Jul 27, 2020
Donald Trump Coronavirus Press Conference Transcript July 27: Talks Testing and Vaccine Development
President Donald Trump held a Coronavirus Task Force press conference about testing and vaccine development on July 27. He said: “We’re mass-producing all of the most promising vaccine candidates in advance so that on the day one, that it’s approved, it will be available to the American people immediately”. Read the transcript of his news briefing here.
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Donald Trump: (00:00)
In the thereafter. Not only his Operation Warp Speed, accelerating the development of a vaccine, we’re also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure its rapid delivery. Nothing’s happened like this since the end of World War II. Instead of the usual sequence of vaccine development, testing and trials, followed by production, our strategy is to conduct these phases simultaneously, so everything goes at one time. We’re not waiting and waiting and waiting. It’s all going at one time. We have a system that has, I think it’s unparalleled, has never been done before, but we suspect it’s going to work and work very well. We’re mass-producing all of the most promising vaccine candidates in advance so that on the day one, that it’s approved, it will be available to the American people immediately and we’ll probably have a lot for a lot of other people throughout the world.
Donald Trump: (00:57)
The world is suffering from this China virus. Another dimension of Operation Warp Speed, is our focus on therapeutics to treat the virus over 100, including Remdesivir, which is having a tremendous impact. You see that with mortality rates and other things, statistically. Dexamethazone, convalescent plasma and antibody treatments, we have numerous treatments right now that are under study. I think over the next couple of weeks, we may actually have some very positive answers as to that. On July 7th, we announced a $450 million agreement with Regeneron to begin advanced manufacturing of its antibody treatment, which is currently in late stage clinical trials, late stage. Due to the medical advances we’ve already achieved and our increased knowledge in how to treat the virus, the mortality rate for patients over the age of 18 is 85% lower than it was in April.
Donald Trump: (01:59)
Think of that. 85%, and it’s 25% lower than Europe as a whole. In the middle of April, more than 22% of all deaths in the United States were attributable to the China virus. As the last week, that number has dropped down. As of last week, it’s dropped down to under 7%. To decrease the turnaround times for testing, the first two laboratories have been approved to provide pooled testing. Very important. In other words, samples from multiple patients are processed together. They are pooled. Now, pool testing will reduce turnaround times by more than substantially, more than 50%. Last week, our centers for Medicare and Medicaid services began distributing rapid point of care, diagnostic test instruments to all of the nursing homes in the United States, focusing on the areas of greatest need, which is our elderly and our nursing homes.
Donald Trump: (03:00)
What we’ve already sent, includes testing instruments to 635 nursing homes for 196,000 rapid point of care tests. It’s a tremendous amount. That’s, you’ll get your response and answer from five to 15 minutes. Over the next three weeks, 1,700 nursing homes will receive an additional 800,000 point of care tests. Think of that. The United States has conducted over 52 million tests. That’s more than all of Europe put together times two. Nobody’s even close, and as countries go, it is as an example, India is up to 11 million tests. We’re going to be very shortly at 55 million tests. India has 1.4 billion people. Through our relentless efforts, ` we’ve completely rebuilt our stockpile, which the previous administration depleted and did not refill. The cupboards were bare. I say it often. In total, we’ve now distributed nearly 100,000,095 masks, 35 million surgical masks, 15 million face yields, and much, much more.
Donald Trump: (04:13)
In addition to that, ventilators, the most difficult thing of all, we are now building thousands a month and we’ll distribute them. We have all we need in our country, but to other countries that are in desperate need, other countries are having a tremendously difficult time with the virus. Last week, FEMA sent additional personnel protective equipment to over 15,000 nursing homes, including 643,000 pairs of protective eyewear, 7 million masks, 34 million pairs of gloves and 6 million gowns. It’s a lot. Over the weekend, cases in Florida, Texas and Arizona held steady and are now heading down. In Arizona they’re heading very substantially down and rapidly. We’ve been constant and in constant communication with the states and are surging them resources, when requested. They largely had what they needed, but anything they need, we send them immediately. We are totally full. We have everything we need. We get it to the states immediately.
Donald Trump: (05:18)
We deal with the governors. The relationship with the governors has been very good. These states are not out of the woods, but rigorous compliance with guidelines should allow them to turn the corner, and very, very quickly. We are working with every governor and health commissioner, across the country to bring a complete, individualized analysis to each state, as well as tailored recommendation. States are different. My administration is also closely monitoring the surging caseload in Latin America, which is now the region in the world with the most active reported infections by far. Due to the relative scarcity of testing in Latin America however, the regions reported number of cases is also likely to be dramatically undercut or under-counted. I can say that’s probably true throughout the entire world. We report our cases. Most of the world doesn’t. They either don’t do testing, therefore they have very few cases, even though people are sick or they just don’t report.
