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Sat Apr 4, 2020, 07:38 AM

Remarks by Trump, Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, 04-03-20

Last edited Sat Apr 4, 2020, 08:15 AM - Edit history (1)

Hat tip, Joe.My.God, for pointing out the remarks about models:


Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing


Issued on: April 3, 2020

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I just had a meeting with Kevin McCarthy, future Speaker of the House, I hope. And he’s done a fantastic job for the people of California. And also, the people of California have done a fantastic job, when you look at the — at the bump. You take a look at the bump and how they’re doing out there. So I congratulate everybody out there.

But I thought I’d have Kevin say a few words. So, Kevin, please.

LEADER MCCARTHY: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And I would like to thank you. On the basis of California, Governor Newsom says the work that you’re doing together has been — you’re working very closely — has been effective in California as well — the Vice President and the President.

You know, today, Mr. President, I want to thank you, especially for the work that Secretary Mnuchin has done, especially for small businesses. Just today alone, I saw Bank of America had more than 10,000 loans in two hours.

And for anybody who’s in small business — My first small business was when I was 20 years old. You don’t have income coming in right now, you get a loan, but for your rent, paying your employees, and paying your utilities is a grant. That’s part of the CARES Act. And I think you’re going to find that a lot of small businesses are going to hire people back, keep them afloat through the next two months, and get this economy moving again as we get through this virus. So I just want to thank you for all that work.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job you’re doing.


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. You go ahead. I’ll talk to you later.


In light of these studies, the CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary; you don’t have to do it. They suggested for a period of time. But this is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.


So, Mike, if you could come up say a few words. Please.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. The President just outlined a number of the decisions that he made today on the unanimous recommendation to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.


Dr. Birx?

DR. BIRX: Thank you Mr. Vice President, Mr. President. Thank you for your words of discipline and determination. I guess that really describes what we’re asking every American to really be: disciplined about these guidelines and really determined to stay in that space of execution.


Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY AZAR: Well, thank you, Mr. President, for your continued leadership as we battle the coronavirus. First, I want to thank all of the members of the HHS team and the frontline healthcare workers across America, including those who — those service workers who serve in our hospitals, at our healthcare facilities, those who clean, those who deliver, those who stock the shelves — all those who are going into battle every day against the virus. Your country has asked you to serve as never before, and you have responded heroically.


Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Okay, let’s go. Steve?

Q If we could draw you out a little bit more on the advice on face masks. What do — what would people gain from wearing a mask? And why are you opposed to wearing one yourself?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just don’t want to wear one myself. It’s a recommendation; they recommend it. I’m feeling good. I just don’t want to be doing — I don’t know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk — the great Resolute Desk — I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself. I just — I just don’t. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass and hopefully it’ll pass very quickly.

Now, with that being said, if somebody wants to — I mean, most people can just make something out of a certain material. So it’s very well designated, it’s very simple to do. I won’t be doing it personally. It’s a recommendation. Okay?


All right, please. Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, as I was saying, the Food and Drug Administration, to address the shortage of blood supply, announced yesterday it would ease the restrictions on certain donors, including gay men, who are now required to be abstinent for 3 months, as opposed to 12 months, to donate. Did you have a hand in that change?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t know anything about that. That was done by the FDA — very capable people at the FDA.

Please, go ahead.


Q And where is Dr. Fauci?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. But every time you ask that question — whenever he’s not here, you look, you say, “Where is he?” And you’ll say, “Is there a problem?” No problem whatsoever. Every time he’s not here — sometimes I’ll ask him to come because that’s the first question that you and a couple of others from the fake news establishment ask, is: “Where is Dr. Fauci?” We’re doing great together.

Q A different subject, if I may ask.

THE PRESIDENT: Except we’re covering a different subject today.

Go ahead.

Q A different subject, if I may ask.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, Jim. Try another one.

