Apr 22, 2020
Donald Trump Coronavirus Press Conference Transcript April 22
President Donald Trump’s April 22 coronavirus task force press conference. He said he “disagrees strongly” with Georgia’s governor’s plans to open so many state businesses, and CDC Director Dr. Redfield said he was misquoted on COVID-19 being “devastating” in the winter. Full transcript here.
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Donald Trump: (00:00)
Donald Trump: (02:06)
Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Donald Trump: (02:12)
A lot of tremendous things are happening. The number of new positive cases continue to decline nationwide. Recent hotspots appear to be stabilizing. The hotspots are, in some cases, very interesting what’s going on and they’re going down, they’re going in the right direction. Cases in the Boston area now declining. The Chicago curve appears to have flattened, which is terrific, and Detroit is past its peak. These trends demonstrate that our aggressive strategy to battle the virus is working and that more states will soon be in a position to gradually and safely reopen. It’s very exciting. It was very exciting even today, watching and seeing what’s happening and people are getting ready and they’re all excited.
Donald Trump: (03:01)
I do want to mention a man who’s done a very good job for us. Dr. Robert Redfield was totally misquoted in the media on a statement about the fall season and the virus, totally misquoted. I spoke to him and he said it was ridiculous. He was talking about the flu and corona coming together at the same time and corona could be just some little flare ups that we’ll take care of. We’re going to knock it out. We’ll knock it out fast. But that’s what he was referring to, coming together at the same time. And I think rather than waiting, I’d ask Dr. Redfield to come up and say a couple of words just to straighten that out, because he didn’t say it was a big explosion.
Donald Trump: (03:44)
The headline in The Washington Post was totally inaccurate. The statement wasn’t bad in the post, but the headline was ridiculous, which is, as I say, that’s fake news and CNN is fake news like crazy, and they had just totally the wrong story, which they knew. They were asked to change it and they wouldn’t do that and it was a fall. So I’ll ask Dr. Redfield who is a real professional to come up and explain. Please. Thank you, Doc.
Dr. Redfield: (04:16)
Thank you Mr. President. I really do think it’s important to clarify this as we build the confidence of the American people. When I commented yesterday that there was a possibility that the next fall and winter could be more difficult, more complicated. When we had two respiratory illnesses circulating at the same time, influenza and the coronavirus-19, but I think it’s really important to emphasize what I didn’t say. I didn’t say that this was going to be worse. I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated, because we’ll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time.
Dr. Redfield: (04:59)
I want to emphasize that we continue to build the nation’s public health infrastructure to ensure that we have the capacity to stay in the containment mode. Those of you who heard me talk before, I’ve told you that in January and February, up to February 27, 28, this nation had 14 cases. We were in the containment mode. And then unfortunately, the virus overwhelmed where we got into extreme mitigation.
Dr. Redfield: (05:23)
We are building that public health capacity now to make sure that we stay in the containment mode for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, so we will not need to resort to the kind of mitigation that we had to this spring.
Dr. Redfield: (05:37)
I have confidence in our public health response of early case recognition that we’ve talked about, isolation and contact tracing, combined with our plans for increased surveillance, particularly for the most vulnerable, will be an effective of public health strategy, so our nation will be able to maintain itself in the containment mode. Again, that will be supported by the American public’s continued cooperation, obviously in the areas of personal hygiene and the types of social distancing strategies that may be appropriate.
Dr. Redfield: (06:12)
The key to my comments and the reason that I really wanted to stress them was to appeal to the American public to embrace the flu vaccine with confidence. One of the greatest tools we have as we go through the fall, winter season that we’re into is to get the American public to embrace the influenza vaccine and thereby minimize the impact the flu to be the co-respiratory disease that we confront. Thank you very much.
Speaker 1: (06:42)
Can I ask a follow up on that, Dr. Redfield, please?
Donald Trump: (06:47)
I don’t know what to follow up. He was misquoted, totally misquoted. He said they could come together. They didn’t talk about that. And his whole purpose in making the statement was to get a flu shot. So that next fall we don’t have such a big season of flu and we possibly won’t. But as you said this, it’s possible if the corona even comes back, and he doesn’t know that it’s going to or not. We spoke at great length and I think the doctor will speak, if he’d like to continue, but we may have some embers and we’re going to put them out of corona, but we may have a big flu season, but that’s different. Flu is very different from corona.
Speaker 1: (07:24)
Can I ask you a follow up question [inaudible 00:07:25]?
Donald Trump: (07:25)
Yeah, go ahead. Sure.
Speaker 1: (07:27)
Okay, so Dr. Redfield, the Washington post, which you did the interview with them, they quoted you as saying there’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through. And when I’ve said this to others, they’ve kind of put their head bark, they don’t understand what I mean. We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time. Is that what you sent to The Washington Post?
Dr. Redfield: (07:51)
Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say to you just a minute ago, that the issue that I was talking about, about being more difficult, is that we’re going to have two viruses circulating at the same time. This spring, that we just went through, February, we had a benefit of having the flu season ended so we could use all our flu surveillance systems to say, “Whoops, this is coronavirus, we need to focus.” Next fall and winter, we are going to have two viruses circulating and we’re going to have to distinguish between which is flu and which is the coronavirus. And so the comment that I made, it’s more difficult. Doesn’t mean it will be more impossible, doesn’t mean it’s going to be more, as some people have said, worse, it just means more difficult because we have to distinguish between the two.
Dr. Redfield: (08:38)
And what I was wanting to do and what I want to do again here is appeal to the American public to recognize they can really help like they did with mitigation, which they really helped. I need them to help now to best prepare us by getting the flu vaccine and taking flu out of the picture.
Donald Trump: (08:53)
But that quote … Excuse me, excuse me.
Donald Trump: (08:57)
We may not even coming back, just so you understand. Doctor, would you like [inaudible 00:09:01]?
Speaker 1: (09:02)
But that quote that I just read was accurate, right sir? That’s the quote from the Washington Post. You were accurately quoted. Correct?
Dr. Redfield: (09:07)
I’m accurately quoted in The Washington Post, as difficult.
Speaker 2: (09:13)
But the headline was [inaudible 00:09:13].
Donald Trump: (09:13)
What does the headline say? Read the headline.
Speaker 1: (09:16)
The headline says CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating. And isn’t that kind of what he says?
Donald Trump: (09:25)
That’s not what he said.
Speaker 1: (09:25)
But if you have the two things happening-
Donald Trump: (09:29)
The headline doesn’t cover the [inaudible 00:09:29] story.
Dr. Redfield: (09:29)
No, I actually think it’s actually going to be … I think the American public is going to heed the request to re-look at their vaccine hesitancy, to vaccine with confidence for flu. And I’m confident that the public health infrastructure that we’re putting together now across this country, so that we can early case diagnose, isolate and contact trace, as I say, block and tackle, block and tackle. That system is going to be there and we’re going to be able to contain this fire.
Speaker 3: (10:00)
Why did you retweet the article if it was inaccurate, Doctor? Why did you retweet it?
Donald Trump: (10:01)
You weren’t [inaudible 00:10:05].
Speaker 4: (10:04)
We talked about this yesterday when you asked me this question and someone, I think, used the word devastating. And I want to really, again, emphasize to the American public that when we first interacted with this virus for the first time in the February and March timeframe, we didn’t have an understanding of its transmissibility, all of its symptoms. We do now and I think what we are building together and that when we talk about the public health infrastructure, it is very much working on the surveillance piece. But I think we also know the strength of the American people and their ability to immediately understand how to protect themselves with not touching their face, making sure that they’re washing their hands, but the other piece I wanted just to talk about, and we mentioned yesterday also, that we have the summer while we have flu surveillance that we can utilize and syndromic management that we can utilize.
Speaker 4: (11:01)
We have all of that time to prepare clearly the testing algorithm that you would need in a flu, potentially, if COVID came back, potentially. And so we are preparing for that potential right now. And I think we spoke to you all about that and talked about how we’re not only preparing for today and tomorrow, but we’re preparing for six months from now, three months from now, and making sure that all of these pieces are in place. I think what Dr. Redfield clearly was asking for, just like we ask for every American to follow the guidelines, he’s saying, “Please add to that guidelines, getting your flu shot and making sure you’re protected.”
Donald Trump: (11:42)
And [inaudible 00:11:43], everybody says there’s a good chance that COVID will not come back.
Speaker 4: (11:47)
We don’t know-
Donald Trump: (11:47)
And if it does come back, it’s in a very small confined area that we put out. Go ahead.
Speaker 4: (11:50)
Well, the great thing is we’ll be able to find it earlier this time and I think that’s what we’re talking about. We’ll find those cases earlier. So what Dr. Redfield said, we would be able to stay in containment phase. And what we’re also hoping, and we talked about this about four or five weeks ago, that we’re hoping that the flu infections also go down, because people are much more aware of respiratory illnesses and how to protect themselves. Want you to get your vaccine, but we also want to also protect individuals from getting the flu, because the vulnerability we know in certain populations to flu and the devastating outcomes to flu. We could prevent and decrease both of those things. So I think we are assured that the CDC is putting in place today what we are going to need in the fall so that we can stay in containment if potentially the virus comes back.
Donald Trump: (12:48)
And if it comes back, though, won’t be coming back in the form that it was, it will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain. But what the doctor was saying, and I spoke to him at great length, he was saying if it should come back together, now you have a flu and you have the embers of corona. But in my opinion, from everything I’ve seen, it can never be like anything that we’ve witnessed right now. Would you say that, [inaudible 00:13:17]?
Dr. Redfield: (13:15)
Donald Trump: (13:17)
It’s nothing like we’ve talked about. What we’ve just gone through, we will not go through. You could have some embers of corona and you could have a big flu system. And if they combined or if they come together, if they come together it’s not great, but we will not go through what we went through for the last two months. [inaudible 00:13:38].
Donald Trump: (13:37)
Is that correct, sir?
Dr. Redfield: (13:37)
I understand that the United States will certainly be more prepared in the fall, but how can you say that you know it won’t come back in the same level that it has today?
