Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Conference
Thank. You very much I. Would. Like to begin, by. Announcing, some important, developments in our war against the, Chinese. Virus, we'll. Be invoking the defense production act, just. In case we need it in. Other words I, think you all know what it is and. It can do a lot of good, things if we need it and we will, we. Will have it, all. Completed. Signing. It in just a little while right after, I'm finished with this conference. I'll be signing it it's prepared, to go so. We will be invoking the defense production Act. Last. Week I signed an emergency declaration, under. The Stafford Act, which. Is you know we, invoked previously. And. Which activated. FEMA's National Response. Coordination. Center. FEMA now is fully engaged. At. The highest levels. Today. FEMA is activated. In every region we are at, level one level one being the highest level. Which. We will. Work. With and we've been working with FEMA, I've done, a lot of work with FEMA they're incredible, it's. Always been on hurricanes, or tornados they're, right now in Tennessee, a large group working in Tennessee, have. Been incredible, that was tragic, event. Alabama. Last, year also. A tornado, and then obviously the, the numerous, hurricanes, and different locations that, were in. Some cases very devastating. And in every case FEMA. Came through, this. Is a very different kind of a work, for, FEMA. But they will come through as, they. Always do we have tremendous. People tremendous, talent in FEMA, we're. Sending. Upon. Request the two hospital, ships they're being prepared right now they're massive. Ships. They're. The big white ships with the Red Cross on the sides, one. Is called the mercy and the other is called the comfort and. They. Are in. Tip-top shape they, soon will be they're getting ready to come. Up to New York I spoke with Governor Cuomo about, it he's excited, about and. I also, we. Haven't made the final determination as, to where it's going to go on the west coast, the. Comfort, is located. Now in. San Diego and. It's going to be will be picking the destination, fairly shortly, so. Those. Two ships are being. Prepared to go and they can be launched, over the next week or so depending. On need. Earlier. This week the first clinical, trial of the vaccine candidate, for. The virus began in Washington, State as you probably know. The. Genetic, sequence of, the virus was first published, in January. But. Thanks to the unprecedented partnership. Between the FDA NIH. And the private, sector we've reached human. Trials for the vaccine. Just. Eight weeks later that's a record by many many months it. Used to take years to do this and now we did it just in a very short while that's. The fastest. Development. In history, of, what we're doing with regard to the vaccine making. Very very big progress. Today. I can announce further steps to expand testing capacity, we're working, with several groups to determine if the. Self, swab a much easier process than the, current process that's, not. Very. Nice. To do I can tell you because I did it, but. We. Have, a current process that's a little bit difficult, if. You haven't done the. The. Groups are working on determining if, a self swab, by. An individual, is as. Effective, as the other the others very effective, very accurate. But. We're, going to see if we can do a self, swab which is, would. Be a lot more popular I can tell you that so. And, that would be administered, also by a health official but it would be a lot easier to do. The. The. Fact. Is that the health professionals, would it would free it, would free up a lot let me just say the self swab is what it is it's a self swab you do it yourself the, other has to be issued, by a, health. Professional, and it's. Something that is. Quite, difficult and we think it's working out for the self swab and. If. It would test positive the, people would go and they. Would do what they have to do but we think that's probably working, out I've asked the FDA to cut through the. Red tape and reduce regulatory, barriers. We. Are looking. At some very exciting things and I'm going to be holding the second news conference, either today, we're going to talk about the FDA.
Some. Things are happening that are quite exciting, and. We're. Gonna be doing that either later today or tomorrow, fairly. Early tomorrow. So. We'll see what happens but the, FDA my. Instructions, is I've been working very very hard. On, a, number. Of developments and we'll be discussing them with you later today or tomorrow and. This, afternoon, I'll be meeting with nurses, on the front lines of the battle against, the virus they're truly. American, heroes they, want to get it done they're, incredible, people so. We're gonna be meeting with nurses, and. I. Actually. Look forward to that very. Brave they're taking a lot of risk and they they, have done an incredible, job and they never complained. Today. I'm also announcing that the Department, of Housing and Urban development's is providing, immediate relief to renters and homeowners by, suspending. All foreclosures. And evictions, until the end of April, so. We're working very closely with dr.. Ben Carson, and. Everybody, from HUD. Every. Generation of Americans has, been called to make shared sacrifices. For the good of the nation in. World War two young people in their teenage, years volunteered. To fight they wanted to fight so badly because they love our country, workers. Refused, to go home and slept. In factory, floors to keep assembly, lines running and you. Know the numbers of ships that they built through in World War two to this day has never nothing. Like that has ever been equal, they were doing ships. On. A literally. On a daily basis, nobody's, ever seen anything like it and. To this day nobody's, seen anything like that what, they were able to do during, world war two and. Now it's our time we must sacrifice together. Because, we are all in, this together and, we'll, come through together, it's. The invisible, enemy that's, always the toughest enemy the invisible, enemy but we're going to defeat the invisible. Enemy I think we're going to do it even faster than we. Thought and it. Will be a complete. Victory it'll be a total, victory. So, we'll have a second, conference. Again. Having, to do with the FTA and this I think it's going to be potentially, a very exciting. News. Conference, and. We will do it as quickly as we can so whether it's today or tomorrow, and. All with. That ask Mike, Pence to say a few words and, thank. You very much. Thank. You mr. president, the White House coronavirus, task force met this morning and now that we have cases. In all 50 states. We're. Continuing to move out on the president's, call to bring the full resources of the federal government, a full, partnership. With. Every state and territory the. Full power of the American economy to support businesses, and families as, the president, says to. Us and, every. Day we'll do whatever it takes we're all in this together, yesterday. The president met, with the tourism industry executives. And also, had. An engaging discussion with. All, the top companies in our industrial and medical supply. Chain. The. President as you all are were also announced today that by mutual consent, the. Northern border to Canada will be closed to non-essential. Travel this does not include essential, travel or the. Transit, of goods but it was through a mutual discussion that took place this morning between the president and Prime Minister, Trudeau, and the, Department of Homeland Security will be effectuating. At, that decision, president. Spoke with some of the nation's top business leaders today, again, to speak about the supply, chain in the country, and. For. Our part we're going to be conducting a conference, call later today with state and local health officials, to. Renew our ongoing, commitment, of, cooperation. And collaboration, as. The president, said last consigning the Stafford. Act, he, stood up the National Response Coordination, Center. And today at the president's, direction, FEMA. Has gone to level, one. FEMA's. Mission is, to support disasters.
