May 26, 2020
Transcript: Donald Trump Remarks on Protecting Seniors with Diabetes May 26
President Donald Trump gave a speech from the White House Rose Garden on protecting senior citizens with diabetes from coronavirus. Read the full transcript of his remarks here.
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Donald Trump: (00:01)
And welcome to the Rose Garden as we take powerful action to lower healthcare costs for America’s seniors. Today, I’m proud to announce that we have reached a breakthrough agreement to dramatically slash the out-of-pocket costs of insulin. You know what’s happened to insulin over the years, right? Through the roof. Insulin, so many people, so necessary. For hundreds and thousands of seniors enrolled in Medicare, that’s a big deal, participating plans will cap costs at just $35 a month per type of insulin. And some plans may offer it free. So for everybody that was getting ripped off and paying tremendous prices as senior citizens… And Seema, I want to thank you because you brought this to my attention a long time ago. And you worked very hard on this day. And the press won’t even cover it, but they’ll cover things that are unimportant.
Donald Trump: (01:11)
But this is a big day for seniors. This is a tremendous saving, and it allows people that… If you don’t take insulin… I just wrote this down. You go blind, stroke, amputation, kidney failure, and other things. So we’re getting it down $35 per month. And it would be anywhere from 50 to 150 to over $200 a month. So it’s a massive cut, I guess 60-70. Nobody’s seen anything like this for a long time. Sleepy Joe, can’t do this, that I can tell you. In fact, it was his problem with Obamacare that caused part of your problem. This will save impacted Americans am average of minimum $ 446 just on insulin costs a year. We’re pleased to be joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams. I also want to thank Seema again. Thank you very much for the job you’ve done helping achieve the incredible victory for Medicare patients nationwide.
Donald Trump: (02:21)
In the past, Obamacare prevented insurance providers from competing to offer lower costs for seniors. There was no competition. There was no anything. And they ran away with what took place and the seniors were horribly hurt. Many people couldn’t take insulin. They couldn’t even think about it. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage paid an average of $675 for a year’s supply of insulin. And sometimes as high as $1500. Harmful laws also meant that seniors often paid a different amount almost every single month. They had no idea what they were paying. They were billed. Every month they were billed a different amount and it was a massive amount. One in every three, seniors on Medicare has diabetes and over 3.3 million beneficiaries use at least one type of insulin. Over the past 10 years, these seniors have seen their out-of-pocket cost for this life-saving treatment almost double. I don’t use insulin. Should I be? Huh? I never thought about it. But I know a lot of people are very, very badly affected. Unbelievable.
Donald Trump: (03:38)
That’s why my administration acted decisively. We slashed Obamacare’s crippling requirements and opened up competition like they’ve never seen before. They’ve never seen competition like this. Between transparency and all of the other things we’re doing, nobody’s ever had a competitive situation created like we’ve done it. And the prices, you will see very soon, they’re going to come tumbling down. Then we brought all the parties to the table, insurer, manufacturers, and other key players. And reached an agreement to deliver insulin at stable and drastically lower out-of-pocket costs for our seniors. I hope the seniors are going to remember it. Because Biden is the one that put us into the jam, because they didn’t know what they were doing. They were incompetent. Soon, nearly half of all eligible Part D and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans will offer this low-cost option. And when you say low cost, you’re really talking low cost. It’s giving seniors the freedom and choice to pick the plan that’s right for them.
Donald Trump: (04:46)
Nothing will ever stop me from fulfilling my solemn duty to America’s seniors. I’ll use every power at my disposal to lower drug prices. And my administration will always protect Medicare and social security, and, by the way, preexisting conditions. And we got rid of the individual mandate, which is a disaster. The worst part of Obamacare was the individual mandate. When we got rid of the individual mandate, essentially, we got rid of Obamacare. If you want to know the truth. You can say that in the truest form. But we got rid of a horrible, horrible condition called the individual mandate, but we’ll always protect you on preexisting conditions. Much more so than the Democrats.
Donald Trump: (05:33)
Here with us today is Bruce Broussard, President and CEO of a big powerful healthcare company, Humana. And I’d like to have Bruce come up and say a few words, please. Bruce? Thank you. That’s a big company. Look how young he is too. That’s very young to be running such a big company.
Bruce Broussard : (05:54)
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (05:56)
Thank you, Bruce.
Bruce Broussard : (05:57)
Well, I speak on behalf of our 50000 teammates that work at Humana. We are thankful of being here and honored. The demo that you are describing just recently is an example of the strength of public-private partnerships in dealing with large issues such as the affordability of prescription drugs. Insulin is by far the one that is used the most. Another great example of that is the response to COVID and the crisis. And I think about one of our customers Gwen that just recently we served, was blind, did not have access to food, no one could support her because no one was in the vicinity to help her, and in addition, didn’t have access to her prescriptions. And through a strong, private-public partnership, we were able to offer her food and prescriptions delivered to her home. So I want to thank the administration for continuing to pick on large issues like this and bringing in the private enterprise to assist in that. So thank you, Seema, and everybody, everything you’ve done. So thank you.
Donald Trump: (07:07)
What a job you’ve done, too. Really an amazing job.
