The President: Thank youvery much, everyone.
Our country is in themidst of a great national trial, unlike any wehave ever faced before.
You all see it.
You see it probablybetter than most.
We're at war witha deadly virus.
Success in this fight willrequire the full, absolute measure of our collectivestrength, love, and devotion.
Each of us has the power, through our own choices and actions, to saveAmerican lives and rescue the most vulnerableamong us.
That's why we really haveto do what we all know is right.
Every citizen is beingcalled upon to make sacrifices.
Every business is beingasked to fulfill its patriotic duty.
Every community is makingfundamental changes to how we live, work, andinteract each and every day.
And I wouldn't besurprised to see this going on long into thefuture, when this virus is gone and defeated.
Some of the things we'redoing now will be very good practice for thefuture, including for not getting the flu, which isvery devastating also.
So some of what we'relearning now will live on into the future — Ireally believe that: shaking hands or notshaking hands; washing hands all the time;staying a little apart.
Fifteen days ago, wepublished our nationwide guidelines to slow thespread of the virus.
On Sunday, I announcedthat this campaign will be extended until April 30th.
In a few moments, Dr.
Birxwill explain the data that formed the basis for ourdecision to extend the guidelines, and Dr.
Fauciwill explain why it's absolutely critical forthe American people to follow the guidelinesfor the next 30 days.
It's a matter of lifeand death, frankly.
It's a matter oflife and death.
I know our citizens willrise to the occasion, and they already havesacrificed a lot.
We had the greatesteconomy in the history of our country.
We had the greatesteconomy in the world.
We had the bestunemployment numbers and employment numbers thatwe've ever had, by far.
And in one instant, wesaid we have no choice but to close it up.
Just as Americans havealways done, they will do a job like fewhave seen before.
And they're proud todo it, and I see that.
There's a great pridegoing on right now.
Before we hear from ourexperts, we have a few other announcements.
Today, the TreasuryDepartment and Small Business Administrationannounced further details on the Paycheck ProtectionProgram, which was made possible by the2-trillion-dollar relief bill I signed intolaw last week.
Nearly $350 billionin loans will soon be available through lendingpartners to help small businesses meet payrolland other expenses for up to two months.
These loans will beforgiven as long as businesses keeppaying their workers.
This includes soleproprietors and independent contractors.
Applications will beaccepted starting this Friday, April 3rd.
So, on Friday, April 3rd, that's when it begins.
Earlier today, I spokewith leading Internet and phone providers who aredoing a tremendous job of keeping our Internet andlines of communication flowing under verystrongly increased strain.
The business is more thananybody has seen before, because everyoneis inside.
They're all making calls.
Among the leaders I spoketo were Hans Vestberg of Verizon Communications, Randall Stephenson of AT&T, Mike Sievert ofT-Mobile, Thomas Rutledge of Charter Communications, Brian Roberts of Comcast, John Malone of LibertyMedia, Dexter Goei of Altice, Michel Combes ofSprint, and Aryeh Bourkoff of LionTree.
Also, Pat Esser of CoxCommunications and Jeffrey Storey of CenturyLink.
They're doing anincredible job.
If you look at othercontinents — if you look at Europe, they went adifferent route than we did, and muchdifferent route.
We were talking about thatjust a little while ago.
And they're havingtremendous problems.
Other countries arehaving problems.
Other continents arehaving problems.
But with business at alevel that nobody has seen it before on the Internet, it's holding up incredibly well, and they expect thatto continue no matter what happened and no matter howmuch more it gains, which, if it can gain more thanit already is, I don't know, because they'resetting records.
Let me also update youon the distribution of urgently neededresources and supplies.
And we have alot of numbers.
I'm going to let MikePence speak to that in a little while.
But we're giving massiveamounts of medical equipment and suppliesto the 50 states.
We also are holdingback quite a bit.
We have almost 10, 000ventilators that we have ready to go.
We have to hold them backbecause the surge is coming, and it'scoming pretty strong.
And we want to be able toimmediately move it into place without goingand taking it.
So, we're ready to go, andwe've also distributed — I just spoke with thegovernor of Michigan.
Had a great conversation.
And we sent a largenumber of ventilators to Michigan.
We're sendingthem to Louisiana.
We sent additionalventilators to New York, additional ventilatorsto New Jersey.
And, I will say, in NewYork, FEMA is supplying 250 ambulances and 500EMTs to help respond to the increasing caseload.
That's a lotof ambulances.
In California, the ArmyCorps of Engineers is developing eightfacilities to expand hospital capacityup to 50, 000 beds.
And had a greatconversation last night with Gavin Newsom.
He's doing — he'sdoing a really good job.
We — we're in constantcommunications.
The USNS Mercy hospitalship is operational.
It's in Los Angeles andreceiving patients.
And, in New York, as youknow, the Comfort — everybody watched that –it's in place and will be, in a very short while, receiving large numbers of patients.
Over a thousand roomsand 12 operating rooms.
FEMA has also provided 100travel trailers to assist with housing needs.
And we're orderinghundreds more.
In Michigan, FEMA willsoon deliver, in addition to the ventilators, 250-bed field hospital, and Army Corps ofEngineers is evaluating locations to buildalternate care facilities.
So we're doing a fieldhospital, in Michigan, of 250 beds.
And we may be doubling itup soon, depending on the need.
They're doing a good jobwith beds in Michigan, but they may needmore than the 250.
So, FEMA and the ArmyCorps of Engineers are prepared to go therequickly and get it done.
In Louisiana, we'redelivering two field hospitals to provide500 new hospital beds.
I've been talking withthe governor, John Bel Edwards, and the ArmyCorps of Engineers has been really doingincredible work, establishing 3, 000-bedalternate care site at the New Orleans ConventionCenter, which will be operational, believeit or not, this week.
So we're doing a 3, 000-bedalternate care site, and we're also doing a500-bed new hospital.
And that's in Louisiana, which really got hit.
It started off very late, and it was looking good, and then all of a sudden, it just reared up; it came from nowhere.
In addition to thesupplies we're delivering, we're also givinghospitals the flexibility to use new facilities, including surgical care centers, to care forhospital patients who are not infected.
For example, I know thatmany expectant mothers are understandably concernedabout exposing their newborn babies to thevirus, and they should be.
With our action yesterday, hospitals now have the authority to createspecial areas for mothers to deliver their babies ina very safe and healthy environment.
Over the past twomonths, the U.
State Department hasorganized one of the largest and most complexinternational evacuation operations inAmerican history.
Mike Pompeo has beenworking round the clock, along withAmbassador O'Brien.
Since January 29th, we have successfully repatriated over 25, 000Americans from more than 50 countries, where theywere literally stuck — in some cases, locked in.
And I salute theincredible public servants at the Department ofState, as well as their counterparts at DHS andHHS who have played such an important rolein doing this.
You probably read aboutthe young people in Peru and young people inBrazil, and they were absolutely stuck, and we got them out.
Got them — almosteverybody is out now, back home with their parents, their wives, their husbands.
I want every American tobe prepared for the hard days that lie ahead.
We're going to go througha very tough two weeks.
And then, hopefully, as the experts are predicting, as I think alot of us are predicting, after having studied itso hard, you're going to start seeing some reallight at the end of the tunnel.
But this is going to be avery painful — a very, very painful two weeks.
When you look and see, atnight, the kind of death that's been caused by this invisible enemy, it's incredible.
I was watching, lastnight, Governor Murphy of New Jersey say “29 peopledied today, ” meaning yesterday, and others talking about numbers far greater.
But you get toknow a state.
I know New Jersey so well, and you hear 29 people.
And hundreds inother locations.
Hundreds in other states.
And this is going to bea rough two-week period.
As a nation, we face adifficult few weeks as we approach that — thatreally important day when we're going to see thingsget better, all of a sudden.
And it's going to be likea burst of light, I really think and I hope.
Our strength will betested and our endurance will be tried, but Americawill answer with love and courage andironclad resolve.
This is the time for allAmericans to come together and do our part.
I appreciate alot of the media.
We've had a lot ofreally good things said.
I think only good thingscan be said when you look at the jobthat's been done.
I just spoke withFranklin Graham who is an extraordinary person.
And Samaritan's Pursehas been — like so many others — just beenamazing and so fast.
They did it so fast.
He's been doing that fora long time, but I think people are really seeingwhat they have done.
Franklin Graham — avery special family.
As we send planeloadsof masks and gloves and supplies to thecommunities battling the plague — and that's whatit is; this a plague — we also send our prayers.
We pray for the doctorsand the nurses, for the paramedics and the truckdrivers, and the police officers and thesanitation workers, and, above all, the peoplefighting for their lives in New York and allacross our land.
I watched as doctors andnurses went into a certain hospital in Elmhurstthis morning.
I know Elmhurst, Queens.
That's — I grew upright next to it.
I know thehospital very well.
And seeing it all mylife — my young life.
And I will tell you thatto see the scenes of trailers out there andwhat they're doing with those trailers — they'refreezers — and nobody can even believe it.
And I spoke to some ofmy friends; they can't believe whatthey're seeing.
And I watched the doctorsand the nurses walking into that hospitalthis morning.
It's like military peoplegoing into battle, going into war.
The bravery is incredible.
And I just have to take myhat — I would take my hat — if I were wearing ahat, I'd rip that hat off so fast and I would sayyou people are just incredible.