That Are locally executed, state managed and federally. Supported and. Tomorrow. The, president, will be hosting all the nation's governor's, from. A video conference, at FEMA, to. Ensure that they. Have full, connection, to all of the activated, regions, for, FEMA going. Forward. And. With regard to testing I'm, pleased to report that we're, increasing, the number of tests, being performed by the thousands. Every day, thanks, to the public-private. Partnership, that President, Trump forged, with commercial, laboratories, around the country our, health experts, tell us to, remind every American it's important, to remember people. Without symptoms should, not get tested we, want to make sure that the supply of testing, is there for. Those that need it most or are symptomatic. Or in the vulnerable, population, dr., deborah birx in a moment we'll address the progress, that we're making on, testing, the, infection, rate our. Recommendations. To every America, as well as some important, new. Findings. About the impact on youth that, we're gaining, from data that's coming in from Europe. That'll be important, to every every, American, on the subject of supplies and the president has our task force. Extremely. Focused, as, the president, mentioned yesterday mentioned. That he's invoking the defense production act today secretary. Esper in a few moments will describe the ongoing, efforts, that. The Department of Defense is taking to make medical resources available, and, secretary, Robert Wilkie will, announce decisions, the VA has made to. Expand hospital, capacity, within, their system, also, with regard to medical personnel at, the president's, Direction HHS, is issuing a regulation, today that. Will allow all doctors, and medical professionals to practice, across state, lines to meet, the needs of hospitals, that may arise in, adjoining, areas. In addition to that we are again today. Asking. Every American, and our medical community leaders. And. Hospitals, to partner, with us in, delaying. Elective. Procedures. Across. The country in our healthcare system, to ensure that medical, supplies and medical, capacity go, where they're needed most Seema. Verma will describe. Guidance, that CMS, will be issuing on that, front and finally. Just, I want to remind every American, of the the president's, 15-day.
Guidance, To slow the spread we. Are grateful, for members, of the media and the general public that are adhering, to these, sharing, them with neighbors, and friends all, of our experts, continue, to believe that if every American will do their part and embrace. And put into practice these, principles that. We can significantly limit. The reach of the corona virus. In the weeks and months ahead, thank. You thank you very much. Thank. You Thank, You mr. president mr. vice president so, you know we continue to look at data every single day there. Are concerning, reports, coming out of France and Italy, about. Some, young people getting seriously, ill and very seriously. Ill in the icy use we, think part of this may be that. People, heated the early data coming, out of China, and coming. Out of South Korea, without, the elderly, or those with pre-existing medical conditions. Were at particular risk it, may. Have been that the millennial, generation our. Largest generation. Our future. Generation. That. Will carry us through for the next multiple, decades there, may be disproportional. A number of infections, among, that group and, so, even if it's a rare occurrence, it may be seen more frequently in that group and be, evident. Now so, we're looking at that information very, carefully we. Have not seen, any, significant. Mortality, in. The children, but. We are concerned, about the early reports coming out of Italy, and France so again I'm going to call on that generation. That's, part, of that group that brought us innovation, particularly, throughout. All of their ability, to look around, and, skipped, through games, and I always went level, by level I didn't realize that you could go from level three to level seven. That's. What they've taught us they look for things that we don't see we, need them to be healthy so. Again not all in calling on you to adhere, what's in the agai dense but, to really ensure, that each and every one of you are protecting, each other and so. We cannot, have these large gatherings, that continue, to occur throughout the country for people who are off work to, then be socializing, in large groups, and spreading, the virus you have the potential then to, spread it to someone who does have a condition, that none of us knew about and, caused them to have a disastrous, outcome, finally. On the testing, piece and what we're learning I know, you know last week and bringing the private sector, I think what has been exciting, to me over the last two and a half weeks is to see this administration. Harness the full capacity of the private sector. Understanding. That a lot of our solutions. That we need to confront this virus a lot rely, on the private sector bringing. The private sector commercial labs was critical, into this process we. Are now beginning to see that. They have spread out in a prioritized, way because we ask them to to, prioritize, the region's that were mostly affected, and so, you still may have difficulty. Getting tests, in areas, that do not have significant. Cases we've, had them prioritize, the regions, where we need diagnosis, and their diagnostic. Percent, remember I told you South Korea was. Under 4%. So 96%. Of people were negative. The. Last report, we've seen from the laboratories. Have about a 7 plus percent, positivity, rate still. 93. Plus percent, or 92 percent are negative.