Q Mr. President, you have you have said nobody could have seen this pandemic coming, but, in fact, Secretary Azar, at a biodefense summit in April of 2019, said, “Of course, the people” — “Of course, the thing that people ask, ‘What keeps you most up at night in the biodefense world?’ Pandemic flu, of course. I think everyone in this room probably shares that concern.” Your own Health and Human Services Secretary was aware that this had the potential of being a very big problem around the world, a pandemic of this nature. Who dropped the ball?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I always knew that pandemics are one of the worst things that could happen. There’s been nothing like this since probably 1917. That was the big one in Europe. It started actually here and went to Europe. Probably. I’ve heard about —

Q You’ve also said nobody could see this coming.

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. Wait a minute. Let me finish. I’ve heard about this for a long time — pandemics. You don’t want pandemics. And I don’t think he was talking about a specific pandemic. He was talking about the threat of a pandemic could happen. And it could happen. Most people thought it wouldn’t and most people didn’t understand the severity of it. This is a very severe. What’s happened is very severe. But I’d let you answer that. I assume that he was talking about the concept of a pandemic.

SECRETARY AZAR: Thank you, Mr. President. Actually — absolutely, for 15 years now, this country has had a massive effort at the federal, state, and local level of preparedness for a pandemic. Now, that largely has been, as I said in those remarks, about pandemic flu preparedness. We knew about SARS, we knew about MERS, which were earlier modifications or variants of the coronavirus. None of those achieved anything like what we’re seeing today.

But that’s why, for successive presidencies, including the leadership of President Trump, there has been a great focus on pandemic preparedness. In fact, it was just in November, I believe, that the President signed the Pandemic Flu Preparedness executive order that we have — and we have also updated the Pandemic Crisis Action Plan, which has been the playbook from which we’ve been working the Pandemic Flu Plan. Again, the action plan from which we have been working that coordinates the whole-of-government, whole-of-economy approach here.

So we’ve all been very focused on pandemic preparedness. That’s what we do.

But this particular strain of pandemic, who would — who would have known this particular strain?

Q But, Secretary Azar, if you were preparing for a pandemic, if this government were preparing for a pandemic, why is it we don’t have enough masks? Why is it we don’t have enough medical equipment in this country?

THE PRESIDENT: Previous administrations gave us very little ammunition for the military and very little shelf space. Let me just tell you —

Q But you’ve been President —

THE PRESIDENT: You know it —

Q You’ve been President —

THE PRESIDENT: You know the answer.

Q — three or four years now.

THE PRESIDENT: The previous administration, the shelves were empty. The shelves were empty.

Q You had time to stock the shelves.

THE PRESIDENT: So what you should do is speak to the people from the previous administration, Jim, and ask them that question, because —

Q Mr. President, you’ve been in office —

THE PRESIDENT: — the shelves were empty.

Q — for almost four years.

THE PRESIDENT: And you know what else? The military shelves were also empty. We had no ammunition, literally. And that was said by one of your favorite generals. “We have — sir, we have no ammunition.” Guess what? We had very little medical supply also.

All right. Go ahead, please.

Q Isn’t that a cop-out, though?


Q Isn’t that a cop-out?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll get it back. We’ll get you back.

Q But, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll get you back, please.

Q But what about that question —

THE PRESIDENT: Jim, I said we’ll get you back.

Please, go ahead.


Go ahead.

Q President Trump, thank you. Yesterday, Jared Kushner said the notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be “our” stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. What did he mean by “our”? And —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, why don’t you ask him?

Q And even the fact that taxpayers from every state pays for it —

THE PRESIDENT: What’s that? A “gotcha”? “I gotcha.” You used the word “our.”

Q No, it’s not a “gotcha.” What did he mean by it?

THE PRESIDENT: “Our” — you know, what “our” means? United States of America. That’s what it means. It means —

Q So it means the states?

THE PRESIDENT: Our. Our. It means the United States of America. And then we take that “our” and we distribute it to the states.

Q So why did he say it’s not supposed —

THE PRESIDENT: Not that we have to —

Q — to be state stockpiles that they then can use?

