Apr 19, 2020

Donald Trump Coronavirus Press Conference Transcript April 19

Donald Trump Coronavirus April 19 Press Conference
RevBlogTranscriptsDonald Trump TranscriptsDonald Trump Coronavirus Press Conference Transcript April 19

President Donald Trump held an April 19 coronavirus task force press conference. He played a video of Andrew Cuomo and complimented him, an interesting turn after Friday’s Twitter jabs at the New York governor. He also announced he’s preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production for tests. Read the full transcript here.

 

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Donald Trump: (00:01)
Thank you very much. I’d like to begin by saying that we’re continuing to negotiate with the Democrats to get our great workers and small businesses all over the country taken care of. I think we’re getting close to a deal. Could happen, could happen. A lot of good work has been going on and we could have an answer tomorrow and we’re going to see what exactly does take place. We’re also looking at helping our hospitals and our rural hospitals who have been hurt very badly. The rural hospitals for a long time have not been treated properly. We’re looking to help them and beyond, so we’re looking at hospitals also as part of the package and we’ll see how that all comes out. But a lot of good things are happening. Some very good negotiations. Just got off the phone with the Secretary of the Treasury and we have some very good negotiations going on right now, and I think you could have a nice answer tomorrow, but we’ll see.

Donald Trump: (01:05)
America continues to make steady progress in our war against the virus. As of today, we’ve tested 4.18 million Americans. That’s a record anywhere in the world. The United States has now conducted more total tests than all of the following nations combined: France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria, Australia, Sweden, and Canada. And our testing is expanding very rapidly by millions and millions of people. So we’ve done more testing than all of these countries combined. France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria and Australia, Sweden and Canada. That’s something, right? We’re doing a great job. We are, this team is an incredible team and that includes Army Corps of Engineers a lot of our military people, our admirals, our generals, got one of our great admirals here, has done an incredible job. You haven’t slept too much in the last two months either. Look at him. Somebody said to me, “President, you look tired.” I said, “I should be tired.”

Donald Trump: (02:23)
We should all be tired, but we have to win, right?

Speaker 1: (02:27)
Yes sir.

Donald Trump: (02:27)
Tomorrow the president, the vice president, will lead a call with our nation’s governors from FEMA headquarters, Mike?

Vice President Pence: (02:35)
Yes sir.

Donald Trump: (02:36)
To review what more they could do and do together to develop locally tailored testing strategies, working very hard with governors now on testing and want to help them out. Before the call, we’ll send them a full list of all of the large laboratory machines in the states. They have a lot of machinery in the states, that some aren’t that aware of, but they’re there and they’re really high quality machines, by the way. And the potential capacity of those machines, if they’re fully utilized, a couple of them didn’t know that they could be utilized in a different manner. They were only up to 10% and they can go 90% more. Many governors are still relying on their state laboratories rather than the full and much larger capacity that is available to them.

Donald Trump: (03:19)
As an example, commercial laboratories such as Quest and LabCorp, these are massive laboratories that can handle a lot more than they’re being sent. A few days ago, it was at 30%. They were only at 30% capacity. Now, I don’t know, they’re probably the same, but they have a lot of capacity. In addition, academic laboratories, big research labs. There’s tremendous capacity out there and some of them want the fast, the instant Abbott machine, which just came about due to the research during this little short period of time and it’s very quick. But these labs can do it very quickly also, and they’re massive. They can handle much more than the machine, the small machine can handle. We continue to procure millions of swabs, test collectors. I have something here, just happen to have, it’s a swab. It looks innocent. Not very complicated. Anybody like to see what it looks like. Should I open it? Does everybody?

Speaker 2: (04:24)
Open it up. Yeah, open it up.

Speaker 3: (04:25)
Yes, please.

Donald Trump: (04:25)
Open it up. I will. This is what it’s about, right? Does it remind you of something? it Reminds you of this, right? One’s a swab, one’s a Q-tip. It’s actually different. It’s very sophisticated actually, but it’s a little bit like, so this is the swab, and we’ve ordered a lot of them. They have a lot of them, some of them, some of the states, they were shipped to states and the states don’t know where they are, but that’s it. Why don’t we give this to Karen? Perhaps she’ll take an extra test. Right? But this is a big deal and we’re working on it and we’re working with the companies and I think in the end we’re going to have a tremendous success. Nobody is close to us. No country is close to us.

Donald Trump: (05:27)
In fact, and I appreciate it very much, the Wall Street Journal wrote a fantastic piece, a highly respected gentleman, Christopher DeMuth, and this piece was just in the Wall Street Journal, weekend edition. “Trump rewrites the book on emergencies.” That’s what’s happened, too. And we, just read one paragraph. “He’s given pride of place to federalism and private enterprise, lauding the patriotism and proficiency of our fantastic governors and mayors,” meaning I do call them fantastic when it’s appropriate, “and our incredible business leaders and genius companies,” I guess I probably use those terms too, when they’re doing a good job. When they’re not doing a good job, I don’t use those terms. “Our heroic doctors and nurses and orderlies and our tremendous truckers.” They have all done good jobs. “By shouting out many of them by name and documenting their deeds on a fully daily basis, he has vivified the American way in action. Once it was reluctantly aroused,” it was hard to get it aroused, and it is hard to get it aroused, but we got it aroused. “When asked why he has not issued orders for nationwide home and business lockdowns, he has emphasized that the intensity of the epidemic varies widely and is best met by calibrated state and local judgments.” That’s the judgments of governors and local people. “And added pointedly that such steps would conflict with the Constitution.”

Donald Trump: (07:07)
But very importantly, he’s just a very respected gentleman. To see this was a very nice feeling. Not for me necessarily, but for all of the people that have worked with us. I mean, they’ve worked so hard and we’ve developed tests that are so fantastic. We’ve come up with things that nobody had ever heard of and we did it during this pandemic. We did it under pressure. It’s called reaction under pressure. It’s pretty amazing what our people have done and that includes all of our military people and our CDC, just about everybody you can imagine, including Tony and Deborah, and they’ve worked long hours.

Donald Trump: (07:51)
There’s nobody that’s getting a lot of sleep. We’re close to finalizing, I want to thank the writer Christopher, for this article, and it’s a great article. That was frankly, at least of it what I read, it was a great article. We appreciate it. We’re close to finalizing a second partnership through which a U.S. manufacturer would convert its existing plant to produce over 10 million additional swabs for a month and we should be ready to announce this in a very short period of time. We also are going to be using, and we’re preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by over 20 million additional swabs per month. We’ve had a little difficulty with one, so we’re going to call in, as we have in the past, as you know, we’re calling in the Defense Production Act and we’ll be getting swabs very easily. Swabs are easy. Ventilators are hard. Ventilators are a big deal and we are now the king of ventilators. We have so many ventilators. I said nobody that needed a ventilator has been turned down. It’s pretty amazing. Nobody.

Donald Trump: (09:06)
We’re working with the world-class team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to use its injection molding capacity to potentially produce over 10 million collection tubes per week. That’s tremendous numbers. In the meantime, the supply chain and logistics task force continues to surge testing and needed supplies all throughout America. Mike’s team and the task force, they just met. They’ve been meeting virtually every day and it’s a great team, right? It’s a great team. They’ve been doing a great job, mike. You’ve been doing a great job. Many governors are doing this incredible work and they’re working with us very closely on testing and working in their states. And again, it should be a local thing because it’s point, it’s all these points within a state, but we’re helping them a lot and we want to help them a lot. We’re going to help them more than a lot, actually, if you think about it, with what we’ve done.

Donald Trump: (10:04)
Think of it. We’ve done more than all those countries combined. We’re encouraging them to share their successful strategies with other governors. Some of the governors are doing a better job than others. The robust capacity that we’ve brought online will empower governors to deploy sophisticated strategies so they can safely reopen their states. Some people believe in testing very strongly and other people believe in it less strongly, but still it’s a very good thing to have. I think we can say that. Some people believe in it like they can’t exist without testing and other people don’t believe in it nearly as much. They can see how they’re doing and they feel how they’re doing and they’ve been pretty vocal about that. I think you know pretty much who I’m talking about, but I believe if they want it, we should give it to them and get it for them and work with them.

Donald Trump: (10:57)
You must remember that the governors wanted to have total control over the opening of their states, but now they want to have us, the federal government, do the testing. And again, testing is local. You can’t have it both ways. Testing is a local thing and it’s very important. It’s great, but it’s a local thing and we’re going to get it done to a level in a very short period of time because all of these, all of the swabs are coming in. All of the necessarily materials. A lot of them, as I said, are already there, but a lot of people don’t know that yet. But we’ll be doing testing at a level, already we’re doing testing at a level nobody’s ever done before, but we’ll be doing testing at a level that the biggest tester in the world would be very happy, very soon.

Donald Trump: (11:49)
And it is, it’s very much like ventilators. You don’t hear the word mentioned and that’s much tougher, much tougher when you have to build these machines. We built thousands of machines. We’ll more than help the governors and we’ll make sure that everything goes well just like it did with ventilators, just frankly like it did with face masks on a much easier subject as face masks. Again, everything’s easier than a ventilator. Ventilators are tough. But now I spoke yesterday with the president of Mexico and with various other countries. We’re going to be helping them with ventilators. We have tremendous numbers of ventilators. In fact, I hear, I understand that Governor Cuomo is going to be sending up to Massachusetts some of the excess ventilators that we were able to get and that’s great. I think that’s a great thing.