Bruce Broussard : (07:10)
Well, thank you.
Donald Trump: (07:11)
You’re also in the right business, right?
Bruce Broussard : (07:13)
Well, if we can help any senior, we’re always in the right business. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (07:16)
That’s good. Well, you’ve really helped. We appreciate it very much. Thank you, Bruce. We’re also joined by Tracey Brown, the CEO of American Diabetes Association. A lot of bad things can happen without insulin in terms of diabetes and other things. Please, Tracey? Thank you very much. Hi, Tracey.
Speaker 1: (07:40)
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you Administrator Verma for making this afternoon one that we can focus on. The 34 million Americans like myself, who’s living with diabetes. 7 million of which need insulin to live. 25% of these individuals have told us that they ration or skip doses of their medicine because they simply cannot afford it. And so this effort, CMI MMI demonstration project that brings together the government, industry, and public health advocacy from the American Diabetes Association, is the right thing to do. And we’re thrilled to take this challenge head on. Today, together, we are helping millions of seniors access insulin affordably. This is a very big deal. The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading organization that fights for people living with diabetes. And we are committed to continue to partner to make sure every American, and especially our seniors, have access to the medicine that they need to live. So thank you Mr. President, and thank you Administrator Verma.
Donald Trump: (09:01)
So Tracey, are you surprised at how much we’ve gotten the price down? To what extent and to the level that we brought it down to?
Speaker 1: (09:07)
This is a very exciting day for people living with diabetes. And so, any step to bring this lower is good news. We know that we need to do more, but I’m so confident that, together, we are going to be able to help all people living with diabetes thrive.
Donald Trump: (09:26)
Good. Thank you much.
Speaker 1: (09:27)
Donald Trump: (09:28)
Appreciate it, Tracey. I’d like to also invite up David Ricks, Chairman CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, a very big and a very great company. Please. He’s another young guy.
David Ricks: (09:42)
Thank you, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (09:43)
Thank you very much, David.
David Ricks: (09:43)
Pleasure to be here. Really an honor, to be a part of this announcement to improve the lives of so many patients who live with diabetes in our Part D program. For several years, Lilly’s worked hard to improve insulin affordability, and this has been a missing piece that’s now been filled in by the great collaboration from our plan companies like Bruce’s who are here, Seema Verma, your administration, Vice President Pence, President Trump. Thank you for your leadership to make this happen. This is the kind of collaboration that solves real problems for people with serious issues like diabetes. Today, if you take Lilly insulin, you will not pay more than $35 except for in the Part D program. And we’re pleased to add this missing part to that equation, so that starting next year, seniors will benefit from that same savings level. Just a little bit more than a dollar a day for insulin.
David Ricks: (10:37)
That same spirit of collaboration is also being applied to a collaboration around COVID-19. And I think everyone’s aware that there’s thousands of scientists working in our industry, along with NIH and other experts, to speed around the clock, new therapies for patients suffering from COVID-19, and to arrest and extinguish this pandemic. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of that effort as well, and the same spirit of collaboration is being applied in that incredibly important crisis as well. By working together, I think we proved today, we can solve longterm problems and I hope I can come back someday and show that we’ve solved the immediate problem of COVID-19 working as an industry along with government. So thanks for having me here today. Appreciate it.
Donald Trump: (11:22)
Yeah, and I think we will. Thank you very much. Thanks, David. Appreciate it. Really good job. I also want to thank the companies with us today for rising to the occasion in our fight against the invisible enemy. Humana and other insurers have agreed to waive copays, which is a very great thing to do. It’s a big deal. Thank you very much. Co-insurance, deductibles, coronavirus treatments for most enrollees. People that aren’t in the business or even in business period, they wouldn’t realize how big a thing that is, but it’s a very big thing and we appreciate it very much.
Donald Trump: (12:03)
Coronavirus treatment for most enrollees, we’ve been moving along and we’re doing well. We’re going to be reporting on it in just a second. Sanofi is working at breakneck speed to create a vaccine. Eli Lilly has been developing therapeutics for coronavirus and expanding a free drive-through testing operations. And thank you all for the work. It’s been great. We’re battling the virus on every front, speeding relief to our work workers and pursuing therapies and vaccines at record speed. We have many companies right now, I think we can say, very far down the line on vaccines and therapeutics… And cures frankly, I think cures are going to be in there very shortly… Manufacturing, vast quality quantities and medical equipment supplies. All of the different things that you need. We’ve energized our military. Our military is ready logistically to go out and distribute whatever it is we come up with. And I think we’re going to come up with a lot. I think we’re going to have therapeutic remedies and I think we’re going to have vaccines very shortly. I’ve been saying it, “very shortly”. I think I’ll be proven correct. If I’m not, I’m sure the media will let us know about it.