But, I think that's encouraging, to me personally. That we're prioritizing, appropriately. To those areas that have the greatest need. Today. And yesterday, thermo. Fisher pushed. Out most, of their laboratory. Testing. Capacity and, that, will dramatically, increase the op platform, and the ability, to run additional tests. In addition, to Roche so. I appreciate. Everybody's. Attention to these numbers, I'm, I'm excited, that we've prioritized. Where the need was the greatest, but, again please, follow the guidance and please make sure in every report that you're putting out that, you're talking about the presidential, guidance. To actually, stop the spread of this virus thank. You. So. Good afternoon everyone and I want, to provide, an update on DoD's. Coronavirus. Up efforts, as we continue to focus on our, three priorities that's first of all protecting, our personnel and their families second. Safeguarding, our national security mission capabilities, and third of course supporting the administration's, whole-of-government approach. First. Of all though I do want to assure the, American, people that the United States military remains. Ready, and capable of defending, the country and our, interests abroad now. With that the department is leaning forward in our response, to kovat 19 we, have issued international, and domestic travel. Restrictions, to all DoD personnel and, families that, should dramatically reduce potential, exposure, to the virus those, have been in place for some time now as I. Announced yesterday the department defense will make available up to five million n95. Respirator, masks, and other personal, protective equipment from. Our own strategic reserves, to the Department, of Health and Human Services for distribution the, first 1 million masks, will be available, immediately, we're. Also prepared, to distribute, to HHS, up to 2,000, operational. Deployable ventilators, for use as needed now. Yesterday I was at Fort Detrick Maryland which is probably the military's, premiere research institute where, I got updated on the incredible, work our people are doing as part of the interagency team to work on vaccines, and therapeutics they, are making great progress there we. Also have announced that we've certified. Our 16th, lab or, will soon certified, our 16th, lab to, help with processing tests, from across the country. Additionally. I have directed, as the president mentioned that the hospital, ships mercy and comfort be prepared to deploy to, increase the nation's medical capacity. And we, have also alerted a variety, of filled. And expeditionary, hospitals, to, be prepared to deploy as well as needed, based, on direction from the commander in chief today. A leadership, from the Army Corps of Engineers is in New York meeting with Governor Cuomo and his team I spoke, with Governor Cuomo yesterday, and other governors I will be speaking to more in the coming days to make sure that they know what DoD, can provide through. Our system to and to address, their needs in, my conversations, with governor's and. Members of Congress about DoD's resources, I've made it clear that we will continue to support the, administration's. Comprehensive. Efforts and the country every step of the way while, ensuring our nation's security remains the top, priority, I want, to conclude by thanking again, all of our service members and their families who have been affected by this outbreak, they, are all great, heroes we, are continue, to support them throughout this we are all in this together thank, you all very much. So. Yesterday the president made a very important, announcement about, telehealth, and this is allowing, our 62, million seniors, to be able to get some medical services, from, the safety of their home reducing, their risk and without any co-pays but. We're also making sure that the health care system, is prepared and that those on the front lines have the support that they need the. Reality, is the, stakes are high and we need to preserve personal. Protective equipment for. Those that are on the frontlines of this fight and to, that end we have put out guidelines over the last two weeks to expand the types of masks that can be used in routine care and saving those and 95s, for the most risky, situations. Conserving. Personal, protective, equipment is, also, essential, to combat the virus so, today CMS, will announce detailed.
