Apr 2, 2020
Donald Trump Coronavirus Task Force Briefing April 2
Donald Trump held an April 2 press conference with the Coronavirus Task Force. This time he was joined by Steve Mnuchin, Jovita Carranza, Jared Kushner, and others. He talked about wearing masks or scarves when going outside, and brought up “witch hunts” when referring to a Pelosi oversight committee. Read the full transcript here.
What is Rev?
Donald Trump: (01:08)
Okay. Thank you very much. Good to be with you all. We’re in a very critical phase of our war against the coronavirus. It’s vital that every American follows our guidelines on the 30 days to slow the spread. The sacrifices we make over the next four weeks will have countless American lives saved. We’re going to save a lot of American lives. We’re in control of our own fate, very much so. Maintaining social distance, practicing vigorous hygiene and staying at home are your most effective ways to win the war and to escape danger.
Donald Trump: (01:54)
While you’re fighting this battle from home we’re working with the best scientists, doctors, and researchers anywhere in the world. We’re racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine, and we’re making a lot of progress, I think medically a lot of progress.
Donald Trump: (02:14)
At the same time, we’re also racing to get relief to American workers and small businesses, as you know. I want to remind small business owners across America that the paycheck protection program is launching tomorrow. Nearly $350 billion in loans will be available to small businesses including sole proprietors. These loans are up to 100% forgivable as long as employers keep paying their workers, got to take care of your workers.
Donald Trump: (02:46)
Furthermore, we want Social Security beneficiaries to know that if they are typically not required to file a tax return, they don’t have to file one in order to receive the direct cash payments that will soon be distributed to American citizens. The treasury will deposit the money directly into the bank accounts, and don’t forget, I will always protect your Social Security, your Medicare and your Medicaid. We’re protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and I always will.
Donald Trump: (03:18)
I’d like now to invite SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza who is doing a fantastic job. She’s going to be very busy in the next little while and Secretary Steve Mnuchin to say a few words about these vital initiatives and then we’ll get onto the attack of the virus itself and please if I might, Steve and Jovita.
Jovita Carranza: (03:43)
Thank you. Thank you Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, Secretary Mnuchin, Ivanka Trump and all who I have been working closely with in this effort.
Jovita Carranza: (03:57)
Small business is the backbone of the American economy and the president has put the nation’s 30 million small businesses front and center in the response effort and we are working hard to get money to them quickly. This is an unprecedented effort by this administration to support small businesses and we know that there will be challenges in the process.
Jovita Carranza: (04:22)
Secretary Mnuchin and I are working in tandem to ensure that feedback from our partners is being heard and implemented. The private and public sector must work closely together to ensure that small businesses and their workers across the country are put first. This administration believes wholeheartedly that if you are a small business, you are a critical part of the economic fabric of this country and your viability is critical to the economic wellbeing of your employees.
Jovita Carranza: (04:54)
At SBA, we are working around the clock to support small businesses ensuring that we are prioritizing emergency capital for small businesses that are suffering economic harm as a result of this unprecedented situation. This relief will help stabilize a small business sector by providing businesses with the financial resources they need to keep their workers employed and keep up with their day-to-day operating expenses.
Jovita Carranza: (05:24)
Today I want to ensure that small businesses all over the country know about the paycheck protection program and how they can benefit from this. Simply put, the paycheck protection program is to help keep employees on payroll and small businesses open. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used towards job retention and certain other expenses. We are working closely with lenders so that businesses can go directly to their local lenders. Paycheck protection program is in addition to substantial work that the SBA has and will continue to do to help small businesses including providing advances on SBA disaster loans and forgiving the existing SBA loan payments over the next six months.
Jovita Carranza: (06:13)
Additional details on these critically important programs can be found sba.gov and we will be updating these resources regularly. Our hearts go out to those affected by this terrible virus. Our communities around the country are stepping up and we will get through this together. At SBA, we know that every phone call, email, or application submitted has a small business owner, their employees and the communities they support around the other side. Our most important objective is to allow small businesses to keep their employees onboard and keep their businesses viable through this unprecedented disruption.
Jovita Carranza: (06:57)
I want to reiterate the importance of patience in this process as we work together to ensure that businesses are able to access needed credit. We will continue working around the clock as we’ve done with our federal and private sector partners, expanding capacity and working to make our systems as robust as possible to meet the needs. Thank you, Mr. President.
Steve Mnuchin: (07:25)
Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Jovita. Mr. President, you’ve made clear to us we now need to execute. We need to get money to small business and American workers and that’s what we’re doing. The SBA and Treasury committed to get this program up and running tomorrow and when Jovita says people working around the clock, they literally, we had both teams working till four o’clock in the morning and start working again today. We’ve heard feedback from lenders, community banks, regional banks, and we’ve spent the last 24 hours making this system even easier.
Steve Mnuchin: (07:59)
So this will be up and running tomorrow. I encourage all small businesses that have 500 or fewer people, please contact your lenders. Any FDIC institution will be able to do this. Any credit union, existing SBA lenders and FinTech lenders. You get the money, you’ll get it the same day, you use this to pay your workers. Please bring your workers back to work. If you’ve let them go, you have eight weeks plus overhead. This is a very important program. I’m pleased to announce we are going to raise the interest rate on these loans and, again, the interest rate is paid for as part of the program. The borrower doesn’t have to pay this to 1%. We had announced it was going to be 50 basis points. We’ve heard from some smaller community banks that their deposit costs, even though the government’s borrowing at three or four basis points, this is on average a 90 loan, to make this attractive for community banks, we’ve agreed to raise the interest rate. Again, I encourage everybody take out the paycheck protection program.
Steve Mnuchin: (09:05)
I’m also pleased to report the economic impact payments. I had previously said this would take us three weeks. I’m pleased to report that within two weeks the first payments will be direct deposit into taxpayer’s account, and as the president said last night, the president authorized me to say that anybody that has social security recipients won’t need to file a new tax return and will have that. If we don’t have your direct deposit information, we’ll be putting up a web portal so that you can put that up. It is a very large priority. The president has made clear we want to get this money quickly into your hands.
Steve Mnuchin: (09:44)
I’m also pleased to report that we continue to work closely with the Federal Reserve. We’re in the process of designing a new facility that we call the Main Street Lending Facility. We’re also looking at facilities for state governments as well. And I’m also pleased to report the employee retention credit. It’s up and running. The first $10,000 of wages, you get a 50% credit. That’s $5,000 per person. For everyone who’s kept someone, you can immediately get that money. You can deduct it from what you owe the IRS immediately. If you don’t know us money, you’ll get a refundable tax credit. So that is up and running. I’m also pleased to report we have the program up and running. We’re taking applications from the airlines, from the cargo companies and from national security companies. So thank you very much Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (10:33)
Thank you Steve. For Jovita or Steve, any questions?
Speaker 1: (10:35)
Mr. Secretary, Chase Bank sent a letter to its business clients today saying that they don’t have the necessary guidance from the SBA, from the Treasury Department to be able to accept loan applications starting tomorrow. The need is clearly enormous, but at least one major bank says they’re not fully empowered yet to be able to help there.
Steve Mnuchin: (10:55)
As I spoke to all the CEOs yesterday, I had a conference call with them. We got very good input from them on what they needed. As I said, people were working until four o’clock. I believe we just put up the federal register with the new guidelines for lenders. I’ve been assured that the banks will be in the process starting tomorrow. Now again, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but we committed that this will be available tomorrow and I encourage all companies, go to sba.com go to treasury.gov you can see the information you need immediately.
Speaker 2: (11:26)
Just to follow up with the small business owners. A number of them saying that they were on that conference call and that there’s a tremendous power struggle going on between the Treasury and SBA and that it’s over process and forms, is what they tell me that, lenders are actually opting out because they can’t make enough money to even service the loans. So how are you going to make sure these small business owners get the capital they need to survive right now?
Steve Mnuchin: (11:52)
First of all, I can assure you Jovita is here. Jovita used to work for me as the treasurer. There’s no power struggle. Jovita and our team, as I said, worked together until four o’clock in the morning, started working at seven o’clock again. We’ve made the form simpler and I can assure you at five points, I’ve told these bankers they should take older traders and put them in the branches. There’ll never be another opportunity to earn five points on a 90 day fully government guaranteed loan.
Speaker 2: (12:20)
And the checks right into direct deposit? IRS now saying it’d take four to five months. You’re saying two weeks-
Steve Mnuchin: (12:28)
Let me be clear. Let me be clear, I don’t know where you’re hearing these things. I told you this would be three weeks. I’m now committing to two weeks. We’re delivering on our commitments. The IRS, which I oversee, within two weeks the first money till be in people’s accounts.
Speaker 3: (12:42)
The problem is not about the first checks for folks who have direct deposit. Sounds like those will go up pretty quickly. The question is then for folks who don’t have direct deposit, and there was a staff memo that was released by the House Ways and Means Committee today saying that that process could take up to five weeks. That takes you to mid-August. Is that how long it’s going to take?
Steve Mnuchin: (12:59)
That is not going to take five… Again, let me just say, when Obama sent out these checks, it took months and months and months. I am assuring the American public they need the money now. What we’re going to do is, again, if we have your information, you’ll get it within two weeks. Social Security, you’ll get it very quickly after that. If we don’t have your information, you’ll have a simple web portal. You’ll upload it. If we don’t have that, we’ll send you checks in the mail.
Speaker 2: (13:29)
How many checks can you process a week, though? How many checks can you…
Steve Mnuchin: (13:29)
Again we can process a lot of checks, but we don’t want to send checks. In this environment, we don’t want people to get checks. We want to put money directly into their account.
Speaker 1: (13:37)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary. This is for, I guess both you and the administrator. There’ve been some anecdotal reports that business people are trying to get access to the online site to submit the applications. The website’s been crashing. I’ve heard of webinars going offline because there’s just too many people on them, so how are you guys going to be ready tomorrow to get these loans out?
Steve Mnuchin: (13:58)
We’ve brought in a lot of external resources at SBA and us to make sure there’s additional capacity. As I said, we heard a lot of good feedback yesterday to simplify this process. It’s going to be up and running now. Let me just be clear. That doesn’t mean everybody is going to get their loan tomorrow, but the system will be up and running. We encourage people over the next week. Sign up. You can go on right now. You can go on the web, see what information you need. Very simple process.
Speaker 4: (14:26)
Mr. Secretary, on a separate subject. Have you been in touch with Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi about their differences right now about another stimulus package?
Steve Mnuchin: (14:37)
I’ve spoken to the leader. I’ve spoken to the Speaker. I’ve spoken to the president constantly. When the president’s ready and thinks we should do the next stage, we’re ready. The president’s talked about the issue of infrastructure since the campaign. I think you know that’s a big priority for him. Again, if we run out of money on the small business program, we’ll be back right away to Congress to get this increased.
Speaker 2: (15:04)
Does the unemployment numbers today increase the urgency of doing a Phase three?
Steve Mnuchin: (15:07)
Well, let me just say, we’re going through something that we’ve never done before where the government has shut down big parts of the economy because of health reasons. Our economy was in great shape. Our companies were in great shape. There are three ways that Americans are going to be protected. For small business, they’ll get paid by their business through this program, the direct deposit. There’s also enhanced unemployment. So we realize unfortunately there are a lot of companies that because they aren’t in business over a short period of time, again, we’re working with the states on enhanced unemployment and as soon as the medical professionals and the president give the all clear, we’re going to have a ton of liquidity. We have about $6 trillion. This has never been done between us and the Fed to put into the economy to support American workers and American business.
Speaker 5: (15:59)
Mr. Secretary, in addition to the jobless numbers we saw today, phase three was signed before the social distancing guidelines were extended for another month. So what additional relief are you going to give to Americans as they stay out of work for all these extra weeks? What are you waiting for?
Steve Mnuchin: (16:20)
In designing this program, we thought that we had liquidity for about 10 weeks, and that’s what we’ve designed. And again, I think the president’s been very clear. If we need to go back to Congress to support the American economy and American workers, we will be doing that.
Speaker 6: (16:37)
Secretary Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has formed a select committee to oversee the distribution of recovery funds and she says she wants to make sure that those funds are wisely and efficiently spent. Do you think that select committee is something that’s necessary?
Steve Mnuchin: (16:52)
I don’t. Both parties wanted us to have oversight, wanted us to have transparency. We have full transparency. We have an oversight committee that the speaker gets to pick someone, the leader gets to pick someone. I believe there’s five people on it. And again, that that committee will review the money that we’re spending. And again, we support full transparency. Taxpayers should understand how we’re going to support this economy and jobs.
Speaker 7: (17:19)
Mr. Secretary. Senator Murkowski has asked you to consider providing loans to energy companies under the Cares Act, the phase three bill. What are your thoughts on that? Would you consider providing those loans to energy companies.
Steve Mnuchin: (17:33)
So thank you and let me clarify. I have very limited ability to do direct loans out of the Treasury. I can do them for passenger airlines, cargo airlines, contractors and national security companies. Outside of that, we work with the Federal Reserve to create broad-based lending facilities, which we will do. So our expectation is the energy companies like all our other companies will be able to participate in broad based facilities, whether it’s the corporate facility or whether it’s the Main Street facility, but not direct lending out of the treasury.
Speaker 1: (18:09)
A question for clarity about the direct payments to Americans. For those folks who don’t have bank accounts, who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS, how long would they have to wait for their check?
