’re healing. Then I’ve heard people
they have like a cold or they have a runny nose, or
even people that stay home and they think
they have the flu. Or, in some cases, I think
they have a really bad case of the flu. But all of those people,
that vast majority of — I mean, beyond vast majority
of people — they’re not reporting; they’re not
calling the doctor, they’re not calling them. They’re just
getting better. So you would think it
would have to be — because the people that
are sick are going to a doctor, or they’re going
someplace and they’re going to say,
“Make me better.” The people that are just
short of that and people that aren’t even — I
mean, you know, you have many people where they
literally don’t even know that they have it. So now you’re building up
the number of cases that we talked about before. And yet — so you don’t
know any what — you don’t know how many there are. It could be a vast number. But what you do know is
all the people that are really sick. Because all of the people
that are really sick are going to a doctor in some
form, and the doctor is reporting it in all cases. So I think the number is
much lower than we think. Dr. Birx: But that’s why
your question about the antibody test is so
critical, because that will give us, really, a
much better baseline to really understand. The Press: So, Mr.
President, when you talk about how it could
be a much, much bigger problem — you said that
at several stages on whether or not we keep
these guidelines in place — you talked
about higher death. Are you talking
about suicide? Like, help us understand. And is the risk — The
President: I’m talking about — I’m talking
about many forms. The Press: Is the risk
here of depression? Is that what
you’re getting at? The President: We’re
talking about treme- — look, number one, it’s
the country itself. You’re talking about
tremendous disruption, economically, but you’re
talking about massive depression, massive
numbers of suicide. The Press: You mean
economic depression? The President: No, I’m
talking ab- — no, I’m not talking about economic,
although you could be talking about that too. The Press: So you could be
talking about an economic depression? The President: What I’m
talking about is people suffering massive
depression because they had a fantastic job and
now they have no idea, you know, what’s going on. Now, here’s the good news:
If they get the bill passed, we’re taking
care of those people. We’re going to really take
good care of those people beyond what any country
has done for people. But there’s never been
anything like this. No, I’m talking about
where people suffer massive depression, where
people commit suicide, where tremendous
death happens. Now, in addition to that,
we’re talking about economic, where you,
you know, really hurt a country. It could take years
and years to recover. And the longer you stay
out, the harder it is to recover. I happen to think that
you’re going to have — they call it the “V.” I think you’re going to
have a very big bounce — you know, very
big bounce-back. I think it’s going
to be very big. We’ll see. The Press: If you
get the bill passed. The President: Well, I
think the bill should pass. It should pass quickly. Take care of our workers,
take care of the companies that — that pay those
workers, help those companies over
this rough patch. But the longer it takes,
the harder it is to come back. I’d like to be able to
bounce back to where we were. And ultimately, I think
we’re going to be even further than that. But I’m just saying that
the — what’s happening — when I say the cure — and
the cure can be worse than the problem itself, right? That’s what I — we
can’t let that happen. We can’t let that happen. We’ve learned so much, and
so many good things are going to happen
for our country. We can’t let this
continue to go on. So what we’re doing is
we’re meeting with the doctors — Dr. Fauci,
Dr. Birx, and others — and we’re — we’ve already
started the discussion. And I can say that — you
know, I’m a student like you’re students. We’re all learning
this together. I learned a lot from
Deborah, I learned a lot from Tony. I learned a lot from a lot
of people that this has — this has been
their life’s work. I’ve learned a lot. We’re going to come up
with a date, and we’re going to do two things. We can do two
things at one time. At the same time, we’re
going to be very vigilant. We’re going to be so
vigilant in terms of all of the things that we have
to do that we’ve been talking about for the last
two weeks ad nauseam. And I think it’s going
to be, ultimately, a far better solution
for our country. Yeah, please, go ahead. The Press: Can I ask what
devices Dr. Fauci — The President: Deborah,
why don’t you go back? And you — we want
her to go back to work immediately. The Press: I have a
question for Dr. Birx. The President: Thank you. Great job. Thank you, Deborah. The Press: Dr. Birx, can
I have one more question? The President: Yeah. Deborah? The Press: One more. The Press: One more. The President: Come on. They won’t let you go. Q Thank you. So there’s still one week
left to go in “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” Doesn’t talk of reopening
the government, quickly, undermine that? I mean, why would anyone
today still social distance or not run out to
see the cherry blossoms? Dr. Birx: Actually, it
should reinforce it. Because if people know
that we’re considering and trying to understand the
impact of the good work that they have done, I
think it reinforces them to do good work for the
next whatever it is — days, weeks in the future. Because it says to them:
We’re looking very carefully of the impact
that the work that you did, the selflessness that
you brought to this, the ability to stay home with
your fabulous children, your ability to social
distance, the ability to give up on going to
restaurants and just having take-out — all
of those sacrifices. The ability of your
protecting our elder generation, the Greatest
Generation, and making sure they’re safe in
nursing homes, but not seeing them. All of us have
made sacrifices. I haven’t seen my
grandchildren in three weeks. I know other people are
like that — that they have really made those
personal sacrifices. What we’re asking every
American to do is to make those personal sacrifices
for these next week — The President: Now. Dr. Birx: — and now
— The President: Now. Dr. Birx: — so that we
can evaluate the impact of that sacrifice. So I think, if anything,
it strengthens the willpower to say,
“Yes, I can do this.” The President: Thank you. Thank you. The Press: Mr. President,
so could I ask where was Dr. Fauci today? The President:
Go ahead, please. Go ahead. One second, please. The Press: Sir, one
thing some public health officials have said would
be helpful is to open back up the ACA exchanges
so that people who are worried about perhaps
getting treatment could go sign up for insurance
now, even though the open enrollment period is open. That’s something you can
do with the (inaudible). The President:
Well, it is. It’s something we’re
talking to a lot of people about. We’ll see what happens. But we’re talking
to people about it. Go ahead, please. The Press: Well, where
is Dr. Fauci right now? Why is he not at
this briefing? Will he attend
future ones? And — The President:
Well, he was — I was just with him for a long time. And — The Vice President:
He was at the task force meeting. The President: Oh, he’s
at the task force meeting right now. The Vice President: He was
at the task force meeting. The President: We have
a task force meeting. He was there. The Press: Does he agree
with you about the need to reopen the economy soon? The President: Well,
he doesn’t not agree. I mean, we had a long
talk, and he understands there’s tremendous —
there’s a tremendous cost to our country, both in
terms of lives and in terms of economics, and in
terms of many, many years of rebuilding something
that was a fine-tuned machine. It was nobody’s fault. It just happened. This horrible virus came
from wherever and it just happened. It just happened. He fully understands that. No, he’s a good man. I like Dr. Fauci a lot,
just so you understand. No, he’s not here because
we really weren’t discussing what he’s best
at, but he’ll be back up very soon. Yeah, please. And we’ll be discussing
dates and times with him. And we are talking about a
— I don’t want to use the word “abbreviated” because
so much has been gained by what we’ve done. But we’re talking about —
not during the period — you know, during the 14 or
15 days, but not too long after that. The Press: But, Mr.
President, will you — The President: Which I
think is going to make a lot of people happy. It’s going to make a
lot of companies happy. It’s going to make a
lot of workers happy. Yeah, Jon? The Press: Mr. President,
so, ultimately, will you take Dr. Fauci’s
recommendation on this, or are you thinking he’s just
looking at one set of inputs? The President: Sure. I would certainly — he’s
very important to me, and I would — I will be
listening to him. I’ll be listening to
Deborah, who you just spoke to. I’ll be listening
to other experts. We have a lot of people
that are very good at this. And, ultimately,
it’s a balancing act. But, you know, the
expression — we can do two things at one time. And we’ve got an
incredible country. We have to keep
it that way. And that includes not
just economics; that also includes life and death. We have to keep
it that way. The Press: Mr. President,
on social distancing — The Press: (Inaudible.)
The President: No, I’ll get you. The Press: You were
talking about social distancing amongst us
reporters, and you mentioned that one of our