Recommendations To. Further promote, this needed, conservation. Specifically. By limiting, non-essential. Elective. Medical, and surgical procedures. Including. Dental procedures, we. Believe that these recommendations will. Help surgeons, patients. And hospitals, prioritize. What is essential, while, leaving the ultimate, decision, in the hands of state and local health officials and those, clinicians who have direct responsibility to. Their patients, and, we urge, providers. And clinicians and, patients to seriously, consider these, recommendations. They, will not only preserve, equipment, but it also allows doctors, and nurses to help those that are on the front lines and it will protect patients. From necessary, exposure, to the virus we. Fully appreciate that, this is going to have a major impact on the healthcare system, but, the shared sacrifice is, essential, to, help those that are on the front lines and I want to thank the medical societies, such as the American, College of Surgeons and, the American Dental, Association that. Took a proactive, approach, and already posted. These recommendations and, we've, also talked to the American Medical Association and, they have fully indicated, their support for, this recommendation we. Now invite the entire healthcare community, to join us in this effort thank you. Thank. You mr. president, my. Instructions, from the president, were very clear, I was. To do everything imaginable. As. Aggressively, as possible to, protect the nine and a half million veterans, who are part of the Department of Veterans Affairs last. Month, we established, 19, emergency, operations centers across the country we. Began to limit, the, number of visitors, who entered, our facilities, we began. I think the first we were the first system to begin triaging, across, the. Country, and our 170. Hospitals, the, entrance, of anyone into our facility, without being, questioned. Or tested, we, expanded, those restrictions, to those you, know 135. Community. Living centers which, which, have about 7800. Veterans, who, are in acute. And acute. Conditions, to, make sure that they were protected, we, also, took. The next step and made. Sure that we. Limited. The dental. Surgeries, that we were provided, we've cut back by one-third the number of routine appointments, we have had and we have canceled, elective. Surgeries, these, were all part the, president's, directive to, be as aggressive in a public health sense, as we, could be and I think we have set, the pace for the entire country I will, say we've. Often said that we work the, most noble mission in the federal government, our. Veterans, have been in the toughest spots in the world they, have been put in conditional, conditions, that are unimaginable. Most Americans. And they, have responded, they've responded clearly, they, have responded. With. Passion, and also. The. 400,000, members. Of our department who. Are out there on the front lines the, last thing I will say is, that you have heard a lot about the fourth mission that VA has our, first three missions are health, care benefits, and memorial, Affairs our. Fourth mission is to support the federal government in times of natural, disasters. And pandemics, we, are the the buttress, force in. Case that FEMA, or HHS, calls, upon us to deploy medical. Professionals, across the country to. Meet crises, but, we plan for that every day we, are gaming out emergency preparedness. Scenarios, and we, stand, ready when. The president, needs us to expand our mission. About. The potential, for, what could come and he said, that unemployment could skyrocket to 20 percent are we looking that that could rival the Great Depression are we looking at potentially. Yeah. No I don't agree that's a absolute, total worst-case, scenario.
But. No, we don't look at that at all we're. Nowhere near it okay why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus. There are reports, of dozens, of incidents, of bias, against. Chinese Americans, in this country your, own a secretary. A czar and says he does not use this term because ethnicity, does not cause the virus, why. Do you keep using this comes from journalists. It's not racist at all no I met it okay it comes from China. That's. Why comes, from China I want to be accurate yeah. Please John. I. Have the great I have great love for. All, of the people from our country but as. You, know China tried to say at. One point maybe. This stuff now that, it was caused by American. Soldiers, that. Can't happen it's, not gonna happen, not as long as I'm president. It comes from China John Kriss two, questions, my good mr. president first of all in defense procurement Act you're invoking it today senator surely I said on. The floor a short time ago that it urgently needs, to be put into action to. Produce medical, supplies particularly. Ventilators, do you have some targets, that you would like to see immediately, spool up we do have we have tremendous numbers, of ventilators, but there's never been an instance like this where no matter what you have it's not enough that would be the case and. We, will be it's, it's being signed it's essentially, drawn, and I'm going to sign it in just a little while. If. We need to use it we'll be using it at full speed ahead. It's. Urgent Lee needed to be do you have some time we're going to know whether or not urgent but we will yeah, we do have targets we have targets for certain pieces. Of equipment we have targets for masks you know the masks and numbers of basks are incredible, we've ordered millions of them but. We need millions for this a thing like this has never been requested. And it's never we've. Never had even think in terms of these numbers but we, need millions of masks and all of that will be order we need respirators. We, need, ventilators. Is a big thing because it's a complex piece of equipment so we, have a lot of metal edges but we're going to be ordering more. What. Size will, the checks be that will be sent out to. Be determined, we're working with the Senate. Right now we're working with everybody on Capitol.
Hill There's been tremendous. There. Really has been I mean with with some exceptions obviously because, it's always the way it is but there, has been they've, been getting along very well Republicans, and Democrats, it's a nice thing very bipartisan, so forth. Well. We're gonna see I don't want to get into that right now John we we are looking at different numbers, we're. Looking, at timing that would be different splitting, the time splitting, the payments we're looking at a lot of different things hasn't. Been determined yet but it will shortly be determined, and people want to go big as opposed everybody, seems to want to go big and, they. Want to get to the recovery, the big day is the, big thing we can do is get rid of this, horrible. I. Call. It the unseen, the. Unseen, enemy you call it you is it that, was in different terms for it but what it's, upon us and it's. It. Did 128. Countries I think it's in something, like that very close to that think of that so. It spreads violently, it's a very contagious. Very, very contagious, virus. American. To be on a wartime, footing in terms of fighting this virus I do I actually do I'm looking at it that way because you know if, it got out of control the big thing we did was a very early stoppage. Of people coming in who could be very, very heavily infected, that. Was a it was a very good move and it was very early very very early when most, people including a lot of professionals, they didn't want us to do it that, really, saved a lot of lives and yeah. I look at it I view it as a in. A sense of wartime president, I mean that's what we're fighting I mean it's it's. A it's, a very tough situation you, you. Have to do things you have to you. Have to close parts of an economy, that six. Weeks ago were the, best they've ever been with the best economy we've ever had and, then one day you have to close it down in order to defeat this enemy and.
