Apr 28, 2020
Donald Trump Ron DeSantis Press Conference Transcript
President Trump and Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis held a joint press briefing on April 28. Read the full transcript of their meeting.
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Speaker 1: (00:01)
So your safer at home order expires on Thursday?
Ron DeSantis: (00:03)
I did an essential business order, so we kept a lot of things going safely. I know that people conflate all these around the country, but I kept construction going. I accelerated road projects in Florida because the traffic was down. So we’re doing I-4 in Orlando. We’re doing bridges in Tampa. So we had a lot of things going. That’s through April 30th. I’ve worked with the White House on kind of going to phase one. I’m going to make an announcement tomorrow but I think for Florida, going from where we are now to phase one is not a very big leap. I think that will be able to be a small step for us, but we’re going to approach it in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way. I think that’s what most of the folks throughout the state are looking for.
Speaker 1: (00:49)
So you won’t be doing what they did in Georgia?
Donald Trump: (00:50)
Ron saw the empty roads. And he was telling me before, it was fascinating. He saw the empty roads all over Florida from doing this where they are staying at home and he said this is a great time to build roads. This is a great time to fix bridges. There were fixing bridges down there, where normally there’d be a traffic nightmare and they’re fixing bridges and there’s hardly any traffic.
Ron DeSantis: (01:08)
Yeah. So we’ve been able to accelerate key projects by as much as two months. And so when people get back into the swing of things, and this is going to be a gradual process. You’re going to end up having reduced congestion probably more than we’ve ever done in such a short period of time. So I think it was taking advantage of an opportunity.
Speaker 2: (01:29)
[crosstalk 00:01:29] Do more tests than demand. Is that the norm in this country, do you think?
Donald Trump: (01:34)
It’s true in other places. It’s definitely true with Iran. It seems to be true where the governors have done the proper job using us and utilizing the services that we provide. But it is also true in certain other locations.
Ron DeSantis: (01:48)
Just so people don’t get the misimpression, we have seven sites and major areas in our state. We have more capacity then we get. These walkup sites though have gone into areas that were underserved. You do have the demand there and so we definitely have enough supplies and everything, but I think the key is going to be finding pockets that may be, we’re not testing as much. I mean obviously we’ve got testing everywhere in Miami because they have the most cases. We have testing in other parts. So I think this walkup site is going to give us some confidence that we’re going into places that may have been overlooked and giving people easy access. I also just recently got rid or suspended any regulations that would prevent licensed pharmacist from administering tests. So CVS and Walmart, you’re hopefully, and I think they’re interested in doing this or Walgreens, you could actually maybe go in there and the licensed pharmacist will be able to test you. That’s going to be very convenient for an awful lot of people.
Speaker 3: (02:42)
Mr President, overall South Korea has done five times more tests than the US per capita. Why is that?
Donald Trump: (02:48)
I don’t think that’s true.
Speaker 3: (02:49)
That is true. And you said this morning, that the White House said, “The US passes South Korea in virus testing.”
Donald Trump: (02:54)
Who you with?
Speaker 3: (02:55)
Yahoo News, and it’s not true per capita?
Donald Trump: (02:57)
Do you want to respond to that if you have the numbers?
Deborah Birx: (03:00)
Sure. I have the numbers. So remember early on we push test to the outbreak areas. Just like he described, his primary outbreak was in Miami-Dade and Broward County and Palm Beach. So they pushed test into that region. We did the same thing in the United States. So if you look at every single state that had an outbreak, their testing is greater than anywhere in the world. They’re in the 42 per 1,000 range.
Speaker 3: (03:28)
Your point is taken about individual areas, but overall we’ve had 14 times more infections than South Korea. So are we doing something wrong and why is that? They have a very dense population.
Deborah Birx: (03:37)
Yeah. Our epidemic looks much more like the European epidemic. So right now we’re tracking very close to the countries in Europe and we’re testing at their rate of their concentrated epidemics and where they’re occurring in the metros. I think it really shows the susceptibility of our major cities in the same way they were susceptible in Europe. And so we’ve been very focused on that. That’s not to say that we’re not supporting our rural states. We’re very much supporting the rural states and very much supporting their testing. There’s no state right now in the United States that’s tested really less than one percent, which is pretty remarkable when they don’t really have significant cases.
