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  • good afternoon.

  • We're coming on the air right now because President Trump is about to hold a briefing with his White House Corona Virus task force.

  • There in the White House briefing room, you see members of the team they're waiting for the president and the vice president to come out, as you also see that it's been a relatively rough day on Wall Street.

  • Dow dropped 1000 points at the open, has been down between five and 6% the entire morning long as more concerns grow up the economic fallout from this crisis and the continued spread across the United States President Trump expected to push Maur economic stimulus measures, including direct payments to Americans of a least $1000.

  • This would be this next.

  • In this bill passes, we see the president and the vice president entered the booth.

  • You know, the president of States, Thank you very much.

  • I would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus will be invoking the Defense Production Act just in case we need it.

  • In other words, I think you will know what it is, and it could do a lot of good things if we need it and we will way will have it, uh, well 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 in which activated FEMA's National Response Coordination Center.

  • Femur 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, uh, I work with and we've been working with them.

  • I've done a lot of work with FEMA.

  • They're incredible.

  • It's always been on hurricanes or tornadoes.

  • They're right now in Tennessee, A large group working in Tennessee have been incredible.

  • That was tragic event.

  • No Alabama last year, also a tornado.

  • And then obviously 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 work for FEMA, but they will come through as they always do, have tremendous people, tremendous talent in FEMA.

  • We're sending upon request.

  • The to hospital ships are being prepared right now.

  • The massive ships, the big white chips with the Red Cross on the sides.

  • One is called the mercy and the other is called the comfort and you are in tip top shape.

  • They soon will be there getting ready to come up to New York.

  • I spoke with Governor Cuomo about it.

  • He's excited about it, and I also, uh, we haven't made the final determinations to where it's gonna 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, uh, those two ships there being prepared to go and they could 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 F.

  • D.

  • A.

  • N I H 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 much easier process than the current process.

  • That's not very, uh, nice to do, I can tell you because I did it.

  • But, uh, 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 other is very effective.

  • Very accurate.

  • Uh, but we're going to see if we could do a self swab, which is I would be a lot more popular, I can tell you that.

  • So, uh, and that would be administered.

  • Also buy health official, but it would be a lot easier to do.

  • The the, uh, 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.

  • So what do 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 swap.

  • And, uh, if it would test positive that 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.

  • Good.

  • We are looking at some very exciting things, and I'm gonna be holding the second news conference either.

  • Today we're gonna talk about the FDA.

  • Some things are happening that it quite exciting.

  • And, uh, 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, has been working very, very hard on a number of developments, and we'll be discussing it 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.

  • There, truly American heroes, they want to get it done.

  • Their incredible people So we're going to be meeting with nurses and, uh, actually look forward to that.

  • Very brave.

  • They're taking a lot of risk and they have done an incredible job and they never complained.

  • Today I'm also announcing that the Department of Housing and Urban Development 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 refuse to go home and slept on factory floors to keep assembly lines running.

  • And you know, the numbers of ships that they built during 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 to this day.

  • Nobody 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 of 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 will be a total victory.

  • Uh, so we'll have a second conference again having to do with the FDA and this.

  • I think it's gonna be potentially very exciting news conference, and we will do it as quickly as we can.

  • So whether it's today or tomorrow, you know, with that ask Mike Pence to say a few words.

  • And, uh, thank you very much.

  • Thank you, Mr President.

  • The White House Corona Virus Task Force meant 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 in territory, the full power of the American economy to support businesses and families.

  • As 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 of 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 mutual discussion that took place this morning between the president and Prime minister.

  • Trudeau and the Department of Homeland Security will be effectuating.

  • 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, a CZ, the president said last week in signing the Stafford Act, he stood up the National Response Coordination Center and today at the president's direction of FEMA, has gone to Level one.

  • FEMA's mission is to support disasters that air locally executed, state managed and federally supported, and tomorrow the president will be hosting all the nation's governors from a video conference at FEMA to ensure that they have, ah, full connection to all of the activated regions.

  • For FEMA going forward with regard to testing, 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 forge 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 supply of testing is there for those that need it most or are symptomatic or in the vulnerable population.

  • Dr.

  • Deborah Berkson A moment will address the progress that we're making on testing the infection rate, our recommendations, 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 will be important to every every American.

  • On the subject of supplies, 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 resource is available, Secretary Robert Wilkie will announce decisions the V A 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 on hospitals to partner with us and delaying elective procedures across the country and our health care system to ensure that medical supplies and medical capacity go over there needed most.

  • Seema Verma will describe guidance at CMS will be issuing on that front and finally I just I want to remind every American of the president's 15 day guidance to slow the spread.

  • We're 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, Dr.

  • 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 I C.

  • Use.

  • We think part of this.

  • Maybe that people heeded the early data coming out of China and coming out of South Korea about the elderly are those with preexisting 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 maybe disproportional 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 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 corners and skip through games on.

  • I always went level by level.

  • I didn't realize that you could go from level three to level seven.

  • That's what they 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 did.

  • He'd what's in the guidance, 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 we none of us knew about and cause them to have a disastrous outcome.

  • Finally, on the testing peace 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 1/2 weeks is 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 lot rely on the private sector.

  • Bringing the private sector commercial labs was critical into this process.

  • We're now beginning to see that they have spread out in a prioritized way because we asked them t prioritize the regions that were mostly affected.

  • And so you still may have difficulty getting test 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 seven plus percent positivity rate.

  • Still, 93 plus percent or 92% are negative.

  • But I think that's encouraging to me personally that we're prioritising 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 platform and the ability to run additional tests in addition to Roche.