But. We're doing it and we're doing it well and I'll tell you the American people have been incredible, for, the most part they've been really incredible yeah please. You. Just said there are a tremendous number of ventilators, that we have but for weeks hospitals, have been warning about a critical, shortage if they say we are not prepared, for so, why did it take so long. You. Know hospitals, are supposed to have ventilators, too and. When we have thousands. Of ventilators, it sounds like a lot but. This is a very unforeseen. Thing nobody ever thought of these numbers nobody ever saw numbers like this even. With regard to testing normally we wouldn't be doing testing, and they decided, to do it very, very hard to ramp up now we're getting highly sophisticated tests. And it's, going, very well but nobody's ever heard of testing, and the kind of quantities that you're talking about. Well. We knew it depends, it depends. On how it goes worst, case absolutely, the best case not not. At all so. We're gonna have to see where it goes but we are ordering. Thousands. And thousands, event and, they're, complex, you know these are complex machines and but, we're ordering them does, anybody have a microwave, you do how many do we have. We. Have a specific number of ventilators, in the stockpile it's in excess of of. 10,000. And you just heard the announcement from the Department of Defense they'll be adding several more thousand, to that but president. Even this morning and yesterday afternoon speaking, with the, largest. Companies in the supply chain in this country we're, hearing a tremendous. Spirit. Among, industry, leaders who are ready to step in and add. To that volume. But. The stockpiles, don't count, all of the ventilators, that exist, today in, the marketplace and in health care facilities around the country but. The president's given us a director. To make sure that our stockpile, but. Just as importantly, working with industry leaders that, we're securing. The. Increase, in ventilators, the increase in mass gloves. IRA protective. Care garments, that, are all necessary to lean forward and we're confident we'll be able to accomplish that with the incredible. Cooperation. Of the supply chain that exists. In America today. We. Can give you the exact number we'll give it to you but we're ordering we're ordering a lot more. Yeah. One second one second Kate and we'll do it in a second. What. Was the tipping point Friday we talked, about it that Monday you said no one who were not considering no I said not yet I, spoke, with the Prime Minister Trudeau. Very. Good, relationship, obviously between us. And our two countries and, no. Tipping point it's just that we want to we. Want to isolate from, the standpoint we don't want people coming into contact because, that's the way we're going to win this war that is so important, and we. Both thought it was sad now it's not affecting, trade, it's, non-essential. It's non-essential. Crossings, it won't affect trade at all and, it. Was just something we thought would be good for both countries yes please. Throughout. The virus how can you be sure the trade and everything. That's being shipped, from one side well they're doing it in a very careful manner you can, only. Be.
Vigilant. And very professional, but, we're, not it's not pertaining at this moment to trade between. The two countries yeah, please yeah about, the trillion-dollar. Economic. Stimulus package could, look something like 50 billion for the airlines 150. Billion dollars in loan guarantees in critical sectors of the economy a 250. Billion dollar payment on April 6th directly. To individuals, another, 250. Billion dollar payments on May 18 again directly. To individuals, and as well three hundred billion dollars for small business, loan guarantees, is, that in the general sense what could be could, be and we're also, playing. With a lot of numbers a lot of very big numbers and a lot of very small numbers frankly we want to take care of we have to help everybody it was nobody's fault, this, happened I mean, some people could say it was, somebody's. Fault actually, but, it, was nobody's, fault and certainly none of these companies that all of a sudden had no passengers. And planes and had no passengers. On cruise ships and all, of the things that have happened but. I will say that they. Can't be blamed for this and we want to keep those companies vibrant, because it's going to be a comeback very. Very quickly as soon as this is solved, and it will be solved, we will win and there, will be a comeback and it'll take place very quickly. There's. Give. Or take 330. Million Americans, or so you just do, the math on that that's about 750, dollars a person a family of four that would be about three, thousand dollars on average again, rough rough math, which, if, that were this is hell no I don't want to say that because it's a moving these are all every, number that you mentioned, yes we've talked about those numbers we're also moving those numbers in both directions so we'll let you know it'll be it's moving, along fast again. There's, a great. Bipartisan. Effort going on that that I haven't really seen before to this extent. Look. It's down the line and they're looking at it very seriously and I think would be a great thing because the others to. Use a nice word it's very inconvenient. It's. Very tough Fraser you. Tweeted this morning about your approval, rating amongst Republicans you, have said that you give yourself a ten in terms of handling this crisis, how, do you reassure, Americans at, home who don't trust you to handle a crisis, of this magnitude well. I think we're doing a really good job we. Started off with a, termination. Of the border the people coming in from China where this all started, that meant I took it very seriously, and when, I use the word calm calm, doesn't mean that. I'm not taking it seriously calm means and we should be calm we should be extremely calm but. Yeah. Ninety five percent within the Republican. Party and over fifty percent and I, also have. We. Have very great approval, numbers I mean people like the job that we're doing and when, you can't compare this to other. Epidemics, or, if you want to use a different term you can but, within this country and you look at what's happened over the years this. Is being handled very very professionally, we're the greatest professionals. In the world we're, doing a good job nobody has ever been swamped like this and nothing's, been so contagious, the level of contagion has, been.