Steve Mnuchin: (18:20)
For people who don’t have direct deposit, again we’ll have an easy way they put it up. We can on a rolling basis, I think, within a couple of days when they give it to us, we’ll send the money out. We do realize there are people who are under-banked. And again we’re working with all the digital companies, prepaid debit cards. We’re working with all of them to make sure we have a process that every American gets their money quickly. This money does people no good if it shows up in four months and we will deliver on that promise.
Speaker 1: (18:48)
So quickly is a matter of weeks then perhaps, not months?
Steve Mnuchin: (18:50)
Quickly as a matter of weeks and not months. That’s correct.
Speaker 8: (18:56)
Mr. Secretary, one area where you can make direct loans is to the airlines. How much do you expect that the treasury department and the federal government will be involved in overseeing the operations of airlines as it pertains to which routes get cut back, how much they operate, what they do about their employees and the like?
Steve Mnuchin: (19:17)
So there are very strict requirements that’s built into the bill. Again, this was a bipartisan requirement. One, anything we do with the airlines, they have to maintain substantially all of their employees. So again, any money that we provide them will go to pay their employees. We’re going to be working with the Secretary of Transportation. There are requirements to maintain certain routes. So again, we have a very clear process. We’ve hired three outside advisors, will be financial advisors and three law firms. We’ll be releasing that information shortly. And I want to thank them. They’re all working for basically very, very little money. They couldn’t work for free so they’ve agreed to basically work for what they would sign up to work for charitable organizations. So again, no big fees to bankers. We’ve got a great team of three lawyers and three financial advisors that will assist us.
Speaker 5: (20:07)
Just to follow up on that, will you give us a list of the names of those people who are advising you when you release the information?
Steve Mnuchin: (20:14)
Of course we will. We’ll give you the names as well as the contracts.
Speaker 5: (20:19)
Any names right now other than Black Rock?
Steve Mnuchin: (20:20)
So again, I’m happy to announce we have the PJT Partners is going to do the passenger airlines, Moelis and Company is going to do the cargo and contractors, and Perella Weinberg will handle the national security. And there’ll be three law firms which we’ll announce shortly that will be working in each one of those sectors. And again, let me just be clear, we need to get this done quickly. The airlines need money. We’re going to work very closely with the Department of Transportation and get this done quickly. We’ve actually already received contracts from a lot of the people. Again, there’s guidance up on the web. Full transparency. We’ve asked for applications.
Speaker 7: (20:59)
Mr. Secretary, on the airline issue again, Speaker Pelosi and others have said that the government taking stakes in those airlines should not be a condition for the federal government to provide payroll support specifically. What’s your response to that?
Steve Mnuchin: (21:14)
I spoke to the Speaker last night about that. This was something that was highly negotiated between the Republicans and the Democrats. The president was personally involved in this. He was on the phone with us many times. Mitch McConnell, Mark Meadows, senators on both sides. There is a specific line in the bill that says that the Secretary, meaning me, will determine proper compensation, so this is not a bail out for the airlines and I will be working, once we get our advice from our financial advisors, we get the applications from the airlines. I’ll be working very closely with the president and we’ll make sure that we strike the right balance. Not a bail out. Taxpayers get compensated. But these airlines, these are national security issues. We want to keep our airlines intact.
Speaker 4: (22:01)
Mr. Secretary, just more broadly perhaps for the administrator if not for you as well. Some small businesses, restaurant owners for example are finding that laying off their employees so that they can start collecting unemployment is better both for them as business owners and for their workers. What incentives do they have right now to keep their employees on the payroll if no one’s coming into their restaurant?
Steve Mnuchin: (22:26)
Well, the incentive that you have, and we want American business to be kept intact. The incentive is these are loans that turn into grants. So if you’re a business owner and you’re a restaurant, you can hire your people back. You get money for their medical, you keep them on the medical plan, you get money for your rent, you get money for your electricity, so you’re motivated. We want you to have a business that you can reopen quickly when it’s appropriate. So this doesn’t cost the business owners anything.
Steve Mnuchin: (22:57)
When people talk about it, I can’t imagine any American worker who had a job, is offered to keep their job isn’t going to want to have it. And let me just be clear, we’ve also talked about this unemployment issue. You can only get unemployment if you don’t have a job. So unemployment is intended for those people that are some of the mid-size or larger businesses and we’re very sympathetic to this, that these companies can’t afford, and for those people, the enhanced unemployment will be a significant benefit.
Steve Mnuchin: (23:28)
But we want to make sure 50% of the American workforce is small businesses under 500 people. The president, the vice president, the administrator and I want to make sure this part of the economy is ready and intact when we’re ready to reopen.
Speaker 1: (23:43)
A question for the administrator. Is there a certain category of small businesses that you’re most concerned about? Restaurants, hair salons, things like that?
Jovita Carranza: (23:52)
That’s a great question. We’re concerned about every small business. There’s 30 million small businesses that we’re really focused on and we’re working feverishly to make sure that we can provide the available funds to them as quickly as possible. So it’s 30 million small businesses and the other businesses are being dealt with with the PPP, with the paycheck protection. There was also the disaster, what call the economic injury disaster loans. And then there was an advance associated with that particular program as well.
Jovita Carranza: (24:23)
So to answer your question, we’re concerned about all businesses, and as the secretary indicated, we’re looking at employees being ready, not lost in this process. We want businesses to stay intact because they represent how half the GDP. So if we spend a trillion to support 10 trillion or 11 trillion, I think that’s a significant investment and that’s what we’re focused on.
Speaker 1: (24:50)
Is there a certain segment that you think is particularly vulnerable?
Steve Mnuchin: (24:54)
Hang on, I just want to make one comment for explanation because I want to make sure everybody out there understands this. If you’re an independent contractor, if you’re a sole proprietor, you’re eligible for this as well. Now that program won’t be up and running until next week. But again, this is a very broad definition of small business. So if you’re an independent plumber, if you’re an independent contractor, you’re covered under this program. Slightly more complicated, you have to come into your bank and give them more information. But starting next week that part of the program will be up and running. Also charities, charities as well. Very important. The vice president and president make sure that we covered small charities in this.
Speaker 2: (25:35)
[crosstalk 00:25:35] churches and religious nonprofits.
Steve Mnuchin: (25:38)
It does, although there are some technical issues, but yes, it does include faith organizations.
Speaker 2: (25:45)
Is that under the SBA program?
Steve Mnuchin: (25:47)
This is under the PPP yes, the new SBA program. They are covered. Thank you everybody.
Donald Trump: (25:54)
Thank you all.
Steve Mnuchin: (25:54)
Thank you everybody.
Donald Trump: (25:54)
Thank you, Steve. Good job. Thank you. Okay, so that begins right away and they start handing out checks, and a lot of people are going to have their businesses built back up quickly I hope. And we’ll see it. Complicated big small businesses, actually big business. So I thank them both. And please, we have some great gentlemen. Let me see, great gentlemen. That’s correct. Thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (26:26)
Today, my administration is also issuing new guidelines to protect elderly Americans who remain the most vulnerable. By now, nursing homes should have suspended the entry of all medically unnecessary personnel. Today we’re further recommending that all nursing home facilities assign the same staff to care for the same group of residents consistently to minimize any potential spread, and we’re also urging facilities to designate separate areas for healthy and sick residents. And this is a practice that we probably will be recommending into the future long after the enemy has gone, this particular enemy is gone.
Donald Trump: (27:07)
We’re also making every effort to provide relief to our great veterans. We take very good care of our veterans. At my direction Secretary Wilkie will use any authority at his disposal to extend deadlines for benefits and to postpone debt collections. We’re now conducting well over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day. It’s over 100,000 tests a day, and these are accurate tests and they’re moving rapidly, which is more than any other country in the world, both in terms of the raw number and also on a per capita basis the most.
Donald Trump: (27:47)
The FDA has also authorized the first coronavirus antibody test developed a body Cellex, a key step that will help identify people who have recovered and to understand their immune response and their immune system. Moments ago I directed Secretary Azar, and acting Secretary Wolf to use any and all available authority under the Defense Production Act to ensure that domestic manufacturers have the supplies they need to produce ventilators for patients with severe cases of C-O-V-I-D-19. You know what that is, right? Become a very famous term C-O-V-I-D. COVID.
Donald Trump: (28:29)
This action will help General Electric Hill-Rom, Medtronic, Resmed, Royal Phillips, and Vyaire Medical overcome obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators. We have over 100,000 being built right now or soon to be started. We anticipate issuing more orders under the Defense Production Act in the very near future. In addition to the one that I’ve just signed against 3M for face masks, we just signed an element of the act against 3M and hopefully they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to do.
Donald Trump: (29:15)
Just spoke to Mary Barra of General Motors and she said they’re very soon going to be ready to start production of the ventilators. They have a lot of ventilators that they’ve committed to build, and they’ll be starting very, very quickly. FEMA continues to deliver resources to areas most effected by the virus, including New York. On top of the 3,000 beds we’re already providing to the Javits Center, the Department of Defense is adding another 48 ICU beds.
Donald Trump: (29:44)
Governor Cuomo has asked that this facility go and it’s a big beautiful facility. It’d be converted to a COVID hospital and we hadn’t done that yet. We hadn’t thought in terms of doing that, but their use is, their real demand is for that. And we had meetings on it with the task force. We had meetings with the military and I’ve decided to say, yes, I’m going to do that. That I will be signing and agreeing to a yes answer so that we will be doing that and also we will be staffing it so the federal government is doing a lot of things that wasn’t anticipated that it do. This is a 2,500 and/or 2,900, can easily be set up, hospital built in Javits Center. And so we’re going to be converting that to a COVID-19 hospital and it’s going to be a staffed by the military and by the federal government.
Donald Trump: (30:52)
And based on the fact that I agreed to that, we had two other facilities that will likewise asking for it and that would be in Louisiana and also in Dallas and we’ll be doing those. We spoke to the governor of Louisiana, spoke to the governor of Texas, and we’ve told them that we will be staffing those hospitals again above and beyond, but that’s okay. We have to do that. In addition to USNS Comfort is docked in New York to accept patients that is non-COVID.
Donald Trump: (31:27)
To date FEMA has delivered more than 4 million N95 mask respirators. Think of that, 4 million, 4 million. Don’t forget we’re a secondary source. The states are doing it and we’re backing them up, but we’ve gotten 4 million N95 respirators, 1.8 million surgical masks, 460,000 face shields, 1.4 million gloves and 4,400 ventilators just to the city and to the State of New York and some of them now are being sent. I spoke with both the Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio a little while ago and some of them are being sent to the city.
Donald Trump: (32:11)
All of America stands with the people of New York in this time of need. It’s definitely a hot spot, but we have other hotspots also and we’re taking care of them very, very strongly, very powerfully. We have the finest people in the world in those locations and I think the federal government has not only acted early but acted quickly, professionally. There’s no people like this. Doctors, nurses, first responders and other healthcare providers who want to help New York at this critical time should visit website, nyc.gov/helpnow. Nyc.gov/helpnow. they need help now. They need people to help them.
Donald Trump: (32:56)
We have great facilities and we’ve built some brand new facilities, big ones, but we need help. We need help for professional people. So if you’re in an area that isn’t so affected, and you’re a doctor, a nurse, a health care worker, please get to that website and we would really appreciate your help. New York city needs it. Louisiana, by the way, needs it. Michigan needs it. Whatever you can do, those are very strong hotspots. They need help.
Donald Trump: (33:25)
In recent weeks, as the virus has spread and economic hardship has followed, we have seen Americans unite with incredible selflessness and compassion. I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations. Here we go again. I’ve already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years. You see what happens. It’s a witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt and in the end the people doing the witch hunt have been losing and they’ve been losing by a lot, and it’s not any time for witch hunts, it’s time to get this enemy defeated. Conducting these partisan investigations in the middle of a pandemic is a really big waste of vital resources, time, attention, and we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers cause that’s all they’re doing. Because everyone knows it’s ridiculous.
Donald Trump: (34:29)
So we want to focus on the people of this country, even the people of the world, we’re going to be able to help them because right now, as an example, we’re building so many ventilators, very, very hard to build, but we’re building thousands, thousands of them and a lot of them will be coming at a time where we won’t need them as badly because it takes time. Very complex, very expensive. And we’ll be able to help outside of our country. We think we’ll be able to help. That’s something that you cannot easily produce. As citizens we’re linked together by the shared bonds of national love, loyalty, and affection.
Donald Trump: (35:03)
We’re linked together by the shared bonds of national love, loyalty, and affection. There’s no earthly force more powerful than the patriotic pride that stirs in our hearts. And that is so true.
Donald Trump: (35:10)
It’s incredible the job that everybody’s been doing. Everybody. They don’t sleep. They don’t go to bed. Sometimes they get nothing. Said to somebody recently on the task force, how many hours sleep have you gotten over the last couple of days? The answer was none. None.
Donald Trump: (35:28)
In one Massachusetts neighborhood citizens come out of their homes each night at eight o’clock from their porches and they sing God Bless America. Others have joined in spreading from house to house down one street up to the next until their little town with a spirit of patriotism and reminding all Americans that we’re all in this together. We’ll fight together and we will win together. We’re going to win this.
Donald Trump: (35:53)
Now what I’d like to do is I’m going to step out.
Donald Trump: (35:56)
We have a meeting on the subject and I’m going to step out just for a few moments. I’ll be right back. We’ll answer some questions. But you have some very hardworking people who have done an incredible job led by Vice President Mike Pence, head of the task force. And then Jared Kushner is going to say a few words and Admiral [Polowczyk 00:01:17], Peter Navarro, Dr. Birx and myself.
