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4/13/20: Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing

May 31, 2021
They like them because they write about me. Now with that, I have a couple of interesting videos. we have some clips that we are going to place. We could turn the lights a little lower. I think you will find them interesting. And then we'll answer a few questions. I will ask you some questions because you are very guilty, but forget it. But most importantly, we're going to get back to why we're here, which is the success we're having. In agreement? Could you please put it on? Thanks. (A video is played.) Speaker: People right now should be more concerned about the flu in this country.
4 13 20 members of the coronavirus task force hold a press briefing
Male speaker: People are worried about the

coronavirus

because they are hearing a lot of news about it right now. But the reality is that, compared to the flu, for example, it is not even close to being at that stage. Male Speaker: What if it's worse? Is this a time where maybe countries put politics aside, a little bit of pride aside, and we have American officials? Should we involve American professionals, like you? Woman speaker: How concerned should Americans be about the

coronavirus

? Male speaker: The coronavirus is not going to cause a major problem in the United States. ♪(spicy music playing)♪ The President: Well, we've asked them to speed up everything they're doing in terms of a vaccine.
4 13 20 members of the coronavirus task force hold a press briefing

More Interesting Facts About,

4 13 20 members of the coronavirus task force hold a press briefing...

We will suspend all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency. Medicare patients can now visit any doctor by phone or video conference at no additional cost. Secretary Esper: The first 1 million skins will be available immediately. "Because there were more cases, and it was clear that it was spreading outside of China, where it originated, the president took this action for which he was widely criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans at the time, which was that he dragged a series of flights from China to the US The idea was to stop the spread of disease, keep transmissions to a minimum He was accused of zenophobia, he was accused of making a racist move At the end of the day, it was probably effective, because actually he took quite aggressive action against the spread of the virus.
4 13 20 members of the coronavirus task force hold a press briefing
Governor Cuomo: Your team is on it. They've responded late at night, early in the morning. And so far they've been doing everything they can do. And I want to thank you. And I want to say I appreciate it. Governor Newsom: Return calls. He's reaching out. He's been proactive. We've got that Mercy ship here in Los Angeles. That was here. directly because he sent it here. Two thousand medical units They came t or the state of California, these FMS, these field medical stations. And that has been very, very helpful. Governor DeSantis: The President has excelled in all of this.
4 13 20 members of the coronavirus task force hold a press briefing
The Vice President has been outstanding. Members of the Coronavirus Task Force, very receptive. Male Speaker: We had asked if we could have -- if New Jersey could have access to a portion of the beds that are on the USNS Comfort. And the president came back, he called me a few minutes before he came in here to tell me that they would indeed give that to New Jersey. So that's a big step for us on top of all the other capabilities. That news is literally hot off the

press

. And I appreciate the president and vice president who were on the call together.
Male Speaker: President Trump approved Arizozna's request for a presidential major disaster declaration. I want to thank the president for a quick turnaround. We applied for this on a Wednesday and got approval on Saturday morning. And we are grateful to the administration for their continued support and responsiveness. Male speaker: Well, first of all, I want to thank the president and the vice president for doing a very good job of communicating with all the governors. We could give you hundreds of clips like that of governors, including Democrats or "Democrats" as I call them, governors, which is actually the correct term.
We could give you hundreds of clips like that. We've got them. We didn't want this to go on too long, but I just want to say that it's… you know, it's really sad when people write false stories like, in that case, I guess it was mostly gotten from the New York Times, which is very… I mean, if they had defamation laws, they would have been out of business even before they went bankrupt. So it's very bad. But we could have hit you, you saw the statements. We have hundreds of statements. Hundreds of statements, including from Democrats and Democratic governors.
And if you look, everyone was like, "We need fans. We need..." You don't hear "fans" anymore. They have all the fans they need, which we were right about. We said, "You're asking for too many. You don't need that." And, to be fair, these two people here, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, said, "I don't think they need that many ventilators." And I said, "I agree." At one point, and I'm not criticizing New York for this, but they were asking, remember? -- 40,000 fans. And that's more than they have in the entire country. And we got them a lot of fans, and no one has complained.
We get them, as you know, beautiful, we build hospital rooms all over the country. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards was very kind. He said, "You know what? You don't have to build a second hospital." Because good news is happening. They are not able to fill the beds. They needed two hospitals. We built one; it was perfect. We're getting... we're just starting the other one. I called it. I said, "Do you think we should build the second one? I don't think you're going to need it." He said, "Let me go back." The return. We didn't need it.
With Governor Cuomo, in all good spirit and faith, he wanted the Jacob Javits Center to be made. And we built an incredible 2,900 beds. Incredible. Then we do, we did COVID, and, or, to be exact, COVID-19, and, which was a lot of work. We had to change the ductwork. We had to seal off certain areas. We had to put rooftop stuff areas over the beds. We did a lot of work. And we did, but they never really used it much. And they also called -- Mayor de Blasio, rightly so, called. He said: "Would it be possible to get more medical help?" So now, we're not just building facilities, we're… they're asking us for help because they can't handle it.
And we got you help. We got a lot of help from Mayor de Blasio. Then when the Javits Center wasn't being used very much -- and then, as you know, the Mercy -- and we took the Mercy and we took the Comfort, and we did both -- Los Angeles and New York -- it made them COVID adaptable, which which was not easy to do. And we send almost no people there. At first they didn't need them because they didn't need them for anything other than this because there were fewer accidents, fewer motorcycles, less of everything. And what we did was an amazing job, but they didn't need them.
It turned out that they were there. we were ready. Do you know the ex