Donald Trump: (12:40)
The number of new hospital admissions is also significantly down. When you look at these numbers, it’s a good thing to see other than the fact that we also know how people have been just ravaged by this curse, by this horrible scourge, plague, call it. It’s got many different names. In many of the hotspots, including a 50% decline over a nine day period in New York city. That’s a fantastic decline. It’s a beautiful thing to see after going through the opposite. We continue to see improvement with declining trajectory of cases in Seattle, Detroit, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Houston metro areas, more evidence that our aggressive strategy is working. And I think the American people for their selfless devotion, the American people have done a hell of a job. We’re saving countless lives though, and again, I’ll say it, because I always wanted to say, “well, can you leave it open?” Nobody ever heard of anything like this.

Donald Trump: (13:45)
Not since 1917, more than a hundred years ago, has anything like this happened. And in those days they had no real communication. So you couldn’t say, “go inside, don’t,” people just died. Almost a hundred million people, it’s reported. It’s tough, so the American people, what they’ve done is incredible. And they’ve learned a lot. You see people picketing a little bit and they want to get out. They want to get out and get back with their lives and that’s good. But they have learned a lot. They’ve learned about distancing even now, at least until this thing totally goes away. They’ve learned about their washing their hands and all of the different things that we’ve been talking about ad nauseum for so long. And they get it. They get it. In some places the governors are ready to go and other places they can’t go yet and they won’t go. They want to, they have to have it safe.

Donald Trump: (14:38)
I want it to be safe too. It has to be safe. And again, I have to say this, I can’t emphasize it strongly enough. I’m probably going to show you charts of some of the countries that are really having trouble. And one in particular is having a massive problem where they said, “let’s go. We’re just going to keep going.” Well, they’re the lines that we’re famous for now. Some are flat and some are up. This is like a rocket ship, this country is. And they didn’t, they decided let’s go and let’s wing it. That’s, they thought it was okay, but it’s a problem. It’s a big problem. And there’s another couple. There’s one in particular that everybody thinks did it, but the people are staying in. Okay? The head of a country doesn’t have to say stay in. These people are smart people. They know what’s going on. They see what’s going on. So they don’t have to say, they can say they’re not doing that, but the people who are staying inside, there are not a lot of people outside sitting at cafes despite what the mode of a country is.

Donald Trump: (15:45)
But if you look at Europe, most countries have done this. A couple tried not to. Italy tried not to, and they held it and Spain tried not to. They went that way. France tried not to. I mean, nobody wants to do this. It’s a brutal step. We’re going to close down your country, whoever heard of a thing like this? But we would have had millions of people die if we didn’t do this. Millions of people. And I believe that Mike. I think in looking at things that we’ve been looking at over the last couple of days, I think, and really over the last couple of weeks, from the time we did it, shortly thereafter, I said we made the right decision in closing down, made the right decision on borders, banning people coming in from China, banning ultimately people coming in from Europe.

Donald Trump: (16:35)
But we would have had millions of deaths instead of, it looks like we’ll be at about a 60,000 mark, which is 40,000 less than the lowest number thought of. So this isn’t a case where people would say, “oh, we would’ve had that number. It’s similar to a flu.” It’s not the same thing as a flu at all. Because if we wouldn’t have done anything, you would’ve had, so a flu would have 35 and it goes from 27 to 35, 40, 50 sometimes. It’s over a long period of time, much different. It’s even a much different death, to be honest. It’s a much different death. This is violent.

Donald Trump: (17:10)
CMS is finalizing new guidelines for doctors and patients to resume elective surgeries. It’s a big thing. A lot of hospitals were closed. They couldn’t do any elective surgeries. They’ll be able to start doing that. Procedures and medical care that needs to be done in person. As long as the rate of infections remains low in a community, we want patients to be able to go to their doctors, get clinically tested, have work done, surgeries, receive treatment for chronic conditions and resume preventative care. So we’ll be allowing that to happen very soon. We had no capacity in the hospitals with what happened with the plague. We had no capacity to do it. If your doctor believes you need a treatment in person, you can get a treatment now. You can and should get a treatment now. We are asking that healthcare facilities have plans in place to keep patients safe during their visit. Some places like New York, New Jersey, where they really got hit hard, it’s going to be a little bit tougher. They’ve done a great job, but they really were a center. I mean they were a center. I was watching that. It was incredible.

Donald Trump: (18:25)
But now they’re leveling off and I think they’ll be coming down very soon. Administrator Seema Verma will be telling you a little bit more about it. Mike’s going to say a few words. Seema will then speak, tell you a little bit more about that. My administration continues to execute our massive military operation to supply our hospitals with equipment they need and beds if necessary, but it looks like we’re totally covered on beds. We have plenty of beds. It’s highly unlikely. That would be bad news if we needed more beds, but it looks like it’s going just the opposite direction. I want to thank Governor Cuomo, the relationship there for this whole thing, where building hospitals was very good. We built a little bit more than we needed, and that’s good as opposed to building a little bit less. That’s not good, but he’s worked very well with us.

Donald Trump: (19:20)
The governor of Louisiana has been great on the bed, on that whole situation with the beds. Frankly, the governor of Michigan was very good with us on beds. It’s a very complex subject. You need buildings or you have to do tents or you have to do a lot of different things, a lot of different ways, but the Army Corps of Engineers was fantastic. They were fantastic. Florida, likewise. Governor DeSantis, and I could name probably six other locations. I’ll tell you one, California was fantastic. He was really good. He was really good and I appreciate the fact that he said what he wanted to say and he wasn’t letting the press force him into saying something that he didn’t want to say, so I appreciate it very much. Governor of California, he really worked very hard. We work together. We worked very hard.

Donald Trump: (20:20)
The federal government is currently procuring more than 100,000 ventilators through new production or purchases with thousands already delivered. We’ve delivered thousands of brand new ventilators, all throughout the country. New York would be, I guess, the biggest user, and they are now taking some of their excess ventilators, which is great, and they’re sending them up to Massachusetts. I think it’s 400. And that’s a great thing. Our total supply of ventilators continues to exceed, by a lot, total expected demand. Governor Cuomo said today that no one who needed a ventilator was denied a ventilator. That’s a beautiful statement and I appreciate it and all governors are in that same position. We do have a clip that I thought would be appropriate to put up today. It’ll take two minutes and I think you’ll find it interesting, but we appreciate it and let’s see if we can do that. You’ll turn out the lights and we’ll see if we can do that. Thank you.

Andrew Cuomo (Video): (21:38)
We bent the curve.

Donald Trump: (21:41)
He’s a good looking guy.

Andrew Cuomo (Video): (21:42)
Government did it and people did it, but government facilitates people’s actions, right? We had to double the hospital capacity in New York state. That’s what all the experts said. The president brought in the Army Corps of Engineers. They built 2,500 beds at Javits that Michael and Northwell were operating. It was a phenomenal accomplishment. Close to a thousand people have gone through Javits. Luckily, we didn’t need the 2,500 beds, but all the projections said we did need it, and more by the way. So these were just extraordinary efforts and acts of mobilization and the federal government stepped up and was a great partner, and I’m the first one to say it. We needed help, and they were there. State and local governments were fantastic. The hospital system was fantastic. New Yorkers were fantastic. And that is an undeniable fact. Just look at what they said was going to happen. CDC, coronavirus task force, Cornell, McKinsey, all of them, and now the line up here, and the actual line is down here. What do you owe the variants to? Heroic efforts on behalf of people as facilitated by government, federal and state.

Andrew Cuomo: (23:03)

Donald Trump: (23:12)
We actually had something else. Are they finished with it? They left out the good part. Great, great job, fellas. They did a better job with ventilators. No, Andrew had something else to say that was really nice, but we won’t go through that. I mean, it was really a good statement. You want to put the rest of it up or do you not have it? I just think it’s so good because it’s bipartisan. This is not about Democrats, Republicans, this is about a thing that hit our country, the likes of which has never happened to us before. Wars, those wars, Civil War, sure. The First World War, the Second World War, they’re not fought on this country. This is being fought in this country, but it’s being fought in 184 countries all over the world. It’s terrible. But I want to thank Andrew, Governor Cuomo for the statement. He actually, if you go a little bit further, it was even a far beyond even that. [inaudible 00:24:19] You remember? Huh?

Speaker 5: (24:22)
We’re going to work on getting the first part-

Donald Trump: (24:24)
Well that’s okay, whatever. He said some really good things and it makes people feel good. Actually, the Wall Street Journal, Christopher was saying, I want to make people feel good too. When they’re doing a good job, I want to make people feel good. I want the Admiral to feel good, he’s worked so hard. Mike has worked so hard. And it was very nice. It was on this morning, it was Andrew this morning. So it’s a little longer clip than that, but you’ll see, it was really a very nice thing that he said and people really appreciate that because they’ve done a great job. The federal government’s done a great job. I mean, with all of it, and this is easy. The swabs are, that’s easy. We have them coming by the tens of millions. We have them coming at a level that you’ll have so many swabs, you won’t know what to do with them. That’s easy.