Deborah Birx: (04:14)
But we’ve been really working with states to do sentinel surveillance and also to reach out to our Native American populations as well as our inner city. So I think now that we’ve expanded testing dramatically and CDC has altered the criteria for testing, I think you’ll see as governors have unlocked more and more potential in their laboratories. We know that we have more laboratory capacity and you hear the governor’s talk about we have capacity and now we have to match things, the resources that you need. The swabs and the extraction media with the capacity. And I think governors are well aware of how to expand testing now and so we’re in that partnership. That’s what was announced yesterday.
Deborah Birx: (04:52)
We want testing linked to critical contact tracing, but we also want testing as he described. The governor described a really important insight. He went where the virus could cause the most damage to human beings. And so he went into the nursing homes to really proactively test. And that’s really in our-
Donald Trump: (05:12)
And that’s true also throughout the country.
Deborah Birx: (05:13)
Yes, and that’s why it’s in the blueprint. And I think some of the press didn’t hear how much we were emphasizing the asymptomatic testing. We believe that’s a critical part of this. So you can’t approach this like you’ve just traditionally approached flu and you have to be more innovative. And we’ve been in really strong partnership with the governors and I think that’s why the blueprint was so important. Because it talked about symptomatic testing and asymptomatic testing to protect the most vulnerable individuals. And you can see what it did with the nursing home fatality rates.
Ron DeSantis: (05:42)
Especially, with the asymptomatic in a nursing home situation. If that starts getting out, man, that is a perfect environment for this virus to just start spreading. I mean it can spread like wildfire very quickly. That’s why you’re trying to do all this stuff.
Speaker 4: (05:56)
Why did you wait? Are you worried people died because of that.
Speaker 5: (05:57)
[crosstalk 00:05:57] It sounds like that you are planning to announce tomorrow, that you’re likely to go to the president’s-
Ron DeSantis: (06:05)
So we’re going to make an announcement tomorrow. I created a task force and I have all kinds of folks. We have all some of the great health systems. We have great docs, I’ve got business folks, I’ve got elected officials, they’ve submitted a report to me. I’m going to be reviewing that today. Obviously we’ve been thinking about what we’re going to need to do and so we’ll announce it tomorrow about the next step forward for Florida, but I’ll just wait to announce it then.
Speaker 6: (06:31)
Governor you still have flights coming from Latin America to Miami and we see an increase in cases in Latin America and South America aren’t your worried to see-
Ron DeSantis: (06:38)
Oh, I’ve been worried about that the whole time. I mean, I think that Brazil and some of those places, which I have a lot of interaction with Miami, you’re going to probably see the epidemic increase there as their season changes. And so we could be a way on the other side doing well in Florida and then you could just have people kind of come in. So one of the things I’ve mentioned to the president, is you have this Abbott labs test, if you have some of these international flights, maybe some of these airliners it should be on them to check before they’re getting on and coming to this country. So that we’re able to keep it.
Ron DeSantis: (07:11)
I mean you’ve seen what happened with the China flight restrictions that kept a lot of people from seeding the West Coast more. And so if we’re in a situation you could potentially have from hotspots coming in. I think we were technologically more advanced where there should be something like that. So I’ve been advocating for that. I’ve talked with some other governors about it, but for Florida, clearly that’s going to be an issue. You look at-
Donald Trump: (07:33)
You’re going to be cutting off Brazil? I mean, you’re going to-
Ron DeSantis: (07:35)
Not actually cut them off, but if you’re going to fly to Miami, then the airline should give you the Abbott test and then put you on the plane. But-
Donald Trump: (07:42)
Would you ever want to ban certain countries?
Ron DeSantis: (07:45)
If they were seeding the United States.
Donald Trump: (07:48)
You’ll let us know.
Ron DeSantis: (07:49)
Donald Trump: (07:49)
You’ll be watching, and you’ll let us know.