press

ion? They have an expression: "Ready, willing and able." We were ready, willing and able. What the Army Corps of Engineers did was a miracle. What... what FEMA did was a miracle. What the doctors did. Two days ago I received a call from the mayor of New York. He said, "Could you help us further with the medical staff?" And we sent... I think it was 448 doctors, nurses and respiratory experts. True experts. And I got a call from the mayor and he said, "I want to tell you, unbelievable, these people are unbelievable." He said, "They lifted the spirits of New York City hospital workers like he's never seen before." He's… it was unbelievable what he said.
He was very appreciated. And I let them know that. I let the military... He said, "They went in there so brave, so incredible. They lifted everyone's spirits." We did all this work, but when you read the fake stories, nobody, nobody recognizes it. And it doesn't have to be recognized, from my point of view, but it does have to be recognized for the great work that these doctors, nurses, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA... all these people, have done this amazing job. And they shouldn't be abused because... you take a look at what happened. No one is asking for fans, except outside of our country.
Outside our country, they are calling me, all the countries. So many countries are calling me. And I'm going to try to help them because we have thousands of fans under construction. But no one is asking for fans. Nobody asks for beds because we build hospitals. I think we built 20,000 beds in a period of a couple of weeks. The work they have done is incredible. All this said, I get along very well with governors. And if he wouldn't, Mike Pence had a call today with the governors and it was like a 10. I said, "How was he?" He said: "he is a 10".
He was one of my expressions, actually. But he said he was like a 10. And I'm sure you guys were probably on the call, even though you weren't supposed to be. But you were sitting in someone's office listening to it, because every time we have these, and you know, and you will know for weeks those calls have been very good. But there was no raised voice. There wasn't even a statement like, "We think you should do this or that." I heard it was like a perfect phone call. It may not be reported that way. They'll say, "I thought someone maybe raised a little..." he didn't even raise his voice.
My only point in saying this, because I want to go back to why we're here: The press hasn't treated these amazing people who have done a great job, they haven't treated them fairly. They are so far. We were way ahead of schedule. And remember this, because the Times story was false, but everything, remember this: everything we did, I was criticized because it was too early. If I had waited longer, it would have been…you would have criticized me…if I left too soon, if I left three months early, I would have been criticized…you know, criticized for arriving too soon.
So with all of that said, we get it. I think I've educated a lot of people about the press. And I would love to be able to say that we have a very honest press. Honestly, Jon, there wouldn't be anything I'd be more proud of if the press worked, and I don't mind being criticized, but not when they're wrong. Not when people have done a great job. Yes. The press: May I ask you about the video? Because I have never seen a video like that played in this room. It looks a bit like a campaign ad.
Who, who produced that video for you? The President: That was done by a group in the office, and it was done just by… we just put together some clips. I could give you, I bet I have over 100 clips even better than them. They were rebuilt in the last two hours. That was just... oh, we've got so much better than that. That's nothing compared to some of them. The Press: But this was produced here at the White House by... The President: Yeah, this was done by Dan and a group of people, and they just put it together in a period of probably less than two hours.
La Prensa: Why did you feel the need to do that? The President: Because we are receiving false news and I like that it is corrected. They're saying what a great job we're doing, and the media: these are the governors of California, the governor of New Jersey, the governor of New York. Look, in New York, we work very closely with Andrew. In New York, the fans, probably, we didn't, they had no problem. We got them a lot of...thousands, but we got them a lot of fans. You don't hear that fans are a problem. The beds were going to be a problem.
I mean, I'm happy about it. The Javits Center, which is amazing, is almost empty because they don't need them. That's good news, not bad news. I... you know, I'm not saying, "Gee, I wish there were more people there." I don't want more people there. We brought the boat. We brought the Comfort. And originally the Comfort was not supposed to be for this at all - the coronavirus. It wasn't supposed to be for that at all. They called, they said, "Could we have it?" That was several weeks ago. We said, "We don't think you need it, but if you need it, we will." Then they said, "Could you get the medical staff to take over the Javits Center?
Could you get the medical staff to take over the ship?" We said, "If it's necessary, we'll do it." And we did. There were military personnel. Those are the ones that Mayor de Blasio was so good to, in terms of his statements. I mean, I really appreciated his statements. He was so impressed with them, and so was I. The level of genius and bravery. They are great people, the military. And we put that together, I would say it took less than two hours. It was made at home. Steve? The Press: But just so we're clear, this was produced by government employees, by people here in the White House, this campaign-style video here?
The President: I would not use the word "produced." All they did was take a few clips and just run them through you. And the reason they did it is to keep you honest. Now, I don't think that's going to work. It's not going to have any impact. But just think about it: you heard the clips, you heard what I said. They said I acted late in the country lockdown. Some people wish we would never shut it down. Now, if we hadn't, we would have lost hundreds of thousands of people. You know, oddly enough, so I'm, I'm against it.
We didfans to the Strategic National Reserve, of which we already have a lot, thousands, close to 10,000. But this will be added by May 8, another 29,000 by the end of May. And more than 120,000 in total we will have by the end of the year. Now, we are going to help other countries. We will help the states if they need it. We can help reservations from some states. You know, they're supposed to buy their own reserve. They have state reserves. They're supposed to be wearing that. And unfortunately, most states weren't there. And a lot of people didn't want to talk about it, but they weren't there.
We'll talk about it at the right time, if you want. I, at this point, am more focused on getting through this nightmare of an epidemic or a pandemic, whatever you want to call it. We have to get over it. No one who has needed a fan has not received a fan. Think about it. You know, you've heard all about fans, fans. "We need fans." Because they didn't have them. Because states should have had them. No one who has needed a fan has not received a fan. No one who has needed a hospital bed has ever been denied a hospital bed.
That's not even really our responsibility. Now, if we can help, we will. But that's where the Army Corps of Engineers did a great job. We built more than 20,000 beds. In fact, we build thousands more than we really need to be safe. We wanted to be safe and they really... lived up to this amazing occasion. I mean, we built more beds than we thought. We thought, in Louisiana, that we were heavy. And again, when I called the governor, I said, "Maybe we shouldn't build that second hospital, because we don't want to build it if you don't need it." He called back and said, "I don't think we need it." They had 1,000 rooms, 1,000 beds, and they used a lot of them, but they didn't need the other one, so we stopped it because we don't want to waste.
But we are prepared to build thousands more if we need to. I don't think we're going to need it because it looks like we're plateauing and maybe even, in many cases, falling. In addition, we have commissioned a total of 60 mobile decontamination and decontamination systems. So the Battelle decontamination system in Ohio is an amazing thing because it takes the masks and up to 20 times you can decontaminate one mask. And I've been asking all along, "Why can't we sterilize and disinfect these masks?" And it turned out that we can. And there was a great company in Ohio, they sent us a great team, and they're doing it now.
And now we're going to have over 33 million N95 masks a week being cleaned, decontaminated, and it's going to be great. It's something that, frankly, I think people should have thought about a long time ago. Five more flights landed today as part of Project Airlift, our massive airlift operation to bring personal protective equipment to the United States, which has now delivered nearly half a million N95 masks, 370 million gloves, 25 million surgical masks and 4.9 million dresses. So we have millions of gowns, gloves, masks, all the surgical equipment coming in in case states need it. Now, the states... the states are supposed to be buying their own stuff.
But if they need it, we are ready to give it to them, because we are hoarding our reserves again like crazy. Remember, me... and you saw the stories. I inherited, this administration, Mike, myself, the entire administration, we inherited a reservation where the lockers were empty. There was nothing. And I say it and I'll say it again: Just like we didn't have ammunition, we didn't have medical supplies, we didn't have ventilators, we didn't have a lot of things that they should have had. And you can read your own stories about that because you know what happened: They didn't want to spend the money.
But we did. To date, we have facilitated the supply of more than 38 million N95 masks nationwide. This week we will ship 2 million N95 masks to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The vice president will go into more detail. He has great detail on that, and I think it's a pretty amazing story. We already have many skins in stock, and we have more to come. We are further expanding hospital surge capacity in key areas of the opening, and we have a portion of certain VA hospitals and non-vet coronavirus patients, including at East Orange, New Jersey Medical Center, as well as facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn. .
They are ready. they are capable. They are beautiful. Hopefully we won't need too many because frankly we built everything the governors wanted. And in many cases, it is too much. We told them it was too much, but we wanted to err on the side of caution. The United States has already conducted nearly 3 million tests for the virus. Three million, the most of any nation. We're doing about 150,000 tests every day and our testing rate is especially high in the areas hardest hit by the virus, if you notice. And that is really, and it has hit some areas, the virus, very, very hard.
For example, per capita testing in New York is higher than in the rest of the world. The NIH, CDC, and FDA are also currently validating several antibody tests that will allow us to determine if someone has already had the virus and could become immune to infection. We are seeing that. Antibody tests are going to be very interesting in the next short time. A lot is developing, as we speak. In the race to develop effective treatments, the pharmaceutical company Gilead announced that its drug, remdesivir, has shown promising, very promising, results in compassionate use settings. Also, the FDA just granted an emergency use authorization for a device that removes certain proteins from the bloodstream, possibly preventing a patient's immune system from overreacting to the virus and damaging vital organs, which is a big deal. issue.
Additionally, over the past seven days, my administration has deployed approximately 28 million doses of hydroxychloroquine from our National Stockpile. We have millions of doses that we buy and many people are using it all over the country. And recently, a friend of mine told me that he got better due to the use of that... that drug. Then, who knows? And he mixes it with Z-Pak, mixes it with Zinc, per his doctor's recommendation. And it's having very good results, I'll tell you. I think if anyone recommended it besides me, it would be used everywhere, to be honest with you.
I think the fact that I recommended it, I probably set it back a lot. But there are many good things that are happening with him. Lots of good evidence. Scientists are also looking at a blood therapy known as convalescent plasma. convalescent plasma. This therapy uses antibodies from the blood of recovered patients to treat those who are sick. And this is something that is actually a very old procedure, but it's done in a very modern way. During this difficult time, we are also working to ensure that the 2020 Census is completed safely and accurately. We may be asking for an extension because obviously they can't be doing much right now.
They wouldn't even be allowed to. So, the Census, we are going to ask for a delay, I think a significant delay. How is it possible that you are knocking on doors for so long now? The Census Bureau recently made the decision to temporarily suspend its field operations data collection activities to help stop the spread. Also, while millions of Americans continue to fill out their questionnaire online, the Census Bureau asked Congress for an extension of 120. I don't know if you have to ask them. This is called "an act of God." This is called... a situation that has to be... they have to give in.
I think 120 days is not enough. My administration is also taking bold steps to help America's workers. On Friday, Americans began receiving cash payments authorized by a historic $2 trillion relief bill. By the end of the week, nearly 80 million Americans will receive a total of $147 billion. And from what the Secretary of the Treasury tells me, that is very on time and going very well. He will speak in a moment. And the payments... these payments go directly to the banks and to the bank accounts of these people. Millions of additional payments will follow. The typical family of four will receive $3,400.
That's for a family of four. That's something. Also, through our Paycheck Protection Program, which is a tremendous success, and should be extended and increased. This has been a great success. So successful that banks are taking a little longer to distribute the money, but it's going fast. Now we've processed more than $200 billion in loans to help small businesses retain their workers. Now we urgently need legislators to put partisan agendas aside and replenish this program with new funding because it really is something that has been incredibly successful. And they need more money to keep it going to take care of these businesses and keep them, keep them open.
I want to thank the many governors, healthcare professionals, scientists, and business leaders for their incredible hard work and input over the last month, and even well beyond a month, Mike would say. You know, we've been working together with a bunch of, it seems, forever. I have had many conversations with my team and top experts, and we are very close to completing a plan to open up our country, hopefully even ahead of schedule. And that is so important. We will be finalizing very important new guidelines soon to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states.
My administration's plan and accompanying guidelines will give the American people the confidence they need to begin returning to normal life. That's what we want. We want to have our country open. We want to return to normal life. Our country is going to be open, and it is going to open successfully. And we'll be explaining in a very short number of days exactly what it's going to be. Also, as you probably heard, we have developed a committee. We actually call it a series of committees with the most prominent people in the country, the most successful people in the various fields.
And we'll be announcing them tomorrow. This weekend, the United States also helped facilitate an unprecedented deal among the 23 OPEC Plus nations, meaning OPEC plus other energy-producing nations, representing many of the world's largest oil-producing countries. to stabilize oil markets. And we have, in fact, and I think you've seen a lot of stabilization in the last couple of days. Together, countries around the world will reduce oil production by approximately 20 million barrels. People say 10 million, but we think the number they will actually hit will be closer to 20 million barrels a day. And that will go a long way to saving jobs all over Texas and Oklahoma and North Dakota and many other -- other of our great energy states.
This historic action will help nearly 11 million American workers who are supported by the US oil and gas industry. It is a very monumental deal. I want to thank Saudi Arabia and the King of Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, both of them. I want to thank President Putin of Russia. And I want to thank a very good friend of mine, a man who has become my friend: the president of Mexico showed great flexibility. President Lopez Obrador. He showed great flexibility and tremendous intelligence in doing what he did. It wasn't that easy for him. And I want to thank Mexico and the president.
This is a very historic deal. Very historical. So we'll see how it all goes. At this time and challenge, and we are certainly at a time where we probably haven't been in many, many decades, we are strengthened and sustained by the bonds of love and loyalty that bind all Americans together. I am very proud of the American people. Everywhere you look, you will see shining through the patriotism of our people and the courage of our doctors and nurses on the front lines, and the dedication of our food supply workers, and in the commitment of every citizen to achieve victory over the virus.
That is what is going to happen. It's going to happen sooner than people think. And we're going to be smart about it. Very, very smart about it. Let's be sure about it. We are also going to listen to the great doctors and medical professionals. Together, we are pushing back the invisible enemy and paving the way for a great resurgence. A great revival of American prosperity indeed. Our country wants to return. They want to go back to work. They're going to come back safely, and that's what we want. I would now like to ask Vice President Pence to say a few words, followed by Dr.
Fauci and Dr. Birx. I think before us, before we do this, because I know there's an emergency that they want Steve to come to. So what I'm going to do is ask Steve to come over, Secretary of the Treasury. He can talk a bit and then maybe answer a couple of questions about what's going on. Tell them about the success we are having. Many thanks. Secretary Mnuchin: Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President. As you announced, we arevery pleased that we are ahead of schedule in delivering the Economic Impact Payments. These are what were known as the checks in the mail that we want to deliver in direct direct deposit.
This is ahead of schedule. We started processing them last Friday. We expect more than 80 million working Americans to get direct deposit by this Wednesday. And we know how important that is to all those hard-working Americans, many of whom are at home, not working right now. If you don't receive them by Wednesday, we'll release it on IRS.gov on Wednesday. Click on IRS.gov, go to "Get Your Payment." If you filed a tax return in 2018 and 2019, or 2019, please have that information available. You'll be able to sign in, you'll be able to enter your direct deposit information, and within several days, we'll automatically deposit the money into your account.
We want to do as much of this electronically as we can. It is very important in this day and age. It's safer and you don't have to go to the bank. If you're a Social Security beneficiary, you don't need to do anything. You will get a direct deposit. If you have not filed and did not need to file a 2018 and 2019 return, you can go to IRS.gov now and enter your information and authenticate. So again, we're very happy that that's ahead of schedule. I would also like to announce the progress we are making on the new SBA program, the PPP.
Let me remind everyone: This is a new show that is now a week old. We have distributed and confirmed $230 billion in loans to more than 4,600 participating lenders. They are multiples and multiples of anything the SBA has ever done, in a year, before. And I want to especially thank the broad-based community banks that are participating. Again, more than 4,600 banks. If you haven't processed your loan, you will do so this week. As the president said, we went back to Congress and asked them for more money to make sure that all businesses have access to this. Let me also comment for the states.
We're distributing half the money, this week, to the states. That's a week ahead of time. And we'll deliver the other half of the money to the states next week. And finally, let me comment, we've been working very closely with the Federal Reserve. Last week, we announced expanded facilities and new facilities adding up to $2.3 trillion of liquidity. And, in particular, I would like to highlight a Main Street lending mechanism that will be for companies between one worker and 10,000 people, that is, medium-sized companies, and also a municipal mechanism so that state and local governments can access funds given the scarcity they have.
With that, I will gladly answer any questions. The President: Do you have any questions for Steve, please? La Prensa: Secretary Mnuchin, thank you, sir. Both House Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer have said that they are in negotiations with you right now about additional funding for these small business loans, for that package. However, leader McConnell has said nothing should be added to the package. They must be specific to small business loans. What is the administration's opinion of him? Should there be some kind of haggling here or should it just be small business loans? Secretary Mnuchin: Well, the opinion of the president, the vice president and myself is that this was a bipartisan program.
This SBA program, it was not a Republican program, it was not a Democratic program; it was a bipartisan program. We have committed to small businesses. We should reload that program now. I know the Democrats want to talk about more money for hospitals and states. At this time, we are only sending the money to the hospitals and states. They have not come close to using that money. And I know the president and the vice presidents have said that once we're done with the SBA, we can move on to another funding bill. The president has talked about the possibility of adding infrastructure and other things.
We think there's a chance that we need more money, and we will -- we'll sit down and try to get a bipartisan bill. But this is important that we comply with small businesses. Fifty percent of people work for small businesses. La Prensa: Thank you, sir. La Prensa: What is the emergency that the President said you had to go to? The President said that he had an emergency meeting... The President: Negotiation. La Prensa: About this bill? Secretary Mnuchin: Yeah, well, or because we don't want to run out of money. We have used about $220 billion of the $350 billion.
We don't want to run out of that money. We don't want to create panic that people don't understand. That's why we want. we want to supplement that, and we've asked for another $250 billion for that program. And again, let me remind you that every dollar we spend on this program, we save a dollar from unemployment insurance. So even though we're asking for $250 billion, it really won't cost that much. La Prensa: Could you follow up? The press: What are your concerns about lifting the guidelines too soon? And what is the economic impact? I understand the economic argument for getting people back to work, obviously.
But what is the economic risk of lifting them too soon and then seeing cases spike again? Secretary Mnuchin: Well, of course there are economic risks in both directions. We reviewed with the president today a very broad list of more than 100 businessmen who will help advise the president on what needs to be done to reopen the economy. We want to make sure, and again, the combination of economic impact payments, small business payments, enhanced unemployment insurance, the president made it very clear, we want to make sure that hard-working Americans have liquidity while we wait to reopen the government. .
La Prensa: So, do you think the government should be re- -- or that the country, excuse me, should be reopened on May 1? Secretary Mnuchin: I have had discussions with the president. I know he is considering it and I think he will make a decision later in the week. The president: We have to do, everything has to be safe. We want insurance. La Prensa: What is your advice to the President? Secretary Mnuchin: M's advice is: as soon as it's ready to open and based on medical professionals, and again, we're working very closely with the president and outside business leaders to develop a plan.
Press: I'm just wondering... I wanted to ask you, Mr. President, what do you think... what... if you could outline for us what the reopening of the economy would look like. Do you think everything will be open? Or think... The President: Well, I'll do that in the next few days because we'll probably make a statement on that and exactly what it looks like. I know what that looks like, but I also want to get the advice, in a sense. We have some of the... the greatest of all businesses on this council. In fact, we're setting up several different councils or committees, I guess you could call them.
And we have a lot of smart people. I think they will also give us good advice. But no, we want to be very, very sure. At the same time, we have to open our country. The press: Yes, I understand, Mr. President. Do you think there is a possibility then that what you do is open it incrementally? Do you think people will go back to restaurants, to concerts, to the movies? The President: I think so. Eventually, they will. Yes. La Prensa: And let me ask one last question. The President: I think eventually they will. And I think we're going to -- boom -- I think we're going to -- I think it's going to go fast.
Our people want to go back to work, and I think there's a pent-up demand like there hasn't been in a long time. And that's why, and that's why you see the stock market, I mean, think that the stock market is at the level that it is now, with all that this world and this country is gone with. And look at the European Union, how decimated it has been. Look at other countries. Look at China, by the way. I've seen the numbers. Look Chinese. Look how these countries have been decimated by this. And to think that the stock market is at this tremendously high number.
Not so much, you know, it looked a little bleak for a while, but it got to a certain point and then it started to go up. I think it's a great tribute to the fact that there's a demand. Yes. La Prensa: Mr. President, thank you, sir. Regarding some of your tweets today, and I think that was Steve's question, my question to you is: What provision of the Constitution gives the president the power to open or close state economies? And then... The President: Numerous provisions. We will give you a legal report if you wish. The press: And then, we will be waiting for you, sir.
But moving on: What if you say, for example, "We want states to reopen but California or New York won't open"? What are you going to do? The President: Well, I think everyone wants to open. I mean, I guess, you know, that could happen, but I don't think that will happen. Come in please. La Prensa: There have been states that have closed, ordered the closure of schools. It has been states that have ordered the closure of businesses such as restaurants and bars. The President: That's because I let that happen because I would have preferred that. I let that happen.
But if he wanted to, he could have closed it. But I let that happen and I like the way they've done it. And the seven that really stayed in sort of a semi-block, if you look at those states, they've really done a very good job. They are very different from New York or other places where they have been hit hard. The Press: So he's prepared to say, "I'm ordering you to open your schools, I'm ordering you to