Donald Trump: (13:17)
We’re safely reopening our country while aggressively protecting the vulnerable, especially our seniors. We’re telling our seniors to stay back a little bit. Stay back, let this thing pass. We’re not only keeping older Americans safe from the virus, we’re also ensuring that they have the best medical care on earth at a price that they can afford. That’s what happened with insulin. Nobody can believe it when they hear the price of the insulin. It’s been an amazing difference, and Seema’s going to be talking about that. That’s not just like a 10% drop or a 5% drop, which by itself would be good. That’s a big drop. That’s a really big drop. We approved a record number of generics and reversed the trend of soaring drug prices…
Donald Trump: (14:03)
A good number of generics and reverse the trend of soaring drug prices for the first time in over 50 years. First time we’ve ever had prices go down. Average basic part D premiums drop 13.5% the lowest level in seven years. And we’re going down very substantially from that level. It’s going down very, very substantial unless you have a new administration in which case it’ll go up very substantially that I can guarantee you they’ve been doing it to you for years. Average Medicare advantage premiums have plummeted 28% to the lowest level in over a decade. And that’s despite everything that’s been happening, which would normally make things go up. And we have more than let’s see 1200 more Medicare advantage plans today than we did think of that two years ago. So we have 1200 more Medicare advantage plans than we did two years ago. That’s something. I signed an executive order to crack down on fraud in Medicare, and to give beneficiaries faster access to the latest medical devices and therapies and to take all of the fraud money.
Donald Trump: (15:07)
We’re finding a lot of it, all of that money that we’re finding in Florida reduced prices. We provided nearly $1 billion in grants to support home delivered meals and in home care for elderly patients and disabled people during the pandemic. We expanded tele-health, which has really turned out to be a very hot subject, right? People that never thought about it, people that didn’t like the idea, right Tracy? They’re loving telehealth, it’s speedy and it’s a lot less expensive. We expanded telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and the number of patients using it has increased from roughly 11,000 a week to nearly 1.3 million. So we went from 11,000 people to 1.3 million people a week. But very big where you’ll be seeing it price transparency, some people think it’s bigger than healthcare. When you look at it, it’s going to be bigger than healthcare price transparency.
Donald Trump: (16:09)
It was signed approximately nine months ago. It’s going through the process and it’ll be here by the first of the year. So I hope you’re going to remember me just in case the unthinkable happens. But nobody else would’ve gotten it but this administration. Price transparency it’s going to cut your costs tremendously. And that literally one of the biggest people in the field said it’s going to be a bigger thing, price transparency, bigger than healthcare in a true sense. The cost of healthcare is going to come down very, very substantially. We’re always working on preexisting conditions and saving your preexisting conditions. And as long as I’m president, you’ll always be protected on preexisting conditions. And surprise medical billing is something people are surprised, never in a positive sense and we’ve written that out and that’s going to be very quickly ended.
Donald Trump: (17:08)
So you’re not going to be surprised, meaning badly surprised, very negatively surprised. It’s a big thing, people go in they go for an operation they end up literally losing all of their money, losing everything over something that should not happen. Surprise medical billing. We’re using every tool at our disposal to protect our nursing homes from outbreaks. You saw the disaster of how badly some of the governors handled nursing homes. It’s a disgrace what they’ve done, what the governors, what some of the governors have done is a disgrace. We provided states more resources to step up inspections, added shipments of personal protective equipment to all 15,400 Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing homes and issued a strict new guideline that every nursing home resident and staff are to be tested immediately and that all staff be tested weekly. So we’re making it very, very tough.
Donald Trump: (18:10)
Every day of my administration we’re fighting for our seniors like never before. Our seniors are very special people, all of our citizens are special, but our seniors we’d have to take care of our seniors. Our senior citizens have spent their entire lives working hard, supporting their communities and families and paying into the system. We will not rest until they get the kind of care and support that they have earned and that they deserve. Now I’d like to ask vice president Mike Pence to come up and say a few words, followed by administrator Verma. And I would just like to thank you again for the great job you’ve done. So we’ll have Mike speak and then you’ll speak and thank you very much. Go ahead, Mike. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (18:56)
Thank you Mr. President. And let me say what a privilege it is to be here with business leaders and activists who have been standing with you, standing with the white house coronavirus task force from the very beginning. It truly has been a public private partnership that’s marshaled not just a whole of government approach, but a whole of America approach. And we see that evident today in this historic step for America seniors. And let me join the president in expressing our profound gratitude to the servant heart that each one of you have brought and all of your employees have brought. The importance of today’s announcement cannot be overstated Mr. President. As you observed early on, we recognized that the coronavirus represented a particular threat to seniors with underlying health conditions and diabetes being among them. And today’s step ensures that as we continue to work to safely reopen our country, we’re going to make sure that our seniors have access to affordable healthcare, to insulin and treatment to be able to meet that moment along with us.
Mike Pence: (20:22)
Mr. President we gathered today with the news of more than 98,000 of our countrymen have succumb to the coronavirus and their families are in our prayers and in our hearts. But because of the cooperation and the compassion of the American people who have heeded your guidelines for America who have listened and continue to listen to state and local authorities, we know that there are tens of thousands of American families that have been spared that heartbreak and loss. And we express our gratitude to the American people for your incredible cooperation, the social distancing, the steps that you have embraced the way you have been willing to forfeit aspects of your personal freedom to put the health of others first. But the good news is Mr. President that because of the steps the American people have taken heeding your leadership and the guidance of state and local officials we’re getting there and we’re starting to reopen America as we speak in a safe and responsible way.