Donald Trump: (36:21)
I’ll be right back. So I’ll see you in a little while. I did take a test. It just came out. This is from the white house physician. It just came out. I just took it this morning. And I took it. It took me literally a minute to take it and it took me, I guess it was 14 or 15 minutes. I went to work. I didn’t wait for it, but he said it took 14 minutes or something to come up with a conclusion and it said the President tested negative for COVID 19.
Donald Trump: (36:52)
So that’s the second one. I think I took it really out of curiosity to see how quickly it worked and fast it worked and it’s a lot easier. I’ve done them both. And the second one is much more pleasant, Jeff, I can tell you that. Much more pleasant.
Donald Trump: (37:04)
So I’ll be back in a little while and Mike please take over. Thank you. Thank you all very much. I’ll be right back.
Mike Pence: (37:14)
Thank you Mr. President. The White House Coronavirus Task Force met today, but earlier in the day the President convened all the key elements of our supply chain team in the oval office for an update on the progress that we’ve been making working literally around the clock to make sure that our healthcare workers, the people on the front lines have the personal protective equipment and also the ventilators to be able to meet this moment. And today you’re going to hear from the people that are literally working. Working each and every day to make that happen.
Mike Pence: (37:54)
Dr Deborah Birx is also with us. She’ll reflect in a few moments on the progress that we’re making analyzing the data. Each and every day we’re looking county by county, state by state consulting with governors and local health officials.
Mike Pence: (38:12)
At the present moment more than 1.3 million tests have been performed, and as you all are aware, some 236,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. With now the losses over 5,000 Americans and our hearts are with their families. Beyond that, we have been focusing not just on ensuring the testing is occurring, but that the supplies are flowing. As the President just announced, he made a decision today to deploy thousands of N95 masks directly to New York city’s public hospitals. And our team will speak about that in just a moment.
Mike Pence: (38:51)
And also the President took the unprecedented step to direct the department of defense to use military healthcare personnel to operate all COVID facilities at the Javits Center in New York, at the convention center in New Orleans and at the convention center in Dallas. And we’ve informed each of the governors of those States today that their requests, we were making those military medical personnel available to operate in all COVID facility.
Mike Pence: (39:23)
But we would emphasize to people in that community who believe you’ve been impacted or have contracted to coronavirus contact your local healthcare provider. We anticipate in the New York area that your local healthcare provider will make the decision whether you are transferred to the Javits center. And in all cases, simply look to the guidance of your local governors about how best to receive the care that every American is entitled to have.
Mike Pence: (39:55)
Beyond that, let me say that we have been working through FEMA’s acquisition process, not only to deploy but to gather up personal protective equipment. And in just a few moments you will hear from Admiral John Polowczyk about the extraordinary progress that we have made in deploying not just the strategic national stockpile, but also in identifying on the commercial marketplace around America and around the world literally millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves, protective equipment. And at this point we’ve distributed some 7,600 ventilators. And you’ll hear today specifically about the States that have received those ventilators.
Mike Pence: (40:43)
This team is truly acted in an inspiring way. And literally is working with dozens and dozens of people at the FEMA stabilization task force to make sure that we are leaving no stone unturned to find the supplies we need.
Mike Pence: (40:58)
Let me also say today you’re going to hear from Jared Kushner, a Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, but someone that the White House Coronavirus Task Force directed to work with FEMA on supply chain issues. And in recent weeks he’s been leading a working group in conjunction with FEMA that literally has identified millions of medical supplies around the nation, and around the world, and we’re grateful for his efforts and his leadership. Finally, you’ll hear from Peter Navarro who will explain the action the President took today using the Defense Production Act.
Mike Pence: (41:37)
But as you hear details today about medical supplies that have been distributed, those that have been purchased, those that we’re making available ventilators distributed to hospitals and those that are available, let me just remind every American that you can make a difference in ensuring that every patient has the treatment that they deserve. Every healthcare provider, every doctor and nurse and nurse’s assistant has the protective gear to provide the care that you would want your family to have by putting into practice, the President’s 30 days To Slow The Spread. I mean we want you to take to heart the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.
Mike Pence: (42:20)
First, to protect your own health, to protect the health of your family, to protect the health of your community. We know so many people are asymptomatic. And people that literally don’t know they have the Coronavirus but have the ability to infect others. We want you to put these guidelines into practice. Social distancing, using a drive through at a restaurant, washing your hands on a regular basis.
Mike Pence: (42:42)
But as we focus today on supplies, make no mistake about it. Every American can make sure that our health care workers and more importantly Americans that are struggling with Corona virus have the equipment to support their treatment by putting these principles into practice. Because the fewer Americans that contract the Coronavirus, the fewer Americans will have to enter our healthcare system. And that’ll continue to preserve the capacity in our healthcare economy.
Mike Pence: (43:12)
So we thank the millions of Americans who’ve responded in the first two days of 30 Days To Slow The Spread. And I’m just absolutely confident that in the days ahead, every American’s going to do their part for your health, your family’s health, the health of your community, and to ensure the strength and vitality of the greatest healthcare system in the world.
Mike Pence: (43:33)
With that, let me introduce a Jared Kushner to speak about the work that he’s been doing, working with FEMA on ensuring a strong supply chain to meet this moment. Jared.
Jared Kushner: (43:47)
Thank you Mr. Vice President. And thank you for your great leadership on the task force. And thank you to Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci as well. It’s been an honor working with you these past few weeks.
Jared Kushner: (43:57)
When the Vice President first asked me to help on the task force with different tasks, I asked the President what he expected from the task force and how I can best serve him in the task force. What the President asked is that all of the recommendations that we make be based on data. He wanted us to be very rigorous to make sure that we were studying the data, collecting data. A lot of things in this country were happening very quickly and we want to make sure that we were trying to keep updating our models and making sure that we were making informed decisions and informed recommendations to him based on the data that we were able to collect and put together.
Jared Kushner: (44:29)
The President wanted to make sure that we had the best people doing the best jobs and making sure that we had the right people focused on all the things that needed to happen to make sure that we can deliver in these unusual times for the American people.
Jared Kushner: (44:42)
The President also instructed me to make sure that I break down every barrier needed to make sure that the teams can succeed. This is an effort where the government is doing things that the government doesn’t normally do. We’re stretching. We’re acting very quickly and the President wants to make sure that the white house is fully behind the different people running the different lines of effort to make sure that we get everything done in a speed that the President demands.
Jared Kushner: (45:06)
The President also wanted us to make sure we think outside the box. Make sure we’re finding all the best thinkers in the country. Making sure we’re getting all the best ideas and that we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe. And make sure we bring a quick end to this in the best way possible and balance all the different aspects that need to be thought of while we do this.
Jared Kushner: (45:26)
This truly is a historic challenge. We have not seen something like this in a very, very long time. But I am very confident that by bringing innovative solutions to these hard problems we will make progress.
Jared Kushner: (45:39)
Today we were briefing the President earlier he asked me to come out and talk a little bit about what we are doing on the supply chain task force which Admiral Polowczyk has been leading and what he’s been very impressed by is the way that we’ve been resourceful to find product all over the world, all over the country. And we are finding ways to solve the different problems.
Jared Kushner: (45:57)
The President’s been very, very hands on in this. He’s really instructed us to leave no stone unturned. Just very early this morning, I got a call from the President. He told me he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York Public Hospital System was running low on critical supply. He instructed me this morning, I called Dr Katz who runs the system.
Jared Kushner: (46:17)
I asked him which supply was the most supply he was nervous about. He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was and I basically got that number. Called up Admiral Polowczyk. Made sure that we had the inventory. We went to the President today and earlier today the President called Mayor de Blasio to inform him that we were going to send a month of supply to New York Public Hospital System to make sure that the workers on the front line can rest assured that they have the N95 masks that they need to get through the next month. We’ll be doing similar things with all the different public hospitals that are in the hotspot zones and making sure that we’re constantly in communications with the local communities.
Jared Kushner: (46:56)
One thing I will say just based on data is that we’ve been getting a lot of data from different governors and from different mayors and from different cities. One thing I’ve seen FEMA do very, very well over the last week or so is now we’re getting real time data from a lot of cities. People who have requests for different products and supplies. A lot of them are doing it based on projections, which are not the realistic projections. The projections change every day as we see the cases, as we see the impacts of The Stop Spread effort that this task force recommended and the President has been pushing forward.
Jared Kushner: (47:28)
So I do think that we’ll see that hopefully there’ll be impact of that and the task force has been working very hard through the FEMA group with Admiral Polowczyk to make sure that we’re getting the supplies to people before they run out and making sure that we’re doing it in a proper way.
Jared Kushner: (47:43)
I’d like to just introduce Admiral Polowczyk who before coming to this I guess still is, he’s the Vice Director For Logistics for the Joint Staff. I got a call from one of the senators saying, well, why don’t you put a great military person in charge of the logistics and the supply chain and the Defense Production Act? And I said, well, the President already did that. This is the best man that we have in the country for supplies and logistics. He joined the task force 13 days ago over at FEMA and he’s built a team really at the direction of the Vice President that includes people from FEMA, OMB, the FDA, HHS, The White House, and from everywhere else.
Jared Kushner: (48:17)
And what they’ve done over the last 13 days has been really extraordinary. We’ve done things that the government has never done before, quicker than they’ve ever done it before. And what we’re seeing now is we found a lot of supplies in the country. We’ve been distributing them where we anticipate there will be needs and also trying to make sure that we’re hitting places where there are needs.
Jared Kushner: (48:33)
So I can tell you the people in the task force, they’re working day and night. You’ve got a lot of people in the government. We recognize the challenge that America faces right now. We know what a lot of the people on the front lines are facing, the fear that they had that they won’t have the supplies they need. And our goal is to work as hard as we can to make sure that we don’t let them down.
Jared Kushner: (48:52)
So I just want to thank everybody and with that I’ll introduce Admiral Polowczyk who’s doing an amazing job.
Admiral Polowczyk: (49:00)
Thank you Mr. Kushner, Mr. Vice President. So today I’m going to cover a couple items. A couple of five things.
Admiral Polowczyk: (49:08)
First thing I want to talk about is resources pushed out from the federal government. And then I’m going to talk about this Air Bridge, which you may have heard about. I’m going to talk about data as you said, Mr. Kushner is absolutely right. We’re trying to be data driven. And then I’m going to talk a little bit about how we’re trying to expand the industrial base here to meet this challenge.
Admiral Polowczyk: (49:36)
So the first thing I want to talk about is surgical masks. So you’ve quickly stated numbers here. So I’m about to go through several different slides to give you just scale and magnitude federal resources that have been applied at the problem. So 27.1 million surgical masks pushed out to state governments. For N95 masks, 19.5 million N95 masks.
Admiral Polowczyk: (50:10)
And so if I was in a local hospital that was running short, I would look upward because the federal government has pushed out resources. So for protective gloves, 22.4 million pairs of protective gloves. For face shields, 5.2 million face shields. For ventilator we have pushed to the States more than 7,600 ventilators and I think as I was coming over here, that number has changed slightly. I think it’s now 7,640 given to predominantly these States. So we wanted you to have some numbers.
Admiral Polowczyk: (51:01)
Now as we’ve indicated, we had ventilators in the national stockpile. We pushed ventilators out. We’re holding ventilators to put to the point to need. But we’re also buying ventilators, asking the industrial base who produces prior to COVID, approximately 30,000 ventilators a year. We are going to over the next several months, by the end of June work to acquire a hundred thousand.
Admiral Polowczyk: (51:37)
And so one of the tools that I can anticipate needing, we’ve already executed is all of those vendors that we’re buying them from potentially will need help in their supply chains with their suppliers. We might rate orders, we might help them get ahead of others in that endeavor. So I think Mr. Navarro is going to talk a little bit more on that later.
Admiral Polowczyk: (52:05)
So let me talk about the Airbridge. So it normally takes approximately 37 days to get from overseas, get product, load it, get it to the United States and distribute it. That’s about 37 days. So to prime the pump, so to speak, we have lined on an Airbridge to get product here faster. Working with our major suppliers as they work to fill orders to get more to health care workers now. We are working to align transportation to product.
Admiral Polowczyk: (52:52)
And one of the things we’re also doing is the team that works for me are scouring the globe and finding pockets of personal protective equipment that might not otherwise be in the US hospital supply chain. That is also going on these flights. Six completed and a number scheduled. 28 flights scheduled here in the near future. Where we are working towards some days we’ll have one flight, some days that might be two flights, multiple flights over the next coming days.
Admiral Polowczyk: (53:27)
These 28 or as far as I can see out a couple of weeks. Then again, matching product to flights to create volume in the supply chain here faster than the 37 days. I’m just going to leave that up as I talk about a few other items.
Admiral Polowczyk: (53:49)
So let’s talk about New York city and the public health hospitals. I believe they’re called New York City Health and Hospitals. President directed, as I speak there are pallets being formed, a truck being loaded. I gave an address in New York City here an hour or two ago and one of our distributors is making that happen and that delivery will happen tomorrow.
Admiral Polowczyk: (54:24)
On the data front. This is almost unprecedented. This is a commercial supply chain with six to seven major distributors of health equipment. We brought them all in and we said, we need to make informed decisions and we are going to help make informed allocation decisions. So within the matter of days feeding from their business systems, their enterprise resource like systems, I brought onboard a tool, a supply chain tower that the DOD was using to manage a supply chain for a very complex weapon system. Their data goes into a data link. We have a tool to be able to use their data and see it. I can tell what product is coming in. What their orders are, what they’re filling, what they’re not filling and see the volume in the supply chain and understand what they’re doing down to the county level. We’re working to get it potentially down to the hospital level.