Ron DeSantis: (07:50)
But I would say in the United States or in Florida, excuse me, in spite of all the international travel, I mean, we have so many people that go to Orlando, Miami and all that. If you look at our outbreak, not a lot of it is tied to …
Ron DeSantis: (08:03)
If you look at our outbreak, not a lot of it is tied to that. It’s mostly tied to New York City travel than to the three Southern Florida, because the Orlando situation is worlds different than Palm Beach, and Broward, and Miami Dade, but yet they have as much international travel as anybody. And yet as of this morning, I think Orlando had 50 people hospitalized in that whole area for COVID-19.
Ron DeSantis: (08:27)
I mean, people were predicting there were going to be hundreds of thousands hospitalized in Florida by this time. So they’ve had a really modest outbreak, Southeast Florida. I mean, still, by some of these other standards, not as bad as other parts of the country, but that was really more of a domestic seeding, I think, than international.
Donald Trump: (08:44)
Well, we’re going to be [crosstalk 00:08:45] in touch on that. Go ahead.
Speaker 7: (08:45)
Mr. President, why not then require that people take tests before they take international flights and why not even require that people wear masks on planes?
Donald Trump: (08:51)
We’re looking at that and we’re probably going to be doing that. Brazil has pretty much of an outbreak, as you know. They also went a different way than other countries in South America. If you look at the chart, you’ll see what happened, unfortunately to Brazil. So we’re looking at it very closely and we’re in coordination with other governors also, but in particular with Ron. We’ll make that decision pretty soon.
Speaker 7: (09:13)
[crosstalk 00:09:13] But with all flights, all international flights?
Donald Trump: (09:15)
We’re looking at that. That’s a very big thing to do. Again, [crosstalk 00:09:18] I did it with China, I did it with Europe. That’s a very big thing to do. It’s certainly a very big thing to do to Florida because you have so much business from South America.
Speaker 7: (09:26)
I mean, [crosstalk 00:09:26]-
Donald Trump: (09:26)
So we’ll be looking at that.
Speaker 8: (09:29)
[crosstalk 00:09:29] Yahoo … Gentleman, I just want to make it clear that South Korea’s testing was 11 per 100,000 and we’re at 17 per 100,000.
Donald Trump: (09:40)
All right. Are you going to apologize, Yahoo? That’s why you’re Yahoo [crosstalk 00:09:44] and nobody knows who the hell you are. Go ahead, let’s go [crosstalk 00:09:46], go ahead. That’s why nobody knows who you are, including me. Go ahead.
Speaker 9: (09:50)
Mr. President [crosstalk 00:09:50]-
Speaker 8: (09:51)
Just check it again.
Donald Trump: (09:52)
You ought to get your facts right before you [inaudible 00:09:54] like that. Okay, well your facts are wrong. Let’s go.
Speaker 10: (09:57)
[crosstalk 00:09:57] Just to clarify what you were just talking about, you’re looking at cutting off more international travel from Latin America?
Donald Trump: (10:02)
No, we’re talking to the governor. We’re talking with others also that have a lot of business coming in from South America, Latin America, and we’ll make a determination. We’re also setting up a system where we do some testing and we’re working with the airlines on that. [crosstalk 00:10:18] Testing on the plane, getting on the plane.
Speaker 8: (10:21)
[crosstalk 00:10:21] or virus tests?
Donald Trump: (10:22)
It’ll be both.
Speaker 10: (10:24)
Governor DeSantis, you did face quite a bit of criticism for not closing your state as soon as some did. There was a lot of [crosstalk 00:10:30]-
Ron DeSantis: (10:31)
What have the results been? You look at some of the most draconian orders that have been issued in some of these states and compare Florida in terms of our hospitalizations per 100,000, in terms of our fatalities per 100,000. I mean, you go from DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois. You name it, Florida’s done better. And I’m not criticizing those states, but everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy and that has not happened. Because we understood we have a big diverse state, we understood the outbreak was not uniform throughout the state, and we had a tailored and measured approach that not only helped our numbers be way below what anyone predicted, but also did less damage to our state going forward.