They really are.
They're very brave.
They're going in and theydon't know — you have — you have lots of thingsflying around in the air.
You don't know whatyou're touching.
Is it safe? And you also see where youhave friends that go into the hospital and yousay, “How is he doing?” two days later.
And they say, “Sir, he is unconscious” or “He's in a coma.
” So things are happeningthat we've never seen before in this country.
And with all of that beingsaid, the country has come together like I'venever seen it before.
And we will prevail.
We will win.
And hopefully, it willbe in a relatively short period of time.
With that, I'd like to askDr.
Birx to come up and show you some of thelatest — just the data that has been, I think, brilliantly put together.
And, right after that, I'mgoing to ask Dr.
Fauci to speak.
And Mike Pence is goingto give you some of the recent events that havetaken place and some of the statistics that wehave that I think will be very interesting to hear.
Thank you very much.
Birx: Thankyou, Mr.
If I can have thefirst slide, please.
(A slide presentationbegins.
) So always — and that's what this slideis labeled, is “Goals of Community Mitigation.
” Really highlighting thatthis begins in the middle and the endwith community.
This community and thecommunity of the American people that are going tohave to do the things for the next 30 days tomake a difference.
I think you know from thatlarge blue mountain that you can see behind me –and I just want to thank the five or sixinternational and domestic modelers from Harvard, from Columbia, from Northeastern, fromImperial who helped us tremendously.
It was their models thatcreated the ability to see what these mitigationscould do, how steeply they could depress the curvefrom that giant blue mountain down to thatmore stippled area.
In their estimates, theyhad between 1.
5 million and 2.
2 million peoplein the United States succumbing to this viruswithout mitigation.
Yet, through theirdetailed studies and showing us what socialdistancing would do, what people — what wouldhappen if people stayed home, what would happen ifpeople were careful every day to wash their handsand worry about touching their faces, that what anextraordinary thing this could be if everyAmerican followed these.
And it takes us to thatstippled mountain that's much lower — a hill, actually — down to 100, 000 to 200, 000 deaths, which is still way too much.
Next slide please.
Simultaneously, therewas a modeler out of the University of Washingtonthat modeled from cases up, utilizing theexperience around the globe to really understandhow this information that we have from Italy andSpain and South Korea and China could really helpus give insight into the hospital needs, theventilator needs, and really the number ofpeople who potentially could succumbto this illness.
It is this model that weare looking at now that provides us the mostdetail of the time course that is possible.
But this model assumesfull mitigation.
It's informed everymorning or every night by the reality on the groundcoming in from New York, New Jersey, and aroundthe United States, and is modeled and informed everymorning so that it is adjusted so it is upto date every day.
This is the model of thepredicted fatalities and mortality in theUnited States.
And as the President said, it's very much focused on the next two weeks and thestark reality of what this virus will do as it movesthrough communities.
Next slide, please.
But this is a slide thatgives us great hope and understanding aboutwhat is possible.
On the bottom of theslide, where you can barely see that blue lineat the very bottom, that's the current cases inCalifornia, the cumulative cases in California, wherethey're doing significant testing.
The next line upis Connecticut.
The orange lineis New Jersey.
The blue line is New York.
The yellow lineis Washington.
We all rememberWashington State.
It was just a month agowhen they started to have the issues in WashingtonState, but they brought together their communitiesand their health providers, and they put instrong mitigation methods and testing.
And you can see what theresult in Washington State and California is.
But without thecontinuation for the next 30 days, anythingcould change.
Next slide, please.
So I'm sure you'reinterested in seeing all of the states.
So on this slide is all 50states and the District of Columbia.
But I think it showsin stark reality the difference between NewYork and New Jersey and other states with similarpopulations in urban areas.
Our goal, over the next30 days, is to ensure the states that you see — the48 across the bottom — maintain this lower levelof new cases with the hope that we don't havesignificant outbreaks in other states, in othermetro areas, as the community comes togetherto work together and ensure that the healthcareproviders around the globe and in the United Statesare strengthened by our resolve to continue tomitigate community by community.
This is done communityby community.
We all know people are intheir states and in their communities.
And we're very dependenton each person in the United States doing thesame thing: following the presidentialguidelines to a tee.
I know it's a lot to askbecause you've done it for 15 days.
So if you can show thenext slide, please.
So this is what givesus a lot of hope.
This is the casefinding in Italy.
And you can see thatthey're beginning to turn the corner in new cases.
They're entering theirfourth week of full mitigation and showingwhat is possible when we work together as acommunity, as a country, to change the course ofthis pandemic together.
It is this graphic and thegraphic of many of the states that gives us hopeof what is possible with continuing foranother 30 days.
Amidst all that hope, Imust say that like we warned about Detroit andChicago, we start to see changes in Massachusetts.
New Orleans continues tobe a problem of new cases, although they'restabilizing.
And I think it reallyshows the depth of dedication of the Americanpeople to the healthcare providers, because theycan see the strain that this puts on every nurse, doctor, respiratory therapist, pharmacists, and laboratory technician.
It's working togetherto stem this tide of unrelenting sick peoplecoming to their doors.
No one has beenturned away.
No one who has neededventilation has not received ventilation.
But you can see howstressful it is for each of them.
So I know it's stressfulto follow the guidelines, but it is more stressfuland more difficult to the soldiers onthe front line.
As we started and –we will end with it's communities thatwill do this.
There's no magic bullet.
There's no magicvaccine or therapy.
It's just behaviors.
Each of our behaviorstranslating into something that changes the course ofthis viral pandemic over the next 30 days.
The President:Thank you, Deborah.
Fauci: Thank youvery much, Dr.
So what Dr.
Birx hasreally said very simply is that there are really twodynamic forces that are opposing each other here.
As I mentioned severaltimes in our briefings, the virus, if left to itsown devices, will do that dark curve that Dr.
Birx showed you.
The other dynamic force iswhat we are doing, what we're trying to do, andwhat we will do in the form of mitigation.
Now, these are veryrevealing bits of data because you saw whathappened in Italy where you make the turn aroundthe curve and you go.
That doesn'thappen all at once.
It's a stepwise fashion.
And if I explain thesteps, which I will, you'll see why we arereally convinced that mitigation is going to bedoing the trick for us.
Because what you have isyou have an increase in new cases at acertain rate.
When the increase in newcases begin to level off, the secondary effect isless hospitalizations, the next effect is lessintensive care, and the next effect isless deaths.
The deaths and theintensive care and the hospitalization alwayslag behind that early indication that there areless new cases per day — the way we saw in Italyand the way we're likely seeing — I don't wantto jump the gun on it — we're seeing littleinklings of this right now in New York.
So what we're going tosee, and that's — we got to brace ourselves in thenext several days to a week or so — we're goingto continue to see things go up.
We cannot be discouragedby that because the mitigation is actuallyworking and will work.
The slide that Dr.
Birxshowed, where you saw New York and New Jersey andthen the cluster of other areas, our goal, which Ibelieve we can accomplish, is to get to hotspotplaces — the New Yorks, the New Jersey — and helpthem to get around that curve, but as importantly, to prevent those clusters of areas that have not yetgone to that spike, to prevent them fromgetting that spike.
And the answer tothat is mitigation.
Now, the 15 days that wehad of mitigation clearly have had an effect, although it's tough to quantitate it because ofthose two opposing forces.
But the reason why we feelso strongly about the necessity of theadditional 30 days is that now is the time, wheneveryou're having an effect, not to take your foot offthe accelerator and on the brake but to just press itdown on the accelerator.
And that's what I hope andI know that we can do over the next 30 days.
And as I said the otherday and on one of the — one of the interviews, we are a very strong and resilient nation.
If you look at ourhistory, we've been through someterrible ordeals.
This is tough.
People are suffering.
People are dying.
It's inconvenient from asocietal standpoint, from an economic standpoint togo through this, but this is going to be theanswer to our problems.
So let's all pull togetherand make sure, as we look forward to the next 30days, we do it with all the intensity andforce that we can.
The President:Mike, please.
The Vice President: Thankyou, Mr.
And to Dr.
Birx and Dr.
Fauci, I know I speak on behalf of the Presidentand people all across this country when I expressour great admiration and appreciation to both ofyou for helping to steer our nation throughthis challenging time.
The American peoplehave now seen what the President saw when he madethe decision at the end of “15 Days to Slow theSpread” to ask the American people to give us30 more days to continue to put into practice thePresident's coronavirus guidelines for America.
And as you just heardfrom the experts, we have reason to believethat it's working.
Fauci just said, there are difficult days ahead.
Our hearts and our prayersgo out to the families that have lost lovedones and those, as the President has justreflected, who we know are struggling at this hourin hospitals across the nation.
But to each and everyone of us, do not be discouraged because whatyou can do to protect your health, the health of yourfamily; what you can do to ensure that our healthcareproviders have the resources and ourhospitals have the capacity to meet thismoment is put into practice: the President'scoronavirus guidelines for America.
It really is what everyAmerican can do: “30 Days to Slow the Spread, ” 30days to make a difference in the lives of theAmerican people, American families, and thelife of our nation.
Allow me to give you a fewbrief updates before the President takes questions.
First and foremost, wecontinue to work very closely with governorsaround the nation.
The President and I spoketo all the governors, all the states andterritories yesterday.