own has come down or — The President: Yes. The Press: —
potentially come down. Even if someone does come
down in the White House Press Corps, would you
pledge to the American people that you’ll
keep this room open? We’re clearly
six feet apart. The President: Well, I’ve
gotten to like this room. This room is
very convenient. The Press: Will you
keep it open for these briefings? The President: I can say,
from the standpoint of being President of the
United States, I really — this has been a very
convenient room for all of us. You people are set up. So I never even
thought of closing it. So you’re asking me a
question that I never thought in terms
of closing it. The Press: I’m giving you
the opportunity to pledge to — The President: Can
you give me a good reason to close it? We could build
a larger room. The Press: I’m giving you
the opportunity to — I mean, you seem — The
President: I don’t want to make commitments like
that, because it’s, you know, not something I’ve
ever really thought about. There are certain people
that would like to see a larger room built. We need a larger room. Other Presidents didn’t
need such a large room. But we need a larger room
and there are some people — but it’s not something
that is really on my mind, to be honest with you. Yes, please The Press: All
right, so quarter two — we know it’s going
to be brutal. Who are you listening to? Where is the brain trust
to help get us through that period? And also, has your opinion
of the chair of the — The President: Which period? The Press: Quarter two. The second quarter. JP — Morgan Stanley,
Goldman Sachs — The President: Sure. The Press: — they’re all
predicting a pretty dire second quarter. So who are you
listening to? Where is the brain trust? You have all these
medical advisors. The President: Well,
I think — The Press: (Inaudible.) The
President: I think we’re listening to many people. I mean, that was my world. I know many of
those people. I have many people that
are friends of mine. Some enemies
also, by the way. But, you know, it’s been
a good world for me. I like that world. I like those people;
they’re tough and they’re smart. But I listen to
many of them. Ultimately, they all
go into that compute. And I say, “This is what
we’re going to do.” I have to make a decision. This is a very important
man right here to my right, our great Vice
President, because he’s got a great instinct
about things too. So I’m going to be
listening to Mike. He’s headed up the
task force, I think, brilliantly. I think it’s going to go
down as that, because he’s really done a job. He’s been — not only has
he been good, he’s been soothing. He’s really been great for
the American public to watch. And I mean that, and I
mean that in the most positive way. There is a solidity with
Mike that you don’t find in many people. He’s been soothing. He’s been good for the
American public; they have confidence in him. I think he’s done
an incredible job. And his advice is very,
very important to me. So he’s going to be making
— I mean, he didn’t come from that world, the
world of finance, but he understands the
world of finance. He was a great
governor in Indiana. They did very well,
financially, too. The Press: So you won’t
give us even one name of someone else you’re
listening to? The President: Well, I
could give you a whole list. And we’ll probably even
set up committees. I’d rather not give you
one because then I’m going to leave out — The Press:
And what’s your feeling right now on
the Fed Chair? The President: — I have
spoken to so many people, and I’ve — The Press:
He turned on the spigot today. The President: What? The Press: Are you happy
over the Fed now that he’s turned on the spigot? The President: I am
happy with him, yes. I think he’s — I really
think he’s caught up, and he’s done the right thing. And I think, ultimately,
we will be rewarded because of the decision he
made over the last — he’s really stepped up
over the last week. And I have to tell you,
I called him today and I said, “Jerome, good job. You really did it.” The Press: Is that the
first time you’ve said that to him? The President:
It might be. He was, you know, a little
bit slower than I would have liked, in the sense
of what he was doing. Now, other people
might have liked it. But today I called up
Jerome Powell and I said, “Jerome, you’ve done
a really good job.” I was proud of him. That was — that
took courage. And, ultimately, you’re
going to see the fruits. Now, he’s not finished. I mean, he’s got other
arrows in the quiver, or whatever they say. I will tell you, he’s
got plenty of arrows. But, no, I’m very happy
with the job he did. The Press: Mr. President
— The President: Go ahead. The Press: Mr. Vice
President, you said that you’d bring the Secretary
of Education here either yesterday or today. Why isn’t she here today? And can we expect
her this week? Also yesterday, you said
you’d have some guidance for us on people who had
potentially been exposed to the virus returning
to work sooner. The Vice President: Yes. The Press: Do you still
expect that guidance? The Vice President:
Yes, thank you for the question. I spoke to the Secretary
of Education today, and we’re going to have her
at the podium very soon. The Department of
Education has created a very easy waiver
application for every state. It’s virtually an
automatic application for states that want to be
excused from national standardized testing
requirements. We reviewed that with all
of the governors today. And also, what’s called
“distance learning” — the accreditation process for
higher education — the Secretary of Education, at
the President’s urging, has loosened the rules
around distance learning. You’re seeing many
colleges and universities embracing distance
learning, now putting it into practice. We’ve allowed for that. But also, the Department
of Education is setting up a website and best
practices information for K-through-12
distance learning. And she actually told me
that the state of Florida and New Hampshire are
really setting the pace on distance learning
for K-12. My wife is an elementary
school teacher. Obviously, there’s
different — different challenges for distance
learning for K-through-12 students, particularly
younger kids, but the Department of Education is
determined to continue to make those best
practices available. We talked about the
website that’s being built, and she’ll be
coming and making a presentation on that —
because, as President reflected a little bit
ago, as Dr. Birx did, we understand there’s a lot
of kids out of school. But parents are anxious. A lot of kids out of
college and university, like my daughter, who’s
been dismissed from the — what remains of this
semester of grad school but is still
doing the work. And the Department of
Education is working earnestly to make that
make that — make that a reality. The Press: So we’ll
see her this week? The Vice President:
I’m sorry? The Press: We’ll
see her this week? The Vice President: Yes. I’ll have her
here this week. She — I mean, given
the issues that we were dealing with today and
with the Attorney General, we thought it might be
just as timely in a few days. With regard to the
guidance that you asked about: The President’s
Coronavirus Task Force is in the process of
reviewing recommendations from CDC. We’re working with the
Department of Homeland Security. We’ll be bringing those
to the President as recommendations
of approval. We’re specifically looking
at people that work in critical infrastructure:
people in law enforcement, people in critical
transportation. You can go right now to
the Department of Homeland Security’s website for a
very useful definition of “critical infrastructure.” And if you look at the
second page of “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” you’ll
see the President’s recommendation for this 15
days is for people to stay home from work whenever
possible, except for people working in
critical infrastructure. And the guidance that
we’re looking forward to unpacking is how people
who may have come into contact with someone
that tests positive for coronavirus would be able
to — if they have no symptoms, would be able
to return to work, wear a mask for a certain period
of time, but otherwise go back to business. It’s a focus on critical
infrastructure jobs. We should have that
guidance before the President and before
the public tomorrow. The Press: Mr. President,
we have understandably a patchwork of plans at the
moment — The President: By the way, I just want to
say while we’re thinking about it: China has very
much stepped up, as you probably know, the
agricultural purchases from our farmers, and
some other purchases too. So they have a difficult
time also right now. But they very much stepped
up their purchases, and significantly. So we’re very
happy about that. And the other thing: You
know, I’m standing here — in this case, with our
Vice President — trying to let you ask anything
you want having to do with this subject, which,
frankly, is pretty much all anyone cares
about right now. But — because I think
it’s very important. I don’t want to stand here
for two hours and do this. But I think it’s important
that — you know, I call — I call it, “Get it
out of your system.” Give us any question about
it, because I think it’s important for the
public to know. So we don’t want to answer
two questions and leave. We want to answer
your questions. That’s why we’re doing
this for so long. And I think it gives our
country confidence and it gives — I think we’re
giving — you know, we’re all gaining knowledge. This has been an
unbelievable process, but we’re all gaining. So I want to, you
know, stay here. Sometimes we’re here