Admiral Polowczyk: (55:34)
So this 200 and some odd N95 respirators. We took a look in there in the supply chain we said we have the volume to go do that. I called the distributor and they’re making that happen. We anticipate as the hotspots around the country, we anticipate these vendors at our direction, helping them allocate product to the right place at the right time.
Admiral Polowczyk: (56:05)
So if I talk finally about expanding the industrial base. So the Vice President was at Walmart the other day who told him, I want to get in this game, how do I do that? So I got the call. We provided them specifications and Walmart is going to use their suppliers to cut fabric, make gowns, sew product. But that’s not always the case. We have lots of folks that want to help. I believe you will see in the coming days the use of the Defense Production Act in creative ways to help people that are not doing this today to do it.
Admiral Polowczyk: (56:44)
We have essentially leads. The number yesterday was 210 I believe, it probably grew today, that we are working with to find how each one of those might need help to get in the game that’s not in the game to increase the throughput through the healthcare market.
Admiral Polowczyk: (57:06)
Again, the President gave me one task, get more to our healthcare workers now. And I took that to heart because not that I don’t need that from the President that direction to move out, but I have family in New York. My sister’s a nurse practitioner in a Westchester Hospital and my niece is a nurse on a Long Island Hospital and I have other health care professionals in the family. So I have skin in this game. The President asked me to get more to the healthcare workers. I’m going to get more to healthcare workers. Like to hand over to Mr. Navarro.
Mike Pence: (57:46)
Admiral Polowczyk: (57:46)
The 200,000 is going out as we speak.
Mike Pence: (57:53)
Be very specific about that.
Admiral Polowczyk: (57:55)
It’ll be delivered tomorrow.
Speaker 9: (57:59)
Can I ask a question?
Mike Pence: (58:00)
Let me help me be clear on it if I can, what the Jared announced what the Admiral just unpacked is that pallets are being loaded right now to send 200,000 N95 masks to New York City to the public health hospitals.
Admiral Polowczyk: (58:15)
To the Public Health Warehouse in New York City.
Mike Pence: (58:17)
All the healthcare workers help us on the way.
Speaker 9: (58:21)
Based on the tools and the data you have available to you, where is the log jam? Where has it been? How have you identified that? Because as we say all of this, we have millions more PPE is going out the door, as you well know are front line on-
Admiral Polowczyk: (58:37)
I’m going to answer you this way. We put up a lot of numbers. I said that if you’re a hospital and you’re not seeing PPE, I would up to the state level first.
Speaker 10: (58:46)
We are hearing from governors. They are saying they can’t get the medical equipment that they need.
Speaker 11: (58:52)
And the reason for that is because according to governors and also by the fact that we haven’t seen any numbers up there about what is going to the private sector. Can you tell us what percentage of the supplies on these large cargo planes are going to private companies versus FEMA versus the States? Is it 80% ?
Admiral Polowczyk: (59:13)
So this product that we’re moving is primarily a commercial product that would enter the commercial system and be distributed through a financial business transactions between hospitals and these distributors.
Speaker 11: (59:33)
So just to clarify that explains why States say they’re bidding like they’re on eBay because the supplies are going to the private sector and then they have to go there to get the supplies.
Admiral Polowczyk: (59:46)
So that’s normally how things work, right? So I’m not here to disrupt a supply chain. Say look these six distributors, six, seven, they have six to 700 warehouses. They have trucks to go to the hospital door every day. We’re bringing product in. They’re filling orders for hospitals, nursing homes, like normal. I’m putting volume into that system.
Admiral Polowczyk: (01:00:22)
So we put together this data element over the last 13 days. Get the people in, look at the problem, build this. I am now seeing truth about what’s in the supply chain and I would say that there’s been some abnormal behavior. Okay.
Speaker 9: (01:00:44)
Thank you Admiral. House Oversight Committee Democrats say the FEMA officials told them that the ventilators the government has ordered won’t be ready until June, which is well after the expected peak. Will the Defense Production Act memo signed today do anything to speed that up?
Admiral Polowczyk: (01:00:59)
Yeah, so we’ll have Mr. Navarro talk about that. We’re online to receive several thousand ventilators in the month of April and several thousand more ventilators in the month of May ramping up to a big number in June. Again, going from an industry that produces about 30,000 annually to a very big number.
Speaker 10: (01:01:18)
Are you confident that the system means the States with the greatest need are getting the supplies? A lot of donors are saying that they can’t get what they need and different States have more and more pressing urgency. Obviously, depending on the case load.
Admiral Polowczyk: (01:01:33)
So we’re marrying up where CDC, where the demand for COVID is to what’s in the commercial system. We’re providing that to the commercial system and we are making allocations to those of most pressing need. 13 days. We now have the data. We now can make informed decisions. And so all of the I need, I need, I need, I now know the volume that has been happening and needs to be happening.
Speaker 12: (01:02:11)
So Admiral, with that, and Mr. President I’d love for you to weigh in on this as well. Well you alluded to the fact that there is possibly some shady business going on, that the product is here in the United States.
Donald Trump: (01:02:25)
And coming here.
Speaker 12: (01:02:25)
And yes, and it is coming here. It’s coming from China, it’s in warehouses, it’s being made here in the United States. It’s in warehouses. But it’s going to the highest bidder. So what can be done to keep those products here in the United States, not go overseas where companies are making a lot of money.
Admiral Polowczyk: (01:02:44)
[crosstalk 01:02:44] Yeah, I’m going to let Mr. Navarro talk about that.
Speaker 12: (01:02:44)
And and get it distributed to the most critical places here in the US.
Admiral Polowczyk: (01:02:50)
[crosstalk 01:02:50] When the time comes. We are-
Speaker 12: (01:02:53)
How’s that being done because doctors, I’ve talked to surgeons on a regular basis.
Peter Navarro: (01:02:57)
[crosstalk 01:02:57] Great question. Let me give you the bigger view of the DPA and we’ll directly address that. What we have essentially is a nation at war. We have a wartime President standing behind me. The Defense Production Act is one of the most powerful weapons this administration can use to fight the invisible enemy of the virus.
Peter Navarro: (01:03:17)
When I spoke with you last week, I explained the three points of the compass DPA can be used to hit. The first one is mobilization of the industrial base. This can involve things like re- purposing from say a distiller like Pernod Ricad from liquor to hand sanitizer. It can also involve expansion of production, which is having Honeywell, which makes N95 masks open new factory in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Peter Navarro: (01:03:47)
With respect to the second point of the compass, allocation of resources, we have two issues there. If you look at the manufacturer itself, you what you want to make sure is that the supply chain, which can go seven tiers deep, has enough components in that supply chain so we can actually make what we need and then once it’s made, you also want to make sure that it goes to the right people.
Peter Navarro: (01:04:10)
And then the third point in the compass, which addresses what you’re talking about is, is basically Bust Them, I call it. Hoarding of critical or threatened materials. So let me walk through what the President did today in terms of a strong action in what we’ve done with the DPA across those three points.
Peter Navarro: (01:04:29)
The first order President Trump signed was vigorous, swift. It was the GM order which directed GM to make ventilators in Kokomo, Indiana in Trump time, which is to say as fast as possible. As the President mentioned, he’d spoke to Mary Barr today, the CEO of GM. That is moving forward at the same time as the Ford project is moving forward in a Rawsonville, Michigan. And I’ve issued a challenge to those two companies out of Ford versus Ferrari. This is Ford versus GM. Let’s see who gets those ventilators out first.
Peter Navarro: (01:05:01)
Now, the second point of the compass, which these two orders address today is this allocation of resource issues. The ventilator companies themselves express concern that in this rush to build ventilators, there would be pressure on that supply chain. So what they requested that we do and the President do, is to use the DPA to give this gentleman here, is one of the strongest gentleman in the world in terms of applying things, is to give him the ability to prioritize that supply chain for those ventilator manufacturers. And he will do things like give them what’s called a DO rating in the defense procurement, which will allow them to get what they need.
Peter Navarro: (01:05:43)
Now, the second order, which the President signed today has to do with the other part of the equation, which is once they make the stuff, okay, does it go to the right folks? And this is a 3m order. And, to be frank, over the last several days, we’ve had some issues making sure that all of the production that 3m does around the world, enough of it is coming back here to the right places. So what’s going to happen with the signing of that order in Trump time is we’re going to resolve that issue with 3m probably by tomorrow close of business. Because we can’t afford to lose days or hours or even minutes in this crisis.
Peter Navarro: (01:06:29)
Now the third part of the compass, this third point there, this gets to the hoarding issue. President stood up here, he’s the Commander In Chief, but we have a sheriff in town too, Attorney General Barr. And he stood up here with Attorney General Barr and Bill Barr said, “I’m going to go out and bust them.” And guess what? Three days ago DOJ went into a warehouse in Jersey, grabbed PPE and the beauty of that was it wasn’t only seized, but within hours it was turned around and given to healthcare professionals in New York and New Jersey. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s a beautiful case of using the DPA.
Peter Navarro: (01:07:11)
Now what’s going to happen tomorrow is President’s going to sign another order which is in the works. This is interesting. There is a black market springing up, which you have described where we’re having people bid against each other. Brokers come in. They’re bidding and bidding on all this different PPE. It’s driving the price up and guess what? You know where it’s going? The domestic sources here are being exported.
Speaker 12: (01:07:39)
[crosstalk 01:07:39] That’s what [inaudible 01:07:41] told me.
Peter Navarro: (01:07:41)
When President Trump heard about that, he said that’s not going to happen anymore on my watch. So tomorrow we’re bringing that order and what it’s going to do is it’s going to empower Customs and Border Protection with the help of people like the Post Office and express mail consignors like UPS to basically deal with that issue.
Peter Navarro: (01:08:01)
So we are going to crack down unmercifully and I would say to the hoarders out there and the brokers who are trying to make money off of the misery of people in this country around the world. That’s got to stop. If you’ve got inventory, what you need to do is pick up a phone and not call somebody out around the world. You call FEMA and say we got some stuff. We’ll give it to you at a fair price and be done with that. Because that stuff has absolutely got to stop. So that’s-
Speaker 12: (01:08:27)
Peter Navarro: (01:08:27)
Hang on. Hang on. So that’s what we’re going to be looking for and when we hear cases like this we are going to aggressively issue order after order to crack down on it.
Peter Navarro: (01:08:37)
Now before, this is not my role to take a bunch of questions but let me tell you one other thing before I leave the podium. It’s a story which I’d love to share with you today. Because, this again illustrates one of the key principles of this President and this this Vice President, which is the wed, the full force of the federal government with the full power of private enterprise.
Peter Navarro: (01:08:59)
And just two days ago we at The White House got an urgent SOS from the Chief Of Police of the New York Police Department and they are in a situation now because of the strain on their resources where personnel such as their homicide detectives were having to go on into houses and deal with COVID issues without protective gear. Now, the beauty of this President is because of his leadership, we were able to solve that problem in two phone calls. Two phone calls. The first one went to Phebe Novakovic at General Dynamics. Phoebe, can you call Tom Kennedy at Raytheon? I need you guys to basically scoop up all the tyvek suits you can and find any gloves you can.
Peter Navarro: (01:09:47)
This President under his leadership and that voluntary efforts and the pride and patriotism you talked about earlier that we had 4,000 Tyvec suits delivered to the New York PD within 16 hours. That’s a new record.
Peter Navarro: (01:10:03)
New York PD within 16 hours. That’s a new record in Trump time. At the same time, a second phone call was made to Tara Engle at Pernod Ricard and Laura Lane at UPS. They were on the same phone call and I said, “Tara, Laura, we got this issue. They need hand sanitizer.” Literally within two hours we had 50 gallon drums, 6,000 gallons of hand sanitizer on a UPS truck heading up to the NYPD and it probably arrived today with a promise from Pernod that they will continue to supply the MYPD throughout the course of this crisis. So this is a beautiful thing that America is rallying to. We are becoming a stronger, more United nation and I couldn’t be more proud of this president, this administration.
Peter Navarro: (01:10:50)
These guys up here are doing a heck of a job organizing the supply chain. And my promise to you is that the president is going to use that DPA to make sure that the American people, particularly our healthcare professionals, get the PPE, the medicines, everything we need. So let me stop there. I don’t think it’s my place here to the field a bunch of questions [crosstalk 01:11:14].
Donald Trump: (01:11:13)
[crosstalk 01:11:13] You did a good job, thank you.
Journalist 1: (01:11:15)
[crosstalk 01:11:15] by American executive order?
Donald Trump: (01:11:18)
Go ahead. Go ahead, answer. You go ahead. Come here. Com here.
Peter Navarro: (01:11:26)
One of the things that this crisis has taught us, sir, is that we are dangerously overdependent on a global supply chain for our medicines like penicillin, our medical supplies like masks and our medical equipment like ventilators. We have right now as we speak, over 50 countries have already imposed some forms of export restrictions in their country against the rest of the world. And what we’re learning from that is that no matter how many treaties you have, no matter how many alliances, no matter how many phone calls, when push comes to shove, you run the risk as a nation of not having what you need and if there’s any vindication of the president’s by American secure borders and a strong manufacturing base philosophy, strategy and belief it is this crisis because it underscores everything that we see there.