And since we were lasttogether, the President and I have spoken directlyto several governors around the country, including Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, NewYork, and other states.
At the present moment, thePresident has declared 29 major disasterdeclarations and authorized 10 differentstates to use full federal funding, so-called Title32 funding, to pay for their National Guard.
And, as of this afternoon, FEMA reports some 17, 000 National Guard has beenactivated in states around the country to providesupport for coronavirus response.
On the subject of testing, we have now completed more than 1.
1 million testsaround the country.
We're working very closelywith governors around America to — to assistthem in drive-through and community testing centers.
I spoke with Governor J.
Pritzker of Illinois todayabout a testing center that they've establishedin cooperation with the U.
Public Health Service.
We remind every governorand every laboratory and hospital in the countryit's imperative that you continue to report dailyto the CDC the results of those tests to give us thevisibility on the data to best informresource decisions.
Also, we — we reiteratedtoday to governors in person, and also throughcorrespondence to every governor, the importanceof using their National Guard, if need be, tomove medical supplies.
FEMA is very busy, asyou'll hear in a moment, delivering literallymillions of supplies to states around the country.
But we're urging everygovernor to make sure to work with their stateemergency management team and maybe use the NationalGuard to move those supplies from warehousesto hospitals.
At the present moment, asthe President said, we've distributed more than 11.
6million N95 masks, more than 8, 100 ventilatorsaround the nation, millions of face shields, surgical masks, and gloves.
We initiated an airbridge that the President announced yesterday.
Flights have arrived inNew York, one arrived in Illinois yesterday, and aflight will arrive in Ohio in the next 24 hours.
FEMA is literally workingand contracting around the world with now more than51 flights that will be bringing vitalmedical supplies.
On the subject ofventilators, FEMA is currently delivering 400ventilators to Michigan, 300 to New Jersey, 150 toLouisiana, 50 ventilators to Connecticut, and in thelast week and in the week ahead, more than 450ventilators to Illinois.
This is in additionto more than 4, 400 ventilators that thePresident and FEMA directed to thestate of New York.
We just want peoplethat are working on the frontlines, that thePresident just spoke about, Dr.
Birx and Dr.
Fauci spoke about — we want you to knowhelp is on the way.
And, at the President'sdirection, we're going to leave no stone unturnedanywhere in America or anywhere in the world tomake sure that you have the resources and theequipment to do your job.
So again, I want to justsay, “Thank you, America.
” Thank you for stepping up.
Thank you for putting intopractice the “15 Days to Slow the Spread.
” And thank you for theresponse that tens of millions have already hadfor the “30 Days to Slow the Spread.
” We encourage each one ofyou, as we have governors around the country, tospread the word about the guidelines, listen toyour state and local authorities in areas thatare more greatly impacted.
We continue to urge peoplein the areas of New York, New Jersey, andConnecticut to refrain from travel aroundthe country.
And people who've traveledfrom that area, check your temperature andself-quarantine for 14 days.
You can see from thatchart the unique challenges people in theGreater New York City area are facing withthe coronavirus.
And we want to do all thatwe can to protect your health, focus resources onthe community, and prevent unnecessary spread.
Lastly, as the Presidenthighlighted yesterday, businesses around Americaare stepping up as never before.
Tomorrow, I'll travel withSecretary Sonny Perdue to Gordonsville, Virginia, tothe Walmart distribution center, just so theAmerican people can see firsthand how the foodsupply is continuing to roll on 18 wheels andthrough air freight all over America.
And we thank again thegrocery store operators around America andeverybody that's working out on the highways andbyways every day to keep that food supply rolling, and rolling strong.
To the American peoplethough, we just want to assure you that we'regoing to continue to work our hearts out — work ourhearts out to make sure our healthcare providershave everything they need, that anyone strugglingwith coronavirus has the support andhealthcare they need.
And I'm absolutelyconfident, seeing the way our governors areresponding and seeing this team the President hasassembled in the White House Coronavirus TaskForce, confident of the prayers of the Americanpeople that we'll get through this.
But it will take all of usdoing our part, and we'll get through it together.
The Press: Just to beclear, what is the projected death toll, should the people be reasonably good atfollowing these mitigation measures? The President: Well, ifthey're reasonably good, I guess we could say that– I'd like to have maybe Dr.
Fauci or Debcome up and say.
I mean, I have numbers butI'd rather have them say the numbers, ifyou don't mind.
It's a big — it'sa big question.
Birx: So, of course, this is a projection, and it's a projection basedon using very much what's happened in Italy and thenlooking at all the models.
And so, as you saw on thatslide, that was our real number — that100, 000 to 200, 000.
And we think thatthat is the range.
We really believe and hopeevery day that we can do a lot better than that– because that's not assuming 100 percentof every American does everything that they'resupposed to be doing.
But I thinkthat's possible.
The Press: And it won'tgo in the next two weeks? You said that the next twoweeks are going to be very painful.
Is the bulk of those goingto happen over the next two weeks? Dr.
Birx: No, you'llhave an upslope.
So as mortality — thefatalities to this disease — will increase and thenit will come back down, and it will come back downslower than the rate at which it went up.
And so that's — that isreally the issue: how — how much we can pushthe mortality down.
So our hope is to get thatdown as far as we possibly can.
The modeling that Dr.
Birx showed predicts that number that you saw.
We don't accept thatnumber that that's what's going to be.
We're going to be doingeverything we can to get it even significantlybelow that.
So, you know, I don't wantit to be a mixed message.
This is the thing that weneed to anticipate, but that doesn't mean thatthat's what we're going to accept.
We want to do much, much better than that.
The Press: But, Doctor, when we look at the curve, it goes muchfurther in time.
So we would have deathsand cases for much longer.
I mean, we do expect far– Dr.
Birx: So, if you can put up slidenumber two.
So that's a generic — I'msorry, if you can go back to the slides andput up slide two.
That's a — okay, so whatI showed you was a generic picture of what happensin an epidemic when you mitigate.
So no mitigation;mitigate.
This is based on theexperience around the globe with thisparticular virus.
And so it does have atail, but the peak, you can see by this projection– and this is the IHME data — the peak is overthe next two weeks.
And that's — and this istracking mortality, so the number of fatalitiesfrom this virus.
And so that's the partthat we think we can still blunt through the superbmedical care that every client is receiving, butalso, even more stringent, people followingthe guidelines.
The Press: I can't see thesmall characters, but are we seeing deathuntil June? I can't really — Dr.
Birx: This is June.
The Press: This is June.
So we would still seeproblems and deaths in June? Dr.
Birx: It'sa projection.
The Press: It's aprojection, of course.
Fauci: So, I mean, just getting back to what I said about the stepwisething: Deaths always lag.
So you will be seeingdeaths at a time when, as an epidemic, we're doingreally, really well because thedeaths will lag.
The Press: Dr.
Fauci, should Americans be prepared for thelikelihood that there will be 100, 000 Americans whodie from this virus? Dr.
Fauci: Theanswer is yes.
We — as sobering a numberas that is, we should be prepared for it.
Is it going tobe that much? I hope not.
And I think the more wepush on the mitigation, the less likelihood itwould be that number.
But as being realistic, weneed to prepare ourselves that that is apossibility, that that's what we will see.
The Press: And that's avery short period of time for that to happen.
The Press: Can the countryhandle that in such a short period of time, within a couple of months? Fifty thousand a month.
Fauci: You know, it will be difficult.
I mean, no one is denyingthe fact that we are going through a very, verydifficult time right now.
I mean, we're seeingwhat's happening in New York.
That is really, really tough.
And if you extrapolatethat to the nation, that will be really tough.
But that's what it is, Jim, and we're going to have to beprepared for that.
Birx: Yeah, I thinkbecause the model — that model that was from IHME– that's based and heavily ladened by thedata that has come in from New York and New Jerseyand Connecticut.
So, you know, that canskew to a higher peak and more significantmortality.
If all of the other statesare able — and all the other metro areas are ableto hold that case number down, then it's a verydifferent picture, but you have to predict on thedata you have, which is heavily skewed to NewYork and New Jersey.
Fauci: Getting backto that, that's really an important slide thatDr.
The cluster of othercities that are not New York and not New Jersey –if we can suppress that from any kind of a spike, the numbers could be significantly lower thanwhat we're talking about.
The Press: You got somecities that are not following theseguidelines very closely.
And that's the reason –my plea at the end of my remarks, Jim, that now isthe time to put your foot on the accelerator, because that's the only thing that's goingto stop those peaks.
The President: Some of thecities are doing very well as you see.
Very well atthis early stage.
But the number — theDoctor said 100, 000 — numbers between 100-and 200, 000, maybe even slightly more.
But we would hope that wecould keep it under that.
Birx: Do we have thenext slide or the slide after that? The Press: Mr.
Birx: Just go up.
Yeah, one more slide.
Yeah, thank you.
The Press: Would you tellthem — would you tell cities that aren't doingwhat, you know, New York, New Jersey, Washington –you know, the cities that have been taking charge inall of this — would you urge some of the citiesthat haven't been doing this, Mr.
President, toget with the program? The President:Well, I would.
But if you see, New York– I believe the blue is New York — New York ishaving a much harder time than other of the cities.
Certain cities are doingactually, if you look down here, an incredible job.
They were early.
They were very, veryfirm, and they've done an incredible job.