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the kids to go"? The President: Go ahead, please. Yes. La Prensa: Yes, Mr. President. Following on from that, there are two consortia of states today: California, Oregon, and Washington on the West Coast;
Northeastern states, representing a total of about 100 million people, who have said they will cooperate and decide when to reopen those states. The President: Well, they can decide, but... La Prensa: Does that undermine what you're trying to do? The President: Not at all. Let me tell you, very simple. I'm going to put it very simply: The President of the United States has the authority to do what the President has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The President of the United States makes the decisions. If we weren't here for the states, you would have had a problem in this country like you've never seen it before.
We were here to support you. And we're backing, and we've backed them in spades. We did a job that no one thought was possible. It is a decision of the President of the United States. Now, having said that, we are going to work with the states because it is very important. You have local governments, they are identified. It's really, you talk about, it's like a microchip. They are marked. We have a local government that will hopefully do a good job. And if they don't do a good job, I would step in just as quickly. But no, they can't do anything without the approval of the President of the United States.
La Prensa: But, Mr. President... The President: Go ahead, please. The Press: So if some states refuse to reopen and you order them to, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution says that all powers that do not reside with the president or Congress reside with the states. How do you get over that? The President: Well, if some states refuse to open, I'd like to see that person run for election. They are going to open They will all open. The press: So that's valid (inaudible). The President: I think that is something that is not going to happen. They want to open They have to open.
They have to open up. In each of those states, people want to go and they want -- Now, some will be -- they're in a different situation. You have. I won't name states right now, but I will in the next two or three days. I'm going to be very specific. But there are some states where this is not the kind of problem that it is in New York or Louisiana or Michigan or other places that were hit hard. Illinois was hit very hard. But all the states want to open and they want to open as soon as possible.
But they want to open safely and so do I. Yes please. La Prensa: Thank you, Mr. President. Today, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he will maintain the lockdown in France until mid-May. Does that mean that the US will continue to ban the flights of... The President: No, France took a very strong hit. France received a very hard blow. And again, you have to do what you have to do. He is a friend of mine. But France... Spain has just been decimated. Look at what has happened in Italy, it is a well-known fact, what has happened in Italy.
No, they were hit very hard. The Press: Question for Secretary Mnuchin: Has everyone you'd like to have, the 100 businessmen on the Economic Council, have they already been invited? Have they all agreed to be? Secretary Mnnuchin: They have... they haven't been invited yet. We just went over the names with the president. The President: It's a group. Secretary Mnuchin: - today, for him to sign. La Prensa: And are they from all sectors? Energy -- Secretary Mnuchin: Yes, there are -- basically, there are verticals. So every area of ​​the economy that we wanted to be represented. The Press: Great.
Another thing. Is there anything else that needs to be done to work in the industry, jobs in the oil industry, to save the jobs in the oil industry after the deal last weekend?Secretary Mnuchin: Well, I think there are always things. So we're working with Larry Kudlow. I mean, we have... The press: Anything specific that needs to be done? Secretary Mnuchin: We have. we have economic plans for every part of the economy. Obviously, in the case of the oil industry, they have been especially affected because they have had both the supply problem and the demand problem.
The press: Have you found out the bailout money for the airlines, with the allocations for the airlines? Secretary Mnuchin: I am pleased to say that we have worked very hard. I think as you've probably seen we put out a press release that we've now had discussions with almost all of the airlines. I personally have had conversations with all the CEOs of the major airlines. We specifically created an exception for small airlines that we were able to process very quickly. And I think you'll see, very quickly, decisions coming out. I am very satisfied with the discussions we have had.
The President: We've had very good dis- -- really good discussions. La Prensa: Mr. Secretary? Secretary Mnuchin: Yes. The Press: Do you still see a need for phase four stimulus? Or is this push to reopen... The President: Steve, I just want to say that we've had... The press: -- the economy instead? The President: - Discussions -- wait, excuse me. A second, please. We have had very good conversations with the airlines. Very good discussions. La Prensa: And is it possible to reopen the economy on May 1? The President: I don't mean that. You will have news in the next few days.
La Prensa: Mr. President -- La Prensa: Is it going to be phase four later, Mr. President? Secretary Mnuchin: Let me, let me just comment, I'm going to answer his question. La Prensa: Mr. Secretary, do you see the need for a phase four? Or is this push instead of another encouragement? Secretary Mnuchin: Okay. So again, let me comment: I mean, Congress, in a bipartisan fashion, passed an unprecedented amount of money to help American workers and American businesses because it wasn't their fault that businesses shut down. We had been working very diligently on it. You know, everyone said it was going to take months to get people money.
We are running very quickly. We created a completely new SBA program in one week. Our job right now is to execute the $2.3 billion, to which we can add several trillion dollars with the Federal Reserve. The area of ​​particular concern to us is the Small Business program. Frankly, it's even more incredibly popular and successful than we expected. So the president wants to be very clear: we have money for that. And once we're done with that, we'll go over it with the president. If more money is needed, to support this economy, to support hard-working Americans, we'll work with Congress to get it on time.
The President: And Steve, do you want to talk about phase four? Secretary Mnuchin: So phase four, the president has talked about infrastructure for a long period of time. We've talked about -- as hospitals need more money because of medical issues, we'll monitor that. We want to make sure that there are incentives for restaurants, entertainment, people to go back to those kinds of things. So we'll look at, very specifically, provisions to stimulate parts of the economy. Some of them may be money problems. Some of them may be regulatory issues. The Press: Mr. President, just to clarify your understanding of your authority regarding governors, just to be very specific: for example, if a governor issued a stay-at-home order, the president: when you say "my authority" - the authority of the president.
It's not mine, because it's not me. La Prensa: If you could just ask the question... The President: This is... when someone is the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that's how it has to be. La Prensa: Is it total? Is your authority total? The President: It's total. It is total La Prensa: Is your authority total? The President: And the governors know it. La Prensa: So if a governor... The President: Governors know that. No, you have -- La Prensa: If a governor issues a stay-at-home order, you -- The President: -- a couple of bands of -- excuse me.
Excuse me. He has a couple... La Prensa: Could you rescind that? Could you rescind that order? The President: You have a couple of bands of Democratic governors, but they will agree. They will agree. La Prensa: And if he were a Republican governor? The President: But the authority of the President of the United States, which has to do with the subject we are talking about, is total. Yes please go ahead. La Prensa: Mr. President, one of the things that you... The President: Go ahead, please. The press: One of the things that you, one of the things that you talked about, that we saw in your video was the travel ban from Europe.
As part of the reopening of the United States, do you want to reopen the borders so that people from Europe, from the United Kingdom... The President: At the right time. La Prensa: How soon do you think we are in...? The President: And a very good question, actually. Well, I'll have to take a look. I wouldn't say that Italy is doing very well at the moment, and I wouldn't say that Spain is doing very well at the moment. And we just heard that France is extending its stay-at-home order, right? Her stay, they have extended it, I only see that, and I think for a short period of time.
But no, when they come back. We want to do it very quickly, but we want to make sure everything is okay. No, right now we have very -- La Prensa: Weeks, months? The President: Right now we have a very strong ban. Let's keep it that way until they heal. La Prensa: Weeks, months? What do you... The President: Well, I can't tell you that. I can't tell you that. I have to see: how are they? I mean, France was gone for another two days, for another two weeks. We have to see. Jon. The Press: So, Dr. Fauci said that he took his advice on the mitigation issue.
He made the recommendation. You accepted it. You put in his place. In making the next decision, which, as he has said... The President: Well, I'm not sure who... Jon, I'm not sure who actually gave me the advice on prohibition. I think I took -- La Prensa: No, not about the prohibition. I'm talking about mitigation. The President: I think I took my own advice on the ban. I don't know. The press: -- the social -- the social distancing, I'm talking about. The closure. The President: Okay. La Prensa: Not about travel, but about activity. So my question is, as you make this next decision, which he has said may be the most difficult or important decision of his presidency, can you assure the American people that you will once again follow the advice of the doctors, of Dr. fauci? , from Dr.
Birx? Will you take the advice of health experts before doing that? The President: I will and many other people too. But I will absolutely take his advice. La Prensa: But would you go against them? The President: Please go ahead. La Prensa: Yes, sir. - La Prensa: Would you go against his recommendation? If they say you need another 15 or 30 days, do you... The President: I don't think it's likely because I think we're not too far from being on the same page. Please. The Press: Yes, Mr. President, one thing Governor Cuomo said today is that states don't have the capacity to do mass COVID-19 testing before a reopening like...
The President: Well, they have to. Look, they're supposed to. La Prensa: You say you can't buy the diagnostic tests or the equipment. The President: Yes, I know. I know. La Prensa: -- and he needs federal help. So will the states understand? The President: Well, they -- they may need help, but -- La Prensa: Will they get it? The President: But they are there. They are on land. They have local mayors, local representatives. They have people who do it. La Prensa: But he needs the supplies. The President: And what we did last time was unprecedented. We literally rebuilt the tests.
We rebuilt an entire industry because we inherited nothing. What we inherited from the previous administration was totally broken, someone should say eventually. Not only were the cabinets empty, as I say, but we inherited the broken evidence. Now we have great tests. I just left the top executives at Abbott. Who would have thought that would have happened, where they have a test as big as that? And, in fact, what I will do. I think unless you have any more questions for the Secretary of the Treasury, do you have someone for Steve? Any? La Prensa: Mr. Secretary Mnuchin -- The President: Is that for the Secretary of the Treasury or for me?
La Prensa: For Secretary Mnuchin, yes. Yes sir. The President: Because if it's up to me, we can wait. La Prensa: It's for Secretary Mnuchin. The President: We have to get him back to work, okay? The Press: Yes, sir. For Secretary Mnuchin, a question. Secretary Mnuchin: Yes. The press: -- from one of my colleagues who can't be in the room. They are curious about the SBA rule that prevents small casinos from getting part of this relief. Is that something you're looking at? Is there going to be a change in the... Secretary Mnuchin: So, no, not in the small casinos, but there are things like little taverns and restaurants that have literally, you know, little gambling things.
And we're coming out with additional guidance on that. But I want to be clear: these are not small casinos. La Prensa: Thank you, sir. La Prensa: Secretary Mnuchin? La Prensa: Secretary? Secretary Mnuchin: Yes. The press: There was a letter that some House Republicans sent out this weekend, about the liquidity of mortgage servicers. Secretary Mnuchin: Yes. The press: They are. Can you explain what you are seeing on that front? Secretary Mnuchin: Sure. So I think I commented on this a week or so ago. We had a subcommittee working group in the FSOC that specifically looked at this issue.
We have all the right people on it. Ginnie Mae automatically took some action. We have had discussions with the FHFA about what they are going to do for Fannie and Freddie. And we have said that to the extent that they need certain Treasury authorities, we will accommodate that. So we're... we're very aware of the problem. Quite frankly, we've been looking at this issue long before COVID and we were concerned that some of these non-bank managers weren't well capitalized. But we're going to... we're going to make sure that the market works properly. La Prensa: Thank you, sir.
We have seen, in several of these relief bills, that Democrats and Republicans have been able to push different funding priorities not specific to the coronavirus. Are you trying to maintain specific funding for the coronavirus? And then if there are going to be other additions, for example, a change in labor rules is something that many on the left wanted. Some on the right are wondering if they should too, if they should also push for, you know, their preferred plugins. Secretary Mnuchin: Well, I think our expectation has always been that this is COVID related. Some people have a pretty broad view of what is "COVID related," because it has affected almost every business.
I mean, I think we've... the president has talked about the Kennedy Center, which is a fine institution. Obviously, that was not the top priority in the bill, but they were affected by COVID. So, but no, the president has instructed us that we want to be very specific on the next bill. They are COVID related items. The press: It has been reported. The President: Well, we didn't want to do the Kennedy Center, just so you understand. And that was done, the Democrats wanted it. We didn't want that, but they did. And we had to agree to do something for the workers.
But we want this to be for the workers and for the companies that employ the workers. That is what we are looking for. We're not looking for weird nonsense. Press: You were reported to have argued, at the time the China ban was being discussed, that it was too damaging to the global economy. Is that accurate? Secretary Mnuchin: Let me be clear: I had nothing to do with the China ban. I was not in the working group at the time. I'm not even sure he was. I think he was traveling at the time. But I never had any, I wasn't part of it, I became very active, and after the China ban, but that report in the New York Times was not accurate.
La Prensa: Didn't you intervene beforehand? Secretary Mnuchin: I was not part of the