Peter Navarro: (01:12:31)
So the “By American” order which is going through process, would do a couple things. It would simply say, not during this crisis because we don’t want to disrupt anything, I want to be really clear about that. But going forward after this is over the VA, DOD, HHS and this government, buys American for essential medicines, our medical countermeasures and the medical supplies and equipment we need. At the same time it will deregulate so we can get the FDA and EPA to facilitate domestic manufacturing and then innovate because the key here is having advanced manufacturing on U.S. Soil that can leapfrog other countries so we don’t have to worry about competing against cheap sweatshop labor, lacks environmental regulations, different tax regimes and the massive subsidies of foreign governments who are actually directly attacking our industrial base. So be patient with that, sir. The other priorities we have right now are the DPA and what the task force is doing. But if we learn anything from this crisis, it should be never again should we have to depend on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and counter measures.
Donald Trump: (01:13:51)
And by the way, we’ve cut them out also to be honest. We’ve stopped orders going from certain places and… In a couple of places we had a big order going to Italy on important outfits and some ventilators and it was going to Italy. They made the order a long time ago and I said, “You got to let it go.” They’ve had an order and I could have cut it under the act. I could have cut it. I said, “Nope, can’t do that. You’ve got to let it go.” They have big problems. We had an order going to Spain and I said, “Let it go.” I could have stopped it. I said, “Let it go. We’re going to be fine.” I said, “Let it go.” So it works that way also.
Donald Trump: (01:14:27)
One other thing that’s to your question, oftentimes, and we’ve told this to the governors, Mike, we’ve been very strong on this. If you think there’s bidding between federal government and state, let us know and we’ll drop out immediately or you drop out and we lower the price… [crosstalk 00:04:46].
Journalist 2: (01:14:45)
[crosstalk 01:14:45] bidding against each other?
Donald Trump: (01:14:45)
No. No. If we’re bidding against each other I said find out who it is. And usually they know, everyone knows and we’re notified and we get notified and we’ll either drop out or they’ll drop out. But we have another problem. There are 151 countries out there beyond the States. There are 151 countries that have this problem and they’re ordering, too. It’s really a mess [crosstalk 01:15:09] Now in a little while the hardest thing to get are the ventilators because it takes a while to build them and we have thousands of them being built right now. In a little while they’ll be worth about $5 but right now they’re very valuable and we’re going to have a lot of them being shipped. In fact, that’s why General Motors called up before, Mary. That’s why others called up two days ago. They called up that they’re all in production and they’re starting to arrive in a week and a half, but there’ll be a time when we’re going to build stockpiles.
Donald Trump: (01:15:41)
By the way, the States should have been building their stockpile. We have almost 10,000 and our stockpile and we’ve been building it and we’ve been supplying it, but the States should be building. We’re a backup. We’re not an ordering clerk. We’re a back up and we’ve done an unbelievable job. Like for instance, whoever heard of a governor calling up, ” Sir, can you build us a hospital of 2,500 rooms?” And we built it. “Can you build us four medical centers?” We built it. “Can you deliver a ship, a hospital ship with a thousand rooms?” And we did it and we did it in Los Angeles, too. We’ve been unbelief. We’ve done an unbelievable job… These people and thousands of people behind them, but we’re a backup. Ideally those hospitals would have had all this equipment. Ideally those States should have had all this equipment and I think they will the next time.
Donald Trump: (01:16:32)
You heard the case where thousands of ventilators could have been had at a very inexpensive price three years ago and a certain state decided not to exercise that right because they wanted to build a road or they wanted to build something else because it’s big money. You’re talking about, I think it was $1 billion, but you’re talking about a lot of money for something that may never happen. Because normally on a ventilator other than a pandemic or an epidemic, you wouldn’t need anything like this. Hospitals have three ventilators, big hospitals, and they get by with it. And now they want thousands. I mean they want thousands of ventilators. You call up a governor and they’ll say, “Sir, could you send us 40,000 ventilators?” Nobody has ever heard of a thing like this. So they’ve done some job. Let me just tell you when secretary Mnuchin spoke, they want you to call not .com but sba.gov, okay? For the application and for information, okay? So it’s SBA, small business, sba.gov, okay? If you don’t mind. Yeah, let’s go, please…
Journalist 3: (01:17:40)
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. President. I want to follow up from a question yesterday regarding your administration’s denial of the expansion Obamacare special enrollment period in the wake of this pandemic. In your own words, VP Pence gave a five minute a non answer, but people facing this pandemic illness and even worse, most experts say that having healthcare is critical to our nation’s health and financial wellbeing. Can you assure Americans tonight that you will reopen Obamacare marketplace so that they can be covered in this time of combined health and financial crisis?
Donald Trump: (01:18:10)
Yeah. I understand the question and we’re doing better than that. We’re going to try and get a cash payment to the people and we’re working out the mechanics of that with legislature, so we’re going to try and get them a cash payment because just opening it up doesn’t help as much. So we’re going to work it out so we’re going to try and get for that certain group of people… It’s a certain group of people, a cash payment.
Journalist 2: (01:18:36)
I really want to ask you about masks, but I also just meant to follow up on a couple of hanging threads there. Just the question earlier about the bidding. What happens though when States are bidding against each other on those markets?
Donald Trump: (01:18:47)
Well, they have that and they have to work that out. What they should do is they should have, long before this pandemic arrived, they should have been, on the open market, just buying. There was no competition. You could have made a great price. The States have to stock up. It’s like one of those things they waited, they didn’t want to spend the money because they thought this would never happen and their shelves in some cases were bare. And by the way, in some cases they weren’t. They were beautifully serviced. They did a good job, but in some cases their shelves were bare.
Donald Trump: (01:19:18)
So the best thing they can do is when times become normalized, and they will hopefully soon… And actually you’re going to have a lot of excess material because so much is being done right now in terms of protective gear, protective outfits, a lot’s being done. It’s going to be within six months. It’s going to be sold for the right price. They got to stack up for the next time. But we are doing that and the Admiral’s done a fantastic job. Senator Schumer wrote a letter today and he says, you should put a military manager. Just said, well, “Chuck, if you knew a little bit more, we have one of the most highly respected people in the military, the Admiral. This is what he does, too. Very professionally. And he’s in charge.” But Chuck didn’t know that.
Donald Trump: (01:20:02)
Journalist 4 : (01:20:04)
Mr. President, you tweeted this morning about your call with Saudi Arabia’s MBS. We’ve had some people say that the figures that you cited between 10 million and 15 million barrels per day is not what they’re agreeing to. Can you be more specific about [crosstalk 01:20:19]
Donald Trump: (01:20:19)
I don’t know what they’re agreeing to. I think they might agree to more than that. Look, Russia [crosstalk 01:20:26] yeah, we did say that actually. Russia talked about 10 million barrels. Russia and Saudi Arabia are fighting over this and as everybody knows, it’s really killing an industry, hurting Russia badly, hurting Saudi Arabia badly. I said, “This is an easy one. It should be an easy one.” And it may be 10 and it may be more than that. I was actually told it may be 10 as I told somebody before, it may be 10 and it may be more than that. Maybe it’s 15 maybe it goes up to 15 could be as high as 15 and there’s a tremendous oversupply right now. That industry was oversupplied before the virus and where the virus came along, they lost 35, 40% of the world.
Donald Trump: (01:21:14)
And there’s an unbelievable… You can’t get a ship now. Every ship is loaded to the gills sitting out someplace in the ocean. They’re storage tanks, they’re not even ships, they’re storage tanks. So it would be great for Russia. It would be great for Saudi Arabia. I hope they make that deal. But that’s what they told me. They said it’s… [crosstalk 01:21:31] Well, I think it’ll be hopefully soon. I think hopefully they’ll announce something soon. Now can a deal be broken? Can something happen where it doesn’t happen? I guess in which case there’s another alternative, but I’d rather not see that other alternative. I hope they can make a deal. I think they both want to make a deal and they’re both smart. They love their countries, they want to make a deal. It’s good, but it’s also good for the world if they do because you save an industry. Go ahead. Go ahead in the back.
Journalist 5: (01:22:02)
What do you mean by cash payments?
Donald Trump: (01:22:06)
We went over this very specifically and I’ll let you talk about it, Mike, as you responded last time.
Mike Pence: (01:22:11)
Right. Thank you, Mr. President. As I said yesterday, the president has put a priority on ensuring that no American has to worry about the cost of coronavirus testing. And we’ve been working every day to make sure that Americans don’t have to worry about the cost of treatment. And at this point, the White House coronavirus task force is working on a proposal for the president to use some of the $100 billion that we’re making available to hospitals to compensate the hospitals directly for any coronavirus treatment that they provide to uninsured Americans. We’re working out the details of that. The president will make a final decision tomorrow. We expect an announcement.
Mike Pence: (01:22:54)
But the president’s made it very clear. We don’t want any American to worry about the cost of getting a test or the cost of getting treatment and we’ve expanded coverage through Medicaid. We’ve expanded coverage through Medicare. Health insurance companies around the country, including Blue Cross just today announced that all of their members will be waiving all co payments on coronavirus treatment. But for those some 30 odd million uninsured Americans, the president has directed the coronavirus task force to find a way to make sure that they know we will find a way to pay for your coronavirus treatment and the president will be addressing that and announcing that tomorrow.
Journalist 6: (01:23:39)
[crosstalk 01:23:39] Mr. President, a point of clarification and then a follow up question. Yesterday you said that you spoke to Florida governor Ron DeSantis before he issued his stay at home order. Did you advise him to issue that order?
Donald Trump: (01:23:50)
No, but I talked to him about it and he wants to do what’s right for the people of Florida. He’s been a great governor. You could see that just by his popularity, which is extraordinary. We’re proud of him. He’s done a fantastic job. And he made the decision, but we spoke before he made the decision. Yes.
Journalist 6: (01:24:07)
And he’s also said that he is considering putting people who are suspected of having coronavirus or who have tested positive for it in isolation centers so that he could [crosstalk 00:14:17].
Donald Trump: (01:24:18)
That I haven’t heard, no. That I haven’t heard.
Journalist 6: (01:24:18)
So hasn’t consulted with you?
Donald Trump: (01:24:20)
I haven’t heard that.
Journalist 7: (01:24:21)
Thank you, Mr. President. Ebony Bowden from the New York Post. A few hours ago, mayor De Blasio, the Mayer of New York, said that New Yorkers leaving their hearts to wear masks, they should also wear masks when they’re with other people. Are you considering that kind of recommendation on a federal level? And if you are, how would you prevent a rush on N95 masks?
Donald Trump: (01:24:40)
Well, I think they’re going to be coming out with regulations on that and if people want to abide by them, frankly, I don’t think they’ll be mandatory because some people don’t want to do that. But if people want… As an example on the masks, if people wanted to wear them, they can. If people wanted to use scarves, which they have, many people have them, they can. In many cases the scarf is better. It’s thicker. Depending on the material, it’s thicker. But they could do that if they want. Now a recommendation’s coming out. We’ll see what that recommendation is. [crosstalk 01:25:14] But I will say this, they can pretty much decide for themselves right now.
Journalist 8: (01:25:18)
[crosstalk 01:25:18] nationwide? And can I just also ask… [crosstalk 01:25:19] and I think this as best for Dr. Burke’s. But we’ve heard some differing guidance here. The WHO and even the surgeon general have talked about various studies that show that masks in addition to maybe not even being helpful to protecting people may actually increase the rates of illness because people touch the masks and they touch themselves. Can you talk a little bit about just the evolution of your thinking on this? [crosstalk 01:25:42].
Donald Trump: (01:25:40)
All right. Maybe I will ask Dr. Burkes. And you might mention that other point also.
Dr. Birx: (01:25:47)
Yeah. Thank you. So I hope you got from the conference today that we’re triangulating data that we know from the case numbers, the testing numbers, the supply chain numbers to create an integrated picture so that we can really support hospitals in their needs. And I think that level of granularity is really critical. Secondly, I just want to make the point that we really applaud the governors that are looking at a whole of state or a whole of metro approach. And what do I mean by that? The United States going into this had about 160,000 ventilators across the United States and another 60,000 to 70,000 anesthesia machines. That’s about five times what most of the European countries have, but it’s a matter of distribution to need and I really applaud the governors that are bringing together their public hospitals with their more private hospitals and their visibility across their state.
Dr. Birx: (01:26:52)
Because what we tried to talk about yesterday is every state, every county is different. That’s why we’re looking at it at that level of granularity. And as we move through this epidemic, the needs need to be very tailored to those counties and frankly, those hospitals. There is a reason why the president and Mr. Kushner have been very much involved in finding out what the public hospitals need. Why is that? Because the public hospitals sometimes have the weakest supply chain because they’re often sometimes not as attractive to private sector distributors or they may be too busy caring for the needs of patients to be really on top of their order forms and their supply chains. So really listening to the community that’s at the front of the of this fight and getting feedback from those specific communities no matter where they are and listening to the frontline healthcare workers because it’s their reality that is important to all of us, whether you’re the mayor or the governor or the federal government.
Dr. Birx: (01:27:55)
And if they are saying they need something, we have to work together to supply that. And so that’s what you’re seeing with this triangulation. Every county will move through this differently and that allows us to move around these vital issues that protect the frontline healthcare workers and protect the patients through the ventilators to make sure that the supply chain is aligned with the need as it happens. Now you have to have very good data in order to be willing to work in that level of granularity. And that’s what we’ve been working on to really develop that level of granularity to ensure that. So I just wanted to say one other thing about testing. Just to give you the bottom line data of what we’re seeing. We appreciate the groups who are reporting. Not everyone is reporting yet. And this is part of us trying to understand at a very granular level, we do have two States that do have 35% positives and that’s New York and New Jersey.