Donald Trump: (13:47)
What it is estimated, it might not come back at all, Jeff. It may not come back at all. He’s talking about our worst case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some corona. And if it does come back, it’s not going to come back, and I’ve spoken to 10 different people, not going to be like it was. Also, we have much better containment now. Before nobody knew about it. Nobody knew anything about it. We understand it. Now, if we have pockets, a little pocket here, then we’re going to have it put out. It goes out and it’s going to go out fast. We’re going to be watching for it. But it’s all possible. It’s also possible it doesn’t come back at all.
I understand the containment, but I don’t understand how you know it won’t come back on a big scale.
Donald Trump: (14:24)
I didn’t say it’s not. I said if it does, it’s not going to come back on anything near what we went through, but you could have a mess where they come at the same time. And if they come at the same time, the flu is not the greatest thing in the world, Jeff. It’s not the greatest thing, either. If they come at the same time, you’ll have them both. But if we have embers of corona coupled with the flu, that’s not going to be pleasant, but it’s not to be what we’ve gone through in any way, shape or form.
If you don’t think that it’s going to come back at the same severity as it is right now, why are you still directing that taxpayer dollars you spent on emergency procurement ventilators, tens of thousands of them?
Donald Trump: (15:05)
Because we have to have them for other reasons. Something else could come. I mean, we didn’t know about corona. Now we know about corona, but look at what happened. And now we did have the H1N1 swine flu, we had that. We have other things that have happened. We had various forms of flu, but nothing like what we’ve had here. Nothing at all like what we’ve had here with the virus, but something could happen. I think that the stockpiles, we’re making hundreds of thousands of ventilators right now. Nobody writes about that.
Donald Trump: (15:36)
You know what, the one time all they talked about with ventilators, because you didn’t think it was possible for me to solve that problem. And I solved it and nobody can believe it. I just spoke to world leaders today who desperately need ventilators. They said, “the job you’ve done” … And we’re sending 500 to Mexico, then another 500 to France. We’re sending some to Spain. We’re sending some to Italy. They’re being made by the thousands. And world leaders, I spoke to Prime Minister … I mean, I went through a lot of different calls today, I won’t even tell you, I can give you a list if you want. But I went through a lot of calls to a lot of leaders. Spoke with Pakistan. They would like to have some ventilators. We’re going to get them some ventilators.
Donald Trump: (16:22)
But they all said to me one thing, “It was incredible that you solved the ventilator problem, because that was a big problem.” The testing problem, we’ve done more than any other nation in the world. Go a step further. If you added up the testing of every nation in the world, put them together, we’ve done substantially more than that. You people aren’t satisfied.
Donald Trump: (16:42)
So let’s say we had 350 million people in the United States, let’s say. And if we gave every one of those people a test 10 times, so we give 350 people a test 10 times, the fake news media would say, “Where’s the 11th time? He didn’t do his job. Trump didn’t do his job.” Because you have a lot of bad reporting out there, it’s very sad. And it’s so bad-
Speaker 5: (17:05)
That’s not true.
Donald Trump: (17:07)
You’ll want the leaders are the bad reporters.
Speaker 5: (17:08)
No, that’s not true.
Donald Trump: (17:10)
Let’s get onto another subject. I wanted that to be cleared up. If you want, we can get onto it later, but I want the vice president to speak. But you want to get the news accurately, you ought to write it. If you take a look at what you wrote about the ventilators, and when we became the king of ventilators, we’re making different factories all over for ventilators, by the thousands.
Donald Trump: (17:32)
In fact, Mike got back from Wisconsin. First thing he did, he called up. I said, “How’s it going?” He said, “You’re not going to believe.” He just saw a plant, a factory, where they’re making ventilators. I think I can say the words were unbelievable. He said it was unbelievable what he saw. The quality of the equipment, the professionalism, a tremendous number of … how many workers would you say were there?
Speaker 6: (17:55)
Over 550. We doubled production and are about to triple production.
Donald Trump: (18:01)
Nobody thought this could be done. The fake news was very unhappy that it was done. But you guys don’t ask me about ventilators.
Speaker 5: (18:06)
Who’s unhappy that ventilators are being made?
Donald Trump: (18:06)
Everybody. Because you never mention it, you never mention it. There’s no stories, what a great job we’ve done with ventilators. We’re now supplying ventilators all over the world, because no other country could have done what we did. And you should say that’s a great story. Instead you say, “Trump was slow” or … Slow? We were so fast.
Donald Trump: (18:27)
Plus we put the ban on so much earlier. When Nancy Pelosi, as an example, you don’t say this, when she’s having her rally in San Francisco, in Chinatown, in San Francisco, nobody wants to say that. If we didn’t, and Dr. Fauci said this, if we didn’t close our country to China, we would have been so infected like nobody’s ever seen. When you saw the chart, and we were at the top of the list in terms of success, nobody wrote it. I said, “Is anybody going to use that chart?” Nobody wrote it. In terms of mortality, you saw that. Nobody wrote it.
Donald Trump: (19:01)
Germany and our country, the most successful, in terms of mortality. Nobody wrote it. It would be great if you wrote the truth, but let’s get on with it, because I want Mike to speak and then we’ll take some more questions, on the assumption you’d like to and I think you probably will.
Donald Trump: (19:16)
It’s been encouraging to watch states begin to open up. And it really has been, it’s a beautiful thing to see. As restrictions are lifted, we must maintain vigilance and continue practicing social distancing. I encourage governors to follow a careful phased approach and I want to remind all Americans to adhere to our guidelines, very important. The governors are going to adhere hopefully, or they’re going to do what they think is best. I want them to do what they think is best, but ideally they’ll adhere.
Donald Trump: (19:49)
Wash your hands, avoid close physical contact as much as possible, and wear a face covering when distancing is impractical, there are cases. We’ve flattened the curve and really made tremendous progress, but we must guard against a dangerous rebound. We don’t want to rebound. That’s so important. This is what we’re just talking about. We don’t want a rebound. The doctor doesn’t want a rebound. These people definitely don’t want a rebound. I don’t think you want one, do you? You, especially. We don’t want rebounds after all this death, death that we’ve suffered. Not work, I don’t view it work, I view it death that was unnecessary, should have never happened, should have never left that little area where it started. You know it, and I know it, and they know it.
Donald Trump: (20:35)
In our all out war against the virus, we continue to make great strides on testing, famous testing, doing more than anybody else anywhere in the world. Nothing funny about that, John.
Donald Trump: (20:48)
Most of the governors have never faced a situation like this before, but we’re helping them find unused testing capacity within their states. Tremendous testing capacity that the governors, in many cases, didn’t know they had. And additional capabilities are coming online every day. We’re coming up with new equipment, like the laboratory’s equipment. On site, five minutes, great success. Everybody wants it, but you can only make so many of those machines. So we have many other forms of testing. We have many other machines that do it very quickly and by the millions, by the millions. Our task force issued it’s reopening guidelines earlier than April 30th to give governors the time that they needed to develop testing capability and capacity, and customized plans for their states, which many of them did. We’ve had some governors do a fantastic job on testing and on a lot of other things. I spoke, as you know Governor Cuomo was here, we had a great conversation on testing yesterday and they’re doing a really good job in New York.
Donald Trump: (21:56)
We’re working very closely with each of the states to help them succeed. I spoke earlier today with Governor Newsom, California, and that was all about testing, that conversation. He’s been scaling up really well, really good job. Then I agreed to help him get some of the critical supplies that California needs to make use of the tremendous capacity that they found. This is a tremendous testing capacity and I’m going to do it very quickly. He needs certain things. We’re going to get that to him very quickly. Now, could he get it himself? Yes, but I can get it faster. He understands that, and he’s done a great job. And we’re going to have it to him, we’re going to have a lot of it to him, over the next two days and we’re going to beef it up the following weekend. Get him a lot of additional. He’s done a really terrific job in California. Some of the governors have done a fantastic job, working with us.
Donald Trump: (22:49)
I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities, which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia. They’re incredible people. I love those people. They’re great. They’ve been strong, resolute. But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he’s doing, but I want to let the governors do. Now if I see something totally egregious, totally out of line, I’ll do. But I think spas, and beauty salons, and tattoo parlors, and barber shops in phase one, we’re going to have phase two very soon, is just too soon. I think it’s too soon.
Donald Trump: (23:43)
And I love the people. I love those people that use all of those things. The spas, and the beauty parlors, and barber shops, tattoo parlors, I love them. But they can wait a little bit longer, just a little bit, not much, because safety has to predominate. We have to have that.
Donald Trump: (24:03)
So I told the governor very simply that I disagree with this decision, but he has to do what he thinks is right. I’m excited to announce that in the coming weeks, the Air Force Thunderbirds are incredible, and the Navy Blue Angels, equally incredible, will be performing air shows over America’s major cities and some of the cities that aren’t major cities. They’re going to be doing a lot of work, a lot of very dangerous flying. It’s dangerous. You know the odds when you start going at massive speeds and you’re 18 inches away from each other, it’s dangerous work. Your son is a great pilot and I don’t know if he could be … Could he be a Thunderbird? I don’t know.
Speaker 7: (24:49)
Donald Trump: (24:50)
I think he probably could, from what I hear. I don’t know if I’d want him to be, because it is, it’s incredible what they’re able to do and to sacrifice. Our front line, what we’re doing is we’re paying tribute to our front line. Healthcare-
Donald Trump: (25:03)
We’re doing is we’re paying tribute to our frontline healthcare workers confronting Covid. And it’s really a signal to all Americans to remain vigilant during the outbreak. This is a tribute to them, to our warriors. Because they are equal warriors to those incredible pilots and all of the fighters that we have for the more traditional fights, that we win. And we win and we want to win, we always win. Sometimes we don’t want to win, so we just go to a standstill. But that’s not the way this country works.
Donald Trump: (25:37)
Operation America Strong was the idea of our great military men and women, the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels crews, who wanted to show support to the American medical workers who just like military members in a time of war are fiercely running toward the fight. It’s going to be great, I want to see those shows. I’ve seen them many times and I can’t get enough of them. And on July 4th we’ll be doing what we had at the mall. As you know, we’re going to be doing it. Last year was a tremendous success and I would imagine we’ll do it, hopefully, I can use the term forever. That was a great success, as you remember. Even though it was pouring, it was raining so hard. It was raining about as hard as I’ve seen in a while, but it was an amazing success. Didn’t bother the pilots, didn’t bother the military, didn’t bother the crews that we had there. So we’re going to be doing that again on July 4th.