for two hours and we’re answering questions. At least you will say that
I’m very transparent. I think you’re going to
have a hard time saying he is not transparent. But we take a lot of
questions from you. Unfortunately, some of
them are repetitive and some of them are
fantastic questions. Some of these
questions are great. Some of the questions lead
to us solving a problem. You bring up problems
that people didn’t know existed. But I just want to let you
know, so we’re doing this so that we can be
transparent, so that we can get everything out. Yeah, go ahead. Please. The Press: Mr. President,
we have a patchwork of plans, understandably,
at the moment. Are you coordinating an
economic response with the leaders of the
G7 at the moment? The President: Yeah. The Press: You are? The President: Yeah, we’re
very, very close to them. We had a couple
of great talks. Plus, I speak — I’ve
spoken to a number of them individually. Yeah, we’re very,
very closely aligned. Please. The Press: Can I
ask two questions? One for the Vice President
real quickly — The President: Yeah. The Press: — and
then one for you? Vice President Pence, we
were talking about those self-swab tests. When will those
be available? They said this week, but
do you know which day and do you know where
they’re going? The Vice President: The
FDA just announced that decision. And my understanding is
that they’ll be now going directly to market. I’ll have a good estimate
for you on timeline. But what the President has
charged us to do at the task force is to promote
as much creativity and as much innovation
as possible. And, frankly, Dr. Hahn —
as the President said — at the FDA, has done a
remarkable job going through the review and
approval process for these new methodologies,
really in record time. We reflected a little bit
ago about the fact that we’re pretty sure
we set a record. I think it was 62 days
to be in the phase one clinical trial
of a vaccine. It’s actually in
clinical trials today. But this — this new
approval from a study done by UnitedHealth Group and
the Gates Group means that now self-collected
nasal swabs will become available. We’re going to be working,
through FEMA, with governors around the
country to make sure and distribute those methods,
as well as the swabs or any other supporting
material, and get those into this vast array of
labs that are now stood up around the country. The President: That’s
going to make a big difference too, because
that really is a process that’s easy, as opposed to
the current process, which is not — as I’ve said,
it’s not pleasant. The Press: Yeah, and then
just my other question for you — I just want to get
clarity on this: If we get to next week, we’re
deciding — you’re deciding what to do with
these guidelines, whether to ease them or reinstate
them for another 15 days, will you follow the advice
of Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci if they say you should
maintain them — The President: And
others, yeah. The Press: — for
two more weeks? The President: And then,
ultimately, I have to make a decision. But I certainly
listen to them. I listen to a
number of people. And I have a lot of
respect for Dr. Fauci and for Dr. Birx. And I’ll be listening to
them and others that we have that are really
doing a good job. Jon. The Press: But are you
worried that if you do this too quickly, if you
lift these restrictions too quickly, the virus
will start spreading unabated? And how can you be sure
that that’s not going to happen? The President: Well,
you know, we have now a system, and the
system is in place. And we have two very, very
powerful alternatives that we have to take
into consideration. And, as I said, one of the
things that has really got me thinking about this —
number one, I’m looking at what’s going on. And, you know, it’s —
life is fragile and economies are fragile. But one of the things is
the mortality rate, Jon. When we first started,
this nobody knew anything about this
particular virus. Very, very little. I mean, we started off —
we were hearing numbers of 5 percent. That would — that’s an
astronomical number, when the flu is . 001 and two and
three, right? And so, 5 percent would be
an astronomical number. Now we’re seeing numbers
that may be less than one, and that’s not including
the exercise that I just went through where many
people don’t report. So, everybody getting very
sick is reporting, but nobody getting, you
know, not very sick. And that should be
part of that equation. So that just keeps
reducing the number. So the mortality rate is
a, you know, that’s a big — to me, that’s
a very big factor. When we were hearing 3 and
4 percent — remember, we had one day where we
thought it was 5 percent and we were getting a
lot of bad numbers from countries that — I don’t
know why, but we were getting a lot
of bad numbers. I do wish — again, our
relationship is very good with China, but I wish
they could have told us about this a
little bit sooner. You know that. But the mortality rate is
a big thing for me because I think we’re very
substantially under 1 percent now. That’s — it’s
still terrible. It’s still the
whole thing. The whole concept of
death is terrible. But there’s a tremendous
difference between something under 1 percent
and 4 or 5 or even 3 percent. So that’s something that
we’re learning now. And I think the number may
be lower than people think because of what
I’ve been saying. Yeah, please. The Press: Mr. President,
you instructed Secretary Mnuchin and the others
working on this bill with Congress to meet some of
the demands that Democrats have made with regard
to — I guess they’re (inaudible). HE PRESIDENT: Well, I
thought we had a deal last night and then the
Democrats changed the deal. So — We had a deal last
night that was going to be phenomenal for the
workers, which is my number one — my
number one aim. I want to take care
of the workers. And we had a deal. I was pretty sure we
had a deal last night. If you would have told me
at a certain time, like about 9 o’clock, I would
have told you we pretty much have a deal. And then, all of a
sudden, it changed. It changed fairly rapidly. And, you know, it
was unacceptable. It would’ve been
bad for our country. And they were asking for
things that would have not been good. I mean, things that that
bore no relationship to what we’re talking about. We said, “That’s
not the game. We can’t play that game.” So we’ll see. Look, the Democrats do
want to make a deal. But, Jeff, I thought we
had a deal last night. The Press: And if you come
further into this process, weeks or months from now,
and decide that further stimulus is needed, will
you be able to work with Speaker Pelosi on that? The President: I’ll work
with anybody to help the American people. I will. I don’t care who it is. I’ll work with anybody if
I feel I’m going to help the American people and
the American worker. Yeah, please. The Press: Mr. President,
some states are still reporting a shortage
of materials needed to actually process
the tests. So what is the
administration doing to get all the states the
materials that they need? The President: Well, you
just saw the Admiral and you just saw the FEMA
people, and you just saw the Army Corps of
Engineers and — you know, we’re building hospitals
in New York and California and State of Washington
and New Jersey. I just made a commitment
to Phil that we’re going to help him out with
some of the areas in New Jersey, which is
very important. A great state. So we’re — we’re doing a
great job, and we’re there to help the governors. But, you know, the
governors are on the front line and they can do
some of it themselves. Governor Cuomo — he’s
been working very hard and he worked with me on the
hospitals and medical centers, because it’s not
just hospitals — it’s called hospital and
another is medical centers, of which we’re
building numerous for New York. And we have it
all laid out. We have Javits Center,
and then we have other locations throughout
the state. And I think it’s
really a great plan. And we’re going to have
FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers involved. And I’ve worked with them. You know — you know
we’re building a wall. We’re up to over 150 miles
of wall on our southern border, which is now
turning out to be even more important than we
originally thought. But I always thought it was
very important having borders. And so I’m working with —
I’m working with the Army Corps of Engineers, and I
see what they do and how they do it. And that’s what — that
used to be my business, and I know it very
well, and they’re very professional. They’re really good. So you’re going to see
a lot of good things happening in many states
— beyond the states I just mentioned —
in many states. We’re working with Governor
Ron DeSantis in Florida. We’re working with
Governor McMaster — right? — in South Carolina,
where they have a little bit of a breakout. Not by comparison,
but a little bit. We’re working with many,
many governors and many, many states. Actually, states where you
almost would think that they have it under pretty
good control and they’ve done a great job. But we’re working with
many states, and that’s primarily FEMA and the
Army Corps of Engineers. And they’re capable
of doing it. The Press: Mr. President,
back to the stimulus, can I ask a question on
behalf of my radio pool colleague, Tamara
Keith from NPR? The President: Sure. The Press: She asked
me to ask this to you. The President: Sure. The Press: You just
mentioned that there were some things last night
that were unacceptable, which would have been bad
for the country that the Democrats were bringing
into the stimulus conversation. Her question was: What
provisions would you absolutely not support