Dr. Birx: (01:28:54)
So that confirms very clearly that that’s a very clear and important hot spot. Louisiana though has 26% of their tests are positive. Michigan, Connecticut, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois… So that should tell you where the next hotspots are coming, are at 15% test positive. And then Colorado, DC, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are at 13%. There’s a significant number of States still under 10% everyone that I didn’t discuss. California and Washington remains steady at an 8% rate. So what we’re seeing finally is testing improving, more testing being done, still a high level of negatives in States without hotspots, allowing them to do more of this surveillance and containment. And then prioritizing this new rapid test kit to those areas that may not have the same amount of access to the Indian health services and to the public health institutions and the public health and state labs so that they can use that and start forward leaning into surveillance. Now we know there are people waiting for tests and they’re waiting for tests because when these areas got onto the logarithmic curve, we prioritized people where the test decision would make it critical for their care. And so we prioritized hospitals and we prioritize nurses and doctors and frontline workers. So that means if you went through a drive through or you went through your doctor, you could have that delay. So the masks? So what I tried to give you is how we’re using data in a very granular way. And so there is experiential data when you look at communities that have oftentimes utilized masks in general for personal protection from when they particularly are themselves sick and have used their masks in public. And we’ve looked at the rate of this Covid-19 in those populations. And then we’re looking at the scientific evidence to bring those two pieces together. Let me just say one thing though. The most important thing is the social distancing and washing your hands. And we don’t want people to get an artificial sense of protection because they’re behind a mask. Because if they’re touching things, remember your eyes are not in the mask. So if you’re touching things and then touching your eyes, you’re exposing yourself in the same way. So we don’t want people to feel like, “Oh, I’m wearing a mask, I’m protected and I’m protecting others.” You may be protecting others but don’t get a false sense of security that that mask is protecting you exclusively from getting infected because there are other ways that you can get infected because of the number of asymptomatic and mild cases that are out there.
Dr. Birx: (01:31:50)
And so this worries us and that’s why the debate is continuing about the mask because we don’t want… When we’re trying to send a signal that every single person in this country needs to stay six feet away from everybody. That needs to be washing their hands constantly and know where their hands are to send a signal that we think a mask is equivalent to those pieces. So when the advisory comes out, it will be an additive piece if it comes out rather than saying, “This is a substitute for”, and we want to make sure everybody understands it is not a substitute for the presidential guidelines that have already gone out. And to be absolutely clear about that.
Journalist 9: (01:32:31)
Quick question about [crosstalk 01:32:33] the test. There’s a lot of evidence we’re seeing, the experts are saying that a high number of these tests could be producing false negatives. So…
Dr. Birx: (01:32:45)
Of the Roche and Abbott test?
Journalist 9: (01:32:48)
That as many as one in three tests might be providing false negatives. I thought maybe you could explain [crosstalk 01:32:54].
Dr. Birx: (01:32:52)
That would almost be impossible with having 35% positives. If that was true, you would have 100% positive or 66% positive. So what I can tell you is the number of positive tests is tracking very closely with the number of cases diagnosed. So I will look into that. I look at the Roche and Abbott numbers every night. They’re trending exactly in the same way and that’s important when you’re validating data to really validate does this same site… In other words, I’m looking between testing sites to see are there consistencies, is there an anomaly to make sure for what you just very specifically asked. So I will go back and look at it more carefully. I haven’t seen that kind of anomaly.
Dr. Birx: (01:33:42)
This same platform is being used across the and that’s a range from what I reported, 3% positivity up to 35% positivity and that range reflects also what we’re seeing with the hotspots and the number of cases and frankly, we hate to talk about it, but it also tracks with the hospitalizations independent of diagnosis and the mortality that we’re seeing. So all of those pieces validate together.
Journalist 9: (01:34:10)
[crosstalk 01:34:10] you concerned that people might be getting a false sense of security or that we might not be seeing all of the data here on the composite?
Dr. Birx: (01:34:15)
Well, I’m telling you that I’m still missing 50% of the data from reporting. I have 660 tests reported in. We’ve done 1.3 million. So there is… And it could be those sites. So we do need to see… The bill said you need to report. We’re still not receiving 100% of the tests.
Journalist 10: (01:34:36)
[crosstalk 01:34:36] With regard to the test, the President’s sample collection took one minute, results were reported back in 15 minutes. I realized you’re the president of the United States, but when will everyone get to take a test that works that quickly and you get results that quickly?
Dr. Birx: (01:34:51)
So these are new tests and we have prioritized the groups that we think have the least access to testing now. And who do we mean by that? We mean the Indian health service. They’re often in remote areas, rural areas. The governors of the Northwestern States that may not have the advantage of these high throughput machines that are often across the East coast and in high metro areas, Colorado and then across the West coast. So we’ve prioritized the presidential 15 minute test to the Indian health services and public health labs so that they can support nursing home testing and other areas where we think surveillance is absolutely key. So at this moment they’re prioritized in that way. [crosstalk 01:35:38] Yes, 1,200 of them are going out in that way.
Journalist 10: (01:35:41)
[crosstalk 01:35:41] Do more of those tests need to be made in order for more people…
Donald Trump: (01:35:43)
They are being made.
Dr. Birx: (01:35:44)
Journalist 10: (01:35:45)
Okay. So in a matter of…
Donald Trump: (01:35:46)
They’re moving very quickly.
Dr. Birx: (01:35:47)
So I’m glad you asked that because today, there’s 18,000 of these machines already out there. We’re trying to find out exactly where everyone is because you can see that gives you amazing flexibility because if people would allow it to be loaned to a state that’s in a hot spot or a state where you want to do additional surveillance, 18,000 tests, 18,000 machines is a huge amount and it really gets to your very question about how we can prioritize what we have at the same time we’re moving out what is new. So really figuring out who should those go to, how can we ask communities, because these will be in the community, to share those machines into the community who need the testing now. And I think that’s really an incredible question that really needs to be answered over the next 24 hours.
Journalist 11: (01:36:42)
A point of clarity about the face covering guidance. You said it’s still a point of debate. You said they use the phrase “the guidance if it comes out.” Is the guidance coming out and when?
Mike Pence: (01:36:52)
Journalist 11: (01:36:53)
And when, sir?
Mike Pence: (01:36:54)
In the days ahead, we’re currently working through the task force seeking the consultation advice of the CDC, our top health experts, and we’ll be bringing forward the guidance from the CDC in the next several days.
Dr. Birx: (01:37:09)
Just remember it’s not a substitute for everything that we’re asking people to do. And just do that to everybody out there across the country, when we say no gatherings of 10, we want it to be clear if you have a family of 10 we don’t want you to be split up. But we don’t expect people to be having dinner parties, cocktail parties. I know you’ve seen the slope in the United States versus the slope in Italy and we have to change that slope. We have to change the logarithmic curve that we’re on.
Dr. Birx: (01:37:46)
We see country after country having done that. What it means in the United States is not everyone is doing it. So we’re only as strong is every community, every county, every state, every American following the guidelines to a T. And I can tell by the curve and as it is today that not every American is following it, and so this is really a call to action. We see Spain, we see Italy, we see France, we see Germany. When we see others beginning to bend their curves, we can bend ours, but it means everybody has to take that same responsibility as Americans.
Journalist 11: (01:38:31)
[crosstalk 01:38:31] Mr. President, can I have a quick follow up on oil, please. In your conversations with Russia and Saudi Arabia, did you have to make any concessions to get them to agree to cut their production? Like did you agree to taught us production of oil?
Donald Trump: (01:38:45)
We didn’t discuss that. They want to do that. That’s good for their countries and we did not discuss that now.
Journalist 11: (01:38:52)
[crosstalk 01:38:52] NBC News has learned that the Navy is set to fire the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he raised red flags about the Covid-19 outbreak on his ship. It appears as if he’s being punished for trying to save the lives of the sailors in his command. What’s your assessment?
Donald Trump: (01:39:09)
[crosstalk 01:39:09] we’re going to wait a little while because I understand there’s a news conference by the secretary of defense about that. But you know, I don’t agree with that at all. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Yeah.
Journalist 12: (01:39:20)
Thank you. This morning you said once again that New York got off to a late start and they should have pushed harder but governors and other state leaders say they rely on the federal government to assess the situation and how risky it is and they want to know how would they have known to start sooner without your guidance?
Donald Trump: (01:39:42)
Well, they have experts and frankly long after we came out and talked about it… Look, how would I have known to cut off China? I cut off China very early and if I didn’t, we would have a chart that you wouldn’t believe. So how would I know to do that? How would I know to cut off Europe? I cut off Europe very early. You have to make a decision. People knew that some bad things were going on and they got off to a late start and some others got off to a late start also, but we cut off China. If we didn’t cut off China, we would have been in some big trouble and we cut it off and you know what? We cut it off way early. Go ahead
Journalist 13: (01:40:31)
Mr. President, a follow up on the insurance point in a separate question that came in from a colleague who can’t be in the room.
Donald Trump: (01:40:38)
Okay, go ahead.
Journalist 13: (01:40:38)
On the insurance point is they’re going to, [crosstalk 01:40:42].
Donald Trump: (01:40:41)
Who are you with?
Journalist 13: (01:40:42)
Roll Call. Is there going to be an opportunity for insurance companies, if in fact hospitals are compensated for uncompensated care, are the insurance companies going to also get compensated for its extraordinary expenses that they may have or they you’re assuming that cost?
Donald Trump: (01:41:02)
So we haven’t discussed it but we’re talking to them. Getting them not to pay copays in the case of the big ones was a tremendous thing. That’s a lot of money they gave up, but we’re discussing that with the insurance companies. We’ll let you know. It’ll be pretty quickly. Yeah, go ahead.
Journalist 14: (01:41:16)
I have a question on Japan, sir. They are expanding their entry ban to include the United States. Are you planning to take any similar action to ban Japanese nationals from coming to the U.S. as a result of this crisis?
Donald Trump: (01:41:31)
Well, we’re looking at a lot of things and a lot of different bans. We have more bans than anybody. We had bans when bans weren’t fashionable, if you remember right at the beginning of this administration was for different reasons. But we’ve had bans long before people thought of bans. When I did China, it had never been done before. I was the first one to do to remember that it had never, according to what I read it all the papers, this had never been done. This is a terrible thing to do. And four weeks later they were all saying, we’re lucky we did it. So we’re looking at it. No, we heard that. And I think it’s fine that they do that. They’re trying to protect their country and we have to protect our country. Yeah, please.
Journalist 10: (01:42:15)
[crosstalk 01:42:15] Mr. President, I asked you yesterday about stay at home orders and if that decision should be left in the hands of governors or if you’re considering telling the entire nation, “Stay at home.” So just today, Georgia’s governor finally issued a stay at home order saying that “Individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.” Is that ignorance, gross incompetence? [crosstalk 01:42:40]
Donald Trump: (01:42:40)
He’s a good governor, Brian Kemp. He’s a very good… [crosstalk 01:42:42] he’s a good.
Journalist 10: (01:42:43)
Have you been having calls with these governors?
Donald Trump: (01:42:43)
He’s a good governor and he has to make his own decision on that. I let the States… I think we’re about 85% a positive on that. If you look, I think it’s about 85% of the States have got the stay at home. Brian’s a great governor. It’s his decision. He made that decision. Ultimately he decided to go along with it and they’re doing well and the state is doing well in many respects. Yeah, go ahead please.
Journalist 5: (01:43:07)
This is another question from a colleague who couldn’t make it in today from Emily Goodin at The Daily Mail. I had a question in regards to the Russian plane that landed at JFK with medical supplies. Did the United States ask Russia for this aid or is it just accepting it?
Donald Trump: (01:43:21)
We’re accepting it. It was a very nice offer from President Putin. I spoke to him the other night as I told you, and they had excess medical equipment, things and I’ll take it, I’ll take it. I think it’s very nice. [crosstalk 01:43:36] We’ve had some from China. We also help other countries. We like doing that. Like I said before, if we have excess stuff, we let it go out. We let some go out where frankly they had orders for it and I didn’t want to stop orders. It was a very nice gesture on behalf of President Putin and I could have said “No thank you” or I could have said “Thank you” and it was a large plane of very high quality medical supplies and I said, ” I’ll take it.”
Journalist 5: (01:44:01)
Is he offering any further aid, in your conversation?
Donald Trump: (01:44:04)
I think he would if we asked for it, but he was very nice. It was part of the call he suggested. He said, we have it, it’s additional. They have very big difficulties with this virus also, as you know, Russia. I thought it was a very nice gesture on behalf of President Putin. I could’ve said, “No, I don’t want it.” Or I could have said, “I’ll take it”, and you know what? I said, “I’ll take it.”
Journalist 5: (01:44:24)
[crosstalk 01:44:24] accept further aid?
Donald Trump: (01:44:25)
I think so. Yeah. If they sent things that we need, I’d take it. Sure. Nice gesture.
Journalist 15: (01:44:30)
[crosstalk 01:44:30] Are you concerned about Russian propaganda?
Donald Trump: (01:44:31)
I’m not concerned about Russian propaganda. Not even a little bit. He offered a lot of medical, high quality stuff that I accepted, and that may save a lot of lives. I’ll take it everyday. Please. In the back.
Journalist 16: (01:44:45)
[crosstalk 01:44:45] Mr. President you said that in January that you stand with the people of Iran since the beginning of your presidency and you’ll continue to stand with the people of Iran. Given the fact they’re so hard hit with coronavirus [crosstalk 01:44:57].