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at the time, and I was not involved. In fact, I think he may have been away. The Press: Secretary Mnuchin, there is a proposal made by Senator Hawley to get direct payments to employers to pay people who have been laid off and keep people on the payroll. Does the administration support that proposal? Secretary Mnuchin: Well, again, that's the PPP. The PPP is basically sending money to small businesses, 50 percent of America's workers, to keep those people paid. And it is the most efficient way.
Every dollar, as I said, we make it through that, is one dollar less of unemployment. YMore importantly, we want those people to have -- to be associated with the business. So as soon as the president is ready to open up the economy, those companies will be together. We don't want those businesses to collapse. That's why this is such a successful program and we want Congress to invest more money. The President: But are you talking about unemployment? Are you talking about unemployment? The Press: (Inaudible) Senator Hawley. The President: By indirectly sending it to the states? We would have preferred it to be sent directly to the people.
The Democrats wanted it sent through the unemployment system. And, you know, I've talked to you about it: we have 40-year-old equipment in many of those systems. They are in charge of the state. But I heard they'll take the money anyway. Secretary Mnuchin: So some... some of them are, and some of the states aren't, and we encourage... you know, we're working with the states to try to upgrade their computers, but it's a... it's a long haul The President: Are you okay? Thanks Steve. Secretary Mnuchin: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. The President: Phase four, Steve. Phase four.
Come on Steve. La Prensa: A quick question about something you just said. You said: "When someone is president of the United States, his authority is total." That is not true. Who... who told you that? The President: Okay. So you know what we're going to do? We are going to write articles about this. It will not be necessary, because the governors need us in one way or another, because in the end it comes with the federal government.government. That being said, we get along very well with the governors and I'm pretty sure there won't be any problems.
Yes please. Move along. The Press: Has any governor agreed that you have the authority to decide when your state reopens? The president: I haven't asked anyone why not... do you know why? La Prensa: Because nobody has -- nobody has said that. The President: Because I don't have to. Come in please. La Prensa: But who told you that the President has total authority? The President: Enough. Please. La Prensa: You mentioned the Vice President's call with the governors today. Governor Hogan of Maryland has urged his administration to ask Congress for $500 billion to help stabilize budget deficits created by the coronavirus.
The President: That is very kind of Governor Hogan, very much. We appreciate Governor Hogan's statement. The Press: Governor Cuomo said the CARES Act ignored shortcomings in state government. The President: Cuomo. La Prensa: Do you support that petition? The President: Which one? What did he say? La Prensa: He said the CARES Act ignored budget deficits. The President: Well, they're looking at things in phase four, where they have… you know, where they talk about states and they also talk about hospitals. They are talking about states that have been battered and they are also talking about hospitals. And we're certainly willing to look at that.
La Prensa: Will you urge Congress on your behalf? The President: You know, we'll see what we all come back with. But they are talking about states and they are talking about hospitals. OAN. La Prensa: Thank you, Mr. President. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on Thursday banning the sale of non-essential goods. If other states continue... The President: The sale of what? La Prensa: Non-essential goods. She has banned the sale of non-essential goods. Many call this draconian, unconstitutional. As president, do you think if other states were to follow suit in the coming weeks, the federal government should step in?
The President: Well, I don't think that's going to happen. I think it is very extreme. But she's doing it, and I think it's going to be a long time before we have to start thinking about it too much. Is strong. It is a very strong position to take. But they're making a lot of progress in Michigan, so let's see how it all works out. La Prensa: What is the state of funding for the World Health Organization? The President: We're going to be talking about that very soon. I'm getting a full report. I am not happy with the World Health Organization.
I am also not happy with the World Trade Organization. We have all been scammed. And we have. this country, for so many years, has been ripped off by everyone, be it World Health or World Trade. And they're like... I call them the Bobbsey twins. They would look at our country; for years and years, we had people do nothing about it. We are doing a lot about it. So we'll have a report. And also... we're also talking about the World Trade Organization. But we've made a lot of progress there. Now we're winning cases for the first time, because they know I'm out if we don't get a fair deal.
This country, our country, was at a point where we rarely, if ever, won lawsuits within the World Trade Organization. But now we're winning a lot of them, because they know I'm not… I'm not playing. We will go out if necessary. We just won a $7 billion lawsuit, which was pretty cool. The press: Do you expect a decision this week on cutting funding for the WHO? The President: Oh yes. I would say, by the end of the week, I'm going to make a decision on that. Yes. Right now, there's a lot going on. The press: On China, why are there no consequences for China for the misinformation they shared?
The President: How do you know there are no consequences? La Prensa: Because you have said. Well, they asked him and it seems that there was no... The president: How do you know that there are no consequences? La Prensa: What are the consequences, Mr. President, of disinformation -- The President: I wouldn't tell you. China will find out. Why would I tell you? The press: But people are concerned that they obstructed, that they gave misinformation. The President: No, you started by saying, "Why are there no consequences?" The Press: Since you have been asked this several times, I am following your response.
Why are there no consequences for China? The President: How do you know there are no consequences? La Prensa: Because we asked you... The President: You're going to find out. The press: -- and you've said -- you've said you didn't want any consequences because you suggested a trade. The President: I wouldn't tell you. You would probably be the last person on Earth I would tell. La Prensa: So, are you saying that there will be consequences? The President: Go ahead. Yes please. La Prensa: Mr. President -- actually, this is a question for Mr. Vice President. Do you agree with the president's statement and his understanding of federalism, that his power is total, as in the way he described it?
Is there anything he'd like to add or any context you'd like to add to the way he was discussing that? The Vice President: I support the President's leadership under the declaration of national emergency that he signed. And we stand before you today, the first time in American history, when all 50 states have issued emergency declarations and the territories. This is an unprecedented moment in the life of the nation. And hopefully, as the President has reflected and our health experts will continue to reflect, because the American people have paid attention to the President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America; because state governors took them and implemented them, even in states where there was no significant outbreak; and we implement additional measures as we provide them with case data and best practices; we are making real progress as a country.
The Press: But you seem to think the power of him is a little more circumscribed than totally. The President: Well, make no mistake about it: in the long history of this country, the authority of the President of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary. And he can look back at times of war and other national emergencies. And as the president said, we will gladly inform you. But in the days ahead, what the president has charged us to do is work with our health experts. We are bringing together an extraordinary group of American business leaders to advise the president.
And then, working with the CDC, we're going to produce new guidelines, based on the data, for every state and territory in this nation. We will give you guidance. And, as the President has indicated, we will continue to honor the leadership and partnership we forge with every Governor in America. But this is an unprecedented time. But I have to tell you: when you look at the fact, despite the heartbreaking loss of more than 22,000 Americans, when you look at the fact of what the health experts told us it could be, I think I can only feel a sense of gratitude to the American people, gratitude to the extraordinary team that has advised this president, the steps that President Trump has taken, the policies that governors have implemented across America.
I mean, we were discussing today, in the working group, that when you look at the European Union as a whole, they have a death rate almost three times what the United States of America has today. And that is a tribute to our extraordinary healthcare workers, their dedication, their tireless work. But it's also a tribute to the fact that the American people implemented the mitigation efforts that the President advised the nation on the advice of our best scientists, more than a month ago now, and our hospitals were not overwhelmed and they are overwhelmed at this hour. And I have to tell you, standing here today, I couldn't be more proud to stand with this president and be a part of this team that has served the American people during this challenging hour.
And I'm just saying, to all the Americans watching, as we see the numbers level off and maybe even start to decline, I encourage you to keep doing what you're doing. Because of the sacrifices that Americans and American families have made through these mitigation efforts, you are saving lives and you are helping our nation get through this moment. The President: Go ahead. The Press: Sir, did the states tell you, you've been talking to the governors quite a bit, those coalitions of states on the West Coast and in the Northeast, did they tell you what they're going to announce? before they announce it?
The Vice President: Governor Phil Murphy and the Governor of Connecticut expressed today that they were going to speak and discuss at the regional level what their recommendations would be. And we assure you today... The Press: Did they alert the White House about that, sir? The Vice President: W assured you today on our conference call with, I think, 48 governors who were with us today for almost an hour and a half -- we told you that what the President would produce -- he has ordered Additional guidance will be produced for the states, certified by the CDC, which would inform those governors and local communities and mayors of the best path forward, based on the unique circumstances facing those states and those communities.
I think what is clear is that the American people have seen the experience in the state of Washington, where it really began for us; and in California; and now, the extraordinary challenges in the New York City metropolitan area, including New Jersey and Connecticut; the challenges in New Orleans and Louisiana and Detroit, still Chicago, parts of Houston. But they're also seeing that in each of those cases, the mitigation efforts are really working. And so, we'll work with those, we'll work with those states. And in some cases, it will make a lot of sense for them to work together at the regional level.
The Press: Any idea why they didn't tell you ahead of time what they were planning? The President: Well, you don't know that. You do not know that. The Vice President: But -- but the President -- the President will be -- The Press: (Inaudible.) The President: You don't know that. I am sorry. The Vice President: I'm sorry, I didn't hear your question. La Prensa: Mr. President, can you tell us? Did they notify you? The President: You don't know that. No, you made a statement. You do not know that. The Vice President: I didn't hear your…I didn't hear your statement.
I am sorry. The President: And we would like to. and we would like your cooperation. And we will count on your cooperation. They will cooperate perfectly. Clock. The Vice President: I... and let me affirm what the President said. We heard it again today in what I think was our ninth conference call with governors: I think all Americans would be proud to see the partnership this president has forged with governors across the country. I mean, it's an extraordinary statement. And you'll see some data when Admiral Polowczyk gets up in a few moments, but the flow of resources from around the world that we've moved into areas that have faced challenges...
I mean, this president has directed us to make sure that every state has what what you need, when you need it. And the spirit that I heard again from the Republican and Democratic governors today reflects that partnership. And as we move toward the president's goal of reopening America, we expect the same kind of partnership in the nation's interest. The President: Very well, go ahead, with the mask. Move along. La Prensa: Sir, if you can hear me through the mask -- El Presidente: Hardly. La Prensa: Can you? The President: I hear you all right, actually. La Prensa: -- the -- the District of Columbiaargues that they were shortchanged in the most recent funding bill because they were treated as a territory rather than a state.
Will that be corrected in phase four? The President: Well, we're certainly looking at it. I heard that complaint, but the mayor seems to be very happy with everything we've done. The Vice President: She was here today. The President: I mean, she actually... and she was saying some very nice things today. She's fine, yes. Front in the back. La Prensa: Mr. President, you mentioned that this is the most difficult decision you are going to have to make about whether to reopen the economy. I wonder how heavy in your mind is the idea that if there is a second wave, you have reopened the economy and you may have to shut things down again.
The President: Yes. And I hope that doesn't happen. I certainly hope that doesn't happen, but it weighs heavily on my mind. Okay, in the back, in front. You had one. Move along. The Press: Mr. President? The President: Go ahead, please. The Press: Thank you. OK thanks. A question for one of my colleagues who couldn't be here. China deployed an aircraft carrier in the South China Chi - South China Sea this weekend, amid claims by Chinese state media that COVID has reduced US military readiness in the region. What kind of answers are you thinking of? Will you have a response to this action?
The President: China has its own difficulties. We have a relationship with China that... we're not happy with certain things that have happened over the last period of time, as you know, and I've been very explicit about that. But we know all about it. And no, China is... we've seen what they did. We've seen many other things they've done, both pros and cons. And we'll be fine. The press: About Abbott, he said something earlier, where he said that he was forming the economic