in this plan right now? The President: Well, a lot
of the provisions that they wanted — like stock
buybacks, I agree with that. That’s good with me. I mean, I don’t like
them buying back stock. I like them spending money
on airplanes and on their employees and their real
business, not buying back stock. And I don’t know if that
provision is going to be put in one way or the
other, but I’m all for it. And many Republicans, I
can tell you, are for it and I think many
Democrats are for it. But they were putting that
out like it was a problem last night. It’s not a problem for
me, I can tell you that. The Press: And one
more from Tamara. The President: Please. The Press: She also wanted
to know: How much would you want the cash relief
directly for Americans? What number would
you like to see? The President: Well, I
think what you’re talking about right now is at
least $3,000 per family of four. Isn’t that correct? It’s $3,000 for a family
of four, which is — which is bold. And if this continued —
we’d have to build this up. And if this continued,
we’ll do something else, and we’ll do more
at a later date. But that’s a big —
that’s a big number. If you remember, they were
talking about $500 and $600. And we are all for that. It’s three — as of this
moment, it’s $3,000 for a family of four. Please, go ahead. The Press: When you’re
looking at some of the economic headwinds
that we’re facing, I’m wondering if one of the
things you’re concerned about is the strength of
the dollar and if there’s something that we should
do to address that, including possible
(inaudible) on countries? The President: Well, we
have a very strong dollar. And, you know, a strong
dollar is good in many ways, but it’s also tough
in many ways because it makes trade much harder. It makes it much harder
for Caterpillar Tractor and other companies to
sell their goods to Europe or China or wherever
they may be sold. So, having a strong dollar
is good, but it really sounds good. But the truth is, it makes
certain things, like trade, much tougher. And our dollar — I don’t
know if you’ve seen, but our dollar has remained
very strong, especially against other currencies. Very, very strong. Which, again, makes that
trading more difficult, but there’s something nice
about having a strong dollar, right? You know, no matter
what, I’m President. It’s nice to have
a strong dollar. But it does make
trading more difficult. The Press: Just to go back
to the stimulus, you’re confident you’re
going to a deal? The President: Well, I
think the Democrats want a deal and I think we want a
deal, so it would be very foolish if they
didn’t make a deal. The American public
is demanding it. I can tell you, the
Republicans want to make a deal and we want to make a
deal that’s good for the workers, good
for the country. And I really believe the
Democrats want to make a deal, but they have to
stop asking for things that bear no relationship
to what we’re talking about — The Press: And
you’ve had a lot of laudatory things to say —
The President: — that are actually bad — that are
actually not good for the country. The Press: You’ve been
very laudatory toward Democratic governors. You mentioned Governor
Cuomo, you mentioned some others. The President: Yeah. The Press: If you’d get
a stimulus bill, I’m wondering if you’ll extend
this bipartisan goodwill to Speaker Pelosi and
invite her here for a signing ceremony. The President: Well,
let’s see what happens. I have to see
what happens. Right now, we don’t have
a deal, but I think we’re very close. I mean, when I left, which
was quite a while ago now, because again, we’re
trying to answer every question so there’s no —
it’d be nice if you were just exhausted and
said, “That’s it. We can’t do any more.” But there’s
always hands up. But — and maybe one of
those questions is great and unique. But no, look, I want — I
want what’s good for the country. And if that means meeting,
I think that’s great. I just want what’s good
for the country, great for our workers, great for the
citizens of the United States. That’s all. It’s pretty — The Press:
When was the last time you’ve spoken with Pelosi? The President: Well, it’s
— it’s been a little while. Yeah, please. The Press: Both you and
the Vice President have been tested for the
virus, also Mrs. Pence. Has the First
Lady been tested? The President: Yes. The Press: And? The President:
She’s great. She’s fine. The Press: Negative? The President: Negative. Okay? Negative. The Press: What are the
sticking points on the stimulus? Who is going to hold
Treasury accountable for this 500-billion-dollar
corporate rescue fund? The President: Well, you
need that to help all of these companies that have
a chance of not being companies anymore. And that’s going to be a
good thing for the country because deals
will be made. And we’re talking to
certain people — some of the greatest people in the
history of Wall Street, frankly, where, when they
do a deal, we’ll have stock for the
— for America. We’ll take back stock
for the United States. We’ll do — At the same
time, most importantly, we’ll keep those
companies healthy. But we can also make
incredible deals for the country so that that
number will increase exponentially. I mean, that’s a great —
The Press: But the concern isn’t about the fund,
it’s about the lack of oversight of Treasury
having this unilateral authority to dole out
all of this money. The President: No, no. Look, I’ll be
the oversight. I’ll be the oversight. We’re going to
make good deals. We make good deals. But these
companies need it. Even it was just a simple
loan, which would be — but we can do
better than that. And the companies are
willing to do better than that. I mean, they got hit. Most of these companies,
it was through no fault of their own. There are a couple where
it was — you know, they were troubled
before they came in. We talked about one. They had trouble; nobody
can believe it, actually, in that one. But these companies are —
through no fault of their own, they have difficulty. I mean, two weeks ago,
these companies were among the most solid
institutions in the world. You’d want to buy their
bonds; their bonds were rated AAA, or whatever
their highest rating is today. And now, all of a sudden,
they have difficulty because they’ve
been closed up. So you need something
to keep them going. But that money is not
going to be wasted money. That money is
going to be seen. And we could multiply
that number by many times coming back to the
American public. That could be a
phenomenal thing. But most importantly, it’s
going to keep these great engines of jobs and
ingenuity going. Very important. Yeah. How about one or two
more, and we’ll go? Go ahead, please. And then Jeff. The Press: Thank you, sir. Are there things you
regret in the way you handled the crisis so far? Are there words
you regret? The President: I
don’t think so. You know, I’m
looking forward. I don’t look back. I guess there’s always
something everybody regrets. There are things in
your life you regret. We all regret things. But I really like
to look forward. I’m a person that looks —
a forward thinker, I guess they would say. No, I think that we’ve
handled it really well. It seems to be — the
American public thinks that we’ve handled it
well, if you look at polling data. But I’m not
interested in myself. I’m interested in
the American people. We have to get this going. We have millions and
millions of jobs that were solid as a rock
three weeks ago. And today, there
could be questions. And the faster we get it
going, the more likely it is that those stores,
little businesses, big businesses, medium-sized
businesses open up. And we’ll get it
going very fast. I really believe this
is a pent-up demand. I think that as soon as
we say, “Let’s go” — and it’s going to
be pretty soon. It’s going to
be pretty soon. It’s going to be sooner
than people would think. We’ve — again, we’re in a
position to take care of our country, but at the
same time, to have the country really — really
go up like a rocket ship economically. And that’s great for jobs,
it’s great for everything else. Yeah, please. The Press: Mr. President,
I’d like to ask a question for a colleague who can’t
be in the room because of social distancing. The President: For who? The Press: A colleague
who can’t be in the room because of our social
distancing — about Florida. He wanted me to ask:
Should Governor DeSantis have closed all of the
beaches in his state? The President: Well, that’s really up to the Governor. I mean, I think — first
of all, he’s a great governor. He’s done an
incredible job. Governor DeSantis
of Florida. And on the beaches, I
guess he’s recently made a decision. But you do have a lot of
room on the beaches and, you know, I think it’s
just a decision that — that he made originally,
and then he’s refined it, and then he’s done
something that a lot of people agree with
what he’s done. But he’s done a lot
of things right. And he’s been truly — I
mean, he cares so much about healthcare. He cares so much about
the cost of prescription drugs. He’s been a fantastic
governor for Florida. They’re very
happy with him. The whole concept of
the beach, it’s a very interesting issue. There are a lot of open
spaces; that includes parks and other things. But rather than relying on
social distancing, they’re probably going to do that
one a different way. But I would imagine when
we make our decision, things like that
would be opened up. And then people will
remember what they’re supposed to be doing. Well, I want to thank
everybody very much, and we’ll see you
tomorrow sometime. And we’ll get this going,
I think, really well. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it.

