Summary of United States of America White House Press Briefing – Thursday, April 23, 2020

by scc14433

Comments by President Trump:

– We expect the House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, for 320 billion in relief for the American worker and for small businesses.

– This bill will help small businesses to keep millions of workers on the payroll.

– The bill also includes $30 billion to support small lending institutions serving distressed communities, helping countless African American and Hispanic American small businesses.

– In 23 states, new cases have declined in the past week.

– Continue to practice good hygiene, maintain social distance, and the voluntary use of face covering.

– The scientists at DHS have released a report offering a number of insights about how the virus reacts to different temperatures, climates, and surfaces. The findings confirm that the virus survives better in cold or in drier environments and does less well in warmer and more humid environments.

– My administration continues to leverage the Defense Production Act to dramatically increase the manufacture and delivery of critical medical supplies. We finalized three contracts to produce 39 million more N95 masks in 90 days.

– We also have airlifted nearly 750 million pieces of personal protective equipment into the United States through our Project Airbridge.

– Top AI experts are now using this wealth of data to gain insights into potential therapies.

Comments by Vice President Pence:

– Our hearts are with the families of those who have lost their life to the coronavirus and those who are struggling with serious illness today.

– New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Detroit and New Orleans all appear to be past their peak.

– Tomorrow we will hear from Secretary Ben Carson on the progress that the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council is making to focus on the impact of the coronavirus on minority communities.

– 4.93 million coronavirus tests having been performed across America. Yesterday our commercial lab system did more than 100,000 tests in a single day. So we’re beginning to activate all of the capacity.

– In Ohio the FDA approved Thermo Fisher’s new extraction reagent which doubled testing in Ohio overnight.

– Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota announced that the Mayo Clinic has produced a breakthrough for rapid, widespread testing, able to test more than 20,000 people using a molecular test per day.

– Governor Greg Abbott of Texas mobilized 1,200 National Guard and 45 teams to provide greater access to testing.

– We are now encouraging states to restart elective surgeries, wherever possible.

– 16 states have released formal reopening plans.

– Governor Tom Wolf announced the Plan for Pennsylvania that would begin May 8, but it requires regions to have fewer than 50 new positive cases per 100,000 for a period of 14 days.

– We’re slowing the spread. We’re protecting the most vulnerable. We’re saving lives. Every day we are one day closer to opening up America again.

Comments by Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security, William Bryan:

– S&T’s National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center study is showing that solar light appears to kill the coronavirus.

– Similar effect with temperature and humidity.

– The virus is dying at a much more rapid pace, just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity.

– We believe these trends can support practical decision making to lower the risks associated with the virus.

– On a surface, bleach will kill the virus in five minutes; isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds.

Questions from the White House Press Pool:

Q1: Are you going to extend the social distancing guidelines until summer?

A1: We may, and we may go beyond that. Until we feel it’s safe.

Q2: 23 states have cases on the decline. What does that mean about when the country can be safely reopened to a more normal point?

A2: We’re going to watch those cases very carefully.

Q3: Senator McConnell suggested to allow states to declare bankruptcy versus the aid. Thoughts?

A3: I’ve been talking to a lot of the different senators. We are looking into it.

Q4: How should governors who are opening their states, working on that, will incorporate the findings of this study into those guidelines?

A4: (Secretary Bryan) I would leave that up to the governors.

Q5: How much more time would it take to have conclusive results that could be used here?

A5: Soon.

Q6: Have you compared notes with your counterparts and other foreign governments or in private industry who might have been studying the same thing? And do their findings show the same result that you found here?

A6: We have.

Q7: What would you and other areas that the government need to do on testing, for example, or other things like that to be prepared if it came back in the fall?

A7: (Vice President Pence) We are increasing tests, air bridge flights are continuing to bring PPE supplies, development of therapeutics by pharmaceutical companies continues, and vaccine development. We will be prepared.

Q8: Why have you stopped promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure?

A8: I haven’t at all. Some results are good, and some are not so good.

Q9: We are over 26 million new jobless claims over five weeks. What do your economists tell you about the time it’s going to take to you and the U.S. to create the jobs back?

A9: I think our economy will start to pick up very substantially, as soon as the states get open.

Q10: Dr. Fauci said that the U.S. is not in a situation that we have enough testing capacity.

A10: More test types are coming online, Abbott for example.

Q11: Do you agree with Mitch McConnell saying the next bill will be a “blue state” bailout?

A11: We’re looking to do what’s right for the people of this country. Some states have not done very well for many years, long before the virus came.

Q12: Are you open to this idea of state and local bailout money?

A12: Yes. We are going to help the states, in different ways.

Q13: Considering that this virus has had an outbreak in Singapore, places that are hot and humid, is the sun light, heat and humidity going to make the virus go away?

A13: I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas, because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned.

Q14: How close do you think we are with a vaccine?

A14: Soon.

Q15: You spoke to Boris Johnson this week. How did he sound?

A15: He sounded incredible. Tremendous energy.

Q16: How is Kim Jong Un?

A16: I hope he’s OK.

Q17: Could you talk about your decision-making process with the governor of Georgia?

A17: I didn’t like the fact that he’s leaving certain things closed. I want the states to open more than he does.

Q18: Are you concerned about the November election, given the risk that the flu and the coronavirus are coming back, that a bunch of people would not go out and vote?

A18: Yeah, that’s a problem. I’m doing fine, because the people see we’re doing a great job. And you know what? We’ll continue to do a great job. If we had an honest press, this country would be even greater.

5:48pm EDT – 6:52pm EDT (1:04 duration)