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force and that he thought the recommendations were coming sooner than expected. Did you mean to suggest that it might be before May 1st that you start recommending that states open up?
The President: I don't want to say that, but we're going to be putting out guidelines and recommendations pretty quickly. In a few days. La Prensa: Don't you rule out that it was before? The President: I'm not going to say. But look, certain states are doing very well. Certain large parts of the country are doing very well. They are doing really, really well. Very soon we will publish recommendations and guidelines. Steve? The Press: And would these new guidelines be -- would they be tailored to each area or would they be a uniform set of guidelines? The President: Well, you'll see.
I don't want to tell you right now, but right now we have a very strong indication that we know, more or less, we have some good ideas. I also want to get, I want to have, we'll have a video conference or at least a conference call with a lot of very good people, that has to do with certain fields, whether it's energy or entertainment and restaurants. , etcetera etcetera. We have to get people back to restaurants. We have to do what we have to do. Whether it is deductible or not, we'll see, but it should be deductible.
You will get them back so fast. I mean, they used to have deductibility. The restaurant business was one of the hot businesses. And then they finished it a long time ago, many years ago. But we may need that to get people back to restaurants. Please. La Prensa: Yes. Michelle Obama, today, supported voting by mail across the country as a possible solution for the states. She said it shouldn't be a partisan issue. Have you been told by her advisors that this could save lives? And (inaudible)? The President: Absentee vote, what are you talking about? Absentee voting? La Prensa: Yes, and massively because of the coronavirus.
The President: Well, I don't know what she did. I mean, I didn't see that. When I pass that? This day? The Press: Yes, she is part of a nonpartisan group. The President: Well, I wish you luck. I wish you good luck. Please go ahead. Press: At Abbott Labs, you said you had a lot... Press: Yes, Mr. President. There is some confusion about your phone calls with President Putin yesterday. The Kremlin says that you discussed current issues to ensure strategic security. That was not mentioned in the White House reading. Can you enlighten us? The President: We talked about many things.
We talk about China. We discussed a lot of different things, but we. it was mainly a call about oil, as you can imagine. And they were very helpful in getting a stabilization price, a stabilization of the number of barrels. I think the number will be closer to 20, maybe 15, but closer to 20 than 10. And I think it was a very important call. I also spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia and that was a very important call. And the last nine are OPEC Plus. It is called OPEC Plus because there are also other states, other nations. We reached a very good agreement.
Please. La Prensa: It has -- The President: Go ahead. La Prensa: What was the strategic security part? Was that? The President: I would say that we were mainly talking about China. We were talking about its borders. And we are talking a little about our borders, our borders with Mexico. Because, as you know, Mexico is a big part of the deal. And Mexico really... it was very complex from Mexico's point of view. It was not an easy business for Mexico. And the President -- we appreciate a certain amount of flexibility. But we talk about borders, we talk about China, we talk about Mexico.
The press: But "strategic security" sounds more like arms treaties. The President: Well, I mean, I... we talked about guns. Yes we did it. That was a very important part of the call actually. Yes, good point. Please. The Press: So, at Abbott Labs, you said testing is going very well. We know they have. these machines have been sent to some of the governors, but some of them say they don't have the materials to run the tests. The President: Well, they have to get the material. You know, the governors have to get the material. La Prensa: The cartridges.
The President: Now, if they can't get it, they're going to see us. Press: The government is... the federal government is distributing those cartridges. The President: I'm talking about local governments. I'm talking about the governors have to get the material. Now, they have machines. In fact, we, we're going in, I'd ask Mike to do it as soon as I'm gone. They have very powerful machines that they don't even know they have. I'm not talking about Abbott; I'm talking about the governors. They have machines that are used for this -- La Prensa: The hospital laboratories. The President: Do you know what I'm talking about?
Do you know what I mean? The Press: Yes, they have the two different machines. The President: Very large, very powerful machines where, in the case of a certain state, they're only using 10 percent of their capacity and they didn't know it. That happens to be Illinois. John, please. The press: Well, well, very fast. Very fast. These 15-minute tests that he sent out, these new ones that he had in the Rose Garden, say, including Governor Sununu in New Hampshire, that they don't have the cartridges to run the test. So when will they get those cartridges? The President: What do you think is the answer to that?
The Vice President: We are rapidly increasing, we are rapidly increasing the numbers, Mr. President. The President: Rapidly increasing numbers. The Vice President: And Deb will speak to (inaudible). The press: Can we investigate when? The President: It increases rapidly. Well, pretty fast. The Press: They can. they can make 50,000 a day, right? The President: Well, you have other machines where they can really work. La Prensa: Can you go beyond that? The President: And many of the states have big machines that can do a lot. They didn't even know they had them. They didn't even know they had them.
And Mike is going to be talking about it. The Press: And do you remember that you mentioned, several weeks ago, that Google was putting together this website where it would handle test drives? The President: Yes. Google and Apple. The press: Has he given up? The President: You mean the combination of Google and Apple. La Prensa: Has it gone beyond that, why did you say? The President: No. A lot of people don't like it from a constitutional rights standpoint. I mean, a lot of people don't like it and some people think it's great. No, they are working on it, as I understand it.
The press: How about the testing website? Remember you said a website for Google and... The President: Yeah, no, I know. I know that. I know. The Press: And I think you're only operating in five California counties right now. Is that... The President: That's right. No, Google is looking at it, but Google is also working with Apple or looking at something. We have the best companies in the world looking at things that a year from now, everything we're looking at now will be obsolete. That's how good it is. We have things happening that are amazing. I saw a performance today that I can't talk about yet, but it's amazing.
Also, I think they're doing, Tony, I think they're doing very well with the vaccines. They are working hard on the vaccines and I think they will have an answer for the vaccines. I think there are some great things coming out of that. Now you need a trial period, but you're going to have great things. Please. Press: Sir, about the contact tracing that Google and Apple are doing, so that's a different topic, about the contact. The President: No, no. This is... this is Google and Apple. I don't know if it's an association or what, but they're working on something.
The press: Correct. So there was one... The President: They are working on more than one element. They're working on a couple of different things, Google and Apple. Google is also working on something, as you know, that has to do with testing. I think they are doing it in a unique way. The Press: So my question is not about the test drive website. Not that. The President: Okay. Press: About Google and Apple contact tracing that they want... The President: Yes. Yes. Press: -- they have this process now where they can put, you know, contact tracing on your phone.
The President: I know. Press: If you choose to participate, you can get an alert if you've been... The President: That's right. La Prensa: -- in contact with someone with the coronavirus. Do you... how do you feel about it? The President: Well, it's an amazing thing, but a lot of people have some very big constitutional problems with that. You know it. It's kind of amazing and it would be...actually, as you know, other countries are thinking of using something similar but not as good. La Prensa: What other countries are thinking of something similar? The President: I heard that Singapore is.
Singapore is. No, Singapore had a bit of a setback because they had a break. You know, and... but they'll take care of it. I know, I know the people from Singapore. They are doing a great job and they are going to replace it very quickly. But Singapore and other countries are looking at other things, and some countries are doing other things. La Prensa: Would you rather the Americans use some other system? The President: Well, I don't want to get into that because we have a whole constitutional issue. We have more of a constitutional problem than a mechanical problem, but we will make a determination on that.
That's something we're going to be discussing with a lot of people over the next four weeks. That would be a very accurate way to do it, but a lot of people have a problem with that. Yes please. Move along. The Press: A test question, maybe for Dr. Fauci as well. Can you talk about where the antibody test is and how fast it will be (inaudible)? The President: Well, it's progressing. I think I can talk because I have to go. Moving fast, moving well. It's a test that's been around for many, many years, except now we have very modern and awesome versions.
But that's moving on. The antibody test has progressed very well. Okay, more COVID-19? COVID-19? Yes Steve. La Prensa: A Theodore Roosevelt soldier has died. Have you... have you determined the status of Captain Crozier, the former commander? The President: Well, that happens through the Navy, from what I understand. The Navy is going to make decisions about all of that. And they had a robbery. I don't think the ship should have stopped in Vietnam when you have a pandemic, to be honest with you. You know, I don't think the captain should have been writing letters. He's not Ernest Hemingway, like I said before, and he shouldn't have been writing letters.
And I don't think... I don't know who gave the order to stop in Vietnam. But they stopped in Vietnam and suddenly they went up, and now there are over 500 sailors and people on the ship who are affected. I don't know whose idea it was, but it wasn't such a good idea in the middle of a pandemic. Yes please. Jon. Go ahead Jon. La Prensa: Just one last thing. On this question of constitutionality, I wonder what changed your point of view because... The President: Nothing changed it. No, no, I know exactly what you're going to say. Nothing changed it.
The fact that I want to trust the states or maybe I will or maybe I will, and the fact that we've gotten along, that's one thing. The fact that he does not want to use power is another thing. Look -- La Prensa: But you said from the point of view of the Constitution -- The President: Yes, Constitution. La Prensa: -- You thought it should depend on the governors. The President: Constitutionally. It can be looked at constitutionally. You can look at federalism. You can see it in another way. Jon, the fact that I don't want to exercise my power is verydifferent.
We have the power. You asked, "Does the federal government have the power?" The federal government has absolute power. He has the power. As for whether or not I'll use that power, we'll see. I'd rather… The Press: So if New York wants to stay closed, it can… The President: Jon, I'd rather work with the states, because I like to get to a local government. That's why with... I guess it's seven states now, not eight, because South Carolina did... you know, they moved away from what we discussed last time. That's why I looked at the individual states; they are doing a very good job.
They are really doing a very good job. I prefer that they make the decision. Now, the fact that I'd rather have... that's okay. But I have the absolute right to do it if I want to. You may not want to. We have a very good relationship. Now, we'll see what happens. If you notice, the few states you're talking about all have Democratic governors. But if the governors are doing a good job and policing it better, because there's no one in Washington saying, "Set up a testing site in a Walmart parking lot." And we're in Washington and they're in a state that's a long way away.
That's really... it should be and always should have been. And I have always said that it was. But the relationship we have now with the states and the governors is very good. And we'll be announcing, plus the next very short period of time, exactly what we're going to do. Ok, a couple more. Move along. The press: about the coronavirus and Joe Biden: he is the presumptive Democratic candidate. Does he have any plans for when he will start sharing or when the White House will start sharing some of that information about the coronavirus? Your Presidential Daily Digest?
The President: Well, no one has called about the coronavirus, from your point of view. Look, they had H1N1, which is the swine flu, and that was a huge flop. That was a tremendous failure. They had many failures. And you take a look at what... you take a look at history. And, you know, 17,000 people died. And you mean late? They were so late, they were late as if it never existed. That was a... that was a big problem. It caused a lot of other people a big problem too. So if Joe Biden would like a