Ron DeSantis: (11:17)
I had construction going on, the road projects, but we did it in a safe way and we did it I think in a way that is probably more sustainable over the longterm. So I think people can go back and look at all the criticism and then look now and nobody predicted that Florida would … We have challenges. This is not an easy situation. We’ve had people in the hospital. But I’m now in a situation where I have less than 500 people at a state of 22 million on ventilators as of last night. And I have 6,000 in 500 ventilators that are sitting idle unused throughout the state of Florida.
Speaker 10: (11:53)
[crosstalk 00:11:53] My question is, I mean, you faced that criticism, you have these numbers that you’re sharing. Are you concerned at all about another outbreak coming this summer, this fall, and not being ready for it?
Ron DeSantis: (12:03)
So of course, that’s why the whole thing we’re doing is this is a novel virus. It’s unpredictable. But we’re in a situation now where we have so many more tools to be able to detect. And one of the things that I was talking to Dr. Burks about, our Florida Department of Health, we have a fully integrated health system with the counties. We have been doing contact tracing from the very beginning. Now, sure. Once the outbreak gets to a certain point, the mitigation is really what you do. The contact tracing’s not going to be able to stop, like what was going on in New York City. But in Florida we had such an uneven outbreak, we were doing contact tracing throughout this whole time in parts of the state that the outbreak wasn’t as severe. They limited the spread and did it very effectively. And so, that’s going to be a huge part of what we’re doing going forward.
Ron DeSantis: (12:50)
And we think that that can be successful. And we’re going to have so many more opportunities with Sentinel Surveillance. We’re offensive with the nursing homes. Nothing’s going to change on the nursing home testing. Until this virus goes away, this is the population that is most at risk. In Florida, we have … Close to 85% of the fatalities have been age 65 or older and most of them have some comorbidities. And so, these are the types of facilities that are the most at risk. So nothing’s going to change on that. We’re going to continue protecting elderly and we messaged that very early about the risk, about how they should stay home. I wasn’t going to arrest an elderly if they left their house, but we told them, “Limit contacts because you’re more at risk,” and they listen.
Ron DeSantis: (13:36)
That’s why you go to a place like The Villages … There were articles written saying, “Oh, The Villages is going to crash and burn,” all this other stuff. They have like a 2%, 2.5% infection rate. We tested 1200 asymptomatic and none were found to have the virus. And so, this is this message of understanding the risks are different for different parts of our communities, and age, and health, and continue doing also … So I think what you’ll see is however we move forward, and I’ll announce that soon, you’re going to see even more attention paid to the vulnerable. And I think that that’s what we need to be doing.
Donald Trump: (14:12)
And [crosstalk 00:14:13] Ron said one thing that was very interesting. You talk about ventilators and ventilators were going to be a disaster in Florida, a disaster … There’s not enough. And we sent them thousands of ventilators. But in the meantime, you have thousands of ventilators that aren’t used and we’ll be able to send them probably to other countries. You’ll build up your stockpile, but we’ll be able to … Because other countries, Italy, France, numerous … Spain is very much … We’re sending to Spain. I spoke today to Nigeria. They’ll do anything for ventilators. We’re going to send at least 200 ventilators to Nigeria, probably more than that.
Donald Trump: (14:50)
But ventilators was going to be a big problem and now we have really … I mean, through an incredible amount of work by the federal government, we have a big, big beautiful overcapacity. And it’s the same thing with testing. The only problem is the press doesn’t give credit for that because no matter what tests you do, they’ll say, “Oh, you should have done this. You should have tested 325 million people 37 times.” No, the testing is going very well. But this is a good example of a partnership between the federal government and a state government. Ron has been great and some of your friends, some of the other governors have done a good job, and some haven’t done a very good job. I’ll be honest with you, some have not.