Donald Trump: (26:33)
Our great military is operating at 100% during this crisis and thousands of troops are deployed alongside of civilians and the Covid hotspots, as you know, you see them all over. When I spoke with Governor Cuomo, and when I spoke to Gavin Newsom and many of the other governors, they wanted to know if we could have some military help with the medical. And we gave it to them. And in every case they said, “Fantastic.” I mean, just fantastic.
Donald Trump: (27:04)
New York City Mayor de Blasio called me to say it was inspiring to watch. He was there when the military came in. He said it gave everybody spirit, when he saw the professionalism and the spirit that they had. They walked in and they helped a lot of people, doctors, nurses, respiratory technicians and professionals. It was an incredible thing. But everybody that saw them going to work said that was something special. So we’re going to have some tremendous air shows all throughout our country. That’s in honor of what we’re all going through together and the people that are helping us so much. And, unfortunately, the people who have passed away from something that should never have been allowed to happen.
Donald Trump: (27:51)
Following around-the-clock negotiations yesterday, the Senate answered my call to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program so that millions of additional American workers can keep getting a paycheck. We just increased it by $310 billion. I urged the house to pass the bill without delay. In our first round of funding we provided nearly $350 billion and it went at record speed to American workers and small businesses. It’s really been an incredible, incredible success. I want to thank the banks. We had the big banks, the little banks, the commercial banks of all kinds. Community banks were fantastic, by the way, community banks.
Donald Trump: (28:41)
As you know, this was an interesting story, in recent days I’ve called for Harvard, that’s Harvard University, which has a $40 billion endowment fund to return the money that it was allocated under the CARES Act. I’m pleased to announce that Harvard has announced today that they will not accept the funds. Nor will Stanford University, or many of the others that were involved both on a university level also on a company level. Some of the companies were bigger than people had represented, or bigger than people had thought, and a strong enough that they didn’t need the money. So, there’s a certain amount of money that we are not sending.
Donald Trump: (29:28)
As soon as I heard it I said, “Stop funds.” And for the most part I guess they stopped it, Mike, right? They stopped it, they’re not accepting the money and that’s great. So I want to thank Harvard, I want to thank Stanford, and I want to thank the other companies in the case. It’s broken differently between colleges and companies, but I want to thank the companies and the other great universities. And there’s some great ones.
Donald Trump: (29:54)
The legislation passed by the Senate yesterday also reserves $30 billion in loans for small financial institutions that serve minority and distressed communities. They’re very important. We’re determined to protect our African American, Hispanic American and minority workers who have been hit so hard by this hidden enemy. My administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to address the full spectrum of needs in these communities, supporting both health and economic revitalization. First, my administration is committed to providing the testing that is needed to fight the virus in distressed communities. In the last month alone, we’ve already sent over one point $4 billion to our nation’s 13,000 community healthcare centers. Think of that, 13,000. To increase testing and treatment in the underserved areas, we’re also expanding access to telehealth.
Donald Trump: (30:51)
Telehealth has become a big deal. You know, I’ve been reading about it for years and all of a sudden because of this it’s become a big thing. People can’t leave their houses, they didn’t want to leave their houses for various reasons including they wanted to follow the guidelines. The legislation passed by the Senate yesterday, and I want to thank everybody. A great, great vote, great. As you know, it was a unanimous vote. How often do you see that?
Donald Trump: (31:17)
The legislation passed by the Senate yesterday includes an additional $25 billion to further expand testing, and provides even more funding for community health centers, in various forms of epidemics and pandemics. We’ll be working on that, because as per a couple of your statements and questions before, we want to work on that for the future. We hope this doesn’t happen again for… Again ever. But last time of this magnitude, 1917. That’s a long time ago. So we want to be prepared, and we are prepared. And as I told you, we’re building up not only our stockpile, which is being built up greatly, but also hospital stockpiles. We’re getting them what they need. We’re working out cost arrangements with them. And we’re getting them a lot of the ventilators, which are the hardest thing for them to get, both from a cost standpoint and a technical standpoint.
Donald Trump: (32:16)
At the same time, we’re also supporting the establishment of new testing sites focused on these communities. 40 sites have launched so far and there are plans to launch dozens more in the next three weeks. We’re coming up with testing apparatus and testing plans that are incredible when you look at the numbers. Some people are very, very big on testing. I’m big on testing, but some people are much less big than I am, I will tell you. And they’re professionals. But we want to have it so that nobody can talk about, “Gee whiz, I wish we had more testing.” Nobody’s done it like we’ve done it and nobody will, and we’re getting very much stronger. We have incredible professionals doing it. So many different tests have not evolved, people are finding it even hard to believe.
Donald Trump: (33:07)
My administration is working closely with governors to ensure that they have the testing infrastructure in place to reduce further spread of the virus, if they’re so inclined to use the testing apparatus. Including strategies for older individuals, low-income Americans, minorities, and native Americans.
Donald Trump: (33:28)
As part of the effort, the White House Task Force headed up by Mike, who has done incredible… I’ll say it every time, I’ll say it to anybody that wants to listen. Mike Pence has done an incredible job, really an incredible job. Thank you… Is providing technical assistance to all 50 States through one-on-one phone calls as they develop and implement their plans. In addition, my administration’s committed to restoring Black and Hispanic communities to full economic health. They want to be healthy economically and physically, and that’s what we’re doing. To that end, today I’m directing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council led by Secretary Ben Carson to focus its effort on supporting underserved communities impacted by the Coronavirus. Ben Carson is working on that with Mike and myself, and a lot of other people. I’m going to ask Tim Scott, who was so helpful with the Opportunity Zones, it’s an economic answer to a lot of problems. Tim Scott was fantastic and so I’m going to ask him to get involved with you. I’m sure he’ll be willing to do it from South Carolina.
Donald Trump: (34:39)
I also asked the council to identify what additional funding will be required from Congress beyond what has already been provided. We’re really building ourself a strong base and we’re building ourself a wall that’s a very different from the kind of walls that you’ve been hearing me talking about. But nevertheless, in many ways, performs the same function and hopefully it’s going to perform it equally as well. Furthermore, the council will seek input from the private sector and community leaders on how we can best support minority and distressed communities.
Donald Trump: (35:13)
As President, I’m absolutely determined to deliver a great future for Americans of every race, religion, color, and creed. Before our nation was attacked by this horrible enemy, our African American, Hispanic American citizens were prospering like never before. Best employment numbers, ever. Not only African American, Asian American, Hispanic American. Every American. We were breaking records at every level. We had almost 160 million people employed. We were never even close to that number. And we were also breaking them economically, highest stock market numbers, highest numbers of every kind. And I think we’re going to be back there, and I think it’s going to be much sooner rather than later. And, I think we’ll surpass those numbers including our employment numbers.
Donald Trump: (36:06)
But I’ll not rest until that prosperity has been fully restored and again, I really believe that we’re going to lift those numbers higher than ever before and it won’t be as long as people might think. A lot of very smart people are looking at that and they’re betting, you just have to look at what’s going on with the stock market.
Donald Trump: (36:25)
In order to protect our great American workers I’ve just signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States. This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens. Crucially, it will also preserve our healthcare resources for American patients. We have to take care of our patients. We have to take care of our great American workers, and that’s what we’re doing. I’ve just signed it just before coming into the room, very important. And as to amending it or extending it, that we can do at the appropriate time. But it’s now signed.
Donald Trump: (37:09)
Earlier today, the First Lady and I planted a tree on the South Lawn of the White House in recognition of the 50th Annual Earth Day. I was glad to announce that we will begin to reopen our national parks and public lands. We want Americans to be able to satisfy and be really safe. We want them to satisfy their family that safety is going to happen. And it will happen. Maybe even at a level like never before, we’ve learned so much. But we want them to enjoy these great national treasures as we continue to take reasonable precautions, and hopefully it’ll be just reasonable.
Donald Trump: (37:49)
My administration has directed more than $7 billion in federal funding to support the development of treatments, diagnostics, and therapies. And that’s something, doctors, I hope you can really work on. It’s something so powerful and so important. The FDA, the NIH and industry leaders are establishing master clinical trial protocols to test multiple promising new drugs at the same time. And we’re doing a lot of testing right now. More than 1600 locations across the country have signed up to administer convalescent plasma to patients, infusing them with antibodies of those who have recovered. And when they recover, I said it last time, practically the first thing they say is, “I want to give my blood so that I can help other people.” They want to give that blood. It’s incredible. They’re laying in bed, they’re still in pretty weakened conditions and they say, “I want to give my blood.” And that’s happening all the time, isn’t it?
Donald Trump: (38:50)
If you recovered from the Coronavirus, I ask you to consider contacting your local blood or plasma donation center to arrange a donation that could potentially save many lives. We have love for our nation and loyalty for our fellow citizens. We will safeguard our families, care for our neighbors, heal the sick, protect our workers, and build a future for a country that is the greatest country anywhere in the world. And we’re only going to get greater. Thank you, very much. Mike Pence, please.
Mike Pence: (39:25)
Thank you, Mr. President. White House Coronavirus Task Force met today. And despite the fact that there’ve been more than 843,000 Americans who contracted the Coronavirus and we grieve the loss of more than 47,000 of our countrymen, according to Dr. Birx and her team, we continue to see encouraging signs. Because the American people had been putting into practice the guidance that’s been issued by the President and this task force, and they’ve been taken to heart and the guidance of state and local officials. And Mr. President as we learned today, we are continuing to see declines in all the major metro areas around the country that had been most impacted.
Mike Pence: (40:16)
Numbers remain low and steady on the West coast, in Washington State and in California. The New York metro area, New Jersey, Connecticut all appear to be past their peak. And as our scientists may reflect in a few moments, we also are seeing the positive rate going down. Which is, actually, even as encouraging as the declining cases. The Detroit metro area appears to be past its peak. Seattle metro area, as I mentioned, remains stable. New Orleans metro area is the most stable of all the large metro outbreaks. We also are continuing to see a stabilization and even declines in Houston, and Atlanta, and Nashville, and Baltimore, and Indianapolis, and elsewhere.