THE PRESIDENT: Because we need it for the government and we need it for the federal government.

Q To give to the states.

THE PRESIDENT: But when the states are in trouble — no, to also keep —

Q Then who are you giving to if it’s not to the states?

THE PRESIDENT: To keep — to keep for our country, because the federal government needs it too, not just the states. But out of that, we oftentimes choose — as an example, we have almost 10,000 ventilators and we are ready to rock with those ventilators. We’re going to bring them to various areas of the country that need them. But when he says “our,” he’s talking about our country. He’s talking —

Q But he makes the distinction.


Q And, sir —

THE PRESIDENT: He’s talking about the federal government. I mean, it’s such a basic, simple question, and you try and make it sound so bad.

Q It’s not bad. I’m just trying to —

THE PRESIDENT: You ought to be — you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Q — understand. No — by the way, Secretary Azar —

THE PRESIDENT: You know what? You ought to be ashamed. It’s such a simple question. He said “our.” And “our” means for the country and “our” means for the states —

Q But then he said it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles.

THE PRESIDENT: — because the states are part of the country. Don’t make it sound bad. Don’t make it sound bad.

Go ahead, Steve. Go ahead, back here.

Q But, Mr. President, the HHS even changed the language on the website.

THE PRESIDENT: You just asked your question. You just asked your question in a very nasty tone.

Q I don’t think it was nasty.


Q I think you didn’t give me an answer.


Q Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: I gave you a perfect answer. You know it. Go ahead.

Q Well, just to follow up on that: When we have the federal stockpile — I mean, isn’t that designed to be able to distribute to the states who need it?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. But it’s also needed for the federal government. We have a federal stockpile and they have state stockpiles. And, frankly, they were — many of the states were totally unprepared for this. So we had to go into the federal stockpile. But we’re not an ordering clerk. They have to have for themselves.

Now, some of the states were in good shape. Some of the states were not in good shape. That’s probably something you could expect. We have been helping states. We have been spending a tremendous amount of time, effort, and billions and billions of dollars on making sure that they have what they have.

I mean, take New York: We built them hospitals — I built them four hospitals — built them medical centers, sent a ship with 1,000 rooms and 12 operating rooms, and then on top of that, gave vast numbers of ventilators and vast numbers of surgical gowns, equipment, masks, everything else.

Now, they had a chance to order ventilators over the years. They had a chance to order a very big — but they didn’t choose to do it. We were there and we helped them. And I think the governor of New York is very thankful for the help that we gave.

But we have a stockpile. It’s a federal stockpile. We can use that for states, or we can use it for ourselves. We do use it for the federal government. We have a very big federal government.

Go ahead.

Q So have you decided not to use your powers to be essentially a traffic cop for all the essential medical supplies that are needed in this?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re not a traffic cop. We’re a humanitarian cop. We help — it’s like the ships. Do you think we wanted to take two big ships into our country that have obvious problems? And you know the problems I’m talking about. So I have a decision to make: Do I take them in or do I save lives? Okay? Do I take them in or do I save? I decided to take them in.

And we have tremendous protection. We have great doctors there to help the people. They had four or five people that died. That was as of last night. They died on the ships. We took care of it. And now the people are in the process of — and many are already back in Canada, they’re back in the UK — United Kingdom. And many of them were American citizens. Some were very sick. We’re taking care of the sick people. We’re testing all of the others very, very carefully — very, very carefully. They are being tested like you wouldn’t believe. And we solve a humanitarian catastrophe. You know why? Because nobody else would take the ships. Nobody else would take them. So we docked him in, I think, Fort Lauderdale.

Q I think some people are wondering why you don’t say “We’re the federal government and there’s a shortage of masks and other things and —

THE PRESIDENT: We do say that.

Q — we’re going to —

THE PRESIDENT: We do say that.

Q — sign off on every single shipment–

THE PRESIDENT: We say we’re — we say and use the Act.

Q — that needs to go to places where it needs to go.”