Donald Trump: (01:44:56)
Well, they’re very hard hit. They’re very hard hit. [crosstalk 01:44:57]
Journalist 16: (01:44:56)
But would you consider… [crosstalk 01:45:01].
Donald Trump: (01:44:56)
In a lot of ways they’re hard hit. They’re hard hit with their economy, with their military.
Donald Trump: (01:45:03)
Hard hit. They are hit with their economy, with their military, and obviously the virus. They’re very hard hit.
Reporter 1: (01:45:07)
Would you consider easing sanctions to allow medical supplies to get in?
Donald Trump: (01:45:11)
Well, they haven’t even asked us to do that.
Reporter 1: (01:45:12)
But we know that sanctions hit the people, not the government.
Donald Trump: (01:45:16)
You know what? They haven’t even asked us to do that. If they want to meet, would love to meet and we’d love to settle the whole thing out, but I doubt they’ll be.
Reporter 1: (01:45:24)
So, realistically, how does a person in Tehran pick up the phone and call you?
Donald Trump: (01:45:27)
I think they love America. I think the Iranians love America. I think they’d love to be free. I think they’d love to have just some of the things that we have. I remember Iran many years ago, friends of mine were always in Iran. They were doing real estate deals in Iran. They were building beautiful buildings all over Iran. Apartment houses. They were very successful and then one day that came to an end, but you know what? The people of Iran, they remember that. It was a long time ago, but not so long ago, and they remember it. And I’ll tell you, they love America. They love what we stand for and we’re not looking for change. We’re not looking for government takeover. Government change. This country has been through that many times. That doesn’t work.
Reporter 1: (01:46:10)
But you hope people do encourage other countries, who are maybe concerned about-
Donald Trump: (01:46:14)
No, but what I did is I put it out very publicly with respect to Iran. I said, if they need help with respect to the virus, we have the greatest medical professionals in the world. We’d love to send them over.
Reporter 1: (01:46:26)
What countries are you encouraging perhaps to lend their support because there are many countries that feel-
Donald Trump: (01:46:30)
I’m not encouraging or discouraging. They’ve been a very hostile country. They made a deal that President Obama should have never made. It was a short-term deal, giving them $150 billion, giving them $1.8 billion in cash. Green. Fill up this room five times.
Reporter 1: (01:46:47)
But, your administration, do you have a moral responsibility?
Donald Trump: (01:46:49)
Nobody’s even asked. I have a moral responsibility to help them if they ask. If they needed help, I would certainly consider different plans.
Reporter 1: (01:46:58)
The United Nations says they need help.
Donald Trump: (01:47:00)
Well, that’s up to the United Nations. I’m talking about us and what happens is, if they wanted help, because they have a very big case of virus. A very, very big case. One of the worst on earth, if you believe what you’re reading. And I happen to believe what I see and what I know and if they wanted help, we’d give them help. Yeah, you had one in the back.
Reporter 2: (01:47:23)
Thanks, Mr. President. And a question for Jared too. You talk about a granular approach to receiving data from these different states and regions to try and figure out what they need. The president, you just enacted the BPA on ventilators and masks. Are there any signals from across the country that might indicate there are other things besides masks and ventilators that are slowly rising in terms of need, like hand sanitizer for instance?
Jared Kushner: (01:47:54)
Sure. So, the first issue that we’ve been dealing with was really the ventilators. That the number one, number two, and number three from all the states. What we’ve been finding is that people have a lot of these requests based on the models. And what we’ve been trying to do over at FEMA is say to the States, “Well, if you would like ventilators, first look in your states.” For example, in Northern Jersey, they’re going down to Southern Jersey and they’re finding ventilators and trying to relocate them to where they have their hotspots. The second thing that we’ve done is we’ve asked them to survey for alternative ventilators. Dr. Birx spoke before about the anesthesia machines and the ability to convert them to be ventilators. So, we’re asking people to be resourceful inside their states before they come to the federal government. The third thing we’ve been asking states to do is to provide what their daily utilization rates are. So, everyone’s asking for everything.
Jared Kushner: (01:48:41)
One Congressman got a call from his local hospitals saying, “I need 250 ventilators.” And he said, “Well, you don’t have a COVID patient within four counties. Why do you want 250 ventilators?” And he says, “Well, we just want to be safe. We’re very nervous right now.” So, what you have all over the country is a lot of people are asking for things that they don’t necessarily need at the moment. And the job of FEMA and Admiral Polowczyk has been to try to make sure that we’re getting the real data from the cities, from the states, that we can make real-time allocation decisions based on the data. Right now, what’s happening is a lot of the different cities and states are providing FEMA that information, we’re talking to them daily, they’re updating that information daily, and that’s enabling the federal government to make much more informed decisions on where they position ventilators.
Jared Kushner: (01:49:26)
You also have a situation where in some states, FEMA allocated ventilators to the states and you have instances where in cities they’re running out, but the state still has a stockpile and the notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. So, we’re encouraging the states to make sure that they’re assessing the needs, they’re getting the data from their local situations, and then trying to fill it with the supplies that we’ve given them. The same thing with the masks. So, the N95 mask is actually an item that wasn’t used as frequently in the medical profession before this. It was used mostly for diseases. So, speaking to a lot of the doctors and hospital administrators, they would say they used actually a very low percentage of the N95 masks.
Jared Kushner: (01:50:08)
What the president and the vice president were able to do with Congress was to get the waiver so that you could expand the pool because a lot of N masks were used for the construction industry. So, now there’s a much bigger pool of masks in the country. There was a stockpile. They distributed that based on where they anticipated a lot of the need would go, but a lot of that still is stuck with the states and it hasn’t trickled down to the right places within the state. So, I would just encourage you, when you have governors saying that the federal government hasn’t given them what they need, I would just urge you to ask them, “Well, have you looked within your state to make sure that you haven’t been able to find the resources?” Unlike other countries, a lot of the medical system in America is private. It’s not public, government-controlled.
Jared Kushner: (01:50:47)
So, you have to get the data from what’s in their state. Look at it in that way, and then make sure that they’re being resourceful in a way to do that. Also ask them what their utilization percentage is, because if one governor’s asking for more ventilators and if the federal government sends them more than they need, the goal here is not to have ventilators sitting in a warehouse where you have another state where you have people who need them. So, what we’re trying to do is make informed data-driven decisions both on ventilators, masks, any other supply we can get to make sure it’s going to the people who need them.
Reporter 3: (01:51:19)
I wonder if you could weigh in on the reports, which I’m sure you’re aware, where unnamed White House officials have described your role as being something of running a shadow task force. How do you describe your role? How do you describe the qualifications you bring to your role?
Jared Kushner: (01:51:32)
Yeah. I would just say very simply, look, the president asked the vice president to run the task force. The vice president asked me to assist. I’ve been serving really at the direction of the vice president. He’s asked me to get involved in different projects. The vice president and I speak probably sometimes five, 10 times a day, but everything that I’m doing is that the direction of the vice president. If some people are talking to you, that means they’re probably not informed as to what’s going on. But I can assure you that I’m speaking with Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, the vice president, and the president multiple times a day to make sure that I’m accomplishing and focusing on the objectives that the vice president deems a priority.
Reporter 2: (01:52:12)
Jared, a follow-up on the ventilators-
Donald Trump: (01:52:12)
Or they don’t exist. Those sources don’t exist. They’re fake sources. A lot of fake sources out there. They don’t exist. For a lot of time I’ve been reading, a lot of the fake sources they don’t exist. The national stockpile,
Reporter 4: (01:52:19)
Thank you, Mr. President. Jared, what triggers sending a ventilator from the national stockpile to a state? In other words, how sick does somebody have to be to get one of these national ventilators?
Jared Kushner: (01:52:33)
Well, that’s not the criteria. You have the states basically putting in the request and they’re giving us their utilization percentages. So, it’s a very simple formula. The states should know how many ventilators they have in their states. And by the way, some governors you speak to are senators and they don’t know what’s in their state. Some governors I’ll speak to and they’ll know to the number how many ventilators they have in their state because that’s the first thing a good manager will do. What a lot of the voters are seeing now is that when you elect somebody to be a mayor or governor or president, you’re trying to think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis. This is a time of crisis and you’re seeing certain people are better managers than others.
Jared Kushner: (01:53:11)
So, what I would say is that the way that the federal government’s trying to allocate it as they’re trying to make sure a, you have your data. Don’t ask us for things when you know that when you don’t know what you have in your own state. Just because you’re scared, you ask your medical professionals and they don’t know, you have to take inventory of what you have in your own state and then you have to be able to show that there’s a real need. So, we pre-positioned a lot of things because most governors off the bat didn’t know what they needed, but FEMA has a joint command with Admiral Polowczyk, Admiral Giroir and Pete Gaynor, where every couple of hours when their requests come in, they evaluate the request, they all vote on the requests, and then if there’s something that they want to elevate to the task force, they bring it to the vice president to make a recommendation. [crosstalk 01:53:53]
Mike Pence: (01:53:54)
We’re literally tracking hospitalization cases on a daily basis, interacting with governors and health systems, and that informs our supply chain decisions.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (01:54:07)
Yeah, I want to thank the health commissioners and all of them that have been sending hospital data in. I think it’s really critical and important to all of us. New York City has been providing information, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and certainly Louisiana in these hotspots. That allows us, we can see where they are with the rising number of cases, where they are in their curve, what can be predicted, and really ensuring that people get what they need as they need it. So, I think many of the governors now and the health commissioners have been, “I’m intubating 20 people a day. Now I have enough for the next three days. If that doubles, we’re seeing our hospitalization rates stabilizing, but we still think there will be this many more in the next days.” That’s the information that they then translate into providing the ventilators. So, when you see the ventilator numbers going out, they’re going out in 150s and 200s because I think early on, we sent a big bolus out and then not all of them even today have been fully utilized. So, we want to make sure every state and every hotspot can be reassured that ventilators are there for them as they move through the curve. I think to date we’ve been able to do that. That’s what’s important to me is that people have what they need when they need it and to date people who have needed ventilators have been able to get on ventilators. I think that’s our goal with governors and with the mayors to make sure that continues to happen. But that means all of us have to work together. I think that’s what’s been really important over the last few weeks is people are not making generic requests anymore. They’re making data-driven requests because they know precisely what’s happening in their hospitals.
Reporter 5: (01:56:01)
Dr. Burke, when you were up here a little bit ago, you talked about the curve and what you’re seeing and your concern that people are not abiding by the social distancing guidelines. You seemed in your voice to be quite concerned about that. Has the curve changed enough at this point where that 100,000 to 240,000 people likely to die, has that shifted upwards at all?
Dr. Deborah Birx: (01:56:26)
No, it’s just when I look at … so, we’re in week 2.2 in our guidelines and I guess what I expected when the president put out guidelines that said don’t go to bars. Don’t be in groups more than 10 people. When we said that now over 16 days ago, that was serious. Then, you could see what happened subsequently and you can see the number of individuals who have been infected since then, because the people we’re seeing infected today and in hospitals today, were infected after the guidelines went out. So, that’s what we’re worried about and we’re worried that we’re still in this and that’s why the president extended it for 30 days. But we have to get out of this. We have to start seeing this.
Donald Trump: (01:57:21)
But Deborah, aren’t you referring to just a few states because many of those States are dead flat? [crosstalk 01:57:28]
Dr. Deborah Birx: (01:57:28)
Yes. There are states that are dead flat, but what changes the curve is a new Detroit, a new Chicago, a new New Orleans, a new Colorado. Those change the curves because it all of a sudden spikes with the number of new cases because you have a certain projection of new cases and then a whole nother city comes on top where they’re in their logarithmic phase. So, those ones that I talked about that had test results greater than 13% positive, all of those states or all of those counties are in logarithmic phase.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (01:58:09)
That means there are a lot of counties that aren’t and we’re excited about those counties that have been testing and still finding quite flat and hopefully, maybe Sunday or so or sometime this weekend we can go through all the states and the curves again. So you can see where, that California and Washington are still steady, but we’re watching very carefully because we see that you can go from this to this very quickly and this should not be happening any longer in new places if people are doing this social distancing, washing their hands, not getting together in large groups more than 10.
Donald Trump: (01:58:54)
But, again, I look at the graphs all the time and you have many, many flatliners. I call them flatliners. I’m amazed at that. And you have a couple that are up. It’s hard to blame the flatliners for not doing a good job.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (01:59:09)
No, no, I don’t want to say that. No, don’t … No thank you, sir. In fact, I want to praise the States and I want to be able to call them out and show you their graphs so you can see. They’ve had steady small cases. They’re testing and they’re doing a lot of testing and their percent of test positives are under 5%. I mean, we have a whole group of States who are testing, and their positivity rate is under 5%. We know what it looks like on the logarithmic curve. You’re in the 13%, then 15%, then 26%, and then 35%. That’s what we’re trying to prevent and it’s the metro areas that are absolutely crucial in this. So, if you’re in a Metro area or you’re in a small city, please make sure all of your friends and family are following the guidelines. That’s the best thing we can do.
Donald Trump: (02:00:03)
Yeah, because I saw those pens going five minutes ago. They were thrilled. The fact is, yes, we compare them to Italy, one place, and we have many places that are really doing, and I think that’s what Deborah meant. She didn’t mean all of them, so when you write your story tomorrow, maybe you’ll write it correctly. She was talking about one state and another state is having a hard time and they’re closely associated. By the way, the people are doing a very good job, including the people that live there. But, when Deborah was talking about Italy, she was talking about the one and then the other was lower and then you have mostly states that have been unbelievable. So, she wasn’t talking about the average of everything.