Ron DeSantis: (15:27)
[crosstalk 00:15:27] One of the things I think, Jared, he had a team of going about, figuring out where the ventilators would be needed. So when everyone was talking about 40,000 ventilators in New York, I’m in contact with Jared about Florida, about New York. And he was saying, “Well, they’re not going to need that.” And I was like, “Look, I actually, I agree with your numbers. I don’t think we need any ventilators in Florida right now. Maybe things will change.” So they were ready at a moment’s notice to get the ventilators wherever they need. We never got … I think we may have just gotten 100 at the beginning from FEMA, but we never got an emergency shipment because we didn’t need it. But they were absolutely ready, willing and able to do that once the data suggested [crosstalk 00:16:01]-
Donald Trump: (16:03)
Speaker 12: (16:03)
They were absolutely ready, willing and able to do that once the data suggest-
Donald Trump: (16:03)
They were on call, a lot of people expected it. When we read reports from the papers, I’d call Ron and say, “Ron, I think we’re going to need maybe thousands based on what some phony news organization was saying.” And more and more … Number one, it was well handled, but we were ready to move and we still are. We have more than 10,000, Jared, what do we have? 10,000? More than 10,000 in stockpile.
More than 10,000 and it’s growing every day. We’re getting a lot more in than we’re sending out.
Donald Trump: (16:31)
And what we’ll be able to do is help other countries, which is a good thing, not only allies, countries that need help. We’re talking about a lot of countries that need help. Jennifer?
Mister president, on the food supply chain.
Donald Trump: (16:41)
Is there anything your administration is doing or might be doing in the future to make sure that there’s enough meat supplies? Should we ban exports-
Donald Trump: (16:47)
We’re working with Tyson, we are. We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that will solve any liability problems where they had certain liability problems and we’ll be a very good shape. We’re working with Tyson, which is one of the big companies in that world, and we always work with the farmers. There’s plenty of supply. There’s plenty of … As you know, there’s plenty of supply. It’s distribution and we will probably have that today, so it was a very unique circumstance because of liability.
Speaker 13: (17:19)
Can you clarify what your intelligence advisors were telling you back in January and February. Were you warned about what was happening with coronavirus and the threat to this country? Should there have been stronger warnings? What were you hearing every day?
Donald Trump: (17:33)
I think probably a lot more than the Democrats because a month later, Nancy Pelosi was saying, “Let’s dance in the streets of Chinatown.” You go back and you take a look at even professionals, like Anthony was saying, “This is no problem.” This is late in February. This is no problem. This is going to blow over and they’re professionals and they’re good professionals. Most people thought this was going to blow over and you can go. We did … I think on January toward the end of January we did a ban with China. That was a very … I think you just said a little while ago. That was a very important step and then ultimately we did a ban on Europe. That was very early in the process because if you take the ban and you look at it, I was badly criticized by sleepy Joe Biden, by others.
Donald Trump: (18:17)
I was criticized horribly. He said all sorts of things. We won’t even say it, and then he apologized because two weeks ago he put out a statement that I was right. We did a ban. John, as you know, we did a ban and many people, Democrats, professionals, probably Republicans said that this would never happen, that there’d be nothing. No big problem. You saw that I think better than anybody Deborah. This was after the ban, so obviously I took it very serious. I’m not going to be banning China from coming in if I didn’t take it seriously, and I did that early.
Speaker 13: (18:54)
So were you getting warnings in your-
Donald Trump: (18:56)
I would have to check. I want to look as to the exact dates of warnings, but I can tell you this. When I did the ban on China, almost everybody was against me, including Republicans. They thought it was far too harsh, that it wasn’t necessary. Professionals, Republicans and Democrats, almost everybody disagreed. And that was done very early and that was a big step because I think we saved, whether it was luck, talent or something else, we saved many thousands of lives, and Anthony said that, and you were saying that, and a lot of people said it was a very … I think you’d have a much different situation right now if we didn’t do the ban.
Speaker 13: (19:35)
Donald Trump: (19:36)
We also did a ban, as you know, earlier, we did a band on Europe sometime after, but still relatively early.
Speaker 13: (19:43)
Now, after the ban on travel from China, 40,000 people came into the United States. Those were American citizens largely. In hindsight, looking back, should there have been steps made to quarantine those people that were coming back or to test them-
Speaker 12: (19:58)
In Florida, we had hundreds of people that were under investigation by our health department. They were asked to quarantine for 14 days. Anyone that was coming back from China, the Wuhan area and Hubei province, they were having to self-isolate before they could even get to Florida because that’s what you guys did. But we had hundreds of people under investigation during this time and actually none of them ended up testing positive, the ones that developed symptoms, I don’t think a lot of them did develop symptoms, but that was actually being done in Florida and we were very much viewing it as a China deal, of course. I think it was New York eventually brought it to Florida, but that was being done in the state level.