briefing

, he would certainly give him a

briefing

.
I don't know what I would do with it. Yes please. The Press: So Jared and Ivanka are serving on the new task force? And how will you balance... The President: No. The Press: What? The President: No, they are not. No. La Prensa: It's okay. The President: Yes. Yes, go ahead, please. La Prensa: I just want to clarify. So in a previous conversation, there was a description of multiple different councils or tasks: working groups. Can you explain exactly what the structure is and who is going to be in it? The President: Well, there's Mike's task force, which is the White House task force, that really got us to this point brilliantly, I must say.
He dealt with the governors and he dealt with the governors to the end. And I was on a lot of those calls. And each call got better and better and better. He was hostile at first. By the time we're done, I mean, today's call was very good, very friendly call. I think everyone is online. And again, you don't have anybody driving you crazy, saying they're not getting fans, they're not getting all the different things, they need more beds. Now they have many beds. La Prensa: (Inaudible) hospitals that. doctors who say they don't have the supplies they need.
The President: And we're always wrong, and I think it's important for you to know, we're always wrong for the sake of "Give them more." Even when we didn't think…we didn't think New York needed the beds they were asking for. We didn't think they needed the fans they asked for. And we were right. Now, with fans, we're ready to go. I told you this: We're ready to go. We have 10,000 fans. We are ready to move them to any part of the country when we need them, if we need them. We are also building a lot of fans, and I think they will be used at some point.
You know that we are going to have reservations, including state reservations if they want to reach some kind of agreement with us. But we are also going to help other countries, be it Italy, Spain or others. France has a big problem. They all desperately need, Germany too, they need ventilators. So we're going to have a lot of fans. We've got a lot, you've heard the numbers, we've got a lot coming next week. Next week, we have a lot coming up. Ok, last question. steve The Press: And on the working group, I asked for the task, how the working group will be structured.
It is one? The President: No. So we have. On top of that, we have a number of committees. We will have a transportation committee. We are going to have a manufacturing committee. You will see him tomorrow. We are also having a committee of religious leaders. We have a great group of religious leaders. We are having committees with religious leaders. They've been seeing what's going on with the churches, and all that. And we're going to have a committee of religious leaders. And so we have. We are going to have some committees. I will call them "committees" and ultimately we will make decisions.
So we're going to make decisions pretty quickly, and I think they're going to be the right decision. I hope so. steve La Prensa: So you form the economic working group tomorrow. When do you want them to have recommendations for you? The President: Soon. Soon. And you already know what I want. La Prensa: Next week or... The President: So, when we form... when you say "form", I don't have to give them instructions. These are very sophisticated people. These are the best people in their fields. So I don't have to say, "Gee, let's -- we just met and we're meeting in two weeks and this is what we're..." I said, "This is what I want." We have already told you.
And they are the -- La Prensa: What did you tell them you wanted? The President: -- the best names in the various businesses and professions and religions. I mean, they're... these are the best names. People who, I think, probably know the best. So, we have called them and we are going to talk to them very soon. And we want them to have. if they are questions or statements, we want them to have that for us. And we'll have an answer, or maybe, I mean, ideally we'll learn from them. And we'll be able to do that and put them, put everything we learned from those calls into our new guidelines.
So soon we will have new guidelines. I think it will be very good. I think it will be very smooth. And I hope it's very safe. Thank you very much to all. Thanks. Thanks. La Prensa: Any thoughts on Stanley Chera, sir? Any comments on Stanley Chera -- The President: Stanley Chera is a long time friend of mine. He's a great real estate person, he's passed away. He was a great real estate person. Excellent. Excellent. Something of a legend in New York real estate. He called me a couple of weeks ago, he said he tested positive. Stanley is in his early to mid 80's I guess.
And Stanley went to the hospital and never came out. He went into a coma. He was unconscious for a long period of time and never made it out. A great man. He left, very charitable, really a great philanthropist. A very, very successful person in Manhattan, in the real estate business. So I got to know him a lot. He was so excited when his friend from New York became president of the United States. He was like...like a child. And he was not a child, but he was like a child. He was so excited. He thought we would do a good job and he was very happy.
And he was very proud of what we have done in this administration. But he tested positive and unfortunately he didn't make it. It's very... to me, it's a very sad thing. Thank you very much to all. Thanks. The Press: Thank you. The Vice President: Thank you, Mr. President. As the president mentioned, the task force spoke today with 48 of the nation's governors. On that call, we reflected on the fact that all 50 states had emergency declarations, which was a first in American history; $5.2 billion had been distributed to states under the Stafford Act. And it was a productive call and reflection of the continued direction of President Trump for us to work closely with the states to make sure that the states in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus have what they need, when they need it.
We talked about the topic of testing and supplies. And I'm going to ask Dr. Deborah Birx to introduce herself, as well as Admiral Polowczyk, to reflect on both of these issues for you. Dr. Birx has been leading a task force effort from the beginning, rapidly expanding testing. It was early on that the president formed that public-private partnership with commercial labs. And while we're here today, more than 2.5 million tests have been performed. And when we add the estimates from the labs that we have to assume, with reasonable safeguards, the projections have yet to be reported to the CDC, we think that number could be closer to the 3 million tests that have been done.
As you've mentioned, the new 15-minute test, we're -- we're working closely with Abbott Laboratories, which the president and our team met here at the White House today, to rapidly increase cartridge availability. Abbott produces approximately 50,000 cartridges a day. FEMA purchased an initial supply of that and distributed it to the states, but we're working with the states to not only distribute what's being made, but also to work with other vendors to create additional cartridges. One point that I will ask Dr. Birx to expand on in a moment is the fact that, beyond the new 15-minute test from Abbott Laboratories; beyond what we hope will be a new antibody test, which could well be approved by the FDA in a matter of days; and an antibody test that would be produced at the rate of 20 million tests per month;
The reality is that those commercial labs that the president brought here, most of two months ago, and started that public-private partnership with have been producing hundreds of thousands of tests every week. But as Dr. Birx and our team have learned, we believe, at this time, from the Roche team that is available to do the high-speed testing, and we reported this to the governors today, we believe that around 20 percent of that capacity is not being used. And with respect to the Abbott m2000 systems, today we told the governors that we believe that 75 percent of the laboratory capacity that exists in the United States today is not being used by our governors.
So today we send a very clear message to governors to contact their hospitals, contact their laboratories to identify the presence of Roche Amplicor 500 and Abbott m2000 to activate them. We literally estimate that even though we are doing over 110,000 tests a day in the United States, that if our governors and state labs would just turn on the machines that are already there, we could double the number of tests in the United States literally overnight. morning. So, I know the governors' teams watch these briefings, and we'll very respectfully remind you again to identify those labs. And we have one. we have a team that's now being deployed, reaching out to the labs to see if we can activate all of those labs.
Second, on the issue of supplies, I've said it a couple of times from this podium today, but let me just say it one more time: President Trump's direction for us as we deal with states on personal protective equipment and ventilators. , has been to make sure states have what they need, when they need it. And we recognize that while we all look at the general curve of the coronavirus in the United States, understandably, the national numbers, the reality is that this outbreak has taken place on its own individual curves: first, on the West Coast; then the New York City area; then Louisiana, Michigan; and now we continue to deal with that in Chicago and Houston and other metropolitan areas.
It has given us the opportunity to ensure that PPE and ventilators are critically available. And I have to tell you, we are incredibly proud of the effort and the partnership with the states that have us here today that no one who has required a ventilator has been denied a ventilator in the United States of America. At this point, we have just under 7,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Reserve. But as... as Admiral Polowczyk will detail, we are already starting to receive newly manufactured ventilators. We'll get another thousand this week. By mid-May, we will literally have another 8,000 ventilators available for deployment across the country.
I'm going to let you walk you through the specifics of those resources. But, but I want to, I want to share these numbers, especially for our healthcare workers across the country in the areas hardest hit by coronavirus, so they know that resources are ramping up in hospital systems at the point of need, and we will continue to do so. So let me acknowledge Dr. Birx for reflecting on the data and also perhaps some comments on the evidence. And then Admiral Polowczyk, yes.you can step forward and then you will describe the supplies. We'll hear from Dr.
Fauci again, and then we'll answer a few questions. Dr. Birx: Great. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I don't know if we can get to the first slide on cumulative cases. Yes, thank you very much. I wanted to show you a different way of looking at it today. Obviously, we looked at case counts per 100,000 Americans in each of our states and metropolitan areas, but I wanted you to see, in absolute numbers, how much the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area dwarfs all other metropolitan areas. And so you can't even see Chicago, Detroit or Boston. All of those metro areas have fewer than 25,000 cases.
You can see that the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area has about 250,000 when you put those cases together, almost a record higher. And that's why you hear us talk a lot about the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area; and Rockland and Westchester and Suffolk and Nassau and Bergen counties, New Jersey; and why we are so focused on bringing resources to that metropolitan area. If I could see the next slide, then. So if I take the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, these are the other metropolitan areas that we've been following very closely. I wanted to show you this so you could see how those curves are already starting to level off.
So if you look at Detroit, if you look at Philadelphia, if you look at Louisiana, Louisiana is in the green. Detroit is in grey. You can see in general, in these metropolitan areas, in metropolitan areas with, they have a higher concentration of people, this is what Americans have done in these big cities, where it's often more difficult to socially distance. And we are really impressed by the work of the mayors and governors to make this happen. I also wanted you to see this because you can clearly see Chicago and Boston. And so, Chicago is in orange and Boston is in yellow.
They're crossing Detroit. And that's why we've focused a lot on the needs of those areas. And there is one, and Providence is also in that category. It's hard for them to see you because they're so far down the slide. But the highest, if you look at the axis on this slide, is 25,000. The axis of the last slide was 300,000. And that's why I really want people to understand each of these epidemics, minor, these little epidemics in each of the metropolitan areas, we're tracking independently, as well as any epidemics and outbreaks that are going on in some of our other So I just wanted to give you that perspective of how important the New York, New Jersey issue is and why we've been following it so closely.
But I also wanted to reassure all the other states that we're following them very closely and really working with the governors and mayors and so I wanted you to see that not only are the curves flattening in some of those large metropolitan areas, but they're starting to diminish. And this is what we are very excited about. These are cases. We also know that mortality will be delayed. And so we're also tracking the number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19. I also wanted to point out here that, yes, our mortality is lower when you combine European countries the same size as the United States.
And I think it's really about two things: One, it's the incredible work of the American people, which is also the incredible work of our health care providers and the system of each of these hospitals that have the resources and the capacity to respond to the needs of patients with COVID-19. And I think you can really see the excellent healthcare delivery that's happening because of the low mortality. Just to mention very quickly about testing, because you've heard me talk about that before, and then it was a little bit misquoted and misaligned, but there are a number of Abbott machines, so I'm going to be very clear, having spent years in the lab.
The high throughput machines, which are the Roche 6800 and the 88, I think it's the Roche 8800, and the Abbott M2000, these are the machines that run 500 to 1000 assays at a time. The Abbott company worked very hard, three weeks ago, to get a million tests for use. And they can do a million tests a week for all of our labs that have these platforms. And so far, to date, about 250,000 tests have been used in three weeks of work. And that's why we've really been calling on lab managers to really get all those machines going. Last week, Dr. Fauci and his incredible team of researchers agreed to search and find additional high-performance machines from Roche and Abbott that are in research institutions doing critical research work, to bring them online as well to complement those of other laboratories. work, to create a mosaic and a complete strategy that brings together the high-performing platforms, with the medium-performing platforms, with what are the low-performing but fast platforms, which is this ID NOW.
ID NOW is not going to be the answer to the amount of testing we need in the coming weeks. They run a test every 15 minutes and we can get around 55,000 cartridges per day. But I just said that these other machines, of which we have hundreds, can run 500 to 1000 in a single period of time. Therefore, we must put all these essays together. And a team has been created to call every laboratory and every research institution in the United States to define the full capacity in each state. Because we shouldn't expect every governor to understand exactly everything that's going on in his state, but we do need to understand everything in every state in order to meet the needs of the American people as we ramp up testing.
Now, I know you all know that, in three weeks, we went from 300,000 total tests to 3 million total tests, in three weeks. We know we have to further increase that. That has actually been done by HHS and Admiral Giroir and the team there. And we're going to supplement that team to really bring in all of the additional resources and platforms that we have in the United States of America, just like we did with fans to bring in all of the capacity to support so that we can also continue to ramp up testing. Also, of course, as these epidemics subside, more and more tests can also be used for surveillance.