Mike Pence: (21:30)
In fact Mr. President, every state in the nation has now taken at least some steps to reopen their economies. 52 states and territories have opened retail curbside to go with reduced capacity. 44 states we’re glad to note have opened up elective medical procedures in hospitals and clinics around the state. 38 states and territories have reopened personal care under strict hygiene protocols. 37 states have reopened restaurants. 34 states have reopened non-essential businesses and the list goes on and I think most meaningful to you Mr. President is so far 30 States and territories have reopened houses of worship under guidance of reduced capacity while allowing people to come back together in fellowship and prayer. This has all been made possible because of the whole of government, whole of America approach Mr. President that you initiated when you launched the white house coronavirus taskforce back in January.
Mike Pence: (22:37)
And before I step down, let me at least share a few encouraging words that we shared with America’s governors today, about the progress that we all have been making. Because to continue to safely reopen, we believe it’s absolutely essential that we increase visibility by expanding testing across the country so that we can ensure that we can identify outbreaks where they occur. It’s interesting as you watch the daily numbers, new cases are declining around the country and even more dramatically when you realize that a significant portion of new cases every day are actually in outbreaks in specific businesses. Or as we’ve discussed today in nursing homes or in meat packing plants. But I’m proud to report Mr. President because of the partnership that you’ve forged with commercial laboratories around the country, 14.1 million tests have been performed.
Mike Pence: (23:36)
And I heard again today from governors across America how they have been in many cases exceeding the demand in the testing that they’ve made available. In fact, a governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey informed me that he had promised the people in New Jersey that he would be doing 20,000 tests a day but in partnership with the federal government, as we’ve been providing testing supplies and accessing resources he told me that they actually have cleared 30,000 tests a day in New Jersey.
Mike Pence: (24:06)
And most importantly in that state where at one point nearly 40% of those tested had tested positive for the coronavirus and now the governor of New Jersey informed us that they’re less than 5%. but they’re hardly alone Mr. President 42 states are now testing at less than 10% positive rate. And 20 states are testing at less than 5% positive rate. The reality is that now all 50 states with the support that we’ve been providing, sending swabs and test tubes and medium on a weekly basis at your direction, now all 50 States have tested more than 2% of their population giving us a much greater capacity to identify outbreaks as they occur and protect our citizens.
Mike Pence: (24:59)
And the progress and evidence is clear all across America. We see hospitalizations continuing to decline. New hospitalizations have declined steadily in the chart that you see before you from April until today. And most importantly, well the president often says that one loss is too many, we welcome word that fatalities are declining precipitously all across the country. In fact, yesterday in America there were just 505 Americans who succumbed to the coronavirus and we hadn’t seen that number in daily losses since March. The reality is because of the cooperation and the compassion of the American people we’re getting there. We’re getting there America and Mr. President at your direction we’re going to continue to work closely with states around the country to expand testing and resources.
Mike Pence: (26:02)
We’re going to continue to make sure personal protective equipment flows. But finally, what we’re going to continue to do is focus on the most vulnerable. Even as we begin to see evidence that we are starting to put this coronavirus epidemic in the past, all the more we are going to continue to surge the resources and surge the kind of testing and partnership with states and healthcare providers to ensure that our seniors and anyone with an underlying immune deficiency, anyone that’s vulnerable to the coronavirus is immediately identified and protected by every measure that’s possible. So Mr. President I thank you for the opportunity. We heard great enthusiasm from governors all across the country in both political parties today. We’re making great progress and I truly do believe that with the continued partnership that we have forged with state and local governments, with the tremendous efforts of our healthcare workers around America and with God’s help we will reopen America and we will continue to reopen our country safely and protect our most vulnerable as we do. So thank you, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (27:20)
Thank you Mike very much. And I think I’ll just add on to what Mike said. If we didn’t act quickly and smartly, we would have had in my opinion and in the opinion of others, anywhere from 10 to 20 and maybe even 25 times the number of deaths. We closed the border to China, meaning we put on the ban people coming in from China. That was a very big moment as Dr. Fauci said, we saved thousands and thousands of lives when we did that. And that’s true, but I think we would have had anywhere from 10 to 20 or 25 times the number of deaths if we didn’t act the way we did. And also if we didn’t act swiftly. So we’re very proud of our team and our taskforce and Mike, great job.
Donald Trump: (28:03)
… Proud of our team and our task force and Mike, great job. Seema, please.
Seema Verma: (28:10)
Good afternoon. I want to start with thanking the one person that’s responsible for today’s announcement and that’s President Trump. He’s been steadfast in his commitment to lowering the cost of drugs and protecting the Medicare program and making sure it works best for seniors. The president also knows that it’s the free market that leverages competition and negotiation, that that is what can lower costs and improve quality for the American patient.
Seema Verma: (28:39)
And because of that, we’ve been working to slash Medicare’s anti-competitive regulations, and it’s worked. In the Medicare part D program, as the president said, we are seeing low premiums, a seven year low, and in the Medicare advantage program, we’re seeing a 13 year low in premiums. So we’re putting money back in the pockets of seniors. And that means $3 billion in savings for patients and $6 billion in savings for taxpayers.