About the author

Comments

  1. God bless the Chinese people but the government should have told us sooner. Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to calm the nerves of the American people. Former President Barack Obama would have been playing golf.

  2. Junk Removal is going to be on high demand I'm I going to need a suit I'm boarder line diabetic can we get some high end mask so we can clean these house safely

  3. Trump… you're the only one that has done anything effective (The travel ban). Override the CDC/FDA and executive order doctors to begin using hydroxychoroquine and lopinavir and ritonavir. When Remdesivir comes out we can use that (although I think the other ones are better) It needs to be used as soon as an individual tests positive for the virus. Using it on patients already in ICU is of limited use.

    Obviously if a patient has some kind of heart issue, pharmaceutical use complication, or medical history that says the treatments are dangerous then don't have the doctors give it to them. Now is the time to act quickly. I don't care if this is done with an unlimited clinical trial where the only criteria is an infection of the virus and a medical history that indicates the use of the drug is likely safe for the patient.

    This is the only way that we might go back to normal. NYC is on the brink of collapse.

    Optimistically Italy has had 1% of their population infected with the virus… meaning 1% immunity in a month of hell. We may need up to 80% for herd immunity. SARS-COV-1's immunity lasts 3 years. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is a problem we can't get out of without dramatically increasing the throughput of getting people infected and cleared of this virus safely.

    We need to explore blood donation with antibodies.

    We may want to explore getting people a small viral load of the S strain and treating it with a proven treatment backed by a very strong clinical trial.

  4. What good does it make to have a task force? if you do not stop the enemies within our nation from stopping the actions of the task force get the job done, but use this time to destroy our nation any way they can before the task force can solve the problems that the corona virus 19 started here and around the world, lock up the enemies of our nation they have shown they care not whom they hurt or destroy to bring in their fake one world order…

  5. I am continually astounded at the stupidity of the questions by these media representatives. Truly ignorant people.

  6. 21 million dead in China just got Intel I from a person burning bodies. Verified 23 million cell phones turned off 21 with death certificate s

  7. Europe's largest low-cost airline Ryanair has stopped all flights for at least two months. The company currently assumes that there will be no flights in April and May, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said in Dublin. Ultimately, it depends on government orders. Nobody knows how long the pandemic will last. However, according to O'Leary, Ryanair is ready to fly back stranded passengers or, for example, to take part in medication deliveries.