But I want to mention the 19 states that are never represented on these charts overall. States have continued to investigate containment and outbreaks. And I've been able to talk to many of those states. And I just remind everyone, when I talked to each of these state health officials, where they're finding outbreaks in nursing homes. So, we really knew that we needed to continue to protect and we continue to test in nursing homes, because we know that's a particularly vulnerable group and it's a group that we're often in, now that we're starting to understand that asymptomatic transmission. No one intends to spread the virus to others, but we do know that in essential workers in the United States, people are unknowingly infected and then spread the virus.
And those are the ones they were very interested in finding. And you might say, "Well, how do you find them because they don't have symptoms?" And this is where we really have to increase surveillance in a very deliberate and comprehensive way. So we're really looking at what are sentinel surveillance sites. I think we can see where there are outbreaks, because once people have symptoms, you can see them. But where do you do sentinel surveillance so you can find them before they have symptoms. This is what we have done for decades with HIV, and this is what allows us now to really control the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, because we are finding people when they are asymptomatic and treating them when they are asymptomatic. asymptomatic So this is something that we know how to do and it's something that we're working very closely on with the CDC and others to make sure that we can bring that full capacity to the American people.
These are just a few ideas and what we are working on. We continue to, obviously, track every county and community. And then finally I'll call an additional group. There's a group of HIV/AIDS activists and community workers who understand these tests that I've been talking about, these DNA tests, these RNA-based tests. Because they often receive viral loads in HIV. But they will know how to explain this to the community, about sampling and what it means to do those trials. They are essentially virologists. They understand all these essays. They also understand antibody assays, because it is antibody assays that are recommended and used in HIV testing in the United States.
And maybe it will be our translator for the American public and their local mayors. They understand these tests. Basically, they understand all of virology and all of immunology. And I'm really asking everyone to help us communicate what these tests are so that the community is ready for them. Because antibody tests measure something very different than the viral load at the front of the nose that we're using for diagnosis. So really being able to understand all of those tests, when to use them, how to use them is going to be really critical. But the great thing is, in the United States of America, we have these community groups that understand these tests very well and we will be able to discuss it at all levels with your community.
The Vice President: I'm going to call Admiral Polowczyk in a minute, but I have to call Dr. Tony Fauci. Let me, let me, let me say something really straight from my heart, if I can. Today I lost my dad 32 years ago. April 13 is always a difficult day for our family. And this morning, when my brothers and sisters were sending pictures of Dad, like we always do, all I thought of was the families of the more than 22,000 Americans we've lost. And I just want to tell you that he is in our hearts, and he is in the prayers of millions of Americans as you... as you deal with this heartbreaking loss, as well as the families who have relatives who are struggling with serious illness.
But let me encourage everyone that in the midst of that loss, because the American people have been putting these mitigation measures into place, there are families that are still together today. And I just want to encourage you here, about halfway through "30 Days to Slow the Spread," to take it seriously. I am by no means minimizing the losses that we have experienced as a nation and as families, but… but be encouraged to know, when you see those numbers in the vast majority of states, that because of what the American people are doing, it's working. And Dr. Fauci and Dr.
Birx, and the entire team, have continually asked us to remind the American people, and we do again today: keep doing what you're doing with the "30 days to stop the spread," and we will hasten the day when we heal our land. Dr Fauci? Dr. Fauci: I just want to make a comment related to a question that was asked, and then we'll have questions. I don't want to take too long. The idea of ​​how we would evaluate, from a purely public health standpoint, what I call re-entry to a kind of normalcy. As health people, I know nothing about economics, nor do I ever claim to know anything about it.
There will be people who know a lot more than I do, who will give advice on all the committees the President was talking about. But the one thing that we know as health people, as doctors and scientists and public health people, as I mentioned, I think over the weekend, on one of the shows, is that some people may think it's going to be like a light. switch, on and off. You know, either we're out or we're in. It's just not going to be like that because we have a very large country and there are different impacts.
You see, New York is very different from other parts of the country, from the Midwest, from the highlands, from California and Washington, different from New Orleans. So as we discuss and consider the public health aspects, it would probably be something that I refer to as sort of a rolling re-entry. It's not going to be one size for everyone. So I don't know what it's going to be yet because we still have time to see it. Dr. Birx, who does an amazing job of showing you the data and graphs, that will probably influence some of the recommendations that we'll make.
But I can assure you that there will be recommendations that will be based solely on public health. And the president will get a lot of other input from others, but we will give the honest public health recommendation. The Vice President: Thank you, Tony. Admiral? Admiral Polowczyk will give an update on supplies, and then we'll answer a few questions. Rear Admiral Polowczyk: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Can I make the fan slide up? I'll start from there. It's okay. Thanks. So start with what's in stock this morning. And then here are the contracts that we'll be delivering in the next few weeks.
And we added 8,600 fans to the pool that we already had. That's the -- that's the math that you -- that you get there. That's... that's included in the DPA's action with GM. And we will say that toowe place what would be called "qualifying orders" with all of these suppliers to allow them front line privileges, if you will, within their supply chain. So these, there's, we, you know, wrote the contract. These are the 100,000+ fans we're talking about, and then continuing to work with them to make sure the fans actually show up. So there is a continue to work there.
And while we were doing it, we realized that downstream supply chains also needed some additional Defense Production Act work. If you go to the airlift, 80 scheduled flights, 37 complete, 43 on the horizon. And you can see how much material has been brought in to supplement the volume that is needed. Now, first I'm going to go through a series of slides from New York. So Dr. Birx provides me with what I'll call a geo-reference to align the supply chain. So all those cities, they'll see a bit of a theme here. I will talk about many of the cities and geographic areas.
I aligned the supply chain to those geographic areas to try to get there, while realizing that the rest of the nation needs supplies as well. And then we align with the supply chain to the point of care: public hospitals, VA, private hospitals, nursing homes, first responders, intensive care and beyond. So last business week, Monday of last week through Friday, Saturday of last week, these are the bulk materials that came into the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area, and you can see the volumes there. So if you're going to Detroit, we talk about its hotspot. These are the volumes of deliveries going to Detroit for that same time period.
If you can go to Chicago. And I'm going to go over this quickly, but you can see that the geographic alignment, the locations that Dr. Birx has talked about is where we're concentrating supplies. You can go to New Orleans, to give you an understanding. Washington DC, right? So now I can talk about it. Today was… you know, a very early entry into Washington, D.C., Baltimore… right? -- position supplies ahead of need, we hope, in Washington. Go to Baltimore and you can see the volumes there trying to get ahead of it. And then Philadelphia is next.
And now the next slide is a summary of nine cities. So to save a little time, I didn't include Boston and Houston in there. So you can see the volume of material flowing through a commercial network airbridge, its supplies, to geographic regions and then, and then further prioritize the point of care. Now, final topic: N95 masks. So the Department of Defense announced a DPA action this weekend. That came from the DOD on Friday to the White House, approved on Saturday. And contract awarded today $131 million, five companies: 3M, Honeywell, Owens & Minor, Moldex and Draeger. You know, the CARES Act was signed before the end of March, towards the end there.
Basically, two weeks after that money is deposited with the Title III authority for the Department of Defense. This action takes us from a baseline of what was being produced nationally of about 30 million masks up, as we go from the fall to the end of winter, 120 million masks nationally. So currently, we are covering some of that demand from sources abroad. Right? And so, the additive masks here, through this, will increase, decrease the reliance on overseas sources, and that, that will essentially secure a large part of the supply chain. Five companies, six... six cities: Smithfield, Rhode Island; Phoenix, Ariz.;
Del Rio, Texas; Lexington, North Carolina; Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; and Aberdeen, North Dakota, all producing more fabric or increasing production facilities to augment that increase. The Vice President: Great. Great job. Thank you, admiral. And can we put up that slide? I guess it's still up. This is only for the week ending April 11. We have distributed or directed the distribution of 5.3 million N95 masks, 5.5 million surgical masks, 110 million gloves. We share that primarily to make sure our healthcare workers know that resources are flowing, we're going to continue to keep them flowing, but these are just the numbers for this week and don't include, for example, what the president announced. .
Today I was able to tell Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania that, next week, they are receiving 2 million N95 masks to support some of the healthcare challenges they are facing in the greater Philadelphia area. So with that, we'll be happy to answer a couple of questions. Move along. The Press: Thank you very much. One for the Admiral and then one for Dr. Fauci, if you don't mind. The Vice President: Yes. Please. The Press: Admiral, wouldn't that have been helpful, since you're going through, you know, all those supplies that are now coming into the system? You talked about having to buy foreign products, you know, as we catch up and do, wouldn't it have been helpful if it hadn't taken until mid-March for the government to start placing wholesale orders for this type of supplies?
Rear Admiral Polowczyk: Well, I came from the Pentagon on March 20, so I will speak from March 20. We are using the Law of Defense Production. I think you'll see a lot more use of that as we go along. You know, we do... La Prensa: Sir, but my question is about the time here and that lost time that the President denied today. Rear Admiral Polowczyk: I know. And I'm not, I'm not equipped to speak, apart from March 20 onwards. I just... I wasn't... I was in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was not involved. The Vice President: Okay. The Press: And I wanted to ask Dr.
Fauci. The vice president: Dr. Fauci. The press: -- you know, you said you'd give the president your recommendations, you and Dr. Birx, coming up with a plan you're comfortable with. Is he willing, once the president has made his decision, is he willing to come here and tell us, tell the American public, what he actually recommended to him and did he follow through on what he recommended? Dr. Fauci: I'm really not… what do you mean? Like... The press: So when the president stands here, whether it's May 1st, whatever day it is, and outlines his plan, are you willing to stand here behind him and tell us all, tell us the American public, what had he recommended you do if there is a difference?
Dr. Fauci: You know, I have to think about that because, you know, when you have conversations with the president, sometimes you really should be confidential in what you give him because he's going to have to make his own decision. I would have to think about that. The press: That way we would know if he was really listening to the health advice that is being given to him. Dr Fauci: Correct. Yes he is. I mean, he... I can tell you one thing: he'll listen to you. But I think what's going to happen, you know, I don't know for sure, is that he'll get information from a number of people who represent a number of aspects of society; one of them will be health.
All I can tell you is that I'll give you the evidence-based advice, my observation of what would be the best public health approach. The press: Dr. fauci? Dr. Fauci: Yes. The Press: Just to go back to where we started today, which was with the president's apparent frustrations with some of the reporting on his early decision-making process in January and February. As I'm sure you know, the reason that we in the press do that kind of reporting is so that the next president who comes forward, who has to deal with a pandemic, can learn some of these lessons.
Having seen this up close, what do you think were the early mistakes that a future president could learn from? With the benefit of hindsight, of course. Dr. Fauci: You know, I... The press: Because no president does everything right, obviously. Dr. Fauci: I understand. I don't want to use the word "mistakes," because when you're in the fog of war when you're doing something, you have to make decisions. Obtains information from various people. He is always a moving target. And I just don't want anything to be taken out of context because I already had one of those in the last few days (laughs), so I don't want to go through that again.
I wouldn't say "mistake". Could things have been done better? Of course. I mean, nothing is perfect. And you could always do better. But, I mean, I hesitate to say that anything is a "mistake." La Prensa: But with the benefit of hindsight, with that caveat, what could have been done better? Dr. Fauci: Well, I mean, I can't, I can't comment on anything outside of my own field. But what, when I think back, was evolving, in my mind, was something that was a virus that was much worse than I had thought it would be, based on what we had learned early on, when it first felt like something that it just jumped from animal to human, and didn't really have much ability to jump from human to human.
And then all of a sudden you find out that not only was it not just animal to human, but there were a lot of them, that's probably how it started. But then when you go back and realize that there were probably a lot of infections, that maybe if we had dealt with that a bit more, we might have learned that it doesn't just affect person to person, but it's transmitted very efficiently. . When I question myself, I am not perfect; maybe... I wouldn't say I made "mistakes", but maybe I should have tried to dig a little deeper into what was going on, but the information wasn't as clear as I would have liked.
And then all of a sudden when you find out that you're dealing with something that's not just what had been your worst nightmare, because people ask me, "What's your worst nightmare?" -- a new virus that is transmitted via the respiratory route, which has a high degree of transmissibility, which has a high degree of morbidity and mortality. You know, is that a mistake? Maybe I should have been able to figure that out sooner. I'm not sure it was a mistake; it was just an evolving thing that we finally realized and said, "Wow, this is really worse than we could have imagined." Helper: It's okay.
Last one guys. The Press: When you met with Abbott Laboratories today, what did you ask them to do? What did they say they could do? The Vice President: Well, today we talked to Abbott Laboratories about how we can significantly increase the production of cartridges for the 15-minute test. Because, remember, we're, we're, we're not just scaling to rapidly expand testing across the country today. And it's one of the reasons you heard me and Dr. Birx say that we are. we now have a whole team that will work with governors and labs across the country to identify the machines that already exist today that could be activated by testing.
But also, we also want to work with Abbott Laboratories for the long term. Because if the current trend lines