Mike Pence: (41:03)
This is a tribute to the American people. To the fact that the American people have taken to heart the guidelines, the social distancing, the personal hygiene, the recommendation that you use the drive through at a restaurant rather than going in a restaurant, and avoiding groups of more than 10. On the President’s behalf, on behalf of our entire White House Coronavirus Task Force, we just want to urge all of the American people to continue onward.
Mike Pence: (41:31)
We all want to reopen America, and we want to reopen our States and our communities as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so. But I want to say to my countrymen, the fastest way to reopen America is to continue to do what you’ve been doing. It’s the fastest way, as President Trump has said many times, to get our country working again is to put the coronavirus in the past. And we are on our way to doing just that.
Mike Pence: (42:01)
Early on, the President called forth not only the full power of the Federal Government, but he called forth the full weight of the American economy. And I had the privilege yesterday to travel to Madison, Wisconsin, and see American industry and American workers at their very best. I want to thank the GE Healthcare team in Wisconsin, as well as the union machinists that I spent time with all day yesterday. It was extraordinary, Mr. President, earlier this month you used the Defense Production Act to ensure that supplies could flow to GE, and General Motors, and Ford, and other companies that were prepared to repurpose manufacturing lines and hire new workers to construct ventilators.
Mike Pence: (42:48)
At this particular plant, the Machinist Union sat down and in less than one week negotiated a new contract with GE Healthcare that allowed them to begin to bring in workers from around the country. They doubled their work line in one a week. They’re about to triple it. They’ve been going 24 hours a day, three shifts, seven days a week. And the President promised that by harnessing the power of the American economy we would have 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. But thanks to the ingenuity and the hardworking Americans that I was with yesterday and other companies, we’re actually going to have 110, 000 ventilators in 100 days. They were all wearing T-shirts, Mr. President, I brought one back for you that simply read, “Union Machinist’s Save Lives.” To that great team of GE Healthcare I want to just say all of America is proud of you and grateful for you.
Mike Pence: (43:47)
We’re also grateful to all of our healthcare workers at every level and all the work that they’re doing. And we’re proud that our National Guard and our American military are at their side. As our task force learned today, more than 31,000 National Guard have been stood up around the country. The President, in the last day, extended what’s called Title 32 Authorizations for all National Guard personnel through May 31. So we’re going to continue to partner with States as the National Guard plays a vital role in testing and in cleaning nursing homes and in standing up state’s response. Military personnel, Mr. President, we have more than a 5,500 active duty military personnel. Including, as of yesterday, 964 medical professionals in the uniform of the United States working in 17 hospitals in 7 States around the country.
Mike Pence: (44:40)
We’re also very proud of our team at the VA. The VA has addressed its capacity issues. It’s not seen cases among the veterans in its facilities increased so they’re deploying teams to focus on nursing homes. In Massachusetts, the VA personnel have disinfected two different nursing homes. In New Jersey, they’ve literally taken over two State nursing homes and deployed 90 doctors and nurses. And, in Florida we’re sending 16 teams to assist in nursing home operations.
Mike Pence: (45:13)
As the President also mentioned, in addition to what I saw yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin, we continue to build our strategic national stockpile. It’s growing again with ventilators, nearly 11,000 in supply. 901 new ventilators will be added, transitioned, in the near term. Every American, I think, can be confident that should the need arise for your family member facing serious consequences from the coronavirus to need that equipment to help them breathe, that equipment will be there. As we said yesterday in Wisconsin, and you’ve said Mr. President, I think it should be a great source of comfort to every American that no American who has required a ventilator in the United States has been denied a ventilator. And that’s a testament to our healthcare workers. A testament to every American putting mitigation principles into practice. And it’s a testament of these great companies.
Mike Pence: (46:15)
Speaking of great companies, American businesses are stepping up. It was on April 1st that I traveled to a Walmart distribution center and the President reached out to the president and CEO of Walmart to ask Walmart to get in the gowns business. And Mr. President, I’m glad to report to you that we heard today at the task force that Walmart is producing 8.4 million gowns, and they will be delivered into our commercial supply to healthcare facilities around the country by the end of June. They’re hardly alone. Honda is producing 500,000 face shields. New balance is making 100,000 masks a week.
Mike Pence: (46:55)
In a very real sense, the American people have stepped up to make the sacrifices and endure the hardship that social distancing has required. But American businesses at every size and every means have come together to respond to the President’s call.
Mike Pence: (47:12)
It really has been a whole-of-America approach. Our message from the President’s White House Coronavirus Task Force is to tell the American people it’s working, we’re getting there. We can see light at the end of the tunnel. We can see the data that we can reopen and put America back to work. But it’s going to take all of us continuing to make the sacrifices necessary, to practice those disciplines, to get us to a place where we can reopen safely and confidently. With that, Mr. President, I’ll call Dr.Fauci up for his reflections and then we’ll move on.
Donald Trump: (47:47)
Dr. Fauci: (47:51)
Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. I’m going to just take off from where I was at this podium a few days ago. To reiterate some of the things that the Vice President said, but to connect the dots from where we were, where we are now, and where I think we’re going to be. So, you remember a couple of weeks ago when we talked about the fact that we were going to have a really bad week because the deaths, particularly driven by the situation in New York, were going to get worse and worse. But yet, as that was happening, we were starting to see some turnaround, some flattening, and some coming down. As you’ve heard from Dr. Birx, and will likely hear more, that is continuing. What has happened is that the mitigation that we put in with the first 15 days, and then the 30 day mitigation program of physical distancing, worked. It got us to where we are today. It is a successful formula. It is the basis for our being able to say that we can now think seriously about reopening America. And for that reason we put together a carefully thought out and, I believe, well delineated and described program for opening up America again. And you know what it is, it’s the guidelines that we announced a few days ago. Those very guidelines are based on a version of the successful formula that got us to where we are.
Dr. Fauci: (49:26)
So what I’m trying to say, is that the program is not one that is going to be, “Turn the lights on in America, we’re finished.” We’re not. We have to proceed in a very careful, measured way. And if you look at the guidelines, they are careful and they are measured. There are certain checkpoints, before you can even think about going into a Phase One. And then things relax a little as you go into Phase Two. And relax a little, and you go into Phase Three. Now we live in a big country and it’s heterogeneous, and there are different dynamics of outbreaks in different-
Dr. Fauci: (50:03)
And it’s heterogeneous and there are different dynamics of outbreaks in different parts of the country. So, the speed with which one can go from one to another, at the point at which you can even begin to think about the phase, is going to different. So, the one thing that I know, the urge we all have to get out there and get it over with. Let’s get back to normal, for a lot of good reasons because there’s a lot of suffering, economic and otherwise in this country because of that. But again, as I’ve pleaded early on weeks ago, I plead with the American public, with the governors, with the mayors, for the people with responsibility. Although, I know one has the need to leapfrog over things, don’t do that. Do it in a measured way. This is a successful formula. The problem is if we don’t do that, there is a likelihood that we’ll have a rebound. And the one way not to reopen the economy is to have a rebound that we can’t take care of. So, please again, let me just close by pleading with the American public in general and those who are responsible leaders to carefully consider how we get back to normal. Thank you.
Speaker 8: (51:13)
Dr. Fauci, could you talk a little bit about your expectations for the fall? We heard from Dr. Redfield and Dr. Birx. What do you see for the Fall? Is it going to be embers or possibly no return to the virus at all?
Dr. Fauci: (51:24)
As I’VE said before here, when you look at an outbreak, it’s two dynamic forces opposing each other. If you leave the virus to its own devices, it will take off if you do nothing to stop it. If you put into place the kinds of things that we talk about. First, containment and then hopefully you never get to mitigation but containment is important. Those two forces are going to determine whether you’re going to have a big outbreak. So, what Dr. Redfield was saying first of all, is that we will have coronavirus in the Fall. I am convinced of that because of the degree of transmissibility that has the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we’re able to contain it when it occurs. And what we’re saying is that in the Fall we will be much better prepared to do the containment compared to what happened to us this winter. Now, the complicating issue is that unlike the syndromic and influenza-like observances that we have, that you could pick it up by clinically what’s happening. It’s going to get complicated by influenza season. And I believe that’s what Dr. Redfield was saying, that is going to be complicated. So, whether or not it’s going to be big or small is going to depend on our response, and that’s what I think people sometimes have misunderstanding. Nobody can predict what is going to happen with an outbreak, but you can predict how you’re going to respond to it. And that’s really very important.
Speaker 8: (53:11)
So, you would caution against people thinking that in the Fall there’s not going to be coronavirus anymore. We won’t have to worry about it or if it is, it’ll be spotty and it won’t be a big problem we have to worry about.
Dr. Fauci: (53:23)
There will be coronavirus in the Fall. If we do, which we won’t, but let’s take an imaginary period. We say, okay, coronavirus, forget about it. We’re not going to do anything about it. It will take off. That’s what viruses do, but that’s not what’s going to happen. We are going to respond to it to not allow it to do that.
Speaker 12: (53:41)
Dr. Fauci, what happens when governor’s like governor Kemp are not following this careful measured plan and moving forward even without meeting the gating criteria? What do we do about that?
Dr. Fauci: (53:55)
Well, if I were advising the governor, I would tell him that he should be careful and I would advise him not to just turn the switch on and go because there is a danger of a rebound and I know there’s that desire to move the head quickly. That’s a natural human nature desire, but going ahead and leapfrogging into phases where you should not be, I would advise him as a health official and as a physician not to do that.
Donald Trump: (54:24)
Okay? All right, good.
Speaker 9: (54:24)
Thank you, Mr. President. Can you give some details about the executive order? I know that the White House has just released a document that we haven’t had a chance to review it.
Donald Trump: (54:39)
Well, we can talk about that later. It’s an executive order on immigration. We want Americans to have the jobs, we want Americans to have the healthcare. We want to take care of our citizens first, we have to, and it’s a very powerful order. It’s for 60 days. At the end of 60 days or maybe even during 60 days I’ll extend it or not and I’ll maybe change it. I might modify it. Yes?
Speaker 9: (55:02)
[crosstalk 00:55:02] immigrants who are already here, Mr. President?
Donald Trump: (55:02)
Yeah, go ahead, please.
Speaker 9: (55:03)
Immigrants who are already here in the country or immigrants abroad who are already affected, who have a green card trying to get into the country and healthcare workers?