  8. Who is putting pressure on Trump to go along with the Coronavirus hoax? Trump, Putin and Boris all know it's a hoax.

  9. Trump 2020 in NOVEMBER!!! KAG BABY!!!

    Take care of yourself President Trump! We need you to help fight the evil on the Left!

  10. I never vote and in November my wife and I are BOTH voting TRUMP!!!
    We will defeat this disease and defeat Chyna!

  11. We thought Donnie was pro-life. More pro-profit: https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/24/21192638/coronavirus-bill-gates-trump-reopen-business

  12. Well it is a good thing now I know that. My comments wont work that much. Since I am not WORLD famous or a celebrity. It is good that I finally realized. Man the grace of ALLAH saved me. Islam Donald trump and the American people. Man it saved along with Mahadev or lord Shiva.

    I guess better late than never. I didn't know. I didnt know that apple wont pay me or credit me unless I was WORLD famous or a being celebrity ( well maybe) .

    ANYWAY like I said but I did say I will intervene if AMERICA is in a emergency or in a bad situation. I guess I am just IMPULSIVE. I maybe might have to reconsider that.

    Man I didnt know that by commenting like this I was sort BEING set up for a nasty experience. I don't know if any of comments were being read by you all in the White House. DONALD trump did you see this comment at all????? ANYWAY now I am starting to UNDERSTAND. ANYWAY bye then. See you all again.

    #Donaldtrump, #BARACKOBAMA #AMERICA #Dil, #DILEEPMADHAVAN.

    yes I am AGGRESSIVE. I was aiming so hard to make something happen through commenting but it seems like it's not enough. I couldn't seem to make apple pay me or credit me. I couldn't seem to get rid of the DISCRIMINATION from the US congress make them pass the law where Ii could have become the us president. Now I feel has everything been a waste? All my efforts have they been wasted? Did the president of IRAN even see my comments? Did the BOLLYWOOD actress ALIA bhatt see my comment? #aliabhatt

    Hmmm anyway I wonder if SHEIKH Mohammed AL maktoum saw my comment. #uae, #sheikhmohammadalmaktoum, #Dubai

    Anyway now i understand. I hope everyone will have a nice day. Follow the tips I have been commenting on YouTube about the CORONA virus most importantly stay at home!!!!!!!!!

  13. Well it is a good thing now I know that. My comments wont work that much. Since I am not WORLD famous or a celebrity. It is good that I finally realized. Man the grace of ALLAH saved me. Islam Donald trump and the American people. Man it saved along with Mahadev or lord Shiva.

    I guess better late than never. I didn't know. I didnt know that apple wont pay me or credit me unless I was WORLD famous or a being celebrity ( well maybe) .

    ANYWAY like I said but I did say I will intervene if AMERICA is in a emergency or in a bad situation. I guess I am just IMPULSIVE. I maybe might have to reconsider that.

    Man I didnt know that by commenting like this I was sort BEING set up for a nasty experience. I don't know if any of comments were being read by you all in the White House. DONALD trump did you see this comment at all????? ANYWAY now I am starting to UNDERSTAND. ANYWAY bye then. See you all again.

    #Donaldtrump, #BARACKOBAMA #AMERICA #Dil, #DILEEPMADHAVAN.

    yes I am AGGRESSIVE. I was aiming so hard to make something happen through commenting but it seems like it's not enough. I couldn't seem to make apple pay me or credit me. I couldn't seem to get rid of the DISCRIMINATION from the US congress make them pass the law where Ii could have become the us president. Now I feel has everything been a waste? All my efforts have they been wasted? Did the president of IRAN even see my comments? Did the BOLLYWOOD actress ALIA bhatt see my comment? #aliabhatt

    Hmmm anyway I wonder if SHEIKH Mohammed AL maktoum saw my comment. #uae, #sheikhmohammadalmaktoum, #Dubai

    Anyway now i understand. I hope everyone will have a nice day. Follow the tips I have been commenting on YouTube about the CORONA virus most importantly stay at home!!!!!!!!!

  14. Well it is a good thing now I know that. My comments wont work that much. Since I am not WORLD famous or a celebrity. It is good that I finally realized. Man the grace of ALLAH saved me. Islam Donald trump and the American people. Man it saved along with Mahadev or lord Shiva.

    I guess better late than never. I didn't know. I didnt know that apple wont pay me or credit me unless I was WORLD famous or a being celebrity ( well maybe) .

    ANYWAY like I said but I did say I will intervene if AMERICA is in a emergency or in a bad situation. I guess I am just IMPULSIVE. I maybe might have to reconsider that.

    Man I didnt know that by commenting like this I was sort BEING set up for a nasty experience. I don't know if any of comments were being read by you all in the White House. DONALD trump did you see this comment at all????? ANYWAY now I am starting to UNDERSTAND. ANYWAY bye then. See you all again.

    #Donaldtrump, #BARACKOBAMA #AMERICA #Dil, #DILEEPMADHAVAN.

    yes I am AGGRESSIVE. I was aiming so hard to make something happen through commenting but it seems like it's not enough. I couldn't seem to make apple pay me or credit me. I couldn't seem to get rid of the DISCRIMINATION from the US congress make them pass the law where Ii could have become the us president. Now I feel has everything been a waste? All my efforts have they been wasted? Did the president of IRAN even see my comments? Did the BOLLYWOOD actress ALIA bhatt see my comment? #aliabhatt

    Hmmm anyway I wonder if SHEIKH Mohammed AL maktoum saw my comment. #uae, #sheikhmohammadalmaktoum, #Dubai

    Anyway now i understand. I hope everyone will have a nice day. Follow the tips I have been commenting on YouTube about the CORONA virus most importantly stay at home!!!!!!!!!

  15. Well it is a good thing now I know that. My comments wont work that much. Since I am not WORLD famous or a celebrity. It is good that I finally realized. Man the grace of ALLAH saved me. Islam Donald trump and the American people. Man it saved along with Mahadev or lord Shiva.

    I guess better late than never. I didn't know. I didnt know that apple wont pay me or credit me unless I was WORLD famous or a being celebrity ( well maybe) .

    ANYWAY like I said but I did say I will intervene if AMERICA is in a emergency or in a bad situation. I guess I am just IMPULSIVE. I maybe might have to reconsider that.

    Man I didnt know that by commenting like this I was sort BEING set up for a nasty experience. I don't know if any of comments were being read by you all in the White House. DONALD trump did you see this comment at all????? ANYWAY now I am starting to UNDERSTAND. ANYWAY bye then. See you all again.