Incredible. Actually nobody's, seen anything quite like this yeah Peter go ahead. Shipped, millions, of tests as you and your colleagues have said why is the, federal government's s of only 15 59, thousand, tests been, processed, to this point we just heard from the Lanta public health director saying that they have fewer, than 50 test, kits, for, more than, 900,000, citizens where louis I'll let Mike. So. That's a very critical question and, thank you for asking it so the, test kits that we put out last week through the approval the, rapid, movement of that. Meeting that President Trump called less, than two weeks ago that, has resulted in bringing our private sector to the table, because the tests in the platform, that was out there could, only run between, four and twelve. Tests. Per platform per, day we've, now moved into platforms, that can run. Basically. Tens, of thousands, of tests per day so. Yeah the reason I'm grateful, for your question, because it allows me to point out that a course then there was backlog, there were individuals, who had been tested, who. Hadn't have their specimen, run because of the slow throughput. It's, now in a high-speed platform. So, we will see the number, of people diagnosed. Dramatically. Increase, over the next four to five days I know, some, of you will, use that to, raise an alarm that, we are worse. Than Italy, because. Of our slope of our curve to, every American, out there it will be five to six days worth, of tests, being, run in 24. To 48 hours, so our curves, will not be stable, until. Sometime, next week the. Reason I talked about thermo Fisher yesterday, is because. Their platform, is in two thousand laboratories, they're. The ones that are putting out the, million, tests, this week that. Will solve, the issue that atlanta and others have brought up I wanted. To be clear we prioritize. The areas, we do county-by-county. Analyses. Based. On those analyses. On what. Counties, had more than 50 cases we. Prioritize. The test, kits we put out the, 400,000. And that's, why we're seeing a seven percent plus, positivity. Rate we'll, be able to expand, that platform, and reprioritize. Based. On the assess of the the other kids, perhaps. I can follow up Howard non-systematic. Professional, athletes, getting tests while others are waiting in line and can't, get them do the well-connected go to the front of the line well that kid have to ask them that question I mean they I've. Read no. I wouldn't say so but, perhaps, that's been, the story of life that does happen on occasion and I've noticed where some people have been tested, fairly. Quickly look. We inherited, a very excuse. Me excuse. Me we inherited, a very obsolete, system this was a system that was, out-of-date. Obsolete. Or it, was a system, that was never meant to take care of the kind of quantity, the. Number of people that we're talking about millions, and millions of people if. You go back in years past like even, recently, with the flu nobody had tests, before, they didn't test the entire nation to, see whether or not they had flu they got the flu they got better hopefully.
They Got better that was it now, all of a sudden they do this very complex, testing, what we've done is we broken it down we've broken up the system but it was obsolete, and or you, could say it was also a system that just wasn't meant to handle the kind of volley the volume, that you're talking about we've. Rebuilt, it into a system that for the future will be a very good system, if you, want to go this route but. This, was never done before and, I. Would imagine it will be done in the future but, we built it into a very good system by, using private. Companies, the great private companies, and I have to say Roches been doing a very good job they, of doing a lot of work a very good job but this was an obsolete, system this was not a system, that was meant to do anything like this or even near this john. Is. Calling, on you to suspend, teres with, other countries as part, of the response to the corona virus who heads that group, those. Countries, do. Check. It's an american free trade I know I'm sure a free trade look china, is paying those billions and billions of dollars in tariffs and there's no reason to do that they haven't even spoken, to me about that China. Hasn't asked me to do that but we're getting billions of dollars here from tariffs. From China and I. Can't. Imagine Americans. Asking for that but, it could be that China will ask for a suspension, or something see what happens, China's, having a very rough time they have their worst year in 76. Years as I understand, it that would a very very tough time and then on top of it this happened with the virus. But. No we're taking in billions of dollars a year in tariffs and. This. Was caused by something totally unrelated, to tariffs. Asylum. Seekers and people, who crossed the southern border illegally, are you, planning to invoke 42, USC, 265. Which would allow you to prohibit, entry. Of certain. People inches yes. Probably, today.
Well. I think essential, is medical. We, have military working, together we. Have industry, working together and again, it's not affecting, trade so things like that but, just leisurely, let's go to, a restaurant that have dinner which a lot of people do they come both ways they go in both directions that kind of thing we we have ended. On a temporary, basis, yeah, please go ahead. Not. Close that no we're not gotta close it but we are invoking a. Certain. Provision, that will allow, us great latitude as to what we do please. Go. Ahead you know what go. Because. Just a week ago um you all were standing here telling us that unless you had sustained, contact, with, somebody who is symptomatic for. Koban 19 you, really didn't need to work eautiful the president the vice president, that if they shook hands with somebody who had this if they took a photograph with with somebody who had this he didn't really need to worry and yet several days later were in a situation where people are being told don't, leave your houses, there are curfews saying you cannot walk alone at night after, a certain time can you walk us through what seemed, like a very dramatic swaying a very dramatic disconnect, from what we were hearing before, right now so. Two things, we. Look at data all the time and I know you're looking at the China and South Korea data, and when, you look at China and South Korea data, and you look what China and South Korea did. You, can see that their curves, are not only blunted. Outside. Of Wuhan, so. The Chinese areas, outside of Wuhan, blunted, curve and South Korea, blunted. Curve if you look at their curve today they're. Already, on, the, far end of their epidemic. Curve of, course none of those countries, are fully back to work and so that's what we worry about too secondly. There was a series of scientific, articles published and I know you've seen them too about, surface, contamination, I think, none of us really, understood, the level of surface. Piece so. We're still working, out how much is it by human, human transmission, and how much is it by surface, this, is why those, fundamental. Guidelines. Were put out that, says don't expose yourself to surfaces, outside the home basically. What those guidelines are, is don't expose yourself to excess, number of persons, who could be asymptomatic, and infected, and then the person-to-person contact, and, don't, expose. Yourself to surfaces, that could have had the, virus on it for which on hard surfaces, I know we had the cardboard, issue about shipping hard. Surfaces, not shown in fabric, as much or in cardboard but hard surface transmission. These, are issues that we haven't had to deal with before with, a level of respiratory infections. And that's why we have this concern and that's why president. Put out the guidelines and so it's to cover both of those pieces that's all new science, all new models, I think many of you have the Imperial.