hold

, and I hope and literally pray that we find ourselves on the downward slope of the coronavirus in this country soon, this epidemic, in its current form, will come to an end. But as we make decisions in the coming days to reopen America, what President Trump also wants to do is have a policy to stay open. And have the kind of surveillance testing available across the country so CDC can do immediate contact tracing, when you have a positive test, so we can roll out resources like Abbott's new 15-minute test specifically for nursing homes. .
We spoke today with Governor Baker in Massachusetts, with Governor Hogan in Maryland, who have been very innovative in implementing federal guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious disease in nursing homes, and we commend them for that. But being able to ramp up manufacturing of those devices so they can be deployed in the coming months is also a focus of our efforts. So continue to rapidly expand testing today. And the governor of Louisiana told me today that they had tested the highest per capita, by their numbers, of any state in the union. And we congratulate you on that.
But making sure that, going forward, we'll have the testing infrastructure across the United States to deal with coronavirus should it return in the future. With that, let me... let me wish you all a good night. And we'll be back tomorrow. And -- La Prensa: Mr. Vice President -- The Vice President: Good. Move along. The Press: I only have one question about these cartridges and this schedule because the governor of New Hampshire says the federal government is in charge of distributing them, FEMA is. So what is the timeline for when they have enough? Because they say they don't have enough.
Illinois said they didn't have enough. So what is the timeline you are working with? The Vice President: Yes, let me -- let me have Dr. Birx address that. But there is one. there was an initial tranche that we bought. There are about 18,000 Abbott Laboratory machines across the country, and FEMA purchased a number that were immediately distributed to the states. But now Abbott Laboratories literally produces about 50,000 a day, and they're available on the open market. YWe're also going to work with Abbott and the states to implement those resources. And we are also working with other manufacturers to increase the production of cartridges.
But if there's anything else you want to add, Deb, we'll make it last. Dr. Birx: No, that was perfectly said. I just want... sometimes you ask those questions, and I always want to make sure that people understand. So a third of them went specifically to the Indian Health Service and to these states that have smaller epidemics. Two thirds went to the public market, mostly directed to places where there is high disease. But only two-thirds of it went that way so people could buy them directly, and one-third went to the Indian Health Service and smaller states that really need them.
So I think what we're trying to do now is to balance the whole testing framework of medium, low, and high performance machines to give everyone maximum flexibility, state by state, depending on the needs at the time. . If there's an outbreak and you have to do 5,000 tests, you won't do them on an ID NOW machine that takes 15 minutes for each negative result, but you'll do it on your high-throughput machine. So making sure everyone knows where everything is and what's running is going to be really critical moving forward, because we can't leave anything not on; everything has to be on the table for us to dramatically increase testing once again. -- we climbed a log in three weeks.
So if we're going to ramp up again, you're going to have to be putting every piece of equipment on The Vice: Let me say thank you all again for your time and attention. And thank you to all the Americans who joined us tonight. I just want to encourage you to continue to support us in this effort, to expand testing across the country, to distribute supplies to our incredible healthcare workers who have done an incredible job in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. But my last word, on behalf of the president, on behalf of our entire task force is: It's "30 days to stop the spread." And I know we're almost halfway there, and I know it's been a month of these mitigation strategies, but I hope that as you look, as you see the progress that's been made on the West Coast, the start of real progress in the New York City metropolitan area, Louisiana, Detroit, and elsewhere: I hope it only serves to strengthen your resolve to continue to do your part to slow the spread, because we will get through this, but it will take all of us to keep doing it.
So thank you to the American people for all your efforts and see you tomorrow.

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