Donald Trump: (55:13)
You’re talking about immigrants that are trying to get it and we’re talking about people, and also by the way, people that are coming in illegally. Now, as you know, because you’ve seen the numbers. Our Southern border is very tight. Hasn’t been this tight in years. It’s being helped by 116, more than that, miles of wall that are going up. I’m trying to get to 450 by the end of the year, 450 miles, and we’ll have 530 miles early next year. And that’s really great, it’s fully funded. We have all the funds and the Army Corps of Engineers is doing a fantastic job. Same people that did you have at Java Center, as you know. They’re doing a fantastic job. So, our Southern border’s very tight for very good reason. We’re also being helped by 27,000 very good soldiers from Mexico, and I want to thank the president of Mexico. He’s been terrific in many ways, including on what we’re doing with COVID. And as you know, we have a very good trade arrangement with Mexico now, which we didn’t have before. So, I want to thank the president of Mexico in particular for the 27,000 soldiers. They’re doing a fantastic job. We want to protect our healthcare.
Speaker 9: (56:21)
For healthcare workers, sir? You want to talk about the exemption for healthcare workers?
Donald Trump: (56:27)
We want to protect our healthcare workers, and that’s one of the other reasons we’re doing this. Yes, John?
Mr. President, I wanted to ask you about Rick Bright. He’s the head of the federal agency in charge of getting a vaccine out to Americans once it’s ready. He says he has been pushed out of his job because he raised questions about hydroxychloroquine and some of your directives on that. Was he pushed out of that job?
Donald Trump: (56:47)
I never heard of him. You just mentioned a name. I never heard of him. When did this happen?
This happened today.
Donald Trump: (56:52)
Well, I never heard of him. The guy says he was pushed out of a job. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. You’d have to hear the other side. I don’t know who he is. Please?
And on the hydroxychloroquine?
Speaker 10: (57:03)
I just wondered, you said by 4th of July you expect people to be on the national mall and we’ll be having a celebration like we did last year.
Donald Trump: (57:09)
Speaker 10: (57:10)
Given what the doctors are just saying, that coronavirus is still going to be out there. Might not be as bad as it is now, but it’s still going to circulating. Is that going to be safe to have that many people in the mall?
Donald Trump: (57:20)
We’re going to probably have 25% of what we had last year. Last year as you know was maxed out. I saw a magnificent picture of Dr. Martin Luther King and I saw a magnificent picture of our event last year and both of them were maxed out. It was beautiful to see. Beautiful, very similar. This year, most likely we’ll be standing six feet apart. We’ll have to do that in a very interesting way and maybe we’ll even do it greater, so we’ll leave a little extra distance. But if we do that, we’d certainly do that. I don’t see maybe the purpose that we can’t do that, we have to have people… We had tens of thousands. Most of you were there, tens of thousands of people, last year was incredible and it was to an extent an air show. All the different aircraft flying over. We even had Air Force One flying over, so ideally it would be wonderful if we could actually have it as it was last year, and eventually we will have that. I think it’s important to know eventually we are going to have that. The stadiums are going to be the way they’ve been for the last 100 years?
Speaker 10: (58:26)
[crosstalk 00:58:26] able to have.
Donald Trump: (58:26)
Right. I know, but your stadiums as an example, sports, it’s going to be the way they it used to be. I told one of the owners, he said, “Do you think I should take out seats?” I said, “No, you shouldn’t take out seats. We’re going to have it the way it was. We’re going to be back.” This virus will eventually be gone and if it should show up in the Fall, we’re going to put it out very fast. We have great people. We’re going to put it out very fast because we’ve learned a lot about how to deal with this and we’ll put it out very fast. Yeah, please? Just nice and easy to start, thank you.
Speaker 12: (59:00)
You talk a lot about testing capacity and governors agree that that exists, but it’s very different from testing implementation and they are still begging for you to use your full authority to help them get reagents and other things. As you would like to say, what do you have to lose by helping them do that and becoming the king of testing?
Donald Trump: (59:18)
And let me just say, we are thinking of testing already. There’s no country in the world that’s done more. Not even-
Speaker 12: (59:23)
0.2% of the population has been tested. Is that good enough?
Donald Trump: (59:27)
I just said there’s no country in the world that’s done more and we have tests that have already come out that are going to be introduced very shortly that will do it more. My problem is this. I’d say it’s very much of a media trap. Whether we did 2%, 5%, 50% or 100%, it’ll never be enough. No matter what. Now, with the expertise and with what we did because of our expertise and tremendous talent at manufacturing. What we did with the ventilators, that wasn’t a trap because we got them done shockingly to everybody because of the incredible talent like Mike Pence saw yesterday in Wisconsin. But we have numerous of those sites all over the country doing the same thing, so that when the governors were complaining, some of the governors, I must say, and it was very much along party lines for the most part except for one, when the governors were complaining, we said, “No. How many do you need?” “We need 50, we need 100.” One governor asks for many thousands and it turned out they didn’t need that and that’s good. We got them and nobody, you know this, and we went through this with the governors, that needed a ventilator didn’t get a ventilator.
Donald Trump: (01:00:41)
That was an incredible achievement. For testing, it’s a little different. It’s much easier than ventilators. It’s like 2%, but for instance the swabs are coming in by the millions. They’re literally coming in by the millions. Totally ordered. We wanted the highest quality. We could have gotten a much lesser quality. We didn’t want to do that. We got the highest quality, but testing, it’s like no matter how well you do, you can always say more. With the ventilators, they either have them or they don’t. In fact, we went to one meeting. “Who wants a ventilator?” One governor said, “We’d like 25.” “25? You got him. Who else?” Nobody spoke up. That was four weeks ago, so that was great. The problem with the testing is, and I said, if we tested 350 million people, you’ll say we want them to have a second test or a third test or a fourth test. Not everybody believes as strongly as some people in testing. Some people want to do testing because they think it’s impossible for us to fulfill that goal.
Donald Trump: (01:01:44)
That’s easy compared to ventilators as I’ve said, but we have a tremendous testing capability. Better than anybody in the world right now and every day it’s growing and it’s growing very substantially. These doctors are very talented people. They’ve seen testing all their lives. They’ve never seen anything like we’ve been able to do, so we’re going to give everybody what they want with the testing. But again, testing, and I’ve said it from the beginning, the actual test has to be administered locally. You can’t do from Washington or far away locations federal testing nearly as well as you can where you have a governor, he has mayors and they have representatives and they know the back of a Walmart. Put it in the parking lot in the back of a Walmart or put it in a certain location in different states. They are doing it beautifully. It’s working beautifully. The relationship I have and Mike has and we all have with the governors, I would say other than one or two, but even them, they don’t complain. They’re not complaining. So, we’re doing tremendous testing and ultimately we’re doing more testing I think than probably any of the governors even want. Okay, please?
Speaker 11: (01:02:55)
Back on the immigration EO, can you say is it just for green card holders or is it also for people seeking temporary work visas?
Donald Trump: (01:02:59)
It’s subject to change. We have some people coming in, for instance, helping the farmers. We want to have the farmers take care, they’ve been coming for years and years and they’re helping our farmers and they’ve been coming in for years. We don’t want to do… The border has been turned off a number of times over the years and you know what happened? Our farmers all went out of business. They were out of business. They couldn’t farm. We’re taking care of our farmers. Nobody ever took care of farmers like I take care of farmers. Including the $19 billion that we’re dispersing to farmers because of some very good things that happened.
Speaker 11: (01:03:34)
Subject to change because some of your advisors are saying there could be a problem with it or subject to change-
Donald Trump: (01:03:39)
No, just it might be modified. It could be modified next week, in two weeks. It could be modified in two months. Now, we may modify as we go along, but right now we have a very powerful immigration ban, but it could be modified, meaning made tougher or made less tough. We don’t want to hurt our businesses and we don’t want to hurt our farmers. Very important. Please.
Speaker 13: (01:04:03)
Can I ask you about your conversation with governor Kemp? What did he say to you when you said you strongly disagreed with him and for gym owners and tattoo parlor artists and barbers in Atlanta and Georgia generally, would you to advise them to listen to you and not to their governor?
Donald Trump: (01:04:18)
Look, I’d like them to listen to their governors, all of their governors. I have the right to do if I wanted to clamp it down, but I have respect for our governors. They know what they’re doing. I think… And as you know, Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, I worked very hard for his election. He beat their superstar. He beat the superstar of their party. I think you could say I helped a lot. Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, they all went in. They campaigned for him very hard, and he lost. He also was way down in the primary and ended up winning the primary after I came out and endorsed him. So, a lot of good things and there’s a lot of good feeling between myself and Brian Kemp. I like him a lot. I happen to disagree with him only in time and timing.
Donald Trump: (01:05:04)
I disagree. When you have spas, beauty parlors, and I love these people. I know the people from spas and beauty parlors, tattoo parlors. Bikers for Trump, a lot of tattoos. I love them, I love these people. And barbershops, these are great people, but you know what? Maybe you wait a little bit longer until you get into a phase two. So, do I agree with him? No, but I respect him and I will let him make his decision. Would I do that? No. I’d keep them a little longer. I want to protect people’s lives, but I’m going to let him make his decision. But I told him I totally disagree. Okay?
Speaker 14: (01:05:42)
Thank you, Mr. President. The vice president in his remarks is talking about the federal efforts that have been undertaken as it relates to nursing facilities. And as you both know, they are just so incredibly hard hit. Just tragic. Over 10,000 COVID-19 deaths so far. The industry says that they’re struggling as it relates to testing. Can you commit to increasing testing at the nursing facilities across-
Donald Trump: (01:06:07)
[crosstalk 01:06:07] automatically. That’s almost common sense. But we’re doing that automatically. You look at the state of Washington, that was our first glimpse of it. They got hit so horribly in that nursing home. It just seemed like everybody was from a particular nursing home. So, we knew immediately that was going to be a problem and we’re doing that 100%. we’re taking very special care of our nursing homes and our seniors other than me. Nobody wants to take care of me, but other than me, we’re taking care of our seniors.
Speaker 14: (01:06:36)
In other areas… Thank you, Mr. President.