Donald Trump: (06:20)
Given the reality of what we just said, we’re focusing aggressively on the Texas border and countries that we think have to be watched very, very carefully, because you have some very, very highly-infected countries outside of our borders. I’ve spoken with Governor Abbott, terrific gentlemen, and I can report that over 3,300 federal personnel are on the ground in Texas. We’ve given them a tremendous amount of extra help, including doctors, nurses, frontline people. We’ve supplied Texas with more than 2.5 million gloves, 800,000 goggles, 337,000 surgical gowns, 1.8 million surgical masks, 1.36 million N95 respirators and half a million KN90 masks. Beginning this week, Texas hospitals, will receive 500 cases of Remdesivir, which has proven very effective, enough to treat 3,200 patients. In addition to the cross border spread, the stage of the pandemic is being fueled by younger Americans who generally have little risk of being seriously harmed by the disease, but can spread the disease.
Donald Trump: (07:42)
We need all Americans to be conscious about their actions and to exercise extreme vigilance. I trust all Americans to do the right thing, but we strongly advise everyone to especially, especially focus on maintaining a social distance, maintaining rigorous hygiene, avoid large gatherings and crowded indoor bars and wear masks when appropriate. We also strongly urge citizens to take extra precautions, to shield those at highest risk, which are in most cases, in many cases, the elderly, especially the elderly with medical problems, such as heart or diabetes. But you want to shield them and you want to guard them and you want to protect them from the virus, especially, especially those that are really targeted, almost targeted, you could say, by this horrible, horrible plague, this horrible epidemic pandemic. America will develop a vaccine very soon and we will defeat the virus. We will have it delivered in record time as our visit here demonstrates.
Donald Trump: (08:50)
I want to thank all of the people and representatives from the great state of North Carolina. Is a great place. It’s a phenomenal place. We’ve had so many great meetings and such a great time. I want to drive into the drive and tenacity of your representatives and your politicians has been incredible. When they call, I’m there. When they call, most of them, many of them are sitting here right now. I will always answer their call. Thank you very much. I appreciate you being here with us and let’s get onto a few questions. Tremendous progress has been made and it’s been made rapidly and it’s been made in areas that nothing like that has taken place before. Please, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 3: (09:41)
There’s been a lot of despair when it comes to the virus. Is today’s event about giving Americans hope, a sense of optimism? Is that what you’re trying to do?
Donald Trump: (09:53)
Well, I think so. But there would be not that same kind of hope if we weren’t doing so well where, before, just before I left the White House in the Oval Office, we had a meeting with our doctors, scientists, some others, and they’re making tremendous progress with respect to therapeutics. I can tell you therapeutically, I think over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have some really very good things to say. We’re just having great answers. It is about that. It’s also the vaccine that we discussed today at even greater length, is just coming along really well. It’s not just one company. It’s many companies have had tremendous progress. That’ll be announced over the next very short period.
Speaker 5: (10:35)
When do you expect the vaccine to be ready for the Americans to-
Donald Trump: (10:35)
Well, I heard very positive things, but by the end of the year, we think we’re in very good shape to be doing that. By the end of this year, we’re going to, in terms of the vaccine, I think in terms of therapeutics, even sooner than that. Therapeutics, meaning you go and you give somebody, whether it’s transfusion or shots or whatever it may be, and they heal and they heal quickly. We’ve had tremendous progress. We already have, if you look at Remdesivir and you look at some of the other things, but we’ll have some announcements on that over the next two weeks. Yeah, it is hope, but it’s only hope because we’ve gotten such incredible results, scientifically.
Speaker 5: (11:15)
One final question.
Donald Trump: (11:17)
Speaker 5: (11:17)
You did talk with Russian President, Vladimir Putin. I wanted to ask, if you did bring up the reports of Russia, having [inaudible 00:11:24] on our soldiers, in Afghanistan.
Donald Trump: (11:25)
We don’t talk about what we discussed, but we had plenty of discussion and I think it was very productive. Please.
Speaker 7: (11:32)
Larry Kudlow, earlier today said that the V-shape recovery is showing signs of moderating. Do you think given what we’re seeing with the increase in cases that the recovery could be in jeopardy at all, the economic recovery?
Donald Trump: (11:43)
I don’t think so. I think the recovery has been very strong. We’ve set record job numbers. We’ve set record numbers, whether it’s a pure V or a little bit less than that, I think it’s going to be very good. If therapeutically, we come up with some answers very quickly, which I think we will, then you’re going to have a tremendous recovery, likewise, with the vaccines. If you do that by the end of the year, that’s ahead of schedule, substantially ahead of schedule and it’s ahead of anything that’s ever taken place in terms of vaccines before. I think if those things happen, if just one of those events happen, you’ll go right back into that V and I think you’re probably in the V anyway,. I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they’re not opening. We’ll see what happens with them, but a lot will have to do with the fact that therapeutically, I think you’re going to have some great answers, vaccine-wise, likewise. Yeah. Please go ahead. In the back.