Study. Available. And looked at the impact, of those that's the first time those have been modeled as a comprehensive. Approach to. Mitigating, an epidemic. The. Wall Street Journal is reporting that, the administration. Would look at an executive order that would expand. The use of investigational, drug. Scientists. A warning, that this could put patients at risk I haven't, seen you know, I haven't seen the article we will we, are making a lot of progress therapeutically. I will, say that and but I have not seen that article now. We've. Shut down non-essential. Travel to Canada, are you considering, shutting down I'll travel to brunt the spread of the virus and we've heard, from industries. Like the airline's who are seeking, relief. What. Other industries. Or what how. Exactly is your administration. I'm going to determine which industries, and businesses, well, there are certain industries that people know it may be airlines would be number one if you look at what's going on they go from having. The best year they've ever had to having no, passengers, because of what we've had to do in. Order to win this war it's a war and. So. You know, basically, you know what many of the industries, are what. We want to do is we want to make sure they all stay together so, that after the war is won we. Can immediately go, right back up to where we were and even beyond I think we're going to go beyond where we were a lot of people are saying that by the way we're poised to do that but, we have to win the war first yeah please go ahead. Today. For those industries, but, their proposal, doesn't detail. Which, industries, we get that money and how much so aside from the airlines which you just mentioned what, about the cruise industry the, hotel how, much of that money do you see them using we're talking about all of it haven't, detailed it yet we have detailed it two senators, and two members, of the House we have been talking about it and we're coming up with numbers haven't gotten there yet but. Certainly. Hotel. Industry the cruise ship industry the, airlines those are all prime. Candidates, episode. Reporter. Sir when, you think which border the northern border when, you say temporary, which is what you said in your tweet did that mean 30 days I would say 30 days and hopefully at the end of 30 days we'll be in great shape. Perhaps. Not taking, some of these warnings, as seriously, as you'd like some, of those people also seem to be your supporters, and conservatives. Who may, be quoting. Some of what you said at the beginning of this comparing, it to the flu, what. Is your message to them to.
Really. Follow what you've been saying so far and are you concerned that they're still, listening maybe to some of your earlier comments, rather than your more recent ones well, I think my earlier comments, to become I mean I I do want, people to become because, we're going to win this and we're gonna win it it's just a question of time and I wanted to go quickly, so, based on the fact that I wanted to go quickly I hope they just listen to what we've been saying over the last period of time we, don't want them gathering, and I see they do gather including, on beaches and including in restaurants. Young people. They. Don't realize they're feeling invincible, I don't. Know if you felt invincible when, you were very young but, they. Were feeling totally invincible or are feeling that way but they don't realize that they can be carrying. Lots of bad things home to grandmother, and grandfather, and even their parents so. We want them to heed. The advice we, made the advice and I think it's getting through I do believe it's getting through Jim. I. Think they're watching, a lot of these people. The. Advice heed the advice I just said yeah thank, you thank you Peter. Humanik. Speaking say. It he was rather and, talking about China you've been very clear about who you think it's a blame or where the origins of the wings or the viruses, nothing. No no I don't think I know who where, it came from I don't. Know if you'd say Chinese, to blame certainly, we didn't get an early run. On it it would have been helpful if we knew about it earlier, but. It. Comes from China and, it's. Not a question about that nobody's, questioning that. Saying. That they should be punished. In so many words for, inflicting, this on. The, American people do you feel that way about well I have a lot of respect for Tom cotton and I. Know exactly what he's been saying and there. Were those people that say that so, we'll, see what happens thank, you. You. Had your hand up so nicely for a long time it's your time thank you sir we've, seen the Chinese government, kick out reporters, from The Wall Street Journal the New York Times The Washington Post what, is your message to the Chinese when it comes to transparency at, a moment we still have reporters, asking. You questions here at the White House yeah I'm not happy to see it I don't you, know I have my own disputes. With all three of those. Media. Groups I think. You know that very well but. I don't like seeing that at all I'm not happy about that at all yes. Do. You believe that China, is inflicting. This upon our country no, I don't believe they're inflicting I think they could have given us a lot earlier notice, absolutely. I'm. Asking because I see that they're very high you, know if you look I'm 95 percent of the Republican Party we. Just had a poll that was done by, a. Very reputable group. Where I'm beating. Sleepy, Joe Biden by a lot in, Florida in the state of Florida and in other states you. Know, so I don't really know who you're talking about hi Jennifer go ahead please. Explain. To them what's, coming what was their wages and they explain to me where they're coming from I mean they went from as I said full planes packed, the best year they've ever had by far to. Bomb. One, day empty, because of what we have to do to, get rid of to win this war or. We would have a. Level. Of death like, people haven't seen before, so.