Mike Pence: (01:06:39)
No, it’s just an enormously important question and we want to thank the American people who have been putting off visits to their grandmothers and grandfathers and moms and dads. It’s tough. I’m going to be in Indiana next week and I’m not going to go see my mom. She lives in her own home, but people get it that the risk of serious illness for a healthy American of the coronavirus is fairly low. You’ll either have flu like symptoms or no symptoms at all, but as we’ve said so many times at this podium and the American people get it, a healthy American could inadvertently convey the coronavirus to a senior with an underlying health condition, and have the kind of heartbreaking results that we’ve seen in nursing homes around the country. It’s the reason why from early on the president took decisive action to raise the infectious disease standards at every nursing home in America.
Mike Pence: (01:07:43)
He deployed all 8,000 of our inspectors at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to dedicate all of their time to ensuring compliance with those new higher standards. We’ve spoken about nursing home issues with governors around the country and frankly there are governors around the country that have done remarkable work with nursing homes. You’ve mentioned governor Brian Kemp. He actually used the National Guard in Georgia. He deployed them to nursing homes to do cleaning and to disinfect areas of those nursing homes and it’s tremendous service. But to your point about testing, if you look carefully at the guidelines, Open Up America Again, you will see that in phase one, the level of testing that we contemplate is first that we want to be able to test anyone who has the symptoms that may be coronavirus and be able to test them quickly. Secondly, we want to do the contact tracing and Dr. Redfield and his team are deploying CDC teams in every state in America to be able to find out everyone that that person has been in contact with and test them.
Mike Pence: (01:08:53)
But if you look right underneath that, what we’re directing states to do is be prepared to deploy testing resources first and foremost in nursing homes and longterm care facilities so that we can monitor any potential outbreak of the coronavirus among the most vulnerable population. And thanks to the leadership of our surgeon general, as the president announced today, we’re also going to be deploying testing resources to vulnerable communities, to underserved communities. The CDC released new preliminary data on the impact particularly on African American communities in this country, and it’s the reason why part of our phase one recommendation is that we deploy testing resources into those communities that are described by the doctors as socially vulnerable. And even as we speak, we’ll announce next week that we’re already in the process of deploying testing. And so, it’s a good opportunity to remind every American to be especially careful around our seniors, to heed the guidance about avoiding visitations, to protect the health of those who are most vulnerable. But the American people can be assured that from phase one forward all the way through phase three and reopening, we’re going to be helping to guide the states to focus on the most vulnerable, beginning with our seniors with serious underlying health conditions.
Speaker 15: (01:10:33)
Thank you, Mr. president. Commercial labs say that they need to buy new diagnostic machines to be able to double their testing capacity. Your administration has said that there’s enough testing capacity to double overnight. How do you square that difference?
Donald Trump: (01:10:47)
Very easy, they can get new machines if they want, but even if they didn’t we have tremendous testing capability. You take a look at what’s happening in California and New York. Governor Cuomo told us very strongly, he said, “Wow, we have a lot of labs.” That’s a research center of the world. In California too, long conversations, they have tremendous testing capability there too. Now, if they want to increase it, they can increase it, but they have plenty of right now. You saw the maps the other day where we put up the different sites in various states and virtually all states are like that. How about you with the mask?
Speaker 16: (01:11:23)
Yes, and Mr. President, may I actually follow up on those maps from the other day? On Monday, a reporter for a local television station in Miami sent me a question asking if it was possible to get the information on those maps distributed to the media so that local TV stations and newspapers can check on that information? So, if that could be done?
Donald Trump: (01:11:49)
Do you want to do that? Do you want to say something?
Dr. Birx: (01:11:54)
Sorry. Thank you for talking about testing and testing capacity because we have been talking about that for several weeks because we could see and we did a full inventory of every single state and every single laboratory. And I also appreciate you talking about the implementation piece of the testing capacity and it’s complicated. So, we have a team calling every lab and working through the American Society of Microbiology, as I mentioned before, to really work with every lab director to see what the issues are in each laboratory. And I just want to thank administrator Burma who really worked on increasing the funding for this test and uniquely doubling the funding for the coronavirus nucleic acid test, from $50 to $100. To really address some of the issues about laboratory technicians, because sometimes we think these tests run themselves, they don’t. They actually need people to help with the machines.
Dr. Birx: (01:12:56)
So, we were talking about purchasing more machines. We actually need to have additional laboratory technicians to really be able to work all of those machines. And so, it’s lab by lab, state by state, and that’s the dialogue that’s going on now to unlock the full potential of the United States. Maybe the testing would not be needed at this moment, and maybe it is, but we want it also totally available in the Fall if it comes to an issue where we have to distinguish between flu and COVID-19. So, we’re building infrastructure and capacity not only for today but for tomorrow, and really showing a new way to really deal with pandemics and bring testing to scale because the country has never had to do this before. If you look at some of the other countries, they’re struggling with some of the issues from PPE to testing. And so, this is a universal issue, but we’re working on it as a collective to really have a very innovated and integrated way to approach testing.
Donald Trump: (01:13:54)
But without building new, they have tremendous capability.
Dr. Birx: (01:13:58)
And the maps are… I will ask the companies, because obviously it’s proprietary where every single machine is and if you have that machine and five others, maybe you don’t want to let that person know you have five others. It’s like Coke and Pepsi. So, I think we’re working very deliberately to really be able to share those maps. The governors, I can tell you that all of the state governors and the mayors have those maps and the addresses and the type of machine for every single laboratory in their jurisdictions so that they know-
Donald Trump: (01:14:32)
And I believe the governors were not aware that those laboratories were available.
Speaker 17: (01:14:38)
[crosstalk 01:14:38] on the state of California is now partially broken with CDC restrictions on who will get guidance and who should get testing because they want to test people without any symptoms at all in high risk environments like a nursing home. Do you agree with this? Question for Pence, do you agree-
Dr. Birx: (01:14:57)
Well, not only do we agree with it, it was in our guidelines.
Our guidelines, yeah.
Dr. Birx: (01:15:00)
That was fundamental to our guidelines, and I think we were the first-
Dr. Birx: (01:15:03)
Dr. Birx: (01:15:03)
That was fundamental to our guidelines and I think we were the first group that said testing asymptomatics will be key. We’ve always said that we think that’s a significant contribution to infections, and we went to the places where we thought it was most critical to find cases the earliest. And so, that is where we have asked states, in the guidelines, to start with nursing home, indigenous peoples and people in underserved areas and cities, to really ensure that we’re monitoring for any type… Because we know the asymptomatic piece may be the tip of the iceberg, in fact be the iceberg underneath the surface. And so, if you’re only seeing cases, maybe this…
Dr. Birx: (01:15:41)
But in parallel, we’re working with states and local governments to really define what that population is, by doing… In collaboration with states, working with them together to really reinforce this antibody testing but in a careful way, where you do two antibody testing to increase your sensitivity and specificity into the 99 plus percent range. Because we think it’s really important that you have a very high quality test, but a high quality test that you can really tell someone that they’ve had this before. And so, we’re waiting to have those two tests that we can do in series to really assure people. But that is… That was in the guidelines from the very beginning, and we think it’s fundamental both for right now and going through the fall. Because that will be our early alert, if any of other COVID virus reappears.
Speaker 20: (01:16:28)
How much more testing [crosstalk 00:01:16:29]?
Donald Trump: (01:16:29)
[crosstalk 01:16:29] you didn’t that was on the guidelines.
Speaker 21: (01:16:32)
The CDC [crosstalk 01:16:32] criteria [crosstalk 00: 01:33].
Speaker 20: (01:16:34)
Well, it’s currently on the CDC guidelines, usually-
Donald Trump: (01:16:34)
I know, but it’s right on the guidelines.
Speaker 22: (01:16:37)
Dr. Fauci, why are there… Can I just-
Donald Trump: (01:16:39)
I’m surprised with you. [inaudible 01:16:39] would you like to say something on it, please?
Speaker 23: (01:16:44)
Thank you, Mr. President. And I just want to reiterate to everyone that the task force and the administration have a commitment to protecting vulnerable people. And that includes, in the area of testing. We’ve had the opportunity to talk to many different groups and we hear that testing is absolutely a concern. And we’ll be giving you more details in the coming days, but I just want you to know that we’re building on the public private partnership that the president rolled out with pharmacy and retail companies like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and Kroger, to accelerate testing for more Americans and more communities across the nation. We’re going to be increasing access to testing for under-tested, underserved and minority communities, and we’re working closely with partners and states to establish sites and areas most in need of increased access to testing. We’re using data. CDC, provided data to locate sites and counties that are under tested and socially vulnerable, especially with high populations of Black, Hispanic, rural and Native Americans.
Speaker 23: (01:17:49)
We’re using the CDC’s vulnerability index, as you heard about earlier, to select sites. This measures the resilience of communities when confronted by external stressors along four main themes, socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and housing type. Our goal is to have about two third of these initial sites located in counties with moderate to high social vulnerability, and about a quarter of these sites and counties with high social vulnerability. So again, I want communities that are vulnerable to understand that we are strategically and intentionally making sure we’re deploying testing in those areas, so that people can get identified if they have symptoms, can get identified if they are asymptomatic, and that we will be able to deploy resources appropriately.
Donald Trump: (01:18:39)
Thank you, [crosstalk 01:18:40].
Speaker 22: (01:18:39)
Just a quick follow-up for Dr. Birx.
Donald Trump: (01:18:39)
I’m got to have to say our Surgeon General is doing a great job, thank you.
Speaker 23: (01:18:45)
Donald Trump: (01:18:45)
Really good. [inaudible 00:03:47], in the middle.
Speaker 24: (01:18:48)
Mr. President, thank you. Can we talk about Iran? You put out a message this morning making a rather big announcement for our military when it comes to Iranian aggression. Are you going to change formally rules of engagement for our U.S. military so that they can engage?
Donald Trump: (01:19:08)
We’re covered 100%. We don’t want their gunboats surrounding our boats and traveling around our boats and having a good time, we don’t want them anywhere near our boats, and… So you know the order I gave, I don’t think you have to say it again, but I’ve given that order. Under the Obama administration, it was taking place all the time. Under my administration, I gave this order early on and nothing happened. They were very nice, there was no problem. But then I noticed yesterday they did that in a much lighter form, but they did that again. I said, “We’re not going to stand for it.” So if they do that, that’s putting our ships at danger and our great crews and sailors in danger, I’m not going to let that happen. And we will… They’ll shoot them out of the water.