Donald Trump: (25:20)
So they’ll all be there, a lot of them are there already. They’re learning about their testing capacity that they didn’t know about that we have in the various labs. Including academic, they have to remember, you have a lot of these big colleges that have labs that are totally ready to help. But I want to thank The Dynamic Ventilator Reserve because what they’ve done is incredible. That’s a capital DVR by the way, an innovative public private partnership, that’s what we created. We’re gaining access to up to 65,000 additional ventilators in hospitals across the nation that can be redeployed very quickly to areas with the greatest need when they’re not in use and we right now have almost 10,000 in our reserve.

Donald Trump: (26:11)
We’ve been able to give away thousands, like we helped Andrew or we helped Phil in New Jersey, he’s doing a great job. Andrew would tell you that too. They have a very good relationship working together and working with us. Now we’re back up to almost 10,000 and this is after giving away tens of thousands of ventilators. And we’re going to fill up the reserves of states, we’re going to work with them so in case this happens again. But we’re also going to help other countries. I was telling you, the president of Mexico, we’re going to be sending a pretty large quantity to Mexico. They very much need them and to other countries where they need them. I’ve had about six calls with leaders of other countries and they need them. They’re hard to get done, we did. Our companies stepped up and they did an incredible job.

Donald Trump: (27:03)
Some of them were automobile companies and they’d take an assembly line and they said, “Guess what? We’re making ventilators now for awhile.” But because of this historic steps that we’ve taken, I remain confident that every American who needs any of this equipment, any of the things we’re talking about, we’ll either have it now, already has it or will shortly have it. Through the Project Air Bridge, we’ve completed 64 flights carrying over 600 million pieces of personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, and other medical gear with 50 more flights scheduled in the very near future. The team doing that is an incredible team of military people and young geniuses. Some are older geniuses, but mostly younger geniuses, I think I can say. Some are people that made vast amounts of money in Silicon Valley, these are very smart people. The job they’ve done is incredible.

Donald Trump: (27:58)
And I said, “Where do you come from? Well, I sold my company, sir. Oh really, how much did you get?” I think he said $700 million. I said, “That’s good. You want to work for the government? No, I want to help our country, sir.” And it’s tremendous brain power, it’s a beautiful thing to see. Young, incredible people that love this country, and they worked with a military. Admiral, you would say they were pretty smart, right?

Speaker 6: (28:22)
Yes, sir.

Donald Trump: (28:23)
They’re in the upper scales of IQ. They were the upper, they were the top scale, I’ll tell you, and they’re great people. But FEMA’s working to commit another $384 million to produce another 64 million gowns for healthcare. These are the highest quality where they’re very safe. When you put them on, they’re safe. Very important, the quality of the gown is very important. It’s people in different places, different countries that wearing gowns with cuts in them and these are very safe. We want to thank America’s textile manufacturers for their partnership in this remarkable undertaking. Two U.S. companies, Hanes and Standard Textile are on track to produce five million gowns by the end of the month and that’s really moving. That’s really moving. Two great companies, you know the companies. Another great American company, Honeywell, recently began manufacturing N95 masks in Rhode Island, where they converted a factory in less than five weeks instead of the nine months it was normally expected to take. So they’ve already done it and they did it so rapidly. Five weeks instead of nine months.

Donald Trump: (29:39)
It’s amazing the spirit of this country, it’s really about the spirit of the country. We said do it, do it fast, but they did it in a… and this was a major conversion too, this is a different world. Honeywell is hiring more than 1,000 American workers to produce 20 million masks per month. 20 million masks a month. Thanks to the Defense Production Act we’ll be receiving another 40 million masks over the next few weeks. And I also want to thank 3M because they really stepped up. We had a little dispute at the beginning but that got worked out quickly and they’ve been doing a great job. 3M, they really have been, I want to thank their great CEO. We had a little skirmish but it worked out well. And they’re doing a lot of work right now on masks and other things. This production is in addition to the 55 million N95 masks my administration has already distributed. Plus we ordered, and it’s coming in soon, 500 million masks.

Donald Trump: (30:40)
You would think, what are you going to do with them? They get used rapidly. In addition to that, as you know, we sterilize masks now, great company in Ohio, recommended by the governor of Ohio strongly. And it’s doing very well and they’re sterilizing, a lot of the mass can be sterilized up to 20 times. So that’s like buying 20 masks. And I always wondered why aren’t they sterilizing these masks? Some of them are pretty sophisticated masks. And some you can’t, because of the material, others you can, but we have actually two companies that do this, but one company I know very well in Ohio and they’re doing a great job. So they’re sterilizing masks up to 20 times, you can sterilize a certain type of mask. To these numbers in perspective and to put them into perspective, American healthcare providers use an estimated 25 million N95 masks nationwide in a typical year, so a typical year, 25 million.

Donald Trump: (31:38)
That means we’ve secured nearly four times as many N95 masks in recent weeks as we would an entire healthcare industry during a typical year. Over a matter of couple of weeks we had more masks than we would do in a year. Think of that, over a couple of weeks. Moreover, we’re bringing supply chains back home and we’ve learned a lot about supply chains. We’ve learned that it’s nice to make things in the U.S. I’ve been saying that for a long time. One of the reasons I ran for office, because we started making things everywhere but here. And if one thing comes out of this more than anything else, is that we should make product in the United States. And these supply chains, they sound wonderful, but if one country has a problem, the whole chain is ruined and I’ve been saying it for a long time. I ran partially on that. I ran partially on that. I ran on that and I ran very strongly against China. And then we made a great trade deal, where they buy $250 billion, they’re supposed to.

Donald Trump: (32:46)
And they’re paying tariffs, they paid us tens of billions of dollars. I’ve given 12 billion one year, 16 billion another year, 19 billion to our farmers and ranchers who were targeted. But I ran on China and other countries, the way they were ripping us off, they were ripping off our country. And China understood that, I mean, China fully understood that and they’re big, strong, smart people and I wasn’t friendly and it wasn’t a friendly situation. And we ended up making an incredible deal with China for tens of billions of dollars of product, 40 to $50 billion to the farmers. The most they ever spent was 15 to 16, now they’re supposed to spend 40 to 50. Now of course the virus came along and I’m not happy, I’m not happy. I let them know I’m not happy. So we had a great relationship with… we had a very bad relationship with China. Then we had a good relationship because we made a great deal, but we’re not happy.

Donald Trump: (33:53)
This is not a good thing that happened, came out of China, so we’re not in a position where we’re going to say much yet, but the deal itself is great. The deal is, it’s going to put many, many people to work in our country. But all of that has to be taken into account when you look at all of the people that are dying in our country, but all over the world, all over the world people are dying. I had a G-7 call and their economies are in tatters. They’re shattered, the G-7 countries. You have Japan and Germany and France, the different countries, Italy, look at what happened to Italy. Look at what happened to these countries. Look at what happened to Spain. Look what happened to Spain, how incredible, it’s just been shattered and so many other countries are shattered. So nobody ever thought this could have happened, a thing like this, it’s very, very sad.

Donald Trump: (34:58)
But if we’ve learned something, it’s about supply chains. I just saw yesterday, where when the auto industry gets back, they have a problem because there’s a supply chain going through a different country. And this has been going on for years, for decades. I always said it was no good. Why do you need a supply chain? Very simple, make your parts here. They get one part from this country, one part from that country. It’s all over the place. The problem is if one country has a problem, you have no car or whatever it is you’re making. So we’ve learned a good lesson. I think a lot of smart people knew that before, but we’ve distributed many hundreds of millions of masks. This pandemic has underscored the vital importance of reshoring our supply chains and bringing them back into the United States where they belong, where they should have never left. What happens if you’re in a war and you have a supply chain where half of your supplies are given to you by other countries? Who are the people that thought of this? These are globalists. It doesn’t work.

Donald Trump: (36:03)
It certainly doesn’t work during rough times, bad times or dangerous times. So we’re going to continue to fight the virus. We’re talking to China, we spoke to them a long time ago about going in, we want to go in, we want to see what’s going on and we weren’t exactly invited, I can tell you that. If you look at some of the investigations that are going on, in terms of World Health Organization and I’ll take it a step further, World Trade Organization too, World Trade. We did years ago, years ago, many years ago, the World Trade Organization, from the day China came in, that’s when China bloomed. They were mainlining it and then boom, they were up like a rocket ship because they took advantage of every little ridiculous clause in the World Trade Organization documents. They were developing nation, China was a developing nation.

Donald Trump: (37:06)
They make the cars, they make the plant, they make everything, they make everything and they’re a developing nation. I might’ve gotten elected to a certain extent because of China and other countries. One of my big things was trade, the United States is getting ripped off in trade. Now Japan is paying $40 billion and buying a lot. That’s before we even do the deal. U.S., Mexico was a great deal. The NAFTA was one of the worst deals ever made in trade history. And I would also put the World Trade Organization in that same group. So I was very tough on these countries. With China, we made the deal and we became friendly. But then this happened and this is tantamount, this is something that’s really incredible. I do want to read something that I just saw today on television. I was looking and I just said, that’s an interesting statement. We talk about the Democrats and it was a statement made by Brett Baier, good guy, smart. On February 19th, there was a Democratic debate in Las Vegas. That was February 19th, that’s way after I closed entrance from China into our country.