Seema Verma: (29:11)
And in absence of a congressional solution, we applied those same principles to lowering the cost of insulin. We are waiving Obamacare laws that disincentivize plans from lowering cost sharing for our Medicare beneficiaries. And this is important because we know that beneficiaries struggle to pay their insulin costs. It’s patients like Cindy from Rochester, New York. She told us that the high cost of insulin has impacted her health and that she’s been forced to ration her insulin. She said, “I know that it’s not good at all for my health. And I’m sure that I have affected some organs negatively because of that lack of money to purchase insulin.” But no longer thanks to the president’s leadership, Medicare seniors will pay no more than $35 for their insulin and that’s per month. And that’s for all forms of insulin through all phases of the Medicare part D program.
Seema Verma: (30:13)
I also will say that some plans are free to even go below the $35. And so they could even see lower premiums as well. I’m also proud to say that we have over 88 health plans that are participating in this model, and that represents over 1, 750 plans that will offer this low cost insulin. These plans will be available during this year’s open enrollment, which starts in October.
Seema Verma: (30:42)
And I want to thank the manufacturers and the health plans for stepping up to the plate, for coming together to negotiate this great senior savings model. It’s going to make such a difference to the lives of many seniors across the country. And I am optimistic that this could be a model to lower the costs of many other drugs in the Medicare program. And thank you again, President Trump for bringing lower cost priced insulin. Our seniors are going to be saving an average of 66% in their insulin costs. And this is nothing short of a godsend. And with that, I think we’re going to hear from one of our Medicare beneficiaries. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (31:26)
Thank you, Seema.
Hi, my name’s Allen [inaudible 00:03:28]. I live in the Hudson Valley in New York. I’m 68 years old and I rely on Medicare part D. I’ve been a diabetic for over 10 years. And during that time I’ve watched insulin prices rise dramatically. I pay $400 a month now for insulin. I appreciate President Trump putting a policy in place that will help people like myself for the future as far as insulin products. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (31:55)
That’s very nice. And many, many people feel the same way. They can’t actually believe it. $35 and less. And less. And they were being ripped off at a level that nobody’s seen before. But that’s true with a lot of other things and we’re taking care of them, too. So I want to thank everybody for being here. In particular, these great executives. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. You were very impressive in your speech by the way. Thank you very much. John, please.
Mr. President, can you tell us what you plan to do regarding sanctions against China for its pending actions against Hong Kong? And do you also intend to put restrictions on F and J visas for students and researchers coming into the United States from China?
Donald Trump: (32:42)
Your questions early. We’re doing it now. We’re doing something now. I think you’ll find it very interesting, but I won’t be talking about it today. I’ll be talking about it over the next couple of days, John, okay? But it’s a very important question. Yes, please. Anybody? Yeah, please.
Speaker 2: (32:59)
Mr. President two questions about a couple of things you’ve tweeted about in the last few days, were you meaning to criticize Vice President Biden for wearing a mask yesterday? And can you explain why you’ve been tweeting about a conspiracy theory that has been proven to not be true?
Donald Trump: (33:15)
No, Biden can wear a mask, but he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather. They’re inside, they don’t wear masks. And so I thought it was very unusual that he had one on. But I thought that was fine. I wasn’t criticizing them at all. Why would I ever do a thing like that? And your second question was? I couldn’t hear you.
Speaker 2: (33:34)
Donald Trump: (33:34)
Can you take it off because I cannot hear you.
Speaker 2: (33:36)
I’ll just speak louder, sir.
Donald Trump: (33:37)
Okay. Because you want to be politically correct. Go ahead.
Speaker 2: (33:39)
No, sir. I just want to wear the mask.
Donald Trump: (33:41)
Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.
Speaker 2: (33:42)
The second question was about your tweets about the woman who died, who you’re suggesting that Joe Scarborough was responsible.
Donald Trump: (33:49)
Yeah. A lot of people suggest that and hopefully someday people are going to find out. Certainly a very suspicious situation. Very sad. Very sad and very suspicious. Question, please?
Speaker 2: (34:02)
[inaudible 00:34:02] has asked you not to tweet about it anymore, sir.
Donald Trump: (34:03)
Go ahead, please go.
Speaker 3: (34:04)
Mr. President, though have you seen the letter that was written by her husband begging Twitter to delete your tweets? Talking about how hard it’s been for his family, for him to deal with that.
Donald Trump: (34:13)
Yeah, I have, but I’m sure that ultimately they want to get to the bottom of it. And it’s a very serious situation. I also saw a clip with Joe and Imus where they were having a lot of fun at her expense. And I thought it was totally inappropriate. Now it’s a very suspicious thing. And I hope somebody gets to the bottom of it. It’ll be a very good thing. As you know, there’s no statute of limitations. So it would be a very good, very good thing to do. Okay. Who’s next? Any questions on insulin? Yeah, please.
Speaker 4: (34:47)
Mr. President. There’s a bill in Congress that’s related to the [weakers 00:34:52]. It passed the Senate. It’s going to be up to the house. Are you willing to sign that?