Donald Trump: (20:34)
And the people we let back, John, as you know, they were American citizens. What are you going to do? You can’t come back into your country. It wasn’t like we were thrilled either. I said, “Well, we have these people coming back. All American citizens meaning just about all American citizens, there’s not much you can do about that.”
Speaker 13: (20:51)
In hindsight would you-
Donald Trump: (20:53)
Well, in hindsight, the states did testing. I know Ron was doing a lot of testing and the individual states were doing, in cooperation with the federal government. But originally it was, oh 40,000 people came in. What they don’t say what the news doesn’t say is they happen to be American citizens. How do you keep American citizens? You say they’re coming in from China, they want to come back to that country. There’s a tremendous problem in China, they want to come back. Are we supposed to say to an American citizen, “You can’t come back into your country.” And we did do testing and individual states did testing or were supposed to have. Anybody else?
Speaker 14: (21:24)
Do you have any more details on the executive order regarding the meat supply? So it seems like the issue right now is that with the processing plants closed down there, there all these animals, but they can’t be processed into meat to hit American shelves.
Donald Trump: (21:36)
Probably today we’ll have that … It’s a roadblock. It’s sort of a legal roadblock more than anything else. We’ll have that done today. You can speak to the chief in a little while if you’d like. Okay? They’ll give you a specific, I don’t know if you’d like that because there won’t be the camera’s running. But if you’d like to get a real answer, you could speak to the chief.
Speaker 15: (21:53)
JetBlue today was the first airline to mandate that passengers wear masks on planes. Is that something that you are considering rolling out for all?
Donald Trump: (22:00)
Speaker 15: (22:00)
Donald Trump: (22:00)
Sounds like a good idea. To me sounds like a very good idea.
Speaker 16: (22:05)
Governor, you have hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors coming from Canada each year spending months in-
Speaker 12: (22:11)
Right now we don’t. But normally we do.
Speaker 16: (22:13)
Have you been able to evaluate how much the economy of your state is losing from the borders being closed, and when do you think … What’s your feeling about things going back to something normal as for the visitors coming from Canada?
Speaker 12: (22:25)
So I think that a lot of this is a confidence and building confidence with the public that the next step is going to be done thoughtfully, it’s going to be done in a measured way and it’s going to be done with an eye to making sure that we’re not pretending that this virus just doesn’t exist. I mean, we have to make safety a priority. I will say though that I do think there’s a path to do that. If you look at Florida’s outbreak, just think of all the people that were in Florida. January, February, all … I mean, Disney was going all the way till mid-March. We didn’t have outbreaks tied to a lot of that stuff for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because most of our activities are outdoors and I think it’s probably not as an efficient vector when you’re outside in the sun as compared to close contact indoors. And all these different people in these industries, part of my task force, and this isn’t going to happen overnight, but they’re all thinking about innovative ways to be able to do different things and do it safely.
Speaker 12: (23:23)
We’ve seen that even on the basic level of if you go drive by Home Depot now, they’ll be six feet apart waiting to go in the store and then they’re doing it. So people are adapting and they’re innovating. So I think that that will happen. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. I think we’re going to have to be measured and thoughtful. But I think that as people see that different things can happen safely, I think the confidence factor will go up. But clearly financially it’s an issue for Florida because anytime people come, they end up paying tax on that. I mean, you look at just the theme parks and the amount of the tax that they contribute to the state. Now, fortunately we had billions of dollars in reserve. But even with that, you are-
Speaker 17: (24:03)
We had billions of dollars in reserve, but even with that, you are facing a hit. There’s just no doubt about it.
Donald Trump: (24:06)
I think the fourth quarter is going to be really strong, and I think next year is going to be a tremendous year. That’s what’s building. That’s my opinion. Third quarter is a transition quarter. Second quarter is what it is. I mean we’re in this period where let’s see what the numbers are. Third quarter is transition. I think fourth quarter is going to be incredibly strong. I think next year is going to be an unbelievably strong year. Kevin and Larry, would you like to say something about that?
