Apr 22, 2020
Donald Trump Mike Pence Earth Day Speech Transcript
Donald Trump and Mike Pence gave an Earth Day speech on April 22. Read the full transcript of their remarks here.
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Donald Trump: (00:00)
… and the upcoming Arbor Day and that’s going to be… Tell me David. That’s right. Friday. Thank you. As more than 180 nations around the world battle the vicious coronavirus, we continue to mourn the precious souls who have been lost, so sadly lost, and so unnecessarily lost. It should have been stopped and it should’ve been stopped right where it started, and everyone knows where it started.
Donald Trump: (00:26)
But in this time of trial, the beauty of springtime fills us with the peace and the hope of renewal. We’re pleased to be joined by our great Vice President, Mike Pence. Please Mike, stand up. You have done such a great job on getting us open again. We’re opening again, Mike. It’s starting to move. A lot of states are in great shape and they’re starting to move it along. And very importantly, Karen Pence has been so fantastic and done such a great job representing the country. Thank you, Karen. Beautiful job.
Donald Trump: (01:03)
Also here are Secretaries David Bernhardt, Sonny Perdue, Administrator Wheeler, Andrew Wheeler. Thank you. And Leader, Kevin McCarthy, and what a job he’s done and good vote the other day, yesterday. That was good. But previous to that. And when are you voting on the-
Kevin McCarthy: (01:22)
Donald Trump: (01:23)
Thursday? Good. Is that a guarantee or… There’s no guarantee.
Kevin McCarthy: (01:27)
We’re going [inaudible 00:01:28].
Donald Trump: (01:28)
There’s never a guarantee when you’re dealing with people. Right? But anyway, but it’s in good shape, right? Yeah. Thank you Kevin, very much.
Donald Trump: (01:36)
On this special occasion we are renewing our strong national commitment on conserving the wonders of God’s creation. One of the most important ways we uphold this tradition is by protecting our priceless national parks and our public lands. To support our rollout war against the virus, many of the places that we have here we’re temporary closing, but we will have them open quickly. As we said, we’re starting to open our country again. Thanks to our significant progress against the invisible enemy, I’m pleased to announce that in line with my administration’s guidelines for opening up America again, we will begin to reopen our national parks and public lands for the American people to enjoy. What does that tell us about that, David?
We roll out [inaudible 00:02:30].
Donald Trump: (02:28)
Right. Roll out. Good.
We’ll begin to reopen facilities and-
Donald Trump: (02:33)
When will they start?
We’ll run right alongside of the government.
Donald Trump: (02:37)
That’s great. Okay. That’s going to be very exciting. That’s going to be very exciting. You have a lot of land to open up to, don’t you have. People are going to be very happy. On this Earth Day, we celebrate that America leads the world in environmental stewardship, which is so, so true. I see it. I see the love and devotion that so many people like David, like you give, and that we continue to have among the cleanest air in the cleanest water anywhere on the planet Earth.
Donald Trump: (03:06)
We’re also honoring our country’s heritage of conservation, including through the supportive 1 trillion trees and that’s the 1 trillion tree initiative, which is a very big deal we’ll be planting over a period of time 1 trillion trees. That’s a lot of trees. Kevin, how do we do that? Do you have any ideas?
Kevin McCarthy: (03:28)
Donald Trump: (03:30)
That’s great. That’s great. That’s going to be exciting. As a sign of our dedication in a few moments, the First Lady and I will plant a maple tree right here on the South Lawn of the White House wherever the tree is. Where is this tree now? That’s a beautiful straight trunk. That’s a triple A tree. That’s great. As our nation grows stronger and greater in the months and years to come and we will. We will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before. You watch what’s happening. You see it happening already. There’s such spirit with the concept of the state starting to open. Such incredible spirit. This tree will grow also. It will stand tall and beautiful and the future generations will be looking at it and they’ll say, “I wonder who planted that tree.” They will say it was Kevin and David and Mike and Karen and a whole group of people. We really appreciate it. But they’ll be a admiring this tree and there’ll be admiring nine more trees.
Donald Trump: (04:29)
We’re planting 10 beautiful specimen trees. They’re specimens, all specimens. People may think that’s an exaggeration or that’s a Trump term. Actually they’re sold as specimens. They cost more money but they are better. I buy a lot of them. Now I’d like to invite the Vice President up and Karen to say a few words please. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (04:59)
Well, thank you Mr. President. It is a great honor for us to be here on the South Lawn with you and the First Lady to be able to plant a tree of promise and a tree of hope. I know we are here in the midst of National Park Week, just a few days before Arbor Day on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to plant and commemorate this beautiful maple tree. But as you said, Mr. President, we also gather at a time of great challenge in the life of our nation, but it’s a time the American people have met the challenge. As you’ve observed, Mr. President, that with your leadership, the American people are beginning to step forward. The states around the country beginning to put into practice the guidelines to open up America again. You’re a president who knows that America works when America is working.
Mike Pence: (06:01)
On behalf of the entire White House Coronavirus Task Force, I can assure the American people that we’re going to work very closely with your governors every day to get America safely and responsibly back to work. But today with the planning of this tree, Mr. President, you also renew your commitment to preserve and protect and allow for the enjoyment of the vast natural resources of this nation. I’ve often thought that the three pillars of American greatness are our faith, our freedom, and our vast natural resources.