Donald Trump: (38:26)
So Brett goes, “On February 19th there was a Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Three words weren’t said during the debate, virus, coronavirus or COVID-19, those three words never came up.” I just thought it was a very interesting, because you hear these people, some of the people, the Democrats said, oh, this that. It never even was a part of their dialogue. Now they bring it up because you see what happens now, but they didn’t bring it out. But I brought it up. I brought it up a long time before I made the trade deal and I was not easy to deal with. I was not easy to deal with. They understand that. We still have 25% of $250 billion that they have to pay us and it’s a lot of money. We’re taking in a lot of money and we’ve had a lot of beneficiaries, including our farmers and ranches.

Donald Trump: (39:19)
So in addition, we’ve launched an unprecedented effort to develop new treatments and therapies to battle the plague. Therapies to me are the most exciting, the vaccines are obviously so important, but the therapies are immediate. And we have some things that are really looking good, really looking good. We call COVID Treatment Acceleration Program. We’re accelerating all of these great companies that are looking, and we have government agencies looking too, N.I.H. This extraordinary program is slashing red tape to speed and development and to rival and if you look at what we’re doing in terms of the speed, it’s unrivaled, it’s totally unrivaled. There’s never been anything like it. The FDA and Dr. Stephen Hahn, a highly respected man from a great institution, left that job to come here.

Donald Trump: (40:17)
The job he’s doing is incredible and we’re working with Scott, his predecessor, is terrific. We’re working with a lot of people. But the speed of development for antiviral, antibody and immune therapies is at a level that nobody thought even possible. And I will say this, we’re getting very good results. It’s a little soon yet. But if we could find the therapies that would solve the problem, if somebody has a problem, we can get it taken care of so it’s not so devastating as it has been. With that, I’m going to ask Vice President Pence to come up and I have to say it’s a Sunday, Sunday evening and this man has not stopped. He’s working, we all are in all fairness, but he’s been working with this task force and everyone else round the clock for months and I just want to thank Mike. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Pence: (41:09)
Thank you Mr. President. And let me echo your words about all the dedicated men and women on the White House coronavirus task force. And the team that you assembled in January, some of whom are with us today, Seema Verma with CMS, Admiral Giroir with U.S. public health service, Dr. Steve Hahn of the FDA and others represent a level of commitment and dedication, it’s been inspiring for me to have a privilege to work with. And so I thank you for your gracious words. That White House coronavirus task force met today. It was reported to us that at this moment, more than 746,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, more than 68,000 Americans have fully recovered, but sadly more than 41,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. And we always want to express our deepest sympathies to the families in their loss, as well as to all the families who have loved ones that are struggling with this disease.

Mike Pence: (42:20)
Today, we’ve seen encouraging news again about our progress as a nation. President Trump reflected on those momentarily, but the coronavirus White House task force today learned that our large metro areas continue to stabilize and even see progress. The New York metro area, including New Jersey, New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all appeared to be past their peak. The Detroit metro area also appears to be past its peak and is stable. New Orleans metro area actually is the most stable of all areas where we had a major metropolitan outbreak. And the Denver metro area is stable. We’re dealing in Colorado with a meat packing plant issue. And of course, California and Washington remain low and steady. Areas that we continue to watch carefully on the task force, include the Chicago metro area, Boston metro, and the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Mike Pence: (43:24)
The progress that we are making is a tribute to the American people. It’s a tribute to state and local leaders in all of these areas and the partnership that our president has forged. But we just want to encourage every American as we see this progress to continue to heed your state and local authorities. I think the American people know, no one wants to reopen America more than President Donald Trump, but I want to assure you we’re going to continue to work with the governors of every state, with the President’s guidelines for opening up America again, and we’re going to work in a way that we can consolidate the progress that we have made and help move our states toward reopening our country. We also received a report today in the coronavirus task force at this point, 5,528 military personnel have been deployed across 24 hospitals and facilities and 28,700 National Guard are on duty.

Mike Pence: (44:33)
On the subject of supplies, the President spoke about this at length, but at the present moment we have more than 9,055 ventilators on hand. We actually added 91 ventilators to that supply because of the production that the president and our task force at FEMA has activated. In the next seven days, we’ll be adding 576 ventilators to the strategic national stockpile. As the President mentioned, our Air Bridge continues to work. 64 flights completed, 50 more slights on the horizon, literally bringing in medical equipment from around the country and around the world and deploying it to critical areas. Finally, tomorrow as the President announced, we’ll be hosting a conference call with all of the nation’s governors, all the states and territories from the headquarters at FEMA.

Mike Pence: (45:26)
And we’ll be working with the governors to ensure them that we’re helping them to review and evaluate the President’s guidelines for opening up America again. The criteria that we believe is appropriate and necessary before states can move into any phase one change in the mitigation strategies, but also at the President’s direction tomorrow. We’ll be providing all the nation’s governors and all of their health officials with detail about the testing infrastructure that exists all around the country. We’ll be specifically providing-

Mike Pence: (46:02)
… this all around the country. We’ll be specifically providing governors and state health officials with information about all of the lab capability that exists in their states, and also we’ll be updating them on our efforts to identify the kind of supplies the president just held up and our efforts to make sure that those supplies are at all of those laboratories as the need should arise. Remember that a month ago we had done 80,000 Coronavirus tests in America. This weekend we cleared more than 4 million, and we’re currently testing more than a million Americans a week. We fully expect to actually have tested more than 5 million Americans before the end of this month, but at the president’s urging, we’re going to continue to scale that testing and then work with governors to make sure that they can manage and implement and deploy that testing in the manner that will most support their efforts to move their states forward.

Mike Pence: (46:59)
Remember that the testing that is contemplated in the guidelines for opening up America again for phase one are testing people that have symptoms that may be Coronavirus and then also having the testing resources to deploy to vulnerable communities, nursing homes, or other vulnerable communities that we have identified as needing additional, what is called monitoring or surveillance testing. We believe we have the testing today around the country that would allow any state in America to move into phase one if they’ve met the other criteria, 14 days of consistent declines and strong hospital capacity so that their system would not be overwhelmed in the event of a flare-up. But we’re going to be working with governors tomorrow on the subject of testing and supplies. And as president said again this evening, we’re here to help. We’ve forged a partnership with governors around the country, and tomorrow we’ll be building on that partnership to hopefully arrive at the day that we can make sure governors around the nation have the best advice and the best resources to put America back to work. Thank you, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (48:15)
Thank you, Mike. Very good. Seema, you’ve done such a great job. Please come up and say a couple of words. Thank you.

Seema Verma: (48:24)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President and Mr. President. So just a few weeks ago we stood here and asked the American healthcare system to delay elective surgeries and procedures. And the reason why we did this is we wanted to make sure that the healthcare system could deal with any surges. We wanted to preserve equipment, make sure that they had the appropriate workforce to handle any surge. And our healthcare system did a fantastic job. They very quickly stood up telehealth services, and under the president’s leadership, we started paying for these services under the Medicare program. But the reality is not everything can be addressed by telehealth. There may be a woman that needs surgery for breast cancer, somebody who has cataracts in their eyes that need to be able to see better, and sometimes a doctor just needs to be able to listen to their patient’s heart. We’ve heard across the country that doctor’s offices have closed and many healthcare systems are furloughing their staff, nurses, and doctors.

Seema Verma: (49:22)
Under the president’s leadership, we’ve put out over $90 billion in accelerated payments under the Medicare program, provided $30 billion of grants, with more dollars on the way. But thanks to the American people, we are in a much different place. You heard from the vice president that there are many places around the country where they’re seeing a decline in cases, and hospitals are reporting that they have unused capacity. And so as part of our opening up America, we are issuing guidelines today about how we can reopen the healthcare system. So these are recommendations around phase one. Now, every state and local official has to assess the situation on the ground. They need to make sure that they can still address surges. They need to make sure that they have adequate supplies and a plan for conserving supplies. They need to be able to screen patients and health care workers for COVID virus. And they need to make sure that patients feel safe when they come in to seek healthcare services by assuring that they have the appropriate cleaning in place and that they observe social distancing inside the healthcare facilities.

Seema Verma: (50:35)
And this isn’t going to be like a light switch. It’s more like a sunrise where it’s going to be a gradual process. And healthcare officials across the country and healthcare systems need to decide what services should be made available, and ultimately doctors and patients need to make decisions about their healthcare services. And we want to make sure that systems are reopening so that they can stay open and doing that in a very measured way. And I want to thank all the healthcare workers on the front lines who’ve done a fantastic job in providing care and comfort, serving as a liaison between family members. They’ve done a fantastic job, and we owe a debt of gratitude to them and to all those providers that did adhere to our guidelines. They did the right thing, and it has made an extraordinary difference.