Speaker 24: (01:19:51)
The U.S. military does not have to change its rules of engagement in order to follow your [crosstalk 00:01:19:56]?
Donald Trump: (01:19:56)
No, that’s the rules of engagement. That’s a threat. When they get that close to our boat, and they have guns, they have very substantial weapons on those boats, but we’ll shoot them out of the water. Please.
Speaker 25: (01:20:07)
Thank you, President Trump. If possible, I’d like to ask a question to Dr. Fauci, and then a very different one to you. To Dr. Fauci, today the CDC and the USDA said that the first pets in America had tested positive for the coronavirus, what does that mean and what should the public know about that?
Dr. Fauci: (01:20:22)
Speaker 25: (01:20:23)
Pets, two pets.
Dr. Fauci: (01:20:25)
So that question was asked before, but I’d be happy to answer it again. Certainly, animals, pets, can get infected. Big cats in zoos have been reported to be infected with coronavirus. There’s no evidence that the virus is transmitted from a pet to a human. Now obviously, is that impossible? I mean, biologicall anything is possible. But, there is no evidence whatsoever, that we’ve seen from an epidemiological standpoint, that pets can be transmitters within the household. So, it’s not surprising. I mean, we… When you have viruses that can infect multiple species, isolating it from an animal doesn’t necessarily mean the animal is transmitting it.
Donald Trump: (01:21:10)
What about the lion in the New York zoo?
Dr. Fauci: (01:21:12)
Yeah. Well, that’s the lion [inaudible 01:21:13].
Donald Trump: (01:21:13)
How did that happen?
Dr. Fauci: (01:21:15)
It probably happened… I don’t know, Mr. President. But I would imagine that one of the zookeepers probably had an asymptomatic infection, took care of the animal, gave him some food, touched them or whatever, and that’s how he got it.
Speaker 25: (01:21:28)
Thank you. And President Trump my question for you is, earlier in these briefings you talked a lot about giving Americans hope and you wanted to focus on that, but now that the crisis seems to perhaps be lessening, I wanted to ask you about accountability. And of course, millions of Americans became familiar with you as the tough boss who fired people for doing a poor job. I wanted to ask you about two specific things. There was a report from Reuters today, that the HHS Secretary, put a former dog breeder in charge of day to day coronavirus efforts, to begin with. And also on-
Donald Trump: (01:22:05)
Speaker 25: (01:22:05)
Reuters reported today that, Alex Azar, the secretary HHS, put a former dog breeder, that was his most recently former job, in charge of day to day operations of the coronavirus.
Donald Trump: (01:22:16)
That I don’t about, [inaudible 01:22:18] just telling me something. And what’s the second?
Speaker 25: (01:22:20)
And the second one is on face masks. Taiwan has a bigger population than New York State. Early on, they had universal wearing of face masks. Here-
Donald Trump: (01:22:29)
No problem with face masks, if the governors want to do that. We ordered, I don’t know if you know, 500 million face masks, we have hundreds of millions right now. And if people want to wear them, that’s up to the governors. If the governors want that, that’s up to them. Now it’s more appropriate in some states, obviously, than others. You have the big planes and you have certain states where it’s much less necessary. But, that’s up to the governors and we have that very well covered, I think, face masks, right?
Speaker 25: (01:22:54)
Here, people are wearing masks.
Donald Trump: (01:22:55)
We have hundreds of millions of face masks, and we have at least 500 million, that’s a lot. We’ll have them very shortly.
Speaker 25: (01:23:04)
Lot’s of people are wearing face masks now that the federal government advised, it was almost overnight. But less than a month ago, our Surgeon General said that, and I’m quoting their quote, “Not effective in preventing the general public from catching coronavirus.” I mean, is… Should there be accountability there and also for the HHS Secretary?
Donald Trump: (01:23:23)
Well, I don’t know. Would anybody like to speak about it? I don’t… I think if… Just so you understand, if somebody wants to wear them, I’m all for it. Would somebody like to discuss that?
Dr. Fauci: (01:23:31)
Yes. Go for it, boss.
Speaker 26: (01:23:36)
I think the comments that we made when we came into face masks, and I think it’s important, when we came out with the CDC guidance about face masks or what we called face coverings, was in recognition of the growing understanding of asymptomatic infection or presymptomatic infection, was the recognition that we could use a barrier, and the reason… And I have mine when I’m in public right here, that I use. That this barrier, in case I was in fact infected if I didn’t know, is a barrier to prevent me to protect you in case I happened to be asymptomatically infected. There’s very good data to show that the ability of viral particles to go through a barrier is substantially diminished. And that’s why we recommended these face coverings, I think if you go back to when CDC came out with that recommendation. Some people may think intuitively it’s to protect them from getting infected. No, it was to protect you from potentially getting infected by me when I go out in public. [inaudible 01:24:46].
Donald Trump: (01:24:45)
Speaker 23: (01:24:50)
I actually appreciate you asking that question because it’s one that we’ve had to clarify several times, and I understand why the American public has been confused over time. As Dr Redfield mentioned, initially we said based on CDC, World Health Organization and most other major public health organizations, that the public needed to know that these masks were not effective or shown to be effective in preventing you if you wear a mask from catching coronavirus. Another important thing to remember in the context of those statements, was a run on medical masks, on N95 masks, and our healthcare workers were at risk. What’s changed? What’s changed is, we found out that unlike past viruses that are spread through the respiratory route, a significant proportion of coronavirus cases can be traced back to asymptomatic spread. So, the task force deliberated this, we’ve always told you that we will look at the facts and we will give people recommendations based on the best available evidence at the time.
Speaker 23: (01:25:51)
And once we saw that asymptomatic spread, we said, “Well, masks still aren’t effective.” And from our point of view, at preventing you from catching coronavirus in a significant way. But we’ve always told people that they should wear masks if they know they have symptoms to prevent them from spreading to other people. Well, now that we know about 25 to 50% of people are spreading asymptomatically, we suggested people wear cloth facial coverings to prevent asymptomatic spread. You wear your mask, to protect me. I wear my mask, and Dr Redfield mentioned it… I’ve got my mask, I believe I have mine on me, Bob. I carry mine around with me too. I wear my mask to protect you. We’re six feet away, which is why I’m not wearing my mask to protect you now. And we also all have been tested, so that’s why I’m not wearing mine now.
Donald Trump: (01:26:41)
Yeah, but I’m still next to you.
Speaker 23: (01:26:41)
Well, I’ll put mine on if you want me to, sir.
Donald Trump: (01:26:43)
Speaker 23: (01:26:44)
But again, important to know that if you’re going to wear a mask, it’s not a substitute for social distancing. Still, social distancing is the number one thing you can do. Number two, it’s important to know that you should practice good hand hygiene and not touch your face, because you still could touch a surface and bring disease to your face. And number three, is the most important… Well, it’s just as important. Please, save the medical mask, the N95, for the healthcare workers, because the cloth facial coverings are effective as far as we know right now, based on the best available evidence, at preventing you from spreading disease to other people. So, no inconsistency there. It’s just, the recommendation changed because the information changed, and that’s what you want from your public health leaders.
Speaker 25: (01:27:28)
So, no argument made that you do about asymptomatic transmission at the time that you said that, and that you were essentially misleading the public?
Speaker 23: (01:27:35)
Donald Trump: (01:27:35)
Please answer that question.
Speaker 23: (01:27:38)
The honest answer to you is, no, we did not. That was the recommendation of the World Health Organization and the CDC, and we gave you the best information we could at the time. So, I actually a little bit resent that implication, because I work hard to try to protect the American people and we are always going to give the American people the best information we have available at the time.
Speaker 25: (01:28:01)
And we don’t-
Speaker 23: (01:28:02)
We’re humble enough to say, “look, if we don’t know we’re going to change. We’re going to change with recommendations.”
Donald Trump: (01:28:06)
Just always got a question, that’s all. Please, go ahead.
Speaker 27: (01:28:09)
Mr. President, I wanted to ask you about the launch of the military satellite by Iran, wanted to get your response to that. Do you see this as an advancement of the missile program?
Donald Trump: (01:28:19)
You mean the shot they took? Well, they say no. They say all sorts… It was for television. Does anybody really believe that? They wouldn’t have better television in Iran. So, they said no. We’re watching Iran very closely. We know more about… [inaudible 00:13:36].
Speaker 27: (01:28:38)
Military readiness. The outbreak on the Roosevelt, the fact that you’re consumed with dealing with coronavirus here in the United States.
Donald Trump: (01:28:40)
[crosstalk 00:13:42]. Various navies have had outbreaks of COVID. Look, we’re in 184 different nations right now. 184 with COVID. No, we have a problem on… That just shows you how rapidly it spreads. It started off with two sailors, and then 10 sailors, and 20, and now I hear it’s 540. Of which, one has died and a few were very sick, but most of them are back in great shape. But, you did… We did lose one, and it attacked the lungs of that young person. And then, we also had a number that were quite sick, but they’re all either better or getting better, but most of them are better for a long time already. Please.
Speaker 28: (01:29:22)
Mr. President, can I-
Donald Trump: (01:29:22)
Speaker 29: (01:29:23)
Thank you, Mr. President. As you know, over the course of the past few weeks, there have been the closures of several meat processing companies across the country and several states.
Donald Trump: (01:29:34)
Speaker 29: (01:29:35)
Is this a concern to you?
Donald Trump: (01:29:36)
Yeah, of course.
Speaker 29: (01:29:37)
Are you going to increase testing in these facilities [crosstalk 00:14:39]?
Donald Trump: (01:29:41)
Yeah. Look at South Dakota, how well the governor has done there, and all of a sudden you have a big spike in one location and she’s got that very much under control as you know, but nevertheless, that was surprising and they had a big one right near where you were yesterday, as I understand it. And… So, we’re concerned about that. They’re closing one or two of the plants, actually.
Speaker 29: (01:30:00)
Is the food supply secure?
Donald Trump: (01:30:02)
Yes, totally secure. It’s in great shape. At the back [inaudible 01:30:05].