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, we do say that and we use the Act. And we’ve used it a number of times very powerfully. And a lot of times, we don’t have to use it, because we say, “We’re going to use it if you don’t do this or that.”

And then we also have companies that act incredibly well. We have plenty of them — mostly them. But we’ve used the Act very powerfully. And a lot of times, you don’t have to exercise the Act; all you have to do is tell them, “Look, if you don’t do this, we’re going to use the Act.”

And we’ve done a good job with it — maybe a great job.



Please, go ahead.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. This is for you and Secretary Azar. Ten million people say they’ve lost their jobs in the past two weeks. So how is this stimulus money for free treatment going to absorb the new numbers of uninsured and —

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, if you want — go ahead.

Q — would it not be easier to reopen the Obamacare markets or expand Medicaid?

SECRETARY AZAR: So for an individual who had employer insurance — that’s what I mentioned in my remarks — if you were employed and had insurance through your employer, and you’ve now lost your job and lost that insurance, you now do have a special enrollment period where you may enroll in the individual exchanges of the Affordable Care Act. So that’s — that’s existing law.

Then, what we’re doing is taking from that hundred billion dollars to providers, taking money and saying: “If you’re a provider and you care for anybody who is uninsured, we’re going to compensate you for doing that, and we’re going to compensate you at the Medicare reimbursement rates, and you are not allowed to bill that uninsured individual anything.”

So, in many respects, it’s better for those uninsured individuals. They’re going to get first-dollar coverage, they’re going to get care in the United States, and the provider is going to be made whole from this program. So it’s really an unprecedented — what President Trump is doing here with this money is an unprecedented, disease-specific support of care for individuals to make sure that people get treatment.


Did you have one in the back? Yeah, please.

Q Mr. President, if I can say — this is why the question about the stockpile that was asked earlier is so important.

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think that was the question (inaudible).

Q No, it was a very important question because what Jared Kushner said yesterday is that the federal stockpile is for use by the federal government, not for the states to have access to. So you seem to be saying different. So did Jared Kushner misspeak yesterday?

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, he didn’t — he didn’t misspeak.

Q Is that federal stockpile available to the states?

THE PRESIDENT: He used the word “our.” Okay? “Our” — “our” is referring to our country.

Q Yeah, but he said — he said it’s not for the states to use.

THE PRESIDENT: The states, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of your knowledge, are a part of our country. We are taking what is in the federal stockpile and we are helping states all over the country. But we also want to keep some because when that surge comes, when you hit those peaks, we’re going to need it. And we have to be able to have the flexibility to take those ventilators and bring them to Louisiana, New York, Detroit, different places. That’s all.

Q But you will be using them for the states that need them?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, of course. We’re not using them anywhere else. We’re not going to be using them, Jon, anywhere else. But we want the flexibility because, you know, we don’t even know when the surge is coming, but it’s coming soon and it’s going to be big, and some areas won’t have it.

Some areas will be pleasantly surprised, just like we’ve been. You look at the chart. States that I thought would have been maybe a disaster turned out to be — really, they’ve done a great job. Some states are really troubled, but you don’t know. You don’t know. We have great flexibility.

I would have preferred giving them all out. We’d have nothing. And now when we have a surge, we can’t get them back from where we gave them because it’s very tough to take it back. So we have tremendous flexibility. And it could be New York. It could be Louisiana. Those are two that are really rough. New Jersey is very rough. And they’ve done a very good job in New Jersey, but New Jersey is very rough.

Go ahead, please, in the back.


THE PRESIDENT: Say — say it. Say it, Steve. What?

Q Have we made enough improvements?

THE PRESIDENT: On what? On what?

Q On social distancing.

Q Have the models changed? Have the models changed?

THE PRESIDENT: I’d have to ask Dr. Fauci, and I’d have — have to ask Deborah. Have the models changed?