Why don’t you start with the CBO numbers, Larry?
Yeah, I mean I’ll just say, look, we know we’re in a deep contraction with rising unemployment. It’s a lot of hardships, a lot of difficulty. The president’s rescue package, which really totals $9 trillion between the treasury and the FED, has helped to cushion that blow. So that’s point number one. We’ll take the hit. It’s very bad, very difficult. We’re doing what we can. As the governor said, as confidence returns with safety features and data-driven, people are anxious to go back to work. And it’s interesting to me the Congressional Budget Office as well as Wall Street Journal’s survey of economists both predicting very significant pickups and growth in the second half of the year, almost 20% growth increases.
So that’s a good sign. And the president has commissioned us to study middle class tax relief, middle-class regulatory relief, infrastructure developments, insurance liability protections for small businesses. And again, middle-class, I think people are anxious to go to work. There’s going to be a lot of pent up demand. And so I am optimistic about the future. This current situation, as my great friend and colleague Kevin has said right in here, it is going to be the worst we’ve seen probably. But nonetheless, that will be temporary. I believe it passes. And that’s what some of these surveys are telling us.
Donald Trump: (26:06)
And Larry, I wanted a payroll tax cut. I thought that was the best thing, but the Democrats did not want to give it to us. So we went a different way, which is fine, but I wanted a payroll tax cut.
Both of us agreed with you as I recall.
Donald Trump: (26:19)
I think they should have done a payroll tax cut. So Democrats did not want a payroll tax cut. And I think that’s a mistake.
Speaker 18: (26:25)
Mr. President, Congress comes back next week. Let me try to ferret out the elephant in the room here potentially, if there is an elephant in the room. What about the idea of aid to states? And governor, what do you think of this idea from Capitol Hill, Washington sending money to individual states who may be suffering severely through lost revenues and picking up a lot of the tab here?
Donald Trump: (26:51)
I think there’s a big difference with a state that lost money because of COVID and a state that’s been run very badly for 25 years. There’s a big difference in my opinion. And we’d have to talk about things like payroll tax cuts. We’d have to talk about things like sanctuary cities as an example. I think sanctuary cities is something has to be brought up where people that are criminals are protected. They’re protected from prosecution. I think that has to be done. I think it’s one of the problems that the states have. I don’t even think they know they have a problem, but they have a big problem with it, the sanctuary city situation. We’d have to talk about a lot of different things, but we’re certainly open to talking. But it would really have to be COVID related, not related for mismanagement over a long time, over a long period of time.
Speaker 18: (27:40)
You’ll really make that distinction, that much of a distinction?
Donald Trump: (27:42)
Well, it’s a very, very simple distinction to make. Yeah. We’re not looking to do a bailout for a state that’s been, it’s unfair to many of the states, most of the states that have done such a good job. Okay. Anything else? Thank you. Go ahead Jeff.
[crosstalk 00:28:00] You mentioned yesterday, sir… A followup to a question from yesterday. You spoke about having a sense of what’s going on with Kim Jong Un. Can you say whether or not he’s in control of his country?
Donald Trump: (28:10)
I just don’t want to comment on it. I don’t want to comment on it. I just wish him well. I don’t want to comment.
Speaker 19: (28:16)
I just want to ask you. I’m sure you saw that Congress was supposed to come back next week. Steny Hoyer has just announced that the house will not come back given that DC still has to stay at home order. Is that a good move, wise move or a bad move?
Donald Trump: (28:29)
The Democrats, they don’t want to come back. They don’t want to come back. I think they should be back here, but they don’t. They’re enjoying their vacation. And they shouldn’t.
Speaker 19: (28:36)
You think they’re enjoying their vacation?
Donald Trump: (28:38)
Yeah, I think they are. I think they are. If you look at Nancy Pelosi eating ice cream on late night television, yeah, I think they probably are. They’re having a good time. I think they should be back. I think they should all come back and we should work on this together. Thank you very much.
Speaker 20: (28:51)
Press, let’s go. Jeff, this way.