Seema Verma: (51:25)
Also want to take a couple of seconds here to talk about our nursing homes. Our hearts and minds are with the patients and the families of those living in nursing homes. This is an extraordinarily difficult situation. People living in nursing homes are of the most vulnerable patients. They’re elderly. Many of them have underlying health conditions. And this has been a very hard situation, and I really appreciate the strong efforts of governors and local communities that have shown great leadership in supporting homes across the country, particularly Governor Baker, Governor Hogan, that have had special efforts around supporting nursing homes. FEMA is also working on a plan to make sure that nursing homes have the supplies that they need. And just last week we increased the reimbursement in the Medicare program for high throughput tests, and we are also paying for labs to go out to nursing homes to collect samples, and that’s going to really support efforts on nursing homes in order to isolate patients.

Seema Verma: (52:27)
Today we are also announcing under the president’s leadership an effort around nursing home transparency. It’s important that patients and their families have the information that they need, and they need to understand what’s going on in the nursing home. And so today we are announcing that we are requiring nursing homes to report to patients and their families if there are cases of COVID virus inside the nursing home. We are also requiring nursing homes to report directly to the CDC when they have cases of COVID virus. And this is very important, as you’ve heard Dr. Birx talk about. As we reopen the United States, our surveillance effort around the COVID virus will also begin in nursing homes. And so by having this reporting system, this will support CDC’s efforts to have surveillance around the country and to support efforts around contact tracing so that we can mitigate the spread of the virus in those communities that show spreads starting in the nursing homes. So again, I want to thank all of the local officials that have done an amazing job in supporting the nursing homes and would urge all state and local leaders to follow their lead and do everything that we can to keep nursing home residents safe. Thank you.

Donald Trump: (53:41)
Thank you very much. And Dr. Hahn is here. If you need to, he’ll tell you maybe a little bit later if you want this, but I can tell you that very simply, the level at which they’re approving things, tests, and being on top of the people that are doing the testing for therapies and for vaccines, they’ve never seen anything like this. So I want to thank you very much. And stick around. Maybe they’ll have some questions, okay? Please go ahead, in the back.

Speaker 7: (54:14)
Mr. President, thank you very much. If there were groups of people planning to protest tomorrow against the government shutdown, what would be your advice?

Donald Trump: (54:24)
Against the shutdown?

Speaker 7: (54:26)
Well, that they want the shutdown lifted. Should that be okay?

Donald Trump: (54:28)
[crosstalk 00:54:30]. People feel that way. You’re allowed to protest. I mean, they feel that way. I watched the protest, and they were all six feet apart. I bet it was a very orderly group of people, but some have gone too far. Some governors have gone too far. Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate, and I think in the end it’s not going to matter because we’re starting to open up our states. And I think they’re going to open up very well. We’re going to be watching it. We’re going to be watching it very closely. We’re working with them on testing. We’re working with them on whatever they need. I don’t think they need ventilators anymore. I believe the term the governor used was phenomenal. We’ve done a phenomenal job. That was the only sentence they left out, which is okay, but I appreciate that that’s what Governor Cuomo said. These people have done a phenomenal job. As far as protesters, I see protestors for all sorts of things, and I’m with everybody. I’m with everybody. Please in the back, go ahead. In the back, go ahead. You ready? Yeah.

Speaker 8: (55:35)
Yes, please. Thank you, Mr. President. Jenn Pellegrino, OAN. Yesterday you pointed out that Ron was likely not truthful in a reporting of the virus. Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein and other democrats are looking for $5 million in aid to Iran. Are you considering giving any aid to Iran?

Donald Trump: (55:55)
If Iran needed aid on this, I would be willing to do something if they want it. If they ask for it, I would be certainly willing. They were hit very hard. Obviously, those numbers weren’t correct numbers that they reported, but if they needed help, if they needed aid, if they needed ventilators, we have thousands of ventilators currently on hand and ventilators that are under construction. That’s a mosquito. I don’t like mosquitoes. I don’t like mosquitoes at all, but yeah, we would certainly be willing to help. What they should do is be smart and make a deal. It’s only because of you look at what happened, John Kerry I guess just doesn’t want them to make a deal. And they’re probably figuring they could wait, and maybe it will be Biden, and they’ll own America if Biden gets… And they know with me doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way. If Joe Biden got in, they’d own America. Between them, China, Japan, Mexico, Canada, they’d own America. You wouldn’t have a country left if he got in. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 9: (57:05)
Mr. President, the first question you mentioned that you’ve seen some governors… I think you said this yesterday too… that some governors you think have gone too far. Which governors are you referring to sir? Which states.

Donald Trump: (57:15)
I don’t want to mention names specifically, but obviously, one we can mention that’s this, but really much beyond this is Virginia with what they’ve done on guns. He is playing with your second amendment. We can’t allow that to happen. And that is indirectly related to this because you know what’s happened with guns. People are buying guns at a level that you haven’t seen before because of this surge of plague. So what he did was totally inappropriate. Other than that, I’m not going to mention governors, but I have a list, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Speaker 9: (57:50)
On Monday, sir, you mentioned off the top that you hope that a deal may come tomorrow on the small business loan program.

Donald Trump: (57:56)
Well, I hope so.

Speaker 9: (57:57)
But this morning, Mnuchin seemed like this was ready to go. It seemed like any second now.

Donald Trump: (58:01)
I don’t know. Whatever it is, yeah.

Speaker 9: (58:01)
Is there any change there?

Donald Trump: (58:03)
Every time you say it’s ready to go, then they say, “Oh, we have a good negotiating position now because he just said it’s ready to go.” So now let’s see what happens, but we want to take care of our workers. We want to take care of our small businesses. They’re really the engine of this country. When we open, we want to have those small businesses ready to go. We don’t want those businesses abandoned because they couldn’t afford their employees, they couldn’t take care, and I want to take care of those employees.

Speaker 9: (58:31)
So what’s the holdup now, sir?

Donald Trump: (58:31)
[inaudible 00:58:32]. I can’t tell you that. I can just tell you that we’re negotiating with the democrats, and they negotiate for things that we can’t do, that we don’t think are in the best interest of the people of this country. We are very close to a deal. I can’t tell you whether or not we’re going to get the deal or not. Who would say that? You want me to say we’re going to have a deal before we have a deal? [crosstalk 00:58:53]. We have a good chance of getting a deal. A lot of good discussions were had today. We have a good chance of getting the deal. We want the deal. We want to take care of our workers. We want to take care of our small companies. [crosstalk 00:13:06]. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 10: (59:08)
Thank you, Mr. President. I have a question for you and also for Dr. Hahn, if I may [inaudible 00:59:14].

Donald Trump: (59:12)
Sure.

Speaker 10: (59:13)
In your remarks that you made just a few moments ago in regards to reopening the US economy, you said, “I want it to be safe.” And that’s a sentiment obviously shared by-

Donald Trump: (59:25)
I do. No, I want it to be safe.

Speaker 10: (59:26)
Tens of millions of Americans.

Donald Trump: (59:27)
I want it to be safe, absolutely.

Speaker 10: (59:28)
And it seems at odds, Mr. President, with the tweet that you had on Friday about liberating those three particular states, Virginia, Minnesota, and Michigan, because none of those states, Mr. President have met the requirements that the vice president and others on the task force have talked about in terms of reopening the economy. Do you see those two-

Donald Trump: (59:48)
Well, if you take Michigan, there were things in Michigan that I don’t think they were necessary or appropriate. Everyone knows that. I think the governor of Michigan… We’re getting along very well, but I think the governor of Michigan probably knows that. I think she probably wished she didn’t put some of them in. You can’t buy paint. You can’t buy seeds. I mean, where did this stuff come from? No, no. We’re going to be safe. We have to be safe. We don’t want to close anything. We’re not going to be closing, but we’re going to be doing it beautifully, systematically. We’re working very well with the governors, I mean, I would say pretty much almost all of them. A couple of them, no matter what you do, you’ll never satisfy them. You could find a cure tomorrow, and they wouldn’t be satisfied. They’d find a reason to complain. Wise guys. But for the most part, we’re working very well with the governors. We have a great relationship with the governors.

Donald Trump: (01:00:35)
I can tell you I’ve been on numerous calls with governors, and during those calls, I mean, without exception they were friendly, and that’s going back even a month from today. So I think that we’re going to do a terrific job. I think the governors are going to do a terrific job, but we’re starting to open our country. And as you know, I just spoke with Greg Abbott today from Texas. He’s fantastic. He’s a fantastic governor, and he’s going to be opening up parts of Texas. And you’re going to be opening up parts of other states. And you know what that is. And by the way, other countries are at a point where they’re starting… I see where Germany is starting to open up little sections.

Donald Trump: (01:01:13)
So there are a lot of great things happening, and we’re going to start to open our country, and we’re going to do it. As I say, it’s like a beautiful puzzle. The state, might even be a portion of a state. There are very big states, and you can have portions of states, Mike. You have a portion. You have a county, which is perfect, and you have another county that’s sort of still pretty far away, even if it’s within the same state, and it’s not doing so well, but they may open up part. So we’re going to do it very, very carefully, and I think it’s going to be a very successful, but when you say safe, I want it to be very safe.

Speaker 10: (01:01:52)
Dr. Hahn-

Speaker 11: (01:01:52)
[Crosstalk 01:01:52]. Mr. President, thank you very much.

Donald Trump: (01:01:57)
Let him just do this one. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 10: (01:01:57)
Thank you very much, Dr. Hahn.

Donald Trump: (01:01:59)
Doctor.