Mike Pence: (06:34)
Today, we celebrate that with the planting of this new tree. We also celebrate it with a word from the Secretary that, at your direction in the days ahead, will work closely with governors to reopen our national parks so that the American people can enjoy the blessings of those extraordinary places that our family has traveled to so many different times.
Mike Pence: (07:02)
Mr. President, I can tell you that Karen and I have so many fond memories of loading up in the minivan, driving across the country, making our way to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon and to Yosemite. I know the American people are anxious to see us on this Earth Day 2020, a few days from Arbor Day. They’re anxious to get back to enjoying all of those beautiful parks and will greatly welcome your direction. We thank you for your leadership during this challenging time, Mr. President.
Mike Pence: (07:33)
We want to thank the First Lady for her extraordinary compassion, the way she supported American families throughout this ordeal. I’m absolutely convinced that with your continued leadership, with the strong leadership that we have at states across the country with the cooperation of the American people that our nation will be growing again soon. Just like this beautiful maple will for many years to come. Thank you, Mr. President. God bless you.
Donald Trump: (07:59)
Thank you very much. Kevin, would you come up and say a few words? Why don’t you stay right there, Mike? Perfect.
Kevin McCarthy: (08:08)
Mr. President, First Lady, Vice President, Karen our Second Lady, I want to thank you for your work. I want to thank you for your commitment for the health and safety of every human. Today, we’re witnessing the planting of the tree of the hope and dream that we know tomorrow will be better than today, that the earth will be stronger with our health tomorrow than it was today.
Kevin McCarthy: (08:31)
This is the first of 1 trillion trees that will be planted around the world. Trees are the lungs of the earth. They inhale carbon dioxide and they exhale oxygen. When 1 trillion trees are planted around this earth, that will remove the equivalent of two-thirds of all manmade carbon dioxide of all carbon since the Industrial Revolution until today.
Kevin McCarthy: (09:00)
As you continue to work for the health of every human, you show today you’re working to make sure the health is even greater with this earth. So I congratulate you on this, and the first of 1 trillion just proves that America will lead the way in every industry, in every part, making it environmentally sound in common sense, but also lead the world in an opportunity that tomorrow will be better. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (09:30)
Thank you, Kevin. It was beautiful. Thank you. He gave a lot of facts that a lot of people didn’t know, including me. I thought that… I just spoke with our great First Lady and she said, “You know, it’d be wonderful for Karen Pence to say a few words.” People have no idea the incredible job Karen Pence does representing this nation. Everybody loves her. She’s special in every way. Karen, I’d like to have you say a few words please. She didn’t know this, but I’d like [inaudible 00:09:59].
Karen Pence: (10:01)
Thank you, Mr. President. I do cherish the opportunity to speak because David and I were just talking about while this tree makes the earth better and stronger, we talked a lot about mental health. That’s an issue that I know the First Lady has been dealing with her whole time that she’s been First Lady, but I just started doing a little bit with Prevents. We do want people to understand that during this crisis, we need to also mitigate the effects on our mental health. So we ask people to watch out for yourself, check in with yourself every day, check in with those you love. If there’s something that you like to do. For me it’s painting, maybe it’s gardening, maybe it’s reading or cooking. We ask people to schedule that into your day so that you have a little bit of time that’s just for you each day.
Karen Pence: (10:58)
Then we also ask that you talk about the struggles, but also talk about the successes. As you have kids who are struggling with not having their graduation ceremony or they’re not being able to go out and play sports or they’re missing their friends or their teachers, it’s important to talk with them and let them get those issues out. But also talk about the successes, some of the great things that are happening while we’re having to stay at home, things you’re learning about your family, games you’re starting to play that maybe you didn’t play before.
Karen Pence: (11:30)
Then last of all, if you’re worried about somebody or you’re worried about yourself, please reach out. If you go to facebook.com/weareprevents. There’s so much help out there. We don’t want anybody to feel like there isn’t help because it’s okay to say I’m not okay. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (11:50)
That was very nice. Thank you, Karen. That’s great. That’s beautiful. Mike, let’s go over and do it.
Mike Pence: (11:56)
Donald Trump: (11:57)
We ready? Mike, stay right here. Come on, get over here. Karen, you grab that shovel. Come on. You grab it together. Are you ready? Let’s go. Yeah, we’ll do one [inaudible 00:12:22] and then we’ll let everyone. [crosstalk 00:12:32]. Ready? You grab one. We’ll do it. Okay.
Karen Pence: (12:43)
Happy birthday, by the way.
Donald Trump: (12:54)
That’s good. That’s good. Thank [inaudible 00:12:53]. Sonny? David? Kevin, come on up here. We have plenty of dirt left. Come on. Come up, fellas. This is [inaudible 00:13:05].
Kevin McCarthy: (13:03)
This is something we can do very well.
Donald Trump: (13:05)
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:13:07]. [crosstalk 00:13:12]. Ready?
Kevin McCarthy: (13:07)
Donald Trump: (13:07)
There you go. Okay. Thank you all. Thank you all. Let’s go.
Kevin McCarthy: (13:07)
Donald Trump: (13:07)
Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. [crosstalk 00:13:40].