Donald Trump: (34:57)
We’re taking a look at it very strongly. They’re going to report this afternoon. I’ll be looking at it this afternoon.
Speaker 4: (35:04)
Something special that you mentioned on China. Does that include sanctions?
Donald Trump: (35:08)
No, it’s something you’re going to be hearing about before the end of the week. Very powerfully, I think. Yeah please.
Speaker 5: (35:18)
Is there any reason why someone who does not have diabetes would take insulin? Is there any sort of medical reason for that?
Donald Trump: (35:24)
I could ask that question to anybody like to discuss that. Do you want to discuss it, please? Go ahead. Do you know the answer? Either one of you or both. Come on and let’s get these highly paid executives up here to give the answer. Seema, please. Jerome. We picked a good one. We got it right.
Jerome Adams: (35:47)
Well, thank you Mr. President. I think it’s important for everyone to know that as Tracy Brown highlighted earlier, one in three Americans is actually either diabetic or prediabetic. And I would encourage folks to go to diabetes.org/risk-test. So diabetes.org/risk-test to find out if you are at risk for diabetes. As far as insulin goes, we know that again, 7 million people actually are dependent on insulin. We know that from a type one diabetes standpoint, 1.6 million Americans have type one diabetes and most, all of them are dependent on insulin. Your body, Mr. President actually makes insulin endogenously and people such as you and I, we make our own insulin. So yes, we do utilize insulin, but we make it ourselves.
Jerome Adams: (36:41)
Other people who have diabetes oftentimes need exogenous insulin made by many of these great manufacturers here so that they can be healthy and live long and successful lives. And make no mistake about it, if they can get affordable insulin, they can live a long and healthy life. And that’s what we’re here for today. Today is a very important day. It is a monumental day because Tracy, we’ve been working for years to try to address the price of insulin. For years. This is an important day. And I want to thank you Mr. President, and I want to thank all the people here for making that insulin affordable to more people.
Donald Trump: (37:17)
Thank you very much. And Tracy, do you agree with that?
Donald Trump: (37:21)
And the question I found to be a very interesting one, but is that an unusual question or an unusual circumstance?
I’m not sure that it’s an unusual question, there are many people who are not clear on [inaudible 00:37:36].
Donald Trump: (37:38)
Right. Okay, good. I thought it was a very good question, actually. Please go ahead.
Speaker 6: (37:45)
Thank you, Mr. President, we see in Europe slowly from one country through the other, they are opening their borders and letting people moving from one country to another. Are you considering for the good of the US economy, are you considering lifting the flight ban from Europe in the next weeks?
Donald Trump: (38:02)
Well, we’re just putting a ban on, as you know, going on immediately, essentially, almost immediately to Brazil and from Brazil into our country. So from Brazil to the United States, having a very hard time in Brazil. We’ll be doing certain announcements on other countries, including Europe, as we move along and where they’re making progress, we’ll start to open it up. But only where they’re making progress. They’re making some good progress. I think we’re making very good progress.
Donald Trump: (38:30)
We’re making very good progress on the economy. The numbers are better than anybody would have anticipated. And certainly I think that’s been reflected in the stock market, which had a very big day. And it’s over 25,000. And when you think 25,000 is a very high number, when you think that it was at 29,000 and now it’s at 25, that’s a very big day. It’s up very substantially over the last six months. So we had a very big day. But people are seeing what’s happening. And they’re seeing there is a pent up demand as I was predicting and you’re going to see it more and more. We call it the transition to greatness and it really is. We’re going to have a third quarter that’s going to be good. We’re going to have a fourth quarter that has the potential to be really good. And we’re going to have one of the best years we’ve ever had next year. That’s what we see. Yeah. John, go ahead.
Mr. President, is it your intention to bring American forces home from Afghanistan by Thanksgiving day? And is the Pentagon drawing up plans to that effect?
Donald Trump: (39:30)
Well, I think everyone knows we’re down to less than 8,000 troops, we’re with leadership in many different fields and in many different parts of that country, we’re dealing with the Taliban, we’re dealing with the president, the president now has gotten themselves straightened out with the two presidents. But we’re dealing with because as yo know, they had competing factors in factions.
Donald Trump: (39:57)
Yeah. I think we want to get … we’re there 19 years. We’re really not acting as soldiers. We’re acting as police. And we’re not set over there to be policemen, but we’re there 19 years. And yeah, I think that’s enough. And they understand we’re having a very positive talks. We want to bring our soldiers back home. We want to bring them back home. And we’re not only talking about there. We’re talking about other countries, also. We bring our soldiers back home.
Donald Trump: (40:25)
We can always go back if we have to. We have to go back, we’ll go back and we’ll go back raging. And they will go back as warriors, fighters. But right now we’re policing and we’re not meant to be a police force. We’re meant to be a fighting force.
Is Thanksgiving day the target?