Speaker 10: (01:02:00)
There’s a question that I don’t know the answer to that I was hoping that you to provide an answer to. There’s an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama in Birmingham who’s actually a COVID-19 survivor, and his name is Michael Saag. And his question is this, why would the virus suddenly be different? And why would people’s susceptibility be any different on May the 1st or on June the 1st or on July the 1st? And this all relates to reopening the economy. Can you explain or give an answer to that particular question?

Dr. Hahn: (01:02:37)
I don’t think we have evidence that one would be more susceptible or less. What I think we can say is that the mitigation efforts have really helped with respect to this and that what we’ve seen is the number of cases have gone down. And if we follow the gating criteria for the opening, we’re then able to institute phase one and have appropriate measures in place to actually reduce any chance of flare-up of the cases.

Speaker 10: (01:03:03)
Is there a chance of sort of rebounding if you reopen too soon without the type of mitigation efforts that we’ve had still in place?

Mike Pence: (01:03:13)
Yes, there’s a chance. And I think Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx talked about this at the podium. And the key here is the surveillance that is being put in place with the CDC. Think that’ll be a really great help in terms of trying to reduce that risk. Thank you.

Donald Trump: (01:03:28)
And I think they have the rest of that clip. I just thought it was a very good clip. I think it’s a tribute to New York. I think it’s a tribute to the federal government, and I thought it was nice. So I think they have that now. They can try it. Go ahead.

Speaker 11: (01:03:40)
Have we saved everyone? No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator or we didn’t have healthcare staff? No. The people we lost are the people we couldn’t save, not for lack of trying and not for lack of doing everything that we could do as a society, not only as a government, and as a healthcare system.

Donald Trump: (01:04:18)
Okay.

Weijia Jiang: (01:04:21)
Mr. President, you had called on me.

Donald Trump: (01:04:21)
Yes, I did.

Weijia Jiang: (01:04:22)
I appreciate it. Since you shared with us something else that you saw on TV today, I have a question about something you said on Thursday, which is that you were angry because information about the virus should have been told to us earlier and a lot sooner. People knew it was happening, and people did not want to talk about it. Many Americans are saying the exact same thing about you, that you should’ve warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long-

Donald Trump: (01:04:55)
Who are you with?

Weijia Jiang: (01:04:55)
To warn them?

Donald Trump: (01:04:55)
Who are you with?

Weijia Jiang: (01:04:57)
And why did you not have social distancing until March 16th.

Donald Trump: (01:05:01)
Who are you with?

Weijia Jiang: (01:05:02)
I’m we Weijia Jiang with CBS News.

Donald Trump: (01:05:04)
So if you look at what I did in terms of cutting off or banning China from coming in-

Weijia Jiang: (01:05:13)
Chinese nationals, but by the way, not Americans who are also coming from China.

Donald Trump: (01:05:17)
Nice and easy, nice and easy. Just relax. We cut it off. People were amazed. These gentlemen, everybody was amazed that I did it. We had 21 people in a room. Everybody was against it but me. Dr. Fauci said had I not done that, perhaps tens of thousands, or maybe much more than that, people would’ve died. I was very early, very, very early. You we just saw, you saw, Brett Baier making a statement. They had a debate well into February and not even mentioned. It wasn’t even mentioned. The democrats-

Weijia Jiang: (01:05:51)
You’re the president. You should’ve warned people-

Donald Trump: (01:05:53)
I’m the president. And you know what I just did?

Weijia Jiang: (01:05:55)
That it was spreading so quickly.

Donald Trump: (01:05:55)
And you know what I just-

Weijia Jiang: (01:05:56)
And by the way, when you issued the ban, the virus was already here.

Donald Trump: (01:06:00)
Okay. And you know how many people when I issued the ban, how many cases of virus were in the United States when I issued the ban? Do you know the number?

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:08)
There was-

Donald Trump: (01:06:09)
No, no. How many cases? Remember I said one person. How many cases were here when I issued the ban? Tell me.

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:14)
But you know it was going to spread and become a pandemic?

Donald Trump: (01:06:15)
No, no, no. You have to do your research.

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:16)
I did my research. On the 23rd of March you said you knew this was going to be a pandemic-

Donald Trump: (01:06:22)
Can I tell what?

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:22)
Well before-

Donald Trump: (01:06:22)
[crosstalk 01:06:23]. I did know it. I did know it. All I have to do is look.

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:25)
So you knew it was going to spread?

Donald Trump: (01:06:25)
Well, anybody knew it. Are you ready? How many cases were in the United States when I did my ban? How many people had died in the United States.

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:34)
So do you acknowledge that you didn’t think it was going to spread?

Donald Trump: (01:06:35)
Keep your voice down please. Keep your voice down.

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:37)
Did you not know it was going to spread?

Donald Trump: (01:06:38)
How many cases were in the United States? I did a band where I’m closing up the entire country. How many people died?

Weijia Jiang: (01:06:47)
And that’s a fair point.

Donald Trump: (01:06:48)
How many people died in the United States? And yet I closed up the country, and I believe there were no deaths, zero deaths at the time I closed up the country. Nobody was there. And you should say thank you very much for good judgment. Go ahead please.

Speaker 12: (01:07:04)
Mr. President, you just mentioned Germany. Germany is allowing small stores to open tomorrow.

Donald Trump: (01:07:10)
Yes, they are. I just spoke to them.

Speaker 12: (01:07:11)
Does this give you confidence that some European countries are on the mend of recovering?

Donald Trump: (01:07:16)
Well, I hope so. We hope it works out. [crosstalk 00:21:19]. I spoke with Angela, and they’re going to start a process of opening very much like we are. We are too. I spoke with numerous governors. They’re doing it also, areas where number one, they’ve done a good job and where they don’t have much of a problem. Germany is starting the process also, yes, and I’m very happy about that. Some places in Europe, as you know, can’t start the process for a while. Yes ma’am. Go ahead please.

Speaker 13: (01:07:44)
Thank you, Mr. President. I have two Nevada questions. First one, the mayor of Las Vegas thinks it’s total insanity for business to be shut down in Nevada, which Governor Sisolak ordered. Who’s right?

Donald Trump: (01:07:58)
Well, they shut one of my hotels down too, okay? I’m not involved in that. I could be if I wanted to. I just chose not to be. By the way, just so you know, I could be if I wanted to, but I chose not, but they closed a very big hotel that I have in Nevada down in Las Vegas. It’s a very severe step he took. I’m okay with it. I’m okay with it. But you could call that one either way. I know the mayor is very upset with it. Some owners are very upset with it. Some of the developers out there very upset. Others they say, “Hey, we got to get rid of it.” I can see both sides of that.

Speaker 13: (01:08:33)
[inaudible 00:22:34]. I’ll give one other question. I asked you recently about an SBA rule that said that paycheck protection money could not go to small casinos. You said you’d look into it, but clearly something happened.

Donald Trump: (01:08:44)
They are looking into it right now because they have small casinos that don’t have too many people, and they’re going to make a ruling, I understand, next week.

Speaker 13: (01:08:53)
They already did make a ruling, and they changed it from small casinos that make more than a third of their income couldn’t qualify to half-

Donald Trump: (01:09:00)
I know, but they are continuing to look at that. It’s a big topic.

Donald Trump: (01:09:03)
But they’re looking at that. They’re continuing to look at that. It’s a big topic. We’ve got a lot of people involved. [crosstalk 01:09:06] Let’s give it a shot.

Speaker 14: (01:09:09)
Thank you. Governor Cuomo, as you played in that clip, has indeed praised a lot of what the federal government has done, but he-

Donald Trump: (01:09:15)
Excuse me. Excuse me. He didn’t say a lot. He said we did a phenomenal job. He didn’t say a lot. He didn’t say, “You did a good job on ventilators, but nothing else.” No. He said we did a phenomenal job, so report accurately because you are one of the most inaccurate reporters. Go ahead.

Speaker 14: (01:09:31)
What he has said is that, and along with a bunch of Republican governors, who have said what they need though is a national strategy when it comes to testing because on supplies they say that they’re competing against one another.

Donald Trump: (01:09:40)
They said the same thing with ventilators and now we have so many that we’re going to be able to send them and help other countries that are in need. We’re doing great on testing and we are actually using the act as you know on a certain [crosstalk 01:09:52].

Speaker 14: (01:09:51)
On swabs, but what about on the reagents? They’ve said that that’s something that they can’t-

Donald Trump: (01:09:54)
We’re in great shape. It’s so easy to get. Reagents and swabs are so easy to get. When you have to build a very expensive piece of machinery controlled by computers, that’s a different thing, and no, everything’s going to be in very good shape very soon. We’re going to be in very good shape very soon. Yeah, please go ahead.

Speaker 15: (01:10:15)
Mr. President, just the latest stimulus package. Will that have funding for states and local governments? Mr.-

Donald Trump: (01:10:22)
Well, I don’t want to comment on it, but we will be saving that for another time.

Speaker 15: (01:10:27)
Will you be willing-

Donald Trump: (01:10:28)
And by the way, so states and local governments need it. I’m the first one to admit that. We’re going to be saving that for another little bit of a later date, will probably be our next negotiation, but I’m in favor of it, I will say, and I told the Republicans today. I had, I think, a great talk with a Republican senators today, and all of them, I think, just about all of them, and a conference call, and that’ll be a very big topic over the next a couple of weeks. It’s very important.