Donald Trump: (02:00:47)
She was talking about an individual state, which is, I think, still better than Italy. Italy is having a hard time. By the way, Spain is having a hard time. France is having a hard time, but our states, generally speaking, it’s like lots of different countries all over. Many of those countries are doing a phenomenal job. They’re really flat and I think that’s what you meant.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:01:10)
Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: (02:01:12)
I don’t know. I don’t want to speak for her. [crosstalk 02:01:13] But that’s what I understood she meant. Yeah, please.
Reporter 3: (02:01:17)
I have a question about that though because Coronavirus is present in all 50 States. Before, when you implored mayors and governors to be serious about this, you said once it shows up, mitigation efforts are too late. So, how do you then square that with this notion that some states are doing well? I mean, the virus doesn’t abide by United States laws.
Donald Trump: (02:01:35)
Because some states they stay in better, they’re not touching, whatever it is. They’re not going out. They’re not in groups and some states are not probably as good for whatever reason, or they also live a lot closer. New York is very dense, and California is pretty dense too and they’ve got a very good record going so far. We hope it doesn’t spike up, but it’s very flat. We have states that are doing incredibly well. When I looked at some of them, I looked at some states that I would’ve thought maybe wouldn’t have done as well, and they’re really flatlined. Hope they stay that way. I hope they stay that way. [crosstalk 02:02:11]
Reporter 6: (02:02:12)
Sir, isn’t that the point, that you want those states to stay flatlined?
Donald Trump: (02:02:15)
I want them. That’s what I’m saying. No. But when Debra mentioned about Italy and our country, she wasn’t referring to our country. She was referring to one state.
Reporter 3: (02:02:25)
She’s encouraging people to do a better job of following these social distancing measures. That’s what I’m understanding.
Donald Trump: (02:02:32)
Okay, so my understanding … I’m going to let her say it, but I think that everybody would have to be thrilled with the way most States are doing. Thrilled.
Reporter 7: (02:02:41)
I don’t think she said … is that what you meant?
Donald Trump: (02:02:43)
The flatline states, states that have almost no bump. I mean, I would think … now, then you others where for whatever reason, they’re higher. That’s different, but you can’t condemn people living in a flatliner with people living in something where there’s the big bump or the bigger bump or more akin to Italy where they have some very unique problems. In all fairness to Italy, they have some very unique problems. But if you’d like to come up and-
Reporter 7: (02:03:09)
So, how many flatline do we have and how many-
Donald Trump: (02:03:12)
A lot of them.
Reporter 7: (02:03:13)
How many do we have?
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:03:13)
So, why don’t I bring you the whole deck again and we’ll divide out the states so you can see them? Because you really have to see each state separately. That’s why I started with, there are states where you’ve heard me talk about how concerned I was. These are states that, before the guidelines went out or right after the guidelines went out, I mean you can look at … it’s on the website. If you go to the health data.org about when governors made clarity about closing their states as far as the social distancing, the washing of the hands, the bars, doing takeout, and you can line that up with the presidential guidelines. And not all states, when the presidential guidelines came out, immediately followed the presidential guidelines. Not all states did. There are states that also may have gotten many more seeds from outside communities.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:04:12)
That certainly is one of the issues that New York and New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are facing. The virus came in from multiple places into those states. It was undetected early on and they have a very logarithmic curve. What I’m saying is even one of those curves in one county, in one city, is one curve too many. So, I am passionate about everyone following the guidelines because of the outlier curves. Maybe that was a better way of putting it.
Donald Trump: (02:04:46)
That’s exactly … I think that’s perfect.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:04:46)
The outlier curves in specific counties is to make sure that doesn’t happen anywhere else.
Reporter 7: (02:04:53)
So, would you feel better if every state did a stay at home order? Would you feel better?
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:04:59)
I think most of the states have done that. I think if you … one death from this is one death too many. I mean, I come out of epidemics and pandemics. We know what to do. I know we don’t have a vaccine and I know we don’t have a therapeutic, but we know what can be done and others are doing it and most of the people in the United States are doing it.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:05:23)
It’s our communities. It’s every American that has to make these changes and I know they’re really hard and I know it’s hard to remember. I mean, I have to say to myself every day because I’m around very important people to never touch anything. And I’m just like paranoid now about touching things. I’m sure you all are too. I mean, we’ve gotten to the place where we don’t go to your places on Pebble Beach, we go to the one that’s open-aired because I mean you’re trying to protect your reporters. I mean, I understand that. We’re all trying to protect each other, and we all have to adapt to this new reality that we’re in right now.
Dr. Deborah Birx: (02:06:02)
I believe everybody is trying really hard and I’m just asking them to try really, really hard for these next 28 days because they will make a tremendous difference. We see that evidence. So, it’s like having a vaccine or a therapeutic because we know what works and we’re asking everybody to apply what works. I know it takes amazing attention to detail because the minute you forget or do something, you’re like, “Oh my gosh. I should’ve never done that.” And that’s the level of attention it takes.
Reporter 7: (02:06:33)
If covering our faces could help us do that-
Donald Trump: (02:06:35)
So, I just want to say, many states have started low and slow and then they stayed at a good level. Some really stayed at a great level. Louisiana’s an example. It was low and slow, and they were looking great. I was watching it because it’s a place people go to with Mardi Gras, which is an interesting point because after Mardi Gras it was low and then all of a sudden it went up very rapidly and now it’s one of our true hotspots. Certain areas of Michigan. Detroit looked like it was doing pretty good and then all of a sudden it went up. So, you have that too. But I’ll tell you what, we have states that have been really incredible in the fact that they have kept so low. You haven’t seen the bump and I hope you don’t. I hope you don’t.
Donald Trump: (02:07:27)
And you have a couple that, for a lot of different reasons, and that’s not to blame anybody, but they are at a higher level. But very few. I think, Deborah, I mean, I may say, I think most people have actually followed the presidential you can call them whatever you want. I would never use the word dictates because if I used that word I would be in such trouble. In fact, you’ll put me in trouble just that I even mentioned the thought of it. But we make a recommendation and I think they’ve done a good job. Maybe they started a little later, but maybe they’re also more difficult states. But we’ve done I think on average really phenomenally as a country. I think we’ve done phenomenally because when you looked at that graph the other day, I don’t know if you saw it, I assume you saw it.
Donald Trump: (02:08:11)
Everybody in the world saw it, but you look at all those lines on the bottom, one color after another, all different representing different states. It’s all crowded at the bottom. And then you had two that were up. I don’t know, almost every one of them was down low, very low. So, there were a lot of people listening and I just want it clear because I don’t need headlines tomorrow. Neither does the country because I don’t want this country working so hard and then have press, in this case, may be misinterpret something because when I heard it, I was surprised at first too. But I understood what Deborah meant. Because I think it’s very important for you to be accurate. One other thing, just a quick thing. So, what I found is when governors called me, I think in every case they’ve always been so nice, so nice and I’ve seen them and heard them say “Thank you, very much.”
Donald Trump: (02:09:08)
“You have done a great job, a fantastic job in one case. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Then I’ll see the governor, usually of the opposite party in almost all cases except maybe one, but in almost all cases they’re very generous. They’re very nice. They thank me, everything’s great. We’re doing a great job. And then I’ll see him on television and it’s like a different person. And I realize there are some people, because of politics, that if they say, “We want a thousand ventilators” and I’ll say, “No, Jim. I want to give you 5,000 ventilators.”
Donald Trump: (02:09:42)
They’ll say, “Thank you. You are the greatest president that’s ever lived.” And then I’ll see them quoted in a paper or see them on a show and they’ll say, “The president didn’t come through for me. I’m very disappointed in the president.” And we have a lot of that. They’re very happy when they talk to me, Then I see them. But there are some people, if they asked for 500 of something and if I gave him 5,000, you’ll say, “How’s the president doing?” “Well, we don’t like the job.” To my face they’re very nice. But, then sometimes, I guess they assume I don’t watch them or something, but I watch very closely. Yeah, please.
Reporter 8: (02:10:17)
Mr. President. One especially vulnerable population is the prison population and, especially with Jared here, I wondered if you could address what the federal government is doing to protect inmates?
Donald Trump: (02:10:27)
Well, there’s vulnerable and then there’s close together. I can’t tell you about age, but a lot of young people in prison. Some people, some states, I have not done that at all, but some states are letting people out of prison. Some people are getting out that are very serious criminals in some states, and I don’t like that. I don’t like it. But it’s a city or state thing, in certain cases, as you know. I think, maybe Philadelphia comes to mind. So, we’ll have to see what’s going on. We don’t like it. The people don’t like it. And we’re looking in to see if I have the right to stop it in some cases. Okay?
Reporter 9: (02:11:08)
Mr. President, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. We haven’t heard of you talk a lot today about what they’re going through.
Donald Trump: (02:11:16)
Oh, I think it’s terrible.
Reporter 9: (02:11:16)
So, what’s your message to them?
Donald Trump: (02:11:19)
I think it’s terrible. So, look, four weeks ago we had the greatest economy in the history of the world. The greatest in the world. Greatest in the history of the world. We had the most jobs ever in the history of the United States. Almost 160 million jobs. Right? And then one day, I get a call from Deborah who’s fantastic and from Dr. Fauci and he said, and she said, “We have a problem.” I said, “What’s the problem?” And they said, “We may have to close it up.” I said, “Close what up?” They said, “Close up the country.” I said, “What’s that all about?” And we discussed today and probably not since 1917, came to that conclusion, and she is a fantastic person, a brilliant person, and this is what she knows. I said, “Has it ever been this bad?” And I think I can represent that you said no. And part of it is it’s a contagion.
Donald Trump: (02:12:20)
It’s so contagious. It’s like if you sneeze, I probably get it. Whoever heard of a thing like that? And this very talented reporter is bailing out. He’s out of here. I don’t blame you, but it’s a very contagious thing, probably the likes of which we’ve never seen in terms of that. But 1917, so that’s over a hundred years ago. But it’s been written about many, many times. That was a horrible … whether it was 75 or 100 million people, I’ve heard from 50 to 75 I’ve heard 75 to 100, but it was tens of millions of people. Now, we have the advantage of communication. This could have been just as bad. I mean, here we can read on the internet, we can see what to do, we can have these meetings, they can watch on television, which they do. A lot of people are watching. A lot of people are watching, and they say, “Gee, social distancing.”
Donald Trump: (02:13:15)
But in 1917 they didn’t have that option. They didn’t know what to do. They just noticed people were dying all over the place. Think of it. 75 to 100 million people died. A lot of people in this country died. To me, it’s a great question, how come more people didn’t die in this country? And they say it actually started in this country and went to Europe. I mean, we lost a lot of people, but relatively we lost very few compared to Europe. So, this is a terrible thing that happened and what’s happening now with people in jobs. So, think of the position I’m in. We have built all together, everybody, not me, everybody, the greatest economy in history, and all of a sudden people come in that we respect, that we know, and here’s the thing, they were right. Everybody questioned it for a while.
Donald Trump: (02:14:08)
Not everybody, but a good portion questioned it. They said, “Let’s keep it open. Let’s ride it.” If we did that, you saw the other graph, and whether it’s true or almost true or maybe not true enough, the number was 2.2 million people would’ve died. 2.2 million people would’ve died in a short period of time. In fact, the graph could have been even shorter. I always noticed that horrible one where it goes high, it actually comes down a little bit faster. It might’ve been over faster, and you would have lost 2.2 million people. So, they come in and they say, “We have to close up the country.” And I say, “You know what that does to the fabric of this country?” To people that had great jobs, great family, no problems with money? Their 401k, everything is perfect. Then all of a sudden, they go from that to having no job in one day they never even thought of it and then you see 6 million people unemployed.
Donald Trump: (02:15:05)
Unemployment numbers get released and you see 6 million people and it’s an artificial closing. It’s not like we have a massive recession or worse. It’s artificial because we turned it off. Think of what we’re doing. We’re saying, “Don’t go to work and we’ll pay you.” Everything’s the opposite. It was always “Go to work and make a lot of money and do well and the American dream.” Because of a hidden enemy we’re saying, “Don’t go to work and we’re going to pay you.” Look at the money, $2 trillion and we will probably do more. I think infrastructure would be a fantastic thing to do. You want to get the restaurants back. You give deductibility. You understand what that is. You give deductibility for businesses where they go, and they use the restaurants. The restaurants will be bigger and better than they were before.
Donald Trump: (02:15:54)
People don’t know, a lot of restaurants closed when they ended deductibility and then they started doing well, but they had fewer restaurants. But the boom of the restaurants is when they had deductibility, where corporations could use them. And entertainment, that was a great thing, but they closed it and then they closed it again and it wasn’t the same. But you want to get them back. You do that. But infrastructure, we borrow our money now at zero. If we were paying 5%, 4%, 3% it’s a different ball game. We can borrow long-term for zero. Literally zero. You know that because we’re considered the safe investment all over the world. They want money in the United States. That’s where they want the money. So, I know better than anybody. I know what they’re going through and it’s horrible, but you know what I want to do?
Donald Trump: (02:16:45)
I want to be able to get them back fast. When this is over, it’s going to be a day we’re going to celebrate because everyone’s going to go to work and I think we’re going to have boom times. I think it’s going to be great, and we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned about borders; we’ve learned about reliance on other countries. We’ve learned so much that I think we really have a chance to be bigger and better and stronger, and I think it’s going to come back very quickly, but first we have to defeat this enemy, so we will see you tomorrow. Thank you very much.