This is New Jerseyand New York.
This is — Dr.
Birx: Cali— I mean, remember, California and WashingtonState were down here, and they had some ofthe earliest cases.
The Press: But we'reseeing places in Florida not doing what New Yorkand New Jersey have been doing, what WashingtonState has been doing.
The President: But they'redoing very well by comparison.
The Press: Mr.
President — The Press: Mr.
President — ThePresident: Yes, John.
The Press: If I couldmaybe direct a question to you and then toDr.
Fauci as well.
We — you told usyesterday that you're accomplishing — orthe U.
, at least, is accomplishing 100, 000tests per day.
But we're still hearingdifficult stories from the frontlines of firstresponders, who you praised so appropriatelya little while ago, that they can't test all of thepeople that they need to test.
Do you have any kind ofprojection as to when everyone who needs a testwill be able to receive one? The President: Yeah, I canonly say that we're doing more than anybody inthe world, by far.
We are testing it –highly accurate tests.
These are tests that work.
As you know, many testsare being sent to countries, andthey're broken.
The Press: Yet, it's stillnot enough at this point.
The President: Well, we'redoing — every day, we get — and the wordis exponential.
We are getting more andmore and more, and now we have the new test thatyou saw yesterday.
That's going to be rolledout, I think, tomorrow or the next day.
And that's going to takeonly a few minutes — literally, a few minutesto see the result.
And it's a highlyaccurate result.
I mean, tests were givenout not by us, by other countries, where there wasa 50/50 chance that it was wrong.
What kind of atest is that? These are highlyaccurate tests.
But the new tests that arecoming out are very quick, and they werejust developed.
Abbott Labs didthe one yesterday.
So we're doing more thananybody in the world, by far.
And they're veryaccurate tests.
And we're getting a lotof information from those tests.
The Vice President:The test the President unveiled yesterday, theAbbott Laboratories test — which is a 15-minutetest — our team is working very closely withAdmiral Giroir and FEMA to make sure that those aredistributed around — around the country.
Earlier this week –Abbott Laboratories is actually going to beproducing 50, 000 tests a day and distributingthose around America.
There's already themachines in some 18, 000 different locations aroundthe country, and they've told us they have severalthousand on the shelf now.
And what we're doing istrying to identify the areas where we may yethave pockets or, as Dr.
Birx often says, where we want to do more immediate testing so thatwe can do what's called “surveillance” testing toidentify where there may be coronavirus cases, where there's been very little incident.
But if I could justamplify one other point, and that is: when you lookat this chart, go back 15 days.
And the reality is that –and this is me speaking as a lay person — but asI've listened to our experts, New York and theGreater New York City area have unique challenges.
It's a — it's a city thatwe really believe may have had exposure to thecoronavirus much earlier on than we could'veknown and had its own challenges.
And New York, Connecticut, New Jersey are leaning into this effort.
But when — when we lookat this chart for all the other states, includingWashington State and California, it really doesgive evidence that — at least it begins to giveevidence that the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” isworking and that, in fact, the American people areputting these things into practice in states acrossthe country, including in New York and New Jersey, even though they've — they faced a greatermagnitude of cases for certain circumstancesthat are related to international travelin those communities.
But I think the — ThePress: But do you need a national shelter in place? The President: I know– The Press: Something across the country? The Vice President: Ithink the American people — what I suggest to you, Jim, is that the American people can look at thesenumbers in the other 48 states, and they can seethat in the last 15 days, the President'scoronavirus guidelines were working.
And that's precisely whyPresident Trump is asking every American to continueto put these guidelines into practicefor 30 more days.
The Press: May ask for aquestion for Dr.
Birx and Dr.
Fauci? If I — if I could –The President: Please.
The Press: So, right now, we're at about 4, 000 deaths here inthe United States.
You're suggesting a spikeof more than 90, 000 deaths over the next few weeks.
Do you have a demographicbreakdown of the areas that are most at risk andwhere most of those deaths may occur? Dr.
Birx: Well, right now– and I think if you ask Chris Murray, he would sayhe's using the information coming out of New York andNew Jersey and applying that to potentially otherstates having the same outcomes.
I just want to say, again, this yellow line — the yellow line — and this isall corrected for 100, 000 residents.
So, this is normalized sowe can compare apples to apples.
This is still WashingtonState, this yellow.
So they've been ableto, for a long time of measuring cases, not have a spike.
So it's possible, andwe're watching very closely to make sure itdoesn't have a spike.
But that's what the peoplein Washington State are doing.
This is what everycommunity — so it — Washington State, early, about two weeks before New York or New Jersey;California, a week before New York or New Jersey, really talked to their communities and decidedto mitigate before they started seeing thisnumber of cases.
And now we know that thatmakes a big difference.
Early — as Dr.
Faucisaid, if you wait until you see it, it's too late.
The Press: And again, doyou have a demographic breakdown, Dr.
Birx, ofwhere these deaths may occur? Dr.
Birx: So there's ademographic breakdown that we've discussed before, related to mortality.
And it's as we're seeingin New York exactly what we saw in Italy:very low mortality.
Not to say that youngpeople under 30 or young people under 40aren't getting ill.
They are, but most ofthem are recovering.
So the profile looksidentical to Italy, with increasing mortality, with age and preexisting medical conditions.
And so that is holdingin the same way.
But what we're hoping isthat, through the work of communities — andagain, it comes down to communities.
This is not — this iscommunities deciding that this is important to themto not have the experience of New Yorkand New Jersey.
And I think — you know, we are worried about groups allaround the globe.
I mean, I don't know ifyou heard the report this morning.
There's 8, 000ventilators in the UK.
If you translate that toUnited States, that would be like the United Stateshaving less than 40, 000 ventilators.
We have fivetimes that amount.
So, I mean, these are thethings that everybody is having to face.
And I think the UnitedStates is in an excellent position from our medicalcare position, but we don't want to haveto test that system.
We want this to be a muchsmaller epidemic with much smaller mortality.
The Press: Can I justfollow up testing question, real quick, before we move on? So the testing numbers –I understand a million tests done; it'sa big increase.
But we were told therewould be 27 million tests available by theend of the month.
So can you outline wherein the supply chain, where in the logistics chainare those other 26? The President:(Inaudible) Mike, please.
The Press: Yeah, where arethe other 26 million tests right now? The Vice President: Ithink this is — just for purposes ofclarifications, there's a difference between sendinga test that can be administered to atest being done.
And because a month ago, or more, the President brought together the topcommercial labs in America and said we need you topartner with us to create a brand-new system thatwould rapidly process tests, we're now at 1.
1million tests, and we believe it's a fairestimate that we're testing about 100, 000Americans a day.
That'll continue to grow.
It'll continueto accelerate.
But I think themisunderstanding early on was there were many testsbeing distributed, many test kits being sent, butunder the old system, as the President hasdescribed it — the antiquated system — thosewere being processed in state labs or at CDC orin private labs on a very slow, methodical systemthat could only produce maybe 30 to 50tests a day.
But this new partnershipthat we have with commercial laboratories allows the progress we're making.
But the breakthrough withAbbott Laboratories now moves to point of care, which means you're going to have devices and teststhat people will literally be able to take at theirdoctor's office, at a hospital, at a clinic, ata nursing home, and have the results in 15 minutes.
The Press: So those 26million tests we were talking about, were thosetests under the old antiquated system? The Vice President: Yes.
The Press: And now — soare we still even using those 27 million tests, orhave we just completely moved on to thepoint-of-care tests? The Vice President: Theanswer is yes, now through the new system.
Birx: So, even today– which is, I have to say, coming out oflaboratories and developed tests and worked onvaccines and then gone to the field to actuallycombat epidemic — it is disappointing to me rightnow that we have about 500, 000 capacity of Abbotttests that are not being utilized.
So they are out.
They're in the states.
They're not beingrun and not utilized.
So now we have to figureout how do we create awareness, becausesometimes when you put an early platform out — likeour first platform out when the high speed wasRoche — so you get that out, people get dependenton that, and then don't see that there'savailability of other tests.
So right now, there's overa half a million tests sitting — capacity– that are not being utilized.
So we're trying to figureout: How do we inform states about wherethese all are? How do we work throughevery laboratory association sothey're aware? And how do we raiseawareness so people know that there's point ofcare, there's Thermo Fisher, there's Abbotttesting, and there's Roche? And if you add thosetogether, that's millions of tests a week.
The President: And they'renot being reported.
Birx: And they're not– and so those are the — The President:They're there.
They're used, but they'renot being reported.
Birx: Or they'renot even being used.
So that's what's really– so that's what we're working on.
The Press: So whyaren't they being used? The Press: What's thereason they're being used? Dr.
Birx: Because whenpeople get used to a single platform, they keepsending it back to that lab.
So it's getting in a queueto wait to get on a Roche machine, rather than beingmoved to this other lab that may haveAbbott capacity.
Because they're all indifferent laboratories.
And so — The Press: So how do you break that bottleneck? Dr.
Birx: I think — well, actually, Admiral Giroir is figuring it out, toreally create some kind of visual so that everygovernor and every health commissioner can see allof their capacity in their countries — I mean, intheir states, county by county, so that they knowwhere the tests are.
So we pushed a lot oftests out, but they're not all being utilized.
And so — The President:I mean, it's up to the people when theydon't send them back.