Speaker 15: (01:11:03)
What is the administration doing to make sure that hotel chains and hedge funds [crosstalk 01:11:06]-

Donald Trump: (01:11:05)
Well that’s another one. Yeah. That’s another one. You have hotels that are a big mess of buildings that are under levered, but if you have no income at all coming out, no income at all, these hotels, they go from under levered to they have to be closed down. It’s a terrible thing. I don’t know that they’re working on that specific problem, but it’s a problem they should be talking about. I mean you have people that own a hotel where they go from having a very successful hotel with many employees, thousands of people, to all of a sudden closing it down. I read where my wonderful place in Florida, in Miami, Doral, they had let a lot of the employees go because it’s essentially closed. You can’t use it. You can’t have the restaurants. So you have to close it down.

Donald Trump: (01:11:52)
That’s an example. Many, many hotels are closing down throughout the country and hopefully they’re going to be able to open up relatively quickly.

Speaker 15: (01:12:00)
But the funds were specifically for small businesses. Would the administration make sure-

Donald Trump: (01:12:03)
Well, it depends how the hotel’s considered. Is it owned by a big chain? But even if it’s owned by a big chain, that’s devastating. If they have 200 hotels in the country and they’re closed, and it’s not only in the country, remember this, this is all over the world. They could have 2000 hotels that are in other countries. They’re also closed. We’re in better shape than most when you think about it. So I think we’re going to be looking at it. I think it’s a very big problem and it’s a lot of people employed. Yeah, here we go.

Speaker 16: (01:12:34)
Mr. President, more than 22 million Americans are currently unemployed as a result of this. Today we hit the grim milestone of more than 40,000 Americans now having died from the coronavirus. Can you explain then why you come out here and you were reading clips and showing clips of praise for you and for your administration? Is this really the time for self-congratulations?

Donald Trump: (01:12:59)
I will tell you this. What I’m doing is I’m standing up for the men and women that have done such an incredible job, not for me, for the men and women, admirals, Vice President, if I might, but all of the men and women, thousands, tens of thousands of them, they built hospitals in New York and New Jersey and all over this country in record time. They’d throw up a thousand beds in four days. I’m sticking up for those people. Those people have been incredible. I’m also sticking up for doctors and nurses and military doctors and nurses.

Speaker 16: (01:13:33)
But the clips that you played and what you read earlier was praising you and your administration-

Donald Trump: (01:13:36)
All I played today was Governor Cuomo [crosstalk 01:13:38] saying very positive things about the job the federal government has done [crosstalk 00:04:43]. Those people have been just absolutely excoriated by some of the fake news like you. You’re CNN. You’re fake news, and let me just tell you, they were excoriated by people like you that don’t know any better because you don’t have the brains you were born with. You should be praising the people that have done a good job, not doing what you do, even that question. So just so you understand-

Speaker 16: (01:14:05)
The question is why now, sir. The question is why now, not why are you doing it, but why now?

Donald Trump: (01:14:08)
I’ll tell you why now. Are you ready? Because these people are right now in hospitals. It’s dangerous. It’s going to a battlefield, and I want these people, I want you, [crosstalk 01:14:19] It’s all about that. It’s not about me. [crosstalk 01:14:23]

Donald Trump: (01:14:24)
Nothing’s about me. Look, you’re never going to treat me fairly, many of you, and I understand that. I don’t even know, I got here with the worst, most unfair press treatment they say in the history of the United States for a President. They did say Abraham Lincoln had very bad treatment, too. Let me just-

Speaker 16: (01:14:41)
Sir, the Wall Street Journal online I just read has your name in it. It talks about Trump’s remaking the playbook.

Donald Trump: (01:14:44)
Well, that’s a positive thing because that’s an exercise in how to do it and what to do and that’s good for the future. People can learn from that. But I want the men and women of this country that are in danger, the admirals and the generals that have done a job like they’ve never done before, they’re in war. We’re in war. You know, I call it the invisible enemy. That’s their war and it’s a dangerous war. We’re also at a level when you said 40,000 people, and you’re right, almost 40,000 people and-

Speaker 16: (01:15:12)
More than.

Donald Trump: (01:15:12)
Oh, more than, okay, good. Correct me.

Speaker 16: (01:15:15)
41,000.

Donald Trump: (01:15:15)
Correct me. Good. Well, I’m really glad you corrected me, CNN, but here’s the story. Let me just tell you something. If we didn’t do what we did, the 40,000 right now could be a million people. It could be a million people, not 40,000. it could be a million. We’re tracking at much less than the lowest possible estimate, and that’s a great tribute to a number of people in a number of things. One of the things that it’s attributed to is what’s taken place in this country with the American people because they’ve gone inside. They’ve done it. They’ve done a job that nobody thought was possible, and in fact, when they did the models, as they call them, nobody thought it was possible. They did models not based on this kind of success.

Donald Trump: (01:15:59)
I’ve seen New York streets and I see it in the morning. I’ve watched all my life, New York streets, and you can’t even see the pavement, there’s so many people. And you take a look this morning, you take a look even on Friday morning, I looked at it. I saw it through a camera. There wasn’t a person on Fifth Avenue. There wasn’t a person on Madison Avenue. I’ve never seen anything like it because people have really listened to instructions, and they’ve listened to what we’ve had to say, and the professionals, they’ve listened, and people should really give them a lot of credit, including people like you, because you just don’t have the sense to understand what’s going on. All right. Yeah, please, go ahead.

Speaker 17: (01:16:37)
Thank you, Mr. President. Publicly traded companies like Shake Shack, and Quantum Corp, and Ruth’s Chris, should they have access to the PPP program?

Donald Trump: (01:16:46)
Well, it would depend. It would depend. I don’t know much about any of those companies, but a lot of times they’re owned by franchisees where they own one or two places, and you know they are small businesses, so that would depend on what the formula is. But again, many of those companies are out to franchisees. A franchisee could open up one of the places that you mentioned and so yeah, I would say that’s important, actually. That’s like a restaurant. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 18: (01:17:15)
You know, you referred these protests in earlier. Some of them are getting pretty intense and we’re actually getting some death threats to some governors who are reluctant-

Donald Trump: (01:17:22)
You are in the media?

Speaker 18: (01:17:23)
No, the governors are getting death threats. Governors in Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia, they’re getting increased levels of death threats. Are you concerned that your talk about liberation the second amendment, are you inciting violence among a few people who are-

Donald Trump: (01:17:36)
I’ve seen the people. I’ve seen the interviews of the people. These are great people. Look, they want to get, they call cabin fever, you’ve heard the term. They’ve got cabin fever. They want to get back. They want their life back. Their life was taken away from them, and you know, they learned a lot during this period. They learned to do things differently than they have in the past and they’ll do it hopefully until the virus has passed. And when the virus passes, I hope we’re going to be sitting next to each other and baseball games, football games, basketball games, ice hockey games. I hope we’re going to be sitting next to each other. I hope you have golf. The Masters is going to have 100,000 people, not 25 people watching at the course.

Speaker 18: (01:18:19)
Are you [inaudible 01:18:20] [crosstalk 01:18:18]-

Donald Trump: (01:18:20)
No, I’m not. I’ve never seen so many American flags. I mean I, I’m seeing the same thing that you’re seeing. I don’t see it any differently.

Donald Trump: (01:18:28)
They’re who?

Speaker 18: (01:18:28)
Nazis.

Donald Trump: (01:18:29)
Well that I totally would say no way, but I didn’t see that. I see all, of course, I’m sure the news plays that up. I’ve seen American flags all over the place. I have never seen so many American flags at a rally as I have in these rallies. These people love our country. They want to get back to work. [crosstalk 01:18:50] Please go ahead.

Speaker 19: (01:18:51)
Mr. President, have you thought any more about pardoning Paul Manafort or Roger Stone so they’re not exposed to the coronavirus in jail?

Donald Trump: (01:18:58)
Well, I just tell you this. Roger Stone was treated very unfairly. Paul Manafort, the black book turned out to be a fraud. We learned that out during the various last number of weeks or months. They had a black book that came out of Ukraine, turned out to be a fraud. Turned out to be a fraud. They convicted a man, turned out to be a fraud. General Flynn was a highly respected person and it turned out to be a scam on him. The FBI said he didn’t lie and Mueller’s people wanted him to go to jail. Okay? So what am I going to do? You’ll find out what I’m going to do. I’m not going to say what I’m going to do, but I will tell you the whole thing turned out to be a scam, and it turned out to be a disgrace to our country, and it was a take down of a duly elected President.

Donald Trump: (01:19:46)
And these people suffered greatly. General Flynn, I mean what they did to him, and even the FBI said, and they had some, and nobody bigger fan of the FBI than me at the level of the people that really matter. But the top of the FBI was scum, and what they did to General Flynn, and you know it and everybody knows it, was a disgrace. He was in the service for over 30 years. He ends up being a general and respected, respected, and almost his first day in office, they come in with papers. They want to investigate him. Never happened before and now the tables are turned. Investigate the investigators, I guess. These were crooked people. These are bad people. These are very dangerous people. You know what they are though? They’re scum. They’re human scum. You want to have one in the back? Please.