    #Donaldtrump, #BARACKOBAMA #AMERICA #Dil, #DILEEPMADHAVAN.

    yes I am AGGRESSIVE. I was aiming so hard to make something happen through commenting but it seems like it's not enough. I couldn't seem to make apple pay me or credit me. I couldn't seem to get rid of the DISCRIMINATION from the US congress make them pass the law where Ii could have become the us president. Now I feel has everything been a waste? All my efforts have they been wasted? Did the president of IRAN even see my comments? Did the BOLLYWOOD actress ALIA bhatt see my comment? #aliabhatt

    Hmmm anyway I wonder if SHEIKH Mohammed AL maktoum saw my comment. #uae, #sheikhmohammadalmaktoum, #Dubai

    Anyway now i understand. I hope everyone will have a nice day. Follow the tips I have been commenting on YouTube about the CORONA virus most importantly stay at home!!!!!!!!!

  16. Dotard failed again. See an example of leadership: https://www.thejournal.ie/private-hospitals-ireland-coronavirus-5056334-Mar2020/

  17. The Californians that moved to Idaho, are the very worst horders. They empty the stores everyday. I'm 61 and have a seriously compromised immune system. In times like these, people like me are the last in line.

  18. covid=flame….dry bush=people…..open it all up!!!!just add people!hmmmm…..1918-20 all over again…..the cure isn't the economy….a cure is a cure….either they have it already,,before this all started or they don't..open it all up will do what with no cure…?and theres always the geee wiz,,can this thing mutate?hmmmm..

  19. Pray that God would erase the virus from the planet in an instant on the morning of Resurrection Sunday Jerusalem time.

  20. Look–> Mr. President …If you wake up finally and repent to God through Jesus Christ, and become the godly leader that we have needed, I will reverse course in calling for your removal from office, and I will fully support you. But if you do not do this–> I simply ask you to immediately step down and remove yourself from office. The time is NOW!!!

  21. For POTUS
    Youtube interrupts transmission of white house live streams and other indie Youtube channels and delivers another Trump video as soon as election and democrats are mentioned. It is as if Youtube wanted to censor the president when he wants to show his side of current events. I have seen that several times during rallies and I saw it today.

  22. Brad Little, Idaho Governor, is a blatant crook. He literally went to the border, and brought thousands of illegal mexicans into Idaho, to take Idahoan jobs. Mr. President, isn't that Illegal???? Idaho has a long history of Corruption. All States Matter!

  23. Boom! – youtube.com/watch?v=wp7G3wd6uhA **Dr. Vladimir Zelenko ref.out-patient setting**. God Bless!

    Thank You Presdent Trump for your steadfast leadership! Right person at the right time!

  24. the commie world order banksters are pressuring this to happen…like peloci putting her own plans on the table that are irrelevant to helping doc nurses and the folks..its the stall or force the reopening to get things to the people..hold your ground don't fan the flames..

  25. ‼️Petition‼️ https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/petition-president-donald-trump-hold-chinas-government-accountable-coronavirus

  26. This whole thing is starting to reek. This will destroy the economy as Banksters sweep up the businesses just as they did in 1929 for pennies on the dollar by some made in the lab bug that will kill fewer people than the seasonal flu, or heart disease, or obesity, or smoking-related illness. Why didn't the US send our best to China in December to help China, our biggest trading partner and figure out where this gene-edited virus come from? Now the criminal Congress is going to militarize this and wage war against the American people. Trump calls it the China Virus? Unprofessional and childish. Why is Trump and his administration turning Americans against China with no proof it started in China? It actually looks like the fake Vaping pneumonia on rays. In fact, it's identical. So did it start in the US and being covered up. How do we know when the media and government lie 24-7-365. The human body can fight off all illnesses unless you are weak and diseased from previous vaccines from 10 or 20 years ago. All vaccines are poison, that have toxic ingredients in them. If you take this untested vaccine of a virus you will always test positive for coronavirus if it doesn't kill you or make you wish you were dead and you will destroy your natural immune system. And they are talking about toilet paper?

  27. Dotard is playing catch-up again:

    Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said anyone who has left New York should put themselves into quarantine for 14 days.

    Trump is a failure. A real mistake since his conception.

  28. trump you are garbage & your childish outbursts at reporters who ask you questions you don't like just speak to your ineffectiveness as a calm & thoughtful leader. you are an ignorant thug, liar, conman who i have heard about since i was a little kid back in the 70's as you had been bullying, cheating, refusing to pay your share of taxes, your employees for years at that point. you are trash. you may have been brought up in a mansion, but you are the mentality of a uneducated idiot in the slums. your suit & tie don't fool anyone but your just as ignorant base. you will abuse & victimize them once they vote you back in, if they manage to, or you pay off the enough of the voters in the electoral college again. you will be just as brutal to them, they will end up in poverty like they have never known before, just like you will do to the rest of us. but in the end, you will be brought down to your knees, & i will celebrate with all the fervor of winning a billion dollar lottery ticket. we will prevail over you.

  29. 39;18…..we have to see where the virus (is) to see where its going…..um…..its goin to whoever and whatever doesn't have it yet!!!fkn duh….open it all up let er rip…..?what choice is there dems just want a porker bill,,that is totally irrelevant,,and will stall,obstruct hold off politisize,etc etc on and on and on and on and on and on…….forever!!!!!!!agenda 21…making a better world..for them,,and most of ya wont be in it..oh well…sniff sniff….

  30. Trump is a prime example of why millionaires and /or rich people should not run for elected office like the oval office…they don't know shit about politics and they abuse their position and to get what they want not what the country needs….leadership and trust and not more trumps in office

  31. NY Governor Cuomo should be expeditiously removed from office, he's the problem and not the solution….when 60% of the country's infection came out of that city and all he can do is complain about PPE material instead of issuing ordinances: Starve the virus with social distancing and bomb it with medicinals that at least work for the flu and Pneumonia is reprehensible. He's a JOKE.

  32. There is parts of America that can be opened. And keep people safe. Hospitals now know what to do and how to do it to keep people safe.. People do not understand you can do both. I think lots of America can open.

  33. President Trump has his eyes wide open. He knows what's going on. The reason he has been such a great President is that he is a BUSINESSMAN, not a POLITICIAN. This is exactly what is needed at this time. America will come back; the American spirit is too strong to be down for long. Upcoming drug trials will show a treatment for the virus and that will be the key that turns the lock to get back to work. This virus hasn't killed anywhere near what the common flu does every year. Steady as she goes, Prez!

  34. DEAR PRESIDENT TRUMP, I AS YOUR CITIZEN DO NOT THINK IT IS A GOOD DECISION TO OPEN UP WITH THE GO AHEAD SO SOON TO GO BACK TO WORK AND MINGLE. THIS VIRUS WILL GO ON SPREADING EVEN WORST WITH THAT ACTION..
    IT IS WAY TOO SOON TO TELL YOUR CITIZENS TO LEAVE THE SAFETY OF THEIR NEST.
    THIS IS JUST WHAT THE DEMONRATS WANT YOU TO DO, FUCK UP.. WE CITIZENS THINK YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB, BUT DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR VOTES WITH A HUGE MISTAKE LIKE THAT. WE HAVE BEEN STANDING BEHIND YOU SO FAR..YOU ARE THE GREATEST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY.
    BE SAFE, AND GOD BLESS YOU, GOD BLESS US ALL!