I mean, they use them, butthey don't send them back.
And, Doctor, goahead, please.
Fauci: No, I mean, I– Dr.
Birx explained it very, very well.
I just want to get back, John, to your question.
It's a logical question.
When you look at thenumber, you want to know what the demographyis going to be.
This is a number that weneed to anticipate, but we don't necessarily have to accept it as being inevitable.
And that's getting back towhat I'm saying about we can influence thisto varying degrees.
And if we influence it tothe maximum, we don't have to accept that.
That's something we needto anticipate, but I want to do — not I, all ofus want to do much, much better than that.
The Press: Well, I mean, on that front, what do the models suggest is on thelow end if you have full mitigation? The President:Well, it says.
It says between100- and 200, 000.
Birx: That wasfull mitigation.
Fauci: Yeah, thatwas — that was full mitigation.
The Press: Well, Mr.
President, it says 200, 000.
It says 200, 000.
The President: Itsays 100- to 200, 000.
Anything — it's alot of people, right? It's a lot of people.
Well, you didn't askthe other question.
What would have happened– because this is the question that I've beenasking Dr.
Fauci and Dr.
Birx for a long time, and they've been working on this for a long time.
The question is: Whatwould have happened if we did nothing? Because there was a groupthat said, “Let's just ride it out.
Let's ride it out.
” What would have happened? And that number comes inat 1.
5 to 1.
6 million people, up to 2.
2and even beyond.
So that's 2.
2 millionpeople would have died if we did nothing, if wejust carried on our life.
Now, I don't think thatwould have been possible because you would have hadpeople dying all over the place.
This would not havebeen a normal life.
How many people haveeven seen anybody die? You would have seen peopledying on airplanes.
You would have been seeingpeople dying in hotel lobbies.
You would've seendeath all over.
So I think, from apractical standpoint, that couldn't have beencarried out too far.
But — but if you — ifyou did nothing, on the higher side, the numberwould be 2.
2 and maybe even more, and on thelower side, 1.
6 million people.
The Press: Understood.
But if 100, 000 isthe number with full mitigation, how do youpush it — how do you push it forward? Dr.
Fauci: Yeah, so –Dr.
Birx: So — no, we'll go up together.
Fauci: All right.
Birx: We'vebeen at this a long time.
You go first.
Fauci: So, John, it's an obvious — very good question.
If this is full mitigationand it's 100, 000, why am I standing here saying, “Iwant to make it better”? Because that's what the model tells you it's going to do.
What we do is that everytime we get more data, you feed it back in andrelook at the model.
Is the model reallytelling you what's actually going on? And again, I know mymodeling colleagues are going to not be happy withme, but models are as good as the assumptionsyou put into them.
And as we get more data, then you put it in and that might change.
So even though it says”according to the model, ” which is a good model thatwe're dealing with, this is full mitigation.
As we get more data, asthe weeks go by, that could be modified.
The Press: Why is themodel now the top line on the lowball estimate? Why does that not top outat — I think it said 240, 000, not 200, 000.
Is that a change? Is that because the stateshaven't been doing enough? Dr.
Birx: You know, itjust has to do with if you had more New Yorksand New Jerseys.
You know, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Dallas, Houston — you know, allof our major cities — modeled like New York.
That's what getsus into trouble.
But I am reassured bylooking at the Seattle line, by looking at the LAline, by looking at what California has been ableto do, that that is not something that — I don'tbelieve that's going to happen.
That is the outside caseof having 10, 15 metros like New York and theNew Jersey metro area.
The Press: New York hadcommunity spread pretty early, undetected.
So don't many of thoseother states, if not more of them who had even lessinformation, aren't they likely to seethe same spike? Dr.
Birx: Well, Californiaand Washington State reacted veryearly to this.
Yes, Washington State had some of the earliest infections.
They have kept it low andsteady, and for now, a month, has been trackingit with a small increase in the number of cases butnot this logarithmic form of the virus.
And so that's the –that's the piece that we're trying to prevent.
That's the piece thatwe're trying to prevent in New Orleans, in Detroit, in Chicago, and in Boston right now, and trying tomake sure that each of those cities work morelike California than the New York metro area.
The Press: Mr.
President, I just wanted to get your thoughts on facemasks.
The President: Yes.
The Press: We asked youabout this yesterday and you signaled you werethinking about it.
The President: Just to endthe last topic though — I think I can say thisbecause I spoke to Dr.
Birx beforeand to Dr.
For whatever reason, NewYork got off to a very late start.
And you see what happenswhen you get off to a late start.
New Jersey got off to –and I think both governors are doing an excellentjob, but they got off to a very late start.
When you look atWashington State, if you remember, that all startedin a very confined nursing home.
And you had 20-some-oddpeople, I believe, dying in one home.
That doesn't mean itescaped that home.
And so they have a verydifferent statistic than other states.
But, I mean, I remember itvery vividly, the nursing home in Washington Statewhere you had many people dying.
Every day people weredying in the one exact location.
So they were able to keepthat, relatively speaking, into that location.
The Press: Were yousurprised when you saw those numbers, sir? The Press: But onthe facial coverage? The President: One second.
Steve? The Press: Were yousurprised when you saw these projections? The numbers are sobering.
The President: They'revery sobering, yeah.
When you see 100, 000people, that's a — and that's at aminimum number.
Now, what we're looking at– and as many people as we're talking about –whatever we can do under that number andsubstantially under that number, we've done thatthrough really great mitigation.
We've done that througha lot of very dedicated American people that, youknow, 100, 000 is — is, according to modeling, a very low number.
In fact, when I first sawthe number — and I asked this a while ago — theysaid it's unlikely you'll be able to attain that.
I think we're doingbetter than that.
Now, I think.
We have to see.
But I think we're doingbetter than that.
Because, as John said, that would be, you know, a lot of lives taking placeover a relatively short period of time.
But think of what wouldhave happened if we didn't do anything.
I mean, I've had manyfriends, business people, people with great, actually, common sense — they said, “Why don'twe ride it out?” A lot of people have said.
A lot of people havethought about it.
“Ride it out.
Don't do anything, justride it out and think of it as the flu.
” But it's not the flu.
When you send a friend tothe hospital, and you call up to find out how is hedoing — it happened to me, where he goes to thehospital, he says goodbye.
He's sort of a tough guy.
A little older, a littleheavier than he'd like to be, frankly.
And you call up the nextday: “How's he doing?” And he's in a coma? This is not the flu.
So we would have seenthings had we done nothing.
But for a long while, alot of people were asking that question, I think, right? I was asking it also.
I mean, a lot of peoplewere saying, “Well, let's just ride it out.
” This is not to be riddenout because then you would have been looking atpotentially 2.
2 million people or more.
2 million people in arelatively short period of time.
If you remember, they werelooking at that concept.
It's a a concept, I guess.
You know, it's concept ifyou — if you don't mind death.
A lot of death.
But they were lookingat that in the UK.
Remember? They were very muchlooking at it.
And all of a sudden, theywent hard the other way because they startedseeing things that weren't good.
So they were — you know, they put themselves in a little bit of a problem.
Now, Boris testedpositive, and I hear he's — I hope he'sgoing to be fine.
But in the UK, theywere looking at that.
And they have a name forit, but we won't even call — we won't evengo by the name.
But it would've been –it would have been very catastrophic, I think, ifthat would have happened.
But that was somethingthat everybody was talking about, Steve, like, “justdon't do anything.
” “Don't do anything.
Forget about everything.
Just ride it out.
” They used the expression, “Ride it out.
” We would have had, at aminimum, 1.
6, but you would have had perhapsmore than 2.
2 million people dying in a veryshort period of time.
And that would have been anumber that — the likes of which we've never seen.
So, now, when we look atour package that we just approved for $2 trillion, all of a sudden, it seems very reasonable.
Right? When you're talking about2 million lives, all of a sudden, it seemsvery reasonable.
I must say, a lot ofpeople that have been seeing the more advancednumbers — because these are much moreadvanced numbers now.
You know, when you firststarted, we didn't know, and this was a differentkind of a virus.
And nobody knew thatmuch about it, even the experts.
You don't really knowwhere it's going.
But then they see whatgoes on in Italy, and they see what goes on in Spain, and you see France is having a very hard time.
And other countries havinga very, very hard time.
But once they see what'sgoing on, they start making projections.
So, I hope they'regoing to be very high projections, but basedon everything else, that would be the number.
Let's see if we can domuch better than that.
I hope we can.
The Press: Whatabout masks? You didn't answer herquestion about masks.
The President: Oh– The Press: Yeah.
Yeah, what's yourrecommendation? The President: Okay.
The Press: I understandthere's an issue with supplies but — ThePresident: That's right.
The Press: — if therewasn't enough for an emergency room? The President: Well, it's — that's right.
You know, youcan use a scarf.
A scarf is — everybody– a lot of people have scarves, and youcan use a scarf.
A scarf wouldbe very good.
And I — my — my feelingis if people want to do it, there's certainlyno harm to it.
I would say do it, but usea scarf if you want, you know, rather than going out and getting a mask or whatever.
We're making millions andmillions of masks, but we want them to goto the hospitals.
I mean, one of the thingsthat Dr.
Fauci told me today is we don'twant them competing.
We don't want everybodycompeting with the hospitals where youreally need them.