Speaker 20: (01:20:42)
Thank you, Mr. President. The CDC has finally admitted to profound failures with testing kits from the beginning of the outbreak. Is this a function of lax oversight from the Obama/Biden administration?

Donald Trump: (01:20:54)
Well, it’s not from me. I mean, they came in and they had some problems early on, but we’ve straightened it out. But yeah, look, I told you we inherited a lot of garbage. They had tests that were no good. They had all this stuff was no good. Came from somewhere, so whoever came up with it, but I’m proud to tell you that now we went from having a lot of bad things happening in CDC to having great things happening. They’re doing a very good job now. But no, initially, look, our stockpiles were empty. We had horrible stockpiles. We had horrible ventilators. We had very few of them, too, and so did the states have very few of them. But all of these things are now we’re at a level that we’ve never been. Same with our military. Our military is the strongest it’s ever been.

Donald Trump: (01:21:40)
We spent one and a half trillion dollars on our military. We’ve totally rebuilt our military. It’s never been at a position, and we even have Space Force. Mike and I were talking about what an achievement that is. First time in 72 years we have a new force. So yeah, CDC had obsolete tests, old tests, broken tests and a mess. But they’ve done a very good job, and they’ve done it under pressure. They had to do this under pressure, so we’re very proud of the job they’ve done. Please go ahead.

Speaker 21: (01:22:09)
Mr. President, you’ve said swabs are easy, and this has been something that hospitals in the states have been saying there are shortages for more than a month now. Why wait to use the Defense Production Act until now?

Donald Trump: (01:22:20)
Well, we already have millions coming in. We have one company that we’re forced to use it with, and probably by tomorrow we won’t be. You know it’s a tremendous hammer. Probably by tomorrow it won’t be, but we have millions of them coming in. They’re very easy. And in all fairness, governors could get them themselves. They really could. All of this, but we’re going to do it. We’re going to work with the governors, and if they can’t do it, we’re going to do it. If they do it, we can do it maybe cheaper, better. We’re getting very high quality. With us, it’s all quality, too. Even if it takes a little bit longer, we want the highest quality in all of it, including the ventilators. So yeah, we have millions of them coming in very soon and many of them already have been ordered, and the governors don’t know quite where they are, but they’ll be finding them fairly soon.

Speaker 22: (01:23:12)
[crosstalk 01:23:12] Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (01:23:14)
Go ahead.

Speaker 22: (01:23:14)
On President Xi, you now talk about the missteps that China made early on in this crisis and how it put the United States-

Donald Trump: (01:23:22)
Well, based on an investigation we’re going to find out. Yeah.

Speaker 22: (01:23:24)
So when you repeatedly praised Xi in January and February [crosstalk 01:23:29] you said he will solve the problem. You said he was doing a great job. Where you duped by President Xi?

Donald Trump: (01:23:35)
No, no, no, no. I made a deal that’s phenomenal for the United States. No, you know who was duped? You, and the Obama administration were duped for years because China was ripping off this country. Like in the history of any country, nobody’s been ripped off like the United States by China and many other countries. And we stop it, and we’ve done a deal where they’re paying us 250, they are buying 250, they didn’t do anything for us. You know, we didn’t even have a deal. It was so bad. [crosstalk 01:24:05] No, no. It is about a deal because the deal started a long time ago before anybody heard about this. The deal was finished a number of months ago. Very happy, I was very happy. I hope they were happy. Billions of dollars came in in tariffs, billions of dollars. They’re going to be purchasing billions.

Donald Trump: (01:24:26)
And then all of a sudden long after that, I find out about this, [crosstalk 01:24:31] and I told you, I told you I’m not. [crosstalk 01:24:33] Listen, listen CNN. Listen CNN. I told you I’m not happy about it. And this was after the deal. So we have this wonderful deal. And nobody’s been tougher before the deal ever on China than Trump. Then I made a deal. I was very happy with the deal. It’s a great deal, great for our farmers. The farmers had been paid a fortune already. [crosstalk 01:24:55] Then what happened? No mistake, we made a great deal. Now I find out after the deal, after the deal, not during, after the deal, [crosstalk 01:25:02] I find out that I’m not happy [crosstalk 00:16:04].

Donald Trump: (01:25:05)
You people are so pathetic at CNN. Let me just tell you. [crosstalk 01:25:08] Sure. I was very happy with the deal, very happy with everything. Then we find out about the plague, right, the plague, and since we found out about that, I’m not happy. But I closed it up long before [crosstalk 01:25:21] Pelosi, listen, long before Pelosi. You know, she was having parties in San Francisco. Let’s all go to Chinatown, and that was a long time after I closed up the country. [crosstalk 01:25:31] Go ahead please.

Speaker 23: (01:25:34)
The first of the month is next week-

Donald Trump: (01:25:35)
That’s why your ratings are so bad because you’re pathetic. Go ahead. Let’s go. Your ratings are terrible. You got to get back to real news. Go ahead.

Speaker 23: (01:25:42)
The first of the month is next week, so for people that are worried about whether or not they’re going to see a stimulus check again next month, will there be another stimulus check-

Donald Trump: (01:25:49)
Well, we’re looking at it, we’re talking about it. The delivery has been very good, as you know. People are getting them and they’re happy. It’s saving lives. [crosstalk 01:25:56] We will let you know when it’s appropriate but we’re not going to let our people suffer. And you’ve seen that. By the way, you’ve seen that better than anyone and you people have actually covered it with you know, within, okay, but you’ve seen what’s going on, and we got those checks out to people. It saved their lives. Nobody else could’ve done it. Nobody else could have done it [crosstalk 01:26:18] and I’m very happy. If we get this new check out to the workers in these small, essentially to the workers of these small businesses to PPP, we’re going to be very happy because as we open, those businesses are going to open along with us. Yeah, go ahead.

Speaker 24: (01:26:35)
Mr. President, as you start reopening the country, do you plan to coordinate with Mexico and Canada to ensure U.S. manufacturers have-

Donald Trump: (01:26:43)
I could see that, too. We’re coordinating right now with both. I spoke with the President of Mexico yesterday. I spoke with the Prime Minister of Canada a lot, Justin, and we’re in very good coordination right now.

Speaker 24: (01:26:55)
Just concerns, as the supply chain as companies here-

Donald Trump: (01:26:58)
We’re doing the supply chain. It’s not going to affect trade. That’s part of trade and it’s not going to affect trade. And if it does, I will tell you, if a supply chain based in Mexico or Canada interrupts with our making a big product and an important product, or even a military product, we’re not going to be happy. Let me tell you that. Go ahead. One or two more. [crosstalk 01:27:22] Go ahead in the back. You didn’t go.

Speaker 25: (01:27:23)
Mr. President, thank you very much.

Donald Trump: (01:27:24)
Who are you with?

Speaker 25: (01:27:25)
I’m with the Salt Lake Tribune.

Donald Trump: (01:27:26)
Okay.

Speaker 25: (01:27:27)
Thank you, sir. On Thursday, the White House announced a congressional task force for reopening America, and included every Republican senator but Mitt Romney. Does that show that you’re still holding a grudge against Mitt Romney?

Donald Trump: (01:27:36)
Yeah, it does. You know, I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. I had 52 Republican senators.

Speaker 25: (01:27:43)
He was a governor. You don’t want his-

Donald Trump: (01:27:44)
Well, I just don’t think, you know, I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. I don’t really want his advice. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 26: (01:27:49)
Mr. President, why on that task force did you include Senator Kelly Locklear? There’s some questions about whether she-

Donald Trump: (01:27:55)
Well, because she used to Senator from a great state, a state that I love, Georgia.

Speaker 26: (01:28:02)
But there’s some insider trading.

Donald Trump: (01:28:02)
Well, that I don’t know. I really don’t know about that, but she’s a senator from Georgia and she was included in the list. Absolutely. [crosstalk 01:28:09] All right, couple of more. Go ahead, please.

Speaker 27: (01:28:11)
Mr. President, you said you’d spoken to [inaudible 01:28:14] of the progress being made in Germany. You spoke about-

Donald Trump: (01:28:16)
Many of the leaders, yeah.

Speaker 27: (01:28:17)
Yeah. Many of the countries that maybe have taken their eye off the ball and let coronavirus let rip in their countries. Which ones were you talking about? The UK?

Donald Trump: (01:28:28)
You mean some of the ones that didn’t do well? I don’t say that, but you just have to look. And some of them just got hit hard. When I closed up our border, when I did the ban on China, they say a lot of the people that didn’t come in here went to Italy. You’ve heard that. That’s why Italy was hit so hard. I don’t think it was because of government. I will say Italy is locked down probably more than any other country right now. It’s just absolutely locked solid down. But they got hit very hard because people that were coming to the United States couldn’t come, because I closed the country in January, and they went to Italy. They say it had to do with trade. It had to do with the purchase of certain materials, and Italy was another alternative.

Donald Trump: (01:29:09)
And so many, many people went to Italy instead of coming here. And Italy has suffered greatly. Now, I spoke with the Prime Minister a lot. He’s a great friend of mine, and what’s happened to Italy is very, very tough. Thank you all very much. We appreciate it. We’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you.