Zachary Eanes: (12:37)
Zachary Eanes, from the Raleigh News and Observer. Now that you’ve canceled the Jacksonville portion of the RNC, do you think Governor Cooper made the right choice to limiting attendance in Charlotte?
Donald Trump: (12:48)
Well, we’re actually coming to North Carolina as you know. We’re having a very major, I guess that would be the nomination night. That’s a Monday. That’ll be Monday. They’re going to be here and the rest we’ll do in a different form. We could have done it many different ways, but I think we did the right thing and I’m really happy that we’re going to be having a piece of it, at least in a very important piece in North Carolina. Yes, please go ahead.
Speaker 9: (13:14)
Mr. President, your poll numbers suffered in recent months because of your handling on this pandemic. You’re here now today. What’s your plan going forward to prove to Americans that you’re the right person?
Donald Trump: (13:24)
I think the poll numbers are very good. The poll numbers we have are very good. We’re leading in North Carolina. We’re leading in Pennsylvania. We’re leading in Arizona, our numbers. We’re leading in Arizona. We’re leading nicely in Florida. I think our poll numbers are very good. We’re leading substantially in Georgia. I mean, we get a lot of suppression polls. We get a lot of fake polls, just like we have fake news. I mean, it’s a terrible thing when you look at it. But I had the same thing four years ago. I was losing everywhere. I had poll numbers where I wasn’t going to win any state. I ended up winning every one of them. The swing States, I wasn’t going to win any of them and I want all of them. I have the same thing this year. This year, they have it even closer.
Donald Trump: (14:06)
They have it closer, but it’s the same suppression-type polls. We have polls that show me leading in almost every swing state and substantially in other states, by even more than I won in ’16. When you look at Florida as an example, you have thousands of boats out of the ocean, out on the Intercoastal. You look at other states, where likewise, you have thousands of boats and their all waving the Trump sign, Trump/Pence sign, and they’re so proud. Thousands and thousands. You have seen it where you have bikers for Trump with lines that are miles long on highways going along on weekends. I think there’s more spirit now than there’s ever been for my campaign. That includes 2016, where obviously, there was great enthusiasm, great spirit. We had great spirit. I think there’s more today because what we’ve done nobody’s ever done before.
Donald Trump: (15:01)
Nobody has ever rebuilt the military, cut taxes, the most in our history, created the greatest economy we’ve ever had, cut regulations at a level that nobody’s ever done. All of these different things, the VA, we got VA choice. We got VA, everything for the VA right now. They had a 91% approval rating. In a recent poll, I was just speaking to the secretary. 91% in the VA, that’s never happened before. I think when people see all that we’ve done, even Space Force, we created a force that actual, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, right? It’s pretty amazing. Coast guard. Now, Space Force. That hasn’t happened in 75 years. What we’ve done, working with some of those warriors over there, by the way, but what we’ve done has never been done. If you look at Alaska with ANWR, perhaps the biggest drilling site in the world. Even Ronald Reagan and Bush and Clinton, everybody wanted to get it done.
Donald Trump: (16:03)
I got it done. ANWR in Alaska, probably, or possibly the biggest drilling site in the world. Now, what we’ve done has been incredible. Recently, it looked like the energy business was going to be a catastrophe. We were number one in the world, and then we had the pandemic and nobody was using energy. Nobody was driving in automobiles, no gasoline. By the way, gasoline prices for everyone, a very, very low. In many cases, less than $2. That’s pretty incredible. I saved the energy business. I got Russia and I got Saudi Arabia on the phone and they cut way back and we’re now at $40 and plus a barrel. We’re saving tens of millions of jobs in energy. We’re the number one in energy in the world. With all that we’ve done, we made and brought this country to the greatest point in its history.
Donald Trump: (16:54)
We never had an economy like we had prior to the China plague or China virus coming in. We never had numbers like it. We are going to have them again, and everyone knows I’m going to rebuild it. I had to close it up. We saved millions of lives by closing it. If we didn’t close I,. You would have seen numbers that would have been 15 times what you have right now. One death is too much, but it would have been 10 to 15 times, maybe more than that, what you have. We closed this greatest economy ever, far bigger than China, better than China. China was having, by the way, the worst year they had in 67 years. Tariffs, they paid us tens of billions of dollars. The worst year they’ve had. Think of it. In 67 years. We were having the best year we’ve ever had. I had to close it and now we’re reopening it. Next year we’ll be stronger. It’ll be the strongest year so far. It’ll be better even than last year.
Donald Trump: (17:46)
Okay. Thank you very much. I’ll be heading back. I’ll see you back at the White House. Thank you very much. We’re going to take an additional tour of the facility with your great leaders. Thank you very much to the people of North Carolina. We love being here. Thank you.