So you can use scarves.
You can use somethingelse over your face.
It doesn't haveto be a mask.
But it's not a bad idea, at least for a period of time.
I mean, eventually, you'renot going to want to do that.
You're not goingto have to do that.
This is going to be gone.
It'll be gone.
Hopefully gonefor a long time.
The Press: Mr.
President, the mitigation steps that are on your 30-day plan, is that enough or is more needed? Have you been discussingthat behind the scenes? The President: Well, we're going to find out.
We hope it's enough.
We hope it's enough.
We hope we're at a levelwhere we can say, “let's go, ” because our countrywants to get back to work.
We really wantto get back.
Everybody wants toget back to work.
Now, I could ask thedoctors to answer that question, but we discussthat all the time.
What do you think? The Press: Have they beenrecommending harsher mitigation steps? The President: Well, Ithink we're very — I think we'vebeen very harsh.
I mean, if you look at thestreets — I looked at Fifth Avenue today oncamera and I didn't see anybody walkingon the street.
And I'm used to watchingthat street — you can't even see — you can't seethe asphalt, you can't see the concrete.
And you look andthere's nobody.
There was one car.
It looked like it mighthave been a taxicab.
And it was in a time ofthe morning that normally there'd be alot of people.
I mean, you know, I think– I think the mitigation has been very strong.
The Press: Mr.
President, will you confirm your plans to defer tariffpayments for 90 days? And, secondly, on infra— The President: I didn't — I didn't do anythingabout tariff payments.
I don't know who's talkingabout tariff payments.
They keep talkingabout tariff payments.
And we haven't done that.
China is paying us — wemade a deal with China.
Under the deal, they'repaying us 25 percent on $250 billion, and they pay it.
And I spoke with PresidentXi the other day and he didn't mention that.
We didn't mention that.
We had a greatconversation, by the way.
A really productiveconversation, having to do with many things.
Most of it wason the virus.
But, you know, we're nottalking — Who you are you with? Who are you with? The Press: But if I — ifI could just clarify — The President:Who are you with? Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Who are you with? The Press: WallStreet Journal.
The President: Oh.
The Press: There'sreporting by the Wall Street Journal andBloomberg that there's a plan in motion to — ThePresident: Yeah, I know — that's incorrectreporting.
Well, that might be, butI'm going to have to approve the plan.
The Press: — absent China– The President: The one thing I will tell you:I approve everything.
And they haven't presentedit to me, so therefore, it's false reporting.
So therefore, don't do the story.
If we're going to dosomething, we'd — I'd be glad to let you know.
There's nothingwrong with doing it.
But we'll let you know.
A couple in the back, thenwe'll get back to you, John.
The Press: Thank you.
The President: Go ahead.
The Press: Thank you, sir.
Philip Wegmann withRealClearPolitics.
I wanted to ask you aboutindividual states issuing stay-at-home orders.
What do you think — forinstance, in Florida, Ron DeSantis has resistedurges to issue one of those.
But he said moments agothat if you and the rest of the task forcerecommended one, that would weigh onhim heavily.
What sort of circumstancesneed to be in place for you to make that call andsay this is something you should consider? The President: Differentkind of a state.
Also, great governor.
He knows exactlywhat he's doing.
Has a very strongview on it.
And we have spoken to Ron.
Mike, do you want to justtell them a little bit about that? The Vice President:Well, let me echo our appreciation for Governor DeSantis's leadership in Florida.
He's been taking decisivesteps from early on and working closely with ourteam at the federal level.
But let me be veryclear on this: The recommendation of ourhealth experts was to take the “15 Days to Slow theSpread” and have the President extend thatto 30 days for every American.
Now, that being said, werecognize that — that when you're dealing witha health crisis in the country, it is — itis locally executed by healthcare workers butit's state managed.
And so we continue to flow information to state governors.
We continue to hear aboutthe data that they're analyzing andconsult with them.
But at the President'sdirection, the White House Coronavirus Task Forcewill continue to take the posture that we will deferto state and local health authorities on any measures that they deem appropriate.
But for the next 30 days, this is what we believe every American in everystate should be doing, at a minimum, toslow the spread.
The President: So unlesswe see something obviously wrong, we're going tolet the governors do it.
Now, it's obviously wrong.
I mean, people can makethings — they can make a decision that we thinkis so far out that it's wrong, we will stop that.
But in the case ofGovernor DeSantis, you know, there's two thoughtsto it and two very good thoughts to it.
And he's been doinga great job in every respect, so we'llsee what happens.
But we only would exerciseif we thought somebody was very obviously wrong.
The Press: Thanks.
I had a question in aminute for the Vice President about the –The President: Go ahead.
The Press: — the NationalStrategic Stockpile.
But while you're at thepodium, I wanted to ask about your call withPresident Putin a couple days ago.
I know a big economicconcern for a lot of people has been the stateof oil prices right now.
The President: Yeah.
The Press: So I'mwondering if you raised that with President Putin, if you were able to — The President: I did.
We had a call.
The Press: gainany new assurances.
The President: It wasprobably about that, the oil prices, because, asyou know, Russia and Saudi Arabia are going at it.
And they're reallygoing at it.
And by going at it to theextent that they are, the oil has dropped to a pointwhere I — look, it's the greatest tax cut we'veever given, if you look at it that way, becausepeople are going to be paying 99 cents for agallon of gasoline.
It's incredible, in a lot of ways.
It's going tohelp the airlines.
But at the same time, it'shurtful to one of our biggest industries –that's the oil industry.
It's really — it's noteven feasible, what's going on.
So I spoke to PresidentPutin about that.
I also spoke to the CrownPrince about that — Saudi Arabia.
The Press: Did theyagree to do anything? The President: No, I think– yeah, they're going to get together and we're allgoing to get together, and we're going to see what wecan do because you don't want to lose an industry.
You're going to losean industry over it.
Thousands andthousands of jobs.
We have — I don't know ifyou know, there's oil all over the oceans right now.
The boats are all filled.
The ships are — they'rerenting ships — ships that were dying thatweren't doing well and now, like, they're –that's where they're storing oil.
And they're sent out tosea and they sit there for long periods of time.
There's so much oil.
In some cases, it's– it's probably less valuable than water.
In some parts of the world, water is much more valuable.
So we've never seenanything like it.
But the two countriesare discussing it.
And I am joining, at theappropriate time, if need be.
We had a great talkwith President Putin.
We had a great talkwith the Crown Prince.
We also discussed more sowith President Putin, in this case, the virus, because Russia is being hit pretty hard.
And we discussed manythings — trade.
We discussed a lotof things with both.
But in the case of both, we very much discussed the oil and the oil prices.
I mean, if you look, it's$22 but it's really much cheaper than that ifyou want to negotiate.
Nobody has seen that.
That's likefrom the 1950s.
It really is.
You know, to think that itwas 50, 60, 70, 80, and now it's 22.
But, you know, if you puta good bid in at nine, I think you could probablyget what you wanted, right? John, please.
The Press: Mr.
President, you tweeted earlier today that now would be a goodtime to start looking toward, if there is alight at the end of the tunnel, and work on aninfrastructure bill.
The President: Yeah.
The Press: Again, yousuggested it should be $2 trillion, which is twicewhat the last one was — or the proposal, at least.
Are you anticipating that, like after the economic crisis of 2008, 2009, America will need to have so-called “shovel-ready”jobs ready to go to get people back to work? The President: Well, theproblem with that one is they had maybeshovel-ready jobs, maybe not, but they never usedit for the purpose of infrastructure.
So far, nobody has beenable to find any money that was spent oninfrastructure.
I want to use itfor infrastructure.
And one of the reasons I'msuggesting it, John, is we're payingzero interest.
The United States ispaying almost zero interest rate.
The Federal Reservelowered the rate — the Fed rate.
And, that, and acombination of the fact that everybody wants tobe in the United States.
You know, we have thedollar that's very strong.
And I know that soundsgood, but it does make it hard to manufacture andsell outside because other currencies are fallingand our currency is very strong.
It's very, very strong.
Proportionately, it'sthrough the roof.
So we have astrong dollar.
People want to investin the United States, especially nowadays wherethey're looking at safety.
They have all of theproblems, plus the virus at 151 countries.
They all want to comeinto the United States.
And so we have azero interest rate, essentially.
And I said, “Wouldn't thisbe a great time to borrow money at zero interestrate and really build our infrastructurelike we can do it?” So the plan was — theRepublicans had a plan of about 750.
I would say they were –were at seven five, where you had the Democratswere a little less than a trillion dollars.
The Republicans were alittle bit less than that.
And I'm suggesting$2 trillion.
We redo our roads, ourhighways, our bridges.
We fix up our tunnelswhich are — many of them in bad shape, like cominginto New York, as you know.
Really bad shape.
And we really do a jobon our infrastructure.
And that doesn't meanwe're going to do the Green New Dealbecause I won't do it.
I won't approve it.
We're not going to do theGreen New Deal and do — spend, you know, 40percent of the money on things that peoplejust have fun with.
The Press: But how wouldyou pay for it, sir? The President: We're goingto borrow the money at zero percent interest.
So our interest paymentswould be almost zero, and we can borrow long term.
People want to be inthe United States.
They want to be investedin the United States.
Go ahead, Jim.
The Press: I wanted toget back to the virus.