They've. Been fantastic I, mean they've been great but you know they went from being extremely happy to. Being people, that are running companies that are gonna. Need some help and will help them Jennifer. Would. You give us an update on how that's going we've been getting some reports that counties, have been having difficulty, getting what's, going I mean there's a lot of, influx. To those lungs as you could imagine a lot of people are looking at it but we're going to be increasing funding, a lot and, they're very well prepared, to do what they have to do and the SBA is doing a fantastic job, she. Is doing a really good job the administrator. Dr.. Berger Frank. Researchers. Have had some luck with. Hydroxychloroquine. In, shortening, the duration of disease is that something, that might be in the arsenal, of therapeutics, here, in the United States I think, we're exploring, every one of those issues, on the president, asks for a critical briefing, on that today he opened with that it. Is more than that single, drug there. Are other drugs that individuals. Are looking at just, to go, back to what we have talked about many times there, is things. That look really good in cell culture, against, the virus that may look good in, small animals, and then don't have an impact in humans, and so those are the pieces. That we're looking at very carefully of course there's always antidotal, reports, and we're trying to figure out how. Many Ana Dodos reports, equal. Real scientific, breakthroughs, are. You confident. Of the seasonality, of Calvados. All. We can do is look at the past to inform the future we, know what's ours looked like, we. Also know, and I just want to put. This out I know you can get it online look, at the curve, in China. And look at the curve in South Korea those, curves were accomplished. And still the winter season, and so, we're trying to understand. What those relationships are, we're very interested, in the curves in Italy because, of their. Different approach and we're following every single country's curves and so, all, we can do is look at prior coronavirus. And prior. Respiratory. Infection. RNA, viruses, these are RNA viruses.
When. You look at flu in the northern hemisphere when, you look at, para. Influenza, and some of the other cold viruses, and if you look at SARS that's. The way the peak normally, occurs but, that is a November. To. April. We. All started, later and so you're asking me to predict, based on a later start and that's what we're trying to really look at China and South, Korea to really inform them. Those. That have needed to be tested we believe, we've caught most of them, right. Now we have. 44. Veterans, who have tested positive. Sadly. One has passed in Portland. We. Are working with state labs and private. Companies to make sure that. Testing. Is available because. The, president, had us out aggressively. Early, we. Have we, have been in a better place than most health care systems, in the country I cannot, predict this dr. Burke set when. The next surge will be if it will be but. One. Of the things, that we do at VA is. That we prepare for national emergencies, be the national, disasters, or, epidemics. We, started preparing for this we started stockpiling equipment. Our equipment, is stable and I. Think that's in large part because the instructions, the president. We've. Tested several. Hundred I can't, give you the trick yeah. We've tested several hundred yes, we've tested several I don't know exactly I do know that forty four veterans, have. The. Virus, most, of those are quarantined at home. For. Doctor births quickly, I'm trying to understand. What. We it's, about the mortality rate, yesterday. We underlined the fact that we had reached a hundred deaths and this, morning we wake up and were 110, at. Within 12 hours we, climb. By 10 percent is it something we have to expect from now on a 10 percent increase, every. 12 hours, so. Very early on in, each one of these cases if you look at all of the countries, to date the. Mortality, is higher at the beginning because you're diagnosing, the sickest, the. Ones who came in quite ill and I just want to remind the American public, that's.
Still The majority the, risk for serious illness, and the majority, of Americans are low but. That doesn't, mean that you can't transmit, it to one, of those higher risk groups and that's why we're asking for all Americans, to take responsibility. You're. Seeing, mortality. Or deaths today from, infections, that occurred two to three weeks ago in general, the. Other thing that you're seeing is the dramatic and, very. Difficult impact. Of this virus in nursing homes and, that's, why very early on the, President and Vice President had. Us come out and CMS, put those very, strict, rules in place, and everybody thought we were being too strict and keeping loved ones away from their family. At nursing homes if we're going to solve this with a lower death rate we have to protect, the elderly because. Of their percent, is much, higher in, mortality, than any other age group. Go. Ahead please. Reporting. That the federal government has a plan. That shows that this corona, virus outbreak might laugh as much as long, as, 18 months are you seeing those numbers could. My. Second question is there are some at least one White House official, who use the term Kong flu referring. To the fact that this virus, started in China is that acceptable is it wrong are you worried that that. Having this virus being talked. About as as a, Chinese virus that that might wonder who should me you, know who said that. But. Would, you can use the facts a the time again a. Person. At the White House you use the tears to join flu my. Question is does where that's wrong come flu and, do you think using the term Chinese, virus Becket's Asian Americans. No. No no I think they probably. Would. Agree with it a hundred percent, it comes from China there's nothing not to agree okay how about the last question. Switching. Gears to a larger, question here. We've. Seen that before the, pandemic there were a lot of Americans, that were already alienated, we, saw a deaths of despair increasing, through suicide and other things now is these individuals a lot of times in rural parts of the country are self isolating, what, is your message to those individuals, and what do you hope that individuals. Communities. And churches will be able to return my messages to, all Americans, but to those Americans. Who are going through a lot we love them we're with them and we will not let them down thank, you all very much.