Donald Trump: (40:40)
No. I have no target, but as soon as reasonable over a period of time. But as soon as reasonable. We’re down to 7,000, some odd soldiers right now. And in Iraq, we’re down to 4,000 soldiers. So we’re making a lot of progress. In Syria, you remember John on the border when I took the soldiers out of the border, everyone said, “Oh, that’s so terrible. Well, I spoke to President [Erdogan 00:41:03] yesterday of Turkey. The border has been fine without us. They’d been policing that border for 2,000 years. All of a sudden we had thousands of soldiers there doing their work. For what? Guarding Syria and Turkey on a border, a very long border. No, we want our trips back home. We took them out. That was a year ago. I was criticized. Nothing happened except they’re watching their own borders now. We kept the oil, but at some point we’ll take care of the Kurds with respect to the oil and get out.
Donald Trump: (41:35)
Yeah, please go ahead.
Speaker 4: (41:37)
Mr. President, quickly on your meeting with Governor Cuomo tomorrow.
Donald Trump: (41:41)
Yeah, he’s coming in.
Speaker 4: (41:42)
Can you say what you’re going to be discussing? Do you have a particular agenda? Do you think you’ll discuss the gateway project that the Hudson river tunnel project-
Donald Trump: (41:48)
I would imagine we would, but he asked for the meeting, so we’ll see what he wants. But he asked for the meeting, Governor Cuomo and will be coming in sometime tomorrow.
Donald Trump: (41:58)
Yeah. Please go ahead.
Speaker 7: (41:59)
What can you tell us about the documents reportedly declassified by Rick …
Speaker 8: (42:03)
Can you tell us about the documents reportedly declassified by Rick Grenell just before he stepped down as DNI? Are you prepared to release the transcripts of the Flynn Kislyak conversations?
Donald Trump: (42:11)
Yeah. I’d like to hear it too. I mean, I’d like to hear the FBI agent said that he didn’t lie and certainly the conversation almost regardless, it was a good conversation. He was allowed to do it and the Mueller people who have been proven very bad, very bad things they did. A lot of bad things of being found out about the hoax. Greatest hoax in the history of our country and it was an illegal hoax and a very dangerous hoax and a lot of bad things have been found out about Mueller and the gang.
Donald Trump: (42:46)
So I would like to hear that conversation. Yeah. I would like to hear it personally, so whatever they want me to do, I’ll do, I think Rick Grinell has done an incredible job and things are happening now that I always knew this was the answer. This was an attempted coup by a bunch of dirty cops and others. These are dirty cops, dishonest slime bags.
Donald Trump: (43:10)
All right. Yeah. Question. Go ahead, Jeff.
Thank you, sir. Mr. President, on Friday, you announced that you wanted governors to reopen churches and synagogues and mosques, and you said you would overrule them if they declined to do so.
Can you explain what authority you had in mind when you said that you would do that?
Donald Trump: (43:26)
I can absolutely do it if I want to and I don’t think I’m going to have to because it’s starting to open up. We need our churches and our synagogues and our mosques. We want them open. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other, we want them open and we want them open as soon as possible.
Donald Trump: (43:42)
Now I can tell you, I know a lot of pastors, a lot of rabbis, Imams, and they want to take care of their people. They want to take care. They don’t want anyone getting hurt or sick and they’re going to take care of their people. We need these people. We need people that are going to be leading us in faith that we’re opening them up and if I have to, I will override any governor that wants to play games.
Donald Trump: (44:09)
If they want to play games, that’s okay, but we will win. We have many different ways where I can override them and if I have to I’ll do that but we want our churches and our synagogues and our mosques, et cetera., we want them open.
Donald Trump: (44:25)
Now, there may be some areas by the way, where the pastor or whoever may feel that it’s not quite ready and that’s okay. That’s okay but let that be the choice of the congregation and the pastor.
Donald Trump: (44:37)
John, go ahead,
Mr. President, how long will you give North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to provide you with the information that you and the RNC are asking for before you decide to look elsewhere for a venue for the RNC convention in August?
Donald Trump: (44:54)
Well, as you know, we don’t have much time because we have to know that if we’re going to spend millions of dollars on an arena, we want to be in North Carolina. I love North Carolina. I won North Carolina. We just had a big two races that we won recently for Congress in North Carolina; two very big races that the press didn’t want to report on. If we would have lost them, it would have been the biggest story in political history, but we just won two races. It’s a very important place to me. I love North Carolina.
Donald Trump: (45:20)
In fact, my son, Eric and Laura named a baby Carolina and came from, I think both, but she was born in North Carolina as you know, Laura. So it’s a very important place to me. But at the same time, and I think that people understand this, we have a governor that doesn’t want to open up the state and we have a date of August, at the end of August, and we have to know before we spend millions and millions of dollars on an arena to make it magnificent for the convention and we have tremendous people. I mean the economic development consequences are tremendous for the state. We have to know that when the people come down, they’re going to have the doors open.
Donald Trump: (46:03)
Now, if the governor can’t tell us very soon, unfortunately, we’ll have no choice. This has nothing to do with us. This is between the governor and North Carolina and the people of North Carolina. But the people want it and we’ll have to see whether or not the governor… Now he’s a Democrat and a lot of the Democrats for political reasons, don’t want to open up their states. So we’ll see if that works but I don’t think it will. I’d love to have it in North Carolina. That was why I chose it, Charlotte, but we’re going to see, we’re going to see and at the end, we need a fast decision from the governor. He’s going to have to get, because he’s been acting very, very slowly and very suspiciously, but we’ll find out.