You were saying at thebeginning of the press conference that you'relooking at holding back 10, 000 ventilators.
Is that because you needto pick and choose where these ventilators aregoing to have to go because of the natureof the pandemic now spreading? The President: Right.
It's a good question.
The Press: And also, Ijust wanted to ask — The President: Go ahead.
The Press: — Dr.
Birx if it's possible, after you finish– The President: Yeah.
The Press: — is that partof the reason why you're projecting 100, 000to 200, 000 deaths? That there are going tobe some people who aren't going to be able to getventilators or be put on a ventilator? The President: Actually, just the opposite, because we're holding back — wehave almost 10, 000, and we're holding becausewe're going to need them over the next couple ofweeks as the surge goes on.
You see the chart.
We haven't hitthe top yet.
And we have to be able tomove them immediately.
And we can't take thembecause it's going to be very hard to do that.
We can't take them toplaces that aren't needing them.
Plus, we have requests forventilators in hospitals and in states and citiesthat don't need them, in our opinion.
They don't need them.
They won't needthem at the top.
So we're holding itback for flexibility.
We actually just took600 and we sent them to different locations today.
But we haveclose to 10, 000.
And we'll be able to getthem — and we're all set to march.
We have the NationalGuards and we have FEMA.
And we're all set tomove them to the places.
So, as per your secondquestion, what we're going to do is save livesbecause of it.
Because otherwise, wewould not be able to get the ventilators.
And we don't know what thehottest spot — The Press: You don't think we have aventilator shortage right now? The President: Insome areas, we might.
But we've done a greatjob with ventilators, and we're having themmade — unbelievable.
We have now 11 companiesmaking ventilators.
Now, they'll be startingto arrive in the next week.
But we've alsograbbed a lot of them.
Some hospitals had morethan they were saying, or at least more than we knewabout, which is a good thing, not a bad thing.
But we want to be able tohave — I guess the word would be “flexibility” sothat if the surge turns out to be much stronger inLouisiana, which it could, that we can immediatelybring 1, 000 or 2, 000 to Louisiana.
Otherwise, we wouldn'tbe able to get them; we wouldn't be able to say, “Listen, Governor Cuomo in New York, we want to takeventilators away from New York, ” and they'll say, “Well, we can't do that.
” It would be a disaster.
So we have greatflexibility.
Now, when the surgeoccurs, if it occurs fairly evenly, we'll beable to distribute them very quickly beforethey need them.
But we want to have — wehave a reserve right now.
It's like having oilreserves, except more valuable, frankly.
But we have areserve right now.
And we'll be able — andwe also have a great team of people readyto deliver.
They can move them fast.
So when we see it going upin a certain state — and Louisiana could be one, and Michigan could be another with Detroit, because Detroit is having a lot of — a lot ofhard time right now.
Detroit cameout of nowhere.
And that's whathappens with this.
It comes out of nowhere.
So we are ready, Jim, depending on what happens, and we have a stockpile.
And that's why it'scalled a stockpile.
Now, a lot of theventilators and a lot of the other equipment, rather than sending it to the stockpile, we hadit sent directly to a hospital, to alocation, to a place.
So we didn't have thecumbersome nature of having it come in, unboxed, put in, and then delivered.
We have it brought –which they've never done before.
They don't do that.
Generally speaking, they don't do that.
But we've had — I think, Mike, we've had tremendous success at doing that.
That's for other items, including ventilators, where it's brought tothe site that needs it.
But we have a good supplyof ventilators, and we're ready to go.
We're all ready.
We have trucks ready.
We have everything ready.
Because, as we're saying, John, this could be a hell of a bad two weeks.
This is going to be a verybad two and maybe even three weeks.
This is going to be three weeks like we haven't seen before.
The Press: And should thehospitals be prepared for that? We're hearing — ThePresident: Well, I think the hospitals — The Press: — some hospital workers are saying thatthey're facing what looks like a medical war zonein some of these places.
The President: Yeah.
They are — they are goingto be facing a war zone.
That's what it is.
The Press: What about –The President: I've heard — I've heard some of theparamedics and some of the doctors, they said theywere — they've been in war zones, they've beenin — they've never seen anything like this.
You look at ElmhurstHospital in Queens — I've never seen — I mean, Ilook — I just think it's so — because that's ahospital that's near where I grew up.
And it's — it is a warzone, in a true sense.
The Press: Yeah, on the ventilators.
So we've been hearing fromgovernors who say they are fighting amongstthemselves, essentially bidding amongst themselvesto get these ventilators.
The President: Theyshouldn't be doing that.
If that happens, theyshould be calling us.
Look, we have ventilators, but we've distributed thousands of ventilators.
But they shouldn'tbe doing that.
And if they need themthat badly, we know.
We have pretty good ideasof where they're going to need them.
Some people, frankly, think they need them and they don't need them.
I don't want to mentionnames, but there are some people that want them, andit's really not the right thing.
Then you have somepeople that, I guess, automaticallyhoard a little bit.
They want to have morethan they think they need.
But, you know, aventilator is a very precious piece ofequipment right now.
It's hard to make.
It takes a longtime to make it.
Some of them are like thedashboard of an airplane.
I mean, they're verycomplicated and very expensive machines, andsome are much simpler.
But we're ready to go, depending on what happens.
But we have some hospitalsand some states that think they need ventilators, andwe don't think they do.
Now, if they do need them, we will have them there before they need them.
We'll be able tomove very quickly.
The Press: So you'reconfident then — The Press: What about thehydroxycloroquine? Is there any earlydata on these trials? The President: Nothingthat I've heard.
I mean, that's the firstquestion I make every morning.
I'll tell you, I call up– you know, we have 1, 100 — 1, 100 in NewYork right now.
And we have otherlocations where they're — where patients, peopleare taking them.
Now, the good news is, it's only three days.
And, you know, it's likea seven- or eight-day treatment.
The good news is wehaven't heard anything bad.
In other words, there havebeen no catastrophic events.
But we haven't.
It's a little bit toosoon to talk about it.
It would be a total gamechanger, John, if that happened.
If that happened, itwould be a game changer.
And we include that inthat, and, I think, in all cases, the Z-Pak.
You know whatthe Z-Pak is.
So we're going to seewhat happens with the hydroxychloroquine.
The Press: Mr.
President– The Press: Are there other — are there other– The President: Yeah, just one second.
Steve, go ahead.
The Press: Are there otherantiviral drugs that are — that have somepromise of working soon? The President: We'relooking at a lot of them.
We're looking ata lot of them.
Some show promise.
The Press: I mean, howsoon — The President: I think maybe the doctormight want to speak about the vaccines because a lotof — Johnson & Johnson is advanced — very advanced.
We'll see what happens.
The one thing with thevaccine is you — it doesn't help this group, because this group, it's — you know, you needto test the vaccine.
The one thing with thedrug you just mentioned — right? — is thatthat's been out.
It's a malaria drug andalso an arthritis drug.
So it's been outthere for a long time.
A very powerful drug.
But it's been outthere for a long time.
So it's tested in thesense that you know it doesn't kill you.
But you may want todiscuss the vaccines for a second, Doctor.
FAUCI: Thankyou, Mr.
But just for a second –before the vaccine — in answer to your question, Steve: There are a number of candidates.
The drugs that are nowbeing looked at in various ways — eithercompassionate use, clinical trials — aregenerally drugs that already existfor other things.
There's a whole menu ofdrugs and interventions that are now going intoclinical trials that are not approved foranything yet.
I mean, for example, things like immune serum, convalescent plasma, orhyperimmune globulin, or monoclonal antibodies — avariety of other things.
Right now, there's a lotof activity going on behind the scenes in thedesign of the kinds of clinical trials thatwill give us an answer.
Because you need an answer– because if it doesn't work, you want to get itoff the table and go to the next one.
So there are alot of things.
The Press: How long doesthat normally take? Weeks? Months? Dr.
Fauci: Yeah, no, ittakes at least months.
At least months.
So, I mean, that's thereason why you're seeing a lot of activity with drugsthat already exist for other purposes, becausethey're already there.
But the drugs that youwant to show in a good randomized clinical trial, at very best, they're going to take months.
Just one wordon the vaccine.
You know, exactly like wesaid: We hope that as we get into the summer, if infact there are cases out there, when you're in aphase two or phase three trial — or 2/2B, as wecall it — that we might get an earlyefficacy signal.
And an efficacy signalmeans that even though you haven't definitivelyproven that a vaccine works, you get enoughinformation that if it were an emergency, youmight be able to have an emergency useauthorization for it.
The Press: Thatsounds good.
The President: AndI have to say this: Hydroxychloroquine andazithromycin — which is, you know, you take it withit, maybe, if you want, for the infection — Ithink some medical workers are doing that, usingit maybe or getting it prescribed perhaps as– for another use.
But the word is that someare and some aren't.
I mean, I think it's nota bad idea to do it, but that's up to the doctors.
But there is a theorygoing around that in our country and some othercountries, people are taking that — that workin the hospitals, that work with the patients– because there is some evidence.
And, again, it's goingto have to be proven.
It's very early.
You know, we're rushingthis stuff through.
This was supposed totake a long time to be approved, and I prevailedupon the FDA to get it approved immediately onthe basis that it was already on the market fora lot of years for another use: malaria, mostly –and arthritis — but mostly malaria.