DR. BIRX: So a lot of the projections, you can see, are based on — there’s many different ways to look at this. And as we discussed on Sunday, some of it is based on the current global experience. We are about, I think, 6.5 or 5.5 times the size of Italy, a different factor in Spain. And we look at all of those — what their projections are, where they are currently, and where that is going. And so a lot of the work is based on how this virus has moved through other populations. That’s a very direct way to see how the virus is impacting a population.

There’s also terrific models. And so every day and every night, one of the models that actually looks at the model related to mortality is the HealthData.org data. And they update it every night and you can see where we are in that projection. I think, in the last run of that model, they were at 93,000 or something in the model.

Now, all of that can be changed by our behaviors. And so — and all of it can be changed in a different way if we don’t follow those behaviors. If another major metropolitan area ends up having an epidemic like the New York metro area, that could dramatically change not the model but the reality of the impact of this virus on Americans.

Q And where are the models on —

THE PRESIDENT: And, by the way, the models show hundreds of thousands of people are going to die. You know what I want to do? I want to come away under the models. The professionals did the models. I was never involved in a model, but — at least, this kind of a model. But you know what? Hundreds of thousands of people, they say, are going to die. I want much less than that. I want none, but it’s too late for that. But I want very few people, relative to what the models are saying.

Those are projections. I hope they’re wrong. I hope we’re going to be under those projections.

Q Mr. President, two questions on continuity of government. For —

THE PRESIDENT: How come you always have two? Why can’t you have one?

Q Well, they’re related.

THE PRESIDENT: Every time, “I have three questions. I have two questions.” Can you give me one instead? Because we have a couple of other people. Go ahead.

Q Okay, I’ll go with my second one. The governor of Wisconsin is now talking about delaying the primary, at least not having in-person voting. So my question is — and I asked this a couple weeks ago; I want to see if you’ve made any progress on this. Looking ahead to the fall, are you taking steps to ensure that the general election will happen even if this pandemic has reemerged or hasn’t gone away? And —

THE PRESIDENT: The general election will happen on November 3rd.

Q And do you — are you —

THE PRESIDENT: In Wisconsin, what happened is I, through social media — media put out a very strong endorsement of a Republican conservative judge who’s an excellent, brilliant judge. He’s a justice. And I hear what happened is his poll numbers went through the roof. And because of that, I think they delayed the election.

Q You don’t think the governor is concerned about people going to in-person voting?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. Why didn’t he do it before? He was doing right before the election.

Q But do you think every —

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. Why didn’t he do this two weeks ago? All of a sudden —

Q But isn’t it — because of the pandemic.

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. All of a sudden, an election which is taking place very soon gets delayed. Now, I just endorsed him today and it was a very strong endorsement. His polls — he’s gone very high up. And all of a sudden, the governor comes out — the Democrat governor, by the way — comes out and says, “Oh, we’re going to move this election.” So, I don’t know. I’m sure — I hope you’re right. I hope you’re right.

Q But — but do you think every state in this country should be prepared for mail-in voting in case we’re in a situation —

THE PRESIDENT: No, because I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting. I think people should vote with ID — voter ID. I think voter ID is very important. And the reason they don’t want voter ID is because they intend to cheat.

When you get something, when you buy something, you look at your cards and credit cards and different cards — you have your picture on many of them. Not all of them, but on many of them. You should have a picture on your — on your — for voting. It should be called “Voter ID.” They should have that. And it shouldn’t be mail-in —

Q But how are you going to —

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. It shouldn’t be mail-in voting. It should be: You go to a booth and you proudly display yourself. You don’t send it in the mail where people pick up — all sorts of bad things can happen by the time they signed that, if they sign that — if they signed that by the time it gets in and is tabulated.

No, it shouldn’t be mailed in. You should vote at the booth. And you should have voter ID, because when you have voter ID, that’s the real deal.

Thank you very much. We’ll see you tomorrow.


6:42 P.M. EDT

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Reply Remarks by Trump, Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, 04-03-20 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 4 OP
gademocrat7 Apr 4 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Apr 4, 2020, 07:47 AM

1. The incompetent rethugs

have taken ass kissing to a whole new level. This clown show is disgusting.

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