  35. God Bless Donald J. Trump. I just found this Rock Song for him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbh35Un2KUk

  36. On top of Coronavirus STILL spreading from Wuhan, Hubei Province in China, now HANTAVIRUS is spreading from Shandong, China, not mentioning Pig virus, Bird flu virus, HIV, Hepatitis B and C viruses, etc. (ck it out)

  37. Hero becomes huge responsibilities for me and Aladar The Iguanodon official and Disney company Amen God bless America and country of USA today

  38. Doctor Birx needs to lose those scarfs and tell the truth like Dr. Fauci, it's now Spring, and remember Lent is the time to be truthful.

  39. Bloomberg,,500mill on adds.to trash trump,he or his like minded are gonna help?..population of the usa 325million…..problem now?is?funding us,?from,con,,,gress?pass an aid bill? to shelter in place for how long?,,or exposing us all ,,,while they go hide in a hole like the pit of hell and pretend to be the saviors of the world…you do the fkn math..and by the way madam natzi piglocy/shummer and accociates,, wheres your contribution,from your bubble…answer that!!!!

  40. hears an idea,,all you actors,millionares billionares,etc,,pitch in,,,(and not to a Clinton foundation…learn your fkn lesson).each.that are usa citizens,donate,,so we can get through this…don't trust con gress as far as you can throw them…..here the rest of us are losing out lives and property…while congress stay on pause and perpetual lame fkn duck…when you could make the difference..on your own or together..thing is..do you….?or is it still all about you…centurys of tears as the same shit goes on,,nows you last chance to do it..,,spread the wealth around?pitch in?..even the blind can see who you all really are….

  41. this is NESARA and GESARA, this is saint germain or gadriel who is bringing this in, pay attention to your bible revelations , trump is bringing in the savior to save the world, but he is the deceiver . the new monetary system is the mark of the beast. pay attention to the gold standard .

  42. it..took 2 seconds to vote behind everyones back,,in con,gress?to send billions to iran in planeloads of cash,,fkn cash!!!!wheres that leave the rest of you..now…its a virus docs nurses people are dying,,oh well..?you caint even get a penny,,while the foreclosures on your house car etc etc on and on crush this nation,into oblivion,when we just need to get through this….con…..gress is out of lies to tell…..

  43. Wow!.. I just noticed the podium, the wood grain has been bleached like crazy as the wood has faded from its dark rich color.. Kill those germs and virus.  Good job!..

  44. All the these press maggots make me sick. I think they need to investigate them for bribes etc… they are an enemy of our Country.

  45. they always ask( you )to sacrifice..one example…ask Bloomberg to sacrifice!or oprah or how many others actors,,so many could and didnt….. 100k each lawful citizen of the usa as a charity,,shit!the fker will just write it off and not lose a dime..to get through this,and hunker down..till the people that can make a difference, can find a cure treatment etc..500million for adds when he ran for office,,anti trump anti usa..population of the usa 325 million..adds 500million….this isnt that fkn hard!!!!if he or any of his kind,,so called mentality,wana help,it wont take much..and they can write it off..but noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!see who they really are…let the death begin…..oh btw..dont forget…they did nothing,,like a do nothin congress…are they voting or is it opening the gas chamber for a bunch of evil windbags,while getting the corpse removal and furnace systems warmed up…just keep stalling,,,(STALIN)mao,kim,hitler,,etc etc on and on and on…..pathetic…..

  46. President Trump – Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force : You all are doing a FANTASTIC Job as you are working thru this Crisis. Please understand the vast majority of Americans are 100% behind you. May God Richly Bless You and continue to give all of you the Energy & Wisdom to defeat this virus. As you Surely will!! Jim English

  47. Can the white house or someone in the US gov make timestamps? A lot of successful long-form youtube channels seem to do it fairly easily. Expecting most Americans who want this info to sit through it for 2 hours everytime there's a press briefing is a bit of a reach, especially the ones still working in essential roles.

    Edit: Understanding its a lot of indirectly connected announcements but even a long form timestamp would be easier to read than to watch. Most people who aren't watching the briefings are reading highlights of the briefing or watching political pundits comment on generally one or two sections of the briefings.

  48. I am THRILLED they give so many Pressers. It is an AMAZING CONTRAST showing very Steadfast Dedication to We The People, and to the Fortitude of our President and his Team's determination to make sure we understand ALL of the Situation they are dealing with.

  49. El mejor precidente de nuestros tiempo Dios lo continué bendiciendo a usted y a la familia Amén y Dios continué bendiciendo a este Gran País Amén.

  50. So, am I to understand that at 62, I will continue to work two jobs, to supplement my social security, and get nothing, while those milking unemployment will get an additional 600 a week?
    What a messed up deal.

  51. 🔴YOU GET : A loan and an advanced payment on your taxes.

    🔴BIG BUSINESS & BANKERS : Larger payments & huge profits on interest you will be paying.

    🙏🏻Thanks, You and the swamp are truly looking out for us.

  52. THE COMING KING – THOR HAAKON = 666.
    ———————————————————————–
    A coming number 9 = 666.
    A coming number Thor Haakon Sandberg – the nr 9 = 1776.

    Dark ghost "ICON" nr nine = 666.
    A dragon "Satan" inside "nine" = 666.
    Satan following: Thor Haakon "nine" = 1776.
    ————————————————————————–
    Red Dragon: Unholy trinity = 1776.

    The trinity = 888.
    The trinity: Donald J Trump = 1776.
    The trinity: The number nine = 1776.
    Trinity: Thor Haakon Sandberg = 1776

  53. SHINING DARK LORD NR NINE = 666.
    ————————————————————
    A angel and demon Thor = 666.
    A angel and demon Thor Haakon Sandberg is angel of Lucifer = 1776.

    A half evil half good = 666.
    A half evil half good Thor Haakon Sandberg – Dark Lord Child = 1776.

    NR 666 A MORNING STAR = 666.
    MORNING STAR = 888.

    Tick tock.

  54. Has Rand Paul had a 2nd test, or even a third?? Because the early CDC tests gave a vey high rate of false positives. I do not trust these tests, especially when a positive comes up for an asymptotic
    person. Too many people feel no symptoms after being told they have the virus, and so the world starts to believe this virus is no big deal. BEWARE OF UNDERESTIMATING THIS VIRUS!

  55. Thank you for your tireless efforts to help the America people. Continued prayer for all! 🇱🇷

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