Speaker 30: (01:30:09)
Thank you, Mr. President. [inaudible 01:30:08], the attorney general in the State of Missouri, filed a law case against-
Donald Trump: (01:30:14)
Speaker 30: (01:30:16)
… China. Accusing it of lying and covering up about the origin of the virus. Do you support that? And do you [crosstalk 01:30:22] a national-
Donald Trump: (01:30:22)
Well, I haven’t seen the case. I know about the case. He filed the case against China. I love Missouri, as you know, it’s great. But I’m going to take a look at it. I actually know about it very much. I have to take a look at… I have not seen the case in terms of reading it, but I will be doing that.
Speaker 30: (01:30:38)
[inaudible 01:30:38] for international investigation.
Donald Trump: (01:30:40)
We’re going to have to take a look. Oh, we’re doing investigations, we’re doing our own. But I do want to see and review that lawsuit. I’m sure that won’t be the last one.
Speaker 31: (01:30:48)
I just a had follow-up question for Dr. Fauci, if you don’t mind.
Donald Trump: (01:30:51)
Speaker 31: (01:30:51)
But, I’m happy to ask you one after. So, John had asked the president about Rick Bright, and he said he wasn’t sure who that was, but I’m sure you’re familiar with who he is, since he was the head of BARDA. So, there’s concern or an accusation, he’s raised, that he was removed from his job because he protested widespread use of hydroxychloroquine. Are you familiar with this situation? And, do you feel like public health experts feel they are able to speak publicly or to speak out in opposition to certain things?
Dr. Fauci: (01:31:22)
Here I am.
Speaker 31: (01:31:24)
Yeah. So, you don’t feel like there’s any concern among people at the NIH right now or in the public health [crosstalk 01:31:29]?
Dr. Fauci: (01:31:30)
At the NIH? Absolutely not.
Speaker 32: (01:31:33)
Dr. Fauci, knowing Dr. Bright and knowing what his gifts are, as one of the country’s leading experts on vaccines, are those gifts best suited at NIH rather than BARDA? What’s he going to be doing with you?
Dr. Fauci: (01:31:46)
What is he going to be doing at the NIH?
Speaker 32: (01:31:49)
So first of all, are his gifts best suited to work with you rather than BARDA?
Dr. Fauci: (01:31:54)
No, I can’t… I don’t really think I can comment on somebody’s relative gifts. I mean, he’s going to be at the NIH and he’s going to be responsible, from what I hear. Again, this is what I’ve heard, that he’s going to be responsible for the development of diagnostics, which is very important. The NIH is going to be involved in trying to develop new generation diagnostics, which we feel is going to be very important for the future of being able to facilitate the kinds of things that now are sometimes problematic.
Speaker 32: (01:32:26)
Are you concerned at all that he-
Donald Trump: (01:32:26)
And why do you say he has great gifts or gifts? What? Do you know him?
Speaker 32: (01:32:29)
Donald Trump: (01:32:29)
No, I know. But, have you reviewed him?
Speaker 32: (01:32:31)
[crosstalk 01:32:31] resume, he’s working-
Donald Trump: (01:32:31)
Have you studied him? Have you reported on him? You said his gifts. I mean-
Speaker 32: (01:32:36)
He’s worked his entire career developing vaccines including the [crosstalk 01:32:41].
Donald Trump: (01:32:37)
Well, that doesn’t mean you have gifts. I know a lot of people that play baseball, but they can’t hit 150 in the Major Leagues.
Speaker 32: (01:32:43)
Well, he helped develop the flu vaccine, last year.
Donald Trump: (01:32:45)
No, but you talk about his great gifts. Go ahead, please.
Speaker 33: (01:32:49)
Mr. President, thank you so much-
Donald Trump: (01:32:49)
Please, go ahead. You could go. Please.
Speaker 34: (01:32:51)
Thank you, sir. I have two questions, one for myself and then one for a colleague of ours who could not be here today because of social distancing.
Donald Trump: (01:32:58)
Speaker 34: (01:32:59)
I’m with, USA today. First, the Executive Director of The National Association of Counties said today, that The White House did not want to see money for local… State and the local governments in the latest COVID assistance package.
Donald Trump: (01:33:14)
[inaudible 00:01:33:14], want to say what? What does that mean?
Speaker 34: (01:33:16)
Donald Trump: (01:33:17)
What does that mean? Repeat it. Say it a little differently.
Speaker 34: (01:33:20)
The Executive Director of The National Association of Counties said today, that The White House objected to putting funding for state and local governments into the latest COVID assistance package.
Donald Trump: (01:33:31)
Oh, really. That’s… Is he a Democrat?
Speaker 34: (01:33:33)
I do not know, sir.
Donald Trump: (01:33:34)
Well, check it. How could you ask that question without knowing? Check it out, you’ll find out.
Speaker 34: (01:33:37)
I’ll check it out.
Donald Trump: (01:33:38)
Okay. What’s your next question?
Speaker 34: (01:33:39)
He says… His question was-
Donald Trump: (01:33:40)
You know the numbers, you know the money we put into states, local governments, everything else, and they have to be responsible for their own finances, but you check it out. Go ahead. What’s the next…
Speaker 34: (01:33:50)
[crosstalk 01:33:50] he said that you said that you felt like that this would somehow be a disincentive or [inaudible 01:33:55], is he correct about that?
Donald Trump: (01:33:58)
How would he know what I felt? I never spoke to him. I don’t even know who he is.
Speaker 34: (01:34:00)
Donald Trump: (01:34:01)
You don’t know who he is either.
Speaker 34: (01:34:02)
Yes. His name is Matthew Chase, sir.
Donald Trump: (01:34:04)
Okay. It doesn’t help me and it doesn’t help you. Go ahead, Jeff.
Mr. President, also-
Donald Trump: (01:34:11)
Do we want to keep going [inaudible 01:34:12] or not? You’re not going to say, “Oh, he took questions all night long.”
Speaker 35: (01:34:15)
Donald Trump: (01:34:16)
Speaker 36: (01:34:17)
Donald Trump: (01:34:19)
Okay. Well good, how many questions can you have? Go ahead.
Donald Trump: (01:34:21)
We all have fun, because we’re talking about something very important. The main thing is, I think we’re getting to a lot of solutions. We never want this to happen again. We never want this to happen again, what happened. And if it should come back in some form, we want to snuff it out very quickly before anything can happen. And I personally hope it doesn’t come back in the fall, as a combination of the flu or not as a combination of the flu. But I think we learned a lot. And some of these questions are good, some of them are ridiculous frankly, but some of them are very… I think some of them are very important questions. Very important. When you asked Dr. Fauci about the right to speak, if I let him speak, I’ll let anybody speak. And we love him. Let’s go.
Mr. President, Senator-
Donald Trump: (01:35:07)
…. McConnell said today that he would prefer to see states that have high public pensions declare bankruptcy rather than taking on more federal bailout money.
Donald Trump: (01:35:17)
I heard he said that… I don’t know what he said, I’ll have to call him and ask him.
That’s what he said.
Donald Trump: (01:35:24)
Well, that’s okay. I’m going to have to look at it directly.
Would you agree with him on that? Or-
Donald Trump: (01:35:28)
I can tell you that. I have to see… I want to base it on fact and reason. I want to see what he said, why he said it, and how he said it. I’d have to watch him say it. But, some of the states are not doing well, let’s face it. And some are doing phenomenally well, a state where Mike was governor. Indiana, I looked at their numbers, they have… It’s incredible what they’re doing. Some states are doing fantastically well. Iowa is doing great. You have states doing well and you have some states that aren’t doing well. We know the ones… I don’t have to mention the ones that aren’t doing well, but you do have states that are in trouble. And certainly, they’re coming back to talk to us. We’ll see what happens.
Are you concerned, sir, about the growing US national debt as a result of these stimulus packages?
Donald Trump: (01:36:12)
Oh, we have no choice. Do we have a choice? I’m always concerned about everything. We had to fix this problem. This was… We were attacked. This was an attack. This wasn’t just OG, and this wasn’t the flu, by the way. They like to say the flu. Nobody has ever seen anything like this. 1917, was the last time. We were attacked… We had the greatest economy in the history of the world, we had the greatest economy… Better than China, better than any place, they will tell you that. I dealt with them for a long time and they will you, the greatest economy, we built it in the last three years, three and a half years, we built it. And then one day, they came and they said, “You have to close it.” I said, “You got to be…” These people right here, they said, “You have to… They came into my office, into The Oval Office, and they said, “We have to close the economy.” I said, ” Let’s explain this. Explain this to me.” The greatest ever in history, and we had to close it.
Donald Trump: (01:37:07)
Now we’re going to open it again and we’re going to be just as strong or stronger, but you have to spend some money to get it back open. We saved our airlines. We just as finished up with the airlines. We saved numerous companies that are great companies. That two months ago we’re having the best year they’ve ever had, now all of a sudden they’re totally shut out of markets. There was a great spirit today. The fact is some of the governors are opening up their states. And I saw it, I feel it. I don’t know if you folks know, I feel it. There was a great spirit today. I don’t know, the stock market was up today, I guess. It was up quite a bit when I just walked out here. And I will say, I feel much different today than I did two or three days ago. And I think the world does. We spoke to a lot of leaders. The world feels that we’re really leading a path of optimism.
Donald Trump: (01:38:01)
European Union is having a lot of difficulty. You take a look at what’s going on with the European Union, it’s having tremendous difficulty. But we’re going to be back and we’re going to be back stronger than ever, we’re going to be at a level, I think, that everybody is going to be look… And they do. They look up to us. They want to know, what are we doing? What are we doing with therapeutics? What are we doing with vaccines? We’re going to have those answers too. We’re going to have them. Just like we took care of ventilators, just like we’re taking care of and already, as we said a hundred times, we had more testing than any nation in the world.
Donald Trump: (01:38:33)
We had more testing than all of those nations put together, that we mentioned the other day, all of them put together. And we’re going to be within two weeks at a level that nobody has ever even seen before. They’ve never seen where we are right now. You don’t have to build new machines, you don’t have to build new labs, we already have them. But some of the labs are even upgrading to be able to double and triple their capacity, in one case. Now we’re at a level that nobody has ever been. We’re going to be bigger, better and stronger than ever before. So, I’m not concerned about that. Thank you very much.