Donald Trump: (46:42)
So in terms of soon, are we talking a week?
Donald Trump: (46:46)
Yeah. We’re talking about a very short period of time. It’s a massive expenditure and we have to know. Yeah, I would say within a week that certainly we have to know. Now if he can’t do it, if he feels that he’s not going to do it, all he has to do is tell us and then we’ll have to pick another location. And I will tell you a lot of locations want it but I picked North Carolina because I do love that state and it would have been a perfect place for it and it still would be. But he’s got to say that when thousands of people come to the arena that they’ll be able to get in. Does that make sense?
Donald Trump: (47:19)
I mean we’ll spend millions and millions of dollars on this magnificent design, but in the end, they have to be able to get in. I don’t want to have it where we get there and then they announced after all the money was spent, all the work was done, all the people travel in, guess what? You can’t put anybody in the arena or you can put a tiny number of people in the arena. We can’t do that, John. Yeah, please go ahead.
Speaker 9: (47:45)
There are now more than still more than a dozen states in this country where case numbers are rising. So why is it suspicious if a governor says, “Look, we don’t want to move that quickly. We still think we need to shut down.”
Donald Trump: (47:56)
I think it’s fine. Look, the governors in certain ways have to do what they want to do but they have to tell me what they’re doing. When it comes to churches, et cetera, they will be overwritten by me. When it comes to other things and many other things they want. If I think some things being done incorrectly or wrong, I’m going to do it. But you have different governors and they have very different views on where they are and where they’re going. So we’ll see what happens. Please. Go ahead.
Speaker 10: (48:23)
I’m sorry. I’m sure you saw the images from over the weekend of people out on Memorial Day weekend. They were crowding pools, crowding boardwalks. Do you have any message for those people?
Donald Trump: (48:31)
Yeah. Always be safe. You want to be safe. We’re opening up but you want to be safe? Go ahead, please.
Speaker 11: (48:36)
Thank you about mail-in voting. You’ve been speaking out against that a lot.
Donald Trump: (48:40)
You mean mail-in voting?
Speaker 11: (48:42)
Yeah. You’ve been speaking a lot about that. Why should somebody who is afraid of getting coronavirus, going to public places, standing in a line, et cetera, why should they not be allowed to mail-in?
Donald Trump: (48:54)
Well, that’s going to be in a long time from now, number one. It’s quite a ways away, number one. But when you do a all mail-in voting ballots, you’re asking for fraud. People steal them out of mailboxes. People print them and then they sign them and they give them in. People don’t even know where the double counted. People take them away. They force people to vote.
Donald Trump: (49:16)
They harvest. You know what harvesting is? They take many, many ballots and they put them all together and then they just dump them and nobody has any idea whether they’re crooked or not. Look, you do mail-in voting.
Donald Trump: (49:27)
Now it’s another thing to do absentee voting or if somebody has a medical condition where they go through a process and they get an absentee ballot, that’s okay. That’s different. But in California, the governor sent, I hear or sending millions of ballots all over the state. Millions to anybody. To anybody. People that aren’t citizens, illegals, anybody that walks in California is going to get a ballot. We’re not going to destroy this country by allowing things like that to happen. We’re not destroying our country. This has more to do with fairness and honesty and really our country itself because when that starts happening, you don’t have a fare. You have a rigged system. You have a rigged system and that’s what would happen.
Donald Trump: (50:15)
So mail-in ballots and the governor of California did better than any, that I could ever do in terms of explaining. When he sent out or will send out, and I don’t know, I think it’s maybe partially already done, millions and millions of ballots to anybody in California, that’s walking or breathing, many of those people don’t have the right to vote. Well, they’ll be voting and you know what? We’re not going to let it happen because you’re subverting our process and you’re making our country a joke and the Democrats are doing it because in theory, it’s good for them. Although last week we two big races. We won in Wisconsin and one in California. California, 25. We won a tremendous race in California.
Donald Trump: (51:04)
That was interesting because at the end of the race, they brought in the Democrat governor, same governor. He brought in voting booths, not mail-in. Voting booths because they were losing. They saw that through the ballots. But no, you can’t do that. You can’t do the mail-in ballots because you’re going to have tremendous fraud.
Donald Trump: (51:22)
Remember what I said, there’ll be grabbing them from mailboxes. They’ll even be printing them. They’ll use the same paper, the same machines and they’ll be printing ballots illegally and there’ll be sending them in by the hundreds of thousands and nobody’s going to know the difference. We can’t do that. You want to vote. You really have to. Absentee is okay. You’re sick. As an example, I have to do an absentee because I’m voting in Florida and I happened to be president. I live in that very beautiful house over there. That’s painted white. So that’s okay and it’s okay for people that are sick and they can’t get up something. But voting is a great honor. It’s a great honor and people love to go out and vote and I want to keep it that way. If we don’t keep it that way, we’ll have nothing but a rigged system of this country. We can’t do that. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
Speaker 12: (52:25)
I was trying to advertise him for it. They got on TV.