So we'll see what happens.
But there is a theory outthere that for the medical worker, a doctor, it may work.
It may work.
And if you take it, it's– you know, it's been out there for a long time.
Please, go ahead.
The Press: Mr.
President, I just wanted to go back to Jim's question aboutthe National Stockpile.
The governor ofConnecticut today — The President: About which? The Press: The NationalStrategic Stockpile.
The governor ofConnecticut, today, said that he was disturbed tolearn that the stockpile is now empty.
That's his words.
And he said — ThePresident: Well, it's not empty.
Let me explain something.
What we're doing –and I thought I said it accurately; Icertainly meant to.
Rather than havingit brought into the stockpile, whereappropriate — other than certain things, like wehave quite a few of the ventilators, which is nota lot when you look at the whole country actually.
It sounds like a lot– almost 10, 000.
But we're trying to havesupply sent directly to the states because we savea big state — we save a big — we don't wantmedical supplies coming into warehouses all overthe place and then we take them from there and bringthem to another warehouse.
So we're having it broughtfrom the man- — ideally, from the manufacturerdirectly to the hospital or the statewhere it's going.
So we're trying to keepit that way as much as possible.
Now, in some cases, weare having it brought.
Remember this: We alsotook over a virtually empty — and I say itagain, just like we had no ammunition in themilitary, and we had virtually no ammunition.
Well, we had very littlein medical supplies, too, in our stockpile.
So, for the most part, we're trying very hard to have it delivered to thesite where they need it.
The Press: Thankyou, Mr.
Here, in the UnitedStates, domestically, we can practicesocial distancing.
But some of our sailors, specifically on the USS Theodore Roosevelt –The President: Yeah.
The Press: –they're not able to.
They're inconfined spaces.
What are yourthoughts on that? Should they be offloaded? And then, sir, areyou concerned — The President: I'm going tolet the military make that decision.
The Press: Yes, sir.
But are youconcerned about U.
military readinessduring this pandemic? For instance, what wouldhappen if, as reported, China was to increasepatrols in the South China Sea? What would yourresponse be? The President: Well, we'regoing to see all about that.
Don't worry aboutour military.
You know, you saw themilitary put up a hospital in three and a half dayswith 2, 900 beds — with a lot of beds.
Nobody has ever seenanything like it.
And, by the way, thatwasn't the only one.
It wasn't just at JavitsCenter; it was at other locations.
And now it's Louisiana, and now it's New Jersey, and now it's other places.
One thing that I think isindisputable is, when I watched the Army Corpsof Engineers and FEMA — working with them — butwhen I watched the Army Corps of Engineers throwup these hospitals — and they're complex.
I mean, these areincredible buildings, essentially — tentsand various things.
But they did it in sucha quick — such a short period of time.
And our military is readylike you haven't seen.
And you know who the best– the best guests on the different shows are? We watch shows at night.
And I think the bestguests that I've seen in a long time are the militarypeople, and they've never done it before.
I've watched GeneralSemonite, who I deal with a lot.
I say, “General, you'vegot to give us two new hospitals in Louisiana.
” “Yes, sir.
” And the next morning, they're building them at 6 o'clock in the morning, and they're up in three days.
I think they're the best– they're the best guests you have.
I guess, I'm tired ofthe other guests, in all fairness.
The Press: What kindof message do you have (inaudible) — ThePresident: Okay, Jim, go ahead.
The Press: Yes, sir.
This may be anuncomfortable question, but what would the modelshave looked like, that Dr.
Birx and Dr.
Faucishowed us, if we had started the socialdistancing guidelines sooner, in February orJanuary, when China and South Korea were doingthose sorts of things? The President: Well, I'mgoing to let them — The Press: I know China is notreliable — The President: I'm going to letthem answer that.
The Press: — in terms ofwhat — The President: Yeah.
The Press: — informationwe're getting from them.
But if we had startedthese practices sooner, could these models bedifferent right now? The President: Yeah, I'mgoing to let them answer the question.
But remember this — andagain, I say it, and everybody says it.
You know who it says itbetter than anybody, is Dr.
I had a decision to make.
Maybe it was mybiggest decision.
China was heavilyinfected, and thousands and thousands of peoplewere coming from China to the United States.
And against the wishes –not even wishes, but they disagreed with thedecision — I made a decision to stopChina from coming in.
I took a lot of heat, even from China.
They weren'texactly happy.
I just made a tradedeal — a big one: 250-billion-dollar tradedeal — and I'm shortly thereafter saying youcan't come into our country.
That was a big decision.
That was earlier than thedate you're talking about.
So that was abig decision.
That was probably — and, by the way, not because I did it; that was probablythe biggest decision we made so far.
But if you look at the onegraph, the problem New York has is New Yorkstarted late, but the other ones didn'tstart so late.
And New York is also morecomplicated, because, you know, for obvious reasons, but it got a late start.
But do you want to maybeanswer those questions? Dr.
Birx: I think — Idon't know if you can go back to slide two becauseI wanted to explain two things that I think isreally important because we had a lot of questionsabout mortality and what it meant.
Okay, so you see thisconfidence interval? So here's the line.
This is theconfidence interval.
This is where we have theability to push it down.
So you have a largeconfidence interval around the line.
And so we're trying tomove that gray down tighter and belowthe dotted line.
So I think that'sreally important.
And then — then, if youcan go to the next slide.
So we really can't answeryour question until we can get antibodytesting out there.
Because what we can't tellyou is in — and we can always do this.
There's always samplesin hospitals and other things.
It's the way we reallydefined the HIV epidemic in the United States; wewere able to go back to blood samples when we hadthe test and really find out where it was andwhat was going on.
We really need to look inhere and really see: Was there virus significantlycirculating in early March and late February? And what did it look like? And where was it? And was it all inthe metro areas? And I think that's whatDr.
Fauci and I are very, very focused on, isgetting serology testing out there to really figureout when it came and really have those samplesto be able to do that.
The Press: Because youunderstand the painful part of my question and –please, I don't mean to put you on the spot.
But — Dr.
Birx: No, weunderstand, but we can't answer it until — ThePress: But there may be Americans at home– Dr.
Until we see that.
The Press: — saying, “If we had started this sooner, we might nothave 100, 000 to 200, 000 Americans dying.
Birx: Well, that makesan assumption that it was here — a lot — there wasa lot back here that we didn't see.
And until we have theantibody test, I can't really answer that.
Fauci: Just tounderscore what Dr.
Birx was saying: If therewas no virus in the background, there wasnothing to mitigate.
If there was virus therethat we didn't know about, then the answer to yourquestion is probably yes.
Now, the only trouble withthat is that whenever you come out and say somethinglike that, it always becomes almost a soundbitethat gets taken out of context.
But I think that it's veryimportant what Dr.
Birx has said — is thatif there was covert infections here that wedidn't know about and we didn't mitigate them, thenthey would have made a difference.
If there was virtuallynothing there, then there's nothingto mitigate.
And I don't know theanswer to your question.
The President: Butthey were early.
They started early.
The Press: But we werewatching North — South Korea, excuse me, andChina and Italy, and we weren't taking actionwhen those countries were spiking.
Fauci: Right, sure.
In a perfect world, itwould have been nice to know what wasgoing on there.
But I believe, Jim, thatwe acted very, very early on that.
The Press: But if we hadadequate testing, would we have known? The President: Yeah.
We would have knownthe same thing.
We inheritedobsolete tests.
The Vice President: CanI — can I speak to that too, as well? The President madereference to the fact — January 31, he suspendedall travel from China.
Shortly thereafter, weissued strong travel advisories for thesections of Italy implicated and sectionsof South Korea, and we reached agreements withthose countries to screen all passengers from allairports coming into the United States of America.
The President's initialefforts were designed at preventing the coronavirusfrom coming into the United States.
And what our experts havetold us again and again at the Coronavirus Task Forceis that those actions bought us a significantamount of time on this curve to respond withthe kind of mitigation efforts, standing upresources, testing, and supplies thatare in effect.
But we went from aprevention strategy the President acted on beforethe month of January was over to a mitigationstrategy, which continues to this day.
And if I can also say just– just to every American: All the questions aboutresources are very important.
And I can assure you thatthe President and our task force are preoccupied withthese issues and working with governors hour byhour to meet those needs.
But if Americans willput into practice these guidelines for another 30days, they'll do their part to lower the curveand save lives, most importantly, and limit theburden on our hospitals and our healthcaresystem in the country significantly.
And so, make no mistakeabout it: While we're going to work our heartsout and leave no stone unturned to find theresources, the masks, the ventilators that we need– and we are going to meet that moment withthe full energy of the American economy and thewhole of the American government — the Americanpeople have a role to play in preserving that medicalcapacity in a way that will ensure that peoplethat are caught up in the coronavirus, particularlythose that are vulnerable to the most seriousoutcomes, which are seniors with seriousunderlying health conditions or anyone withan immunodeficiency, have the resources, thesupport, and the healthcare that everyAmerican family would want their loved one to have.
The Press: A questionfor Dr.
President? The President: But I dothink we were very early, but I also think that wewere very smart because we stopped China.
We had neverdone that before.
You know, we had neverclosed our borders before, as I read — I read.
I don't know, maybethat's not right.
Fauci had alsosaid that was a — that was — I think it wasmaybe the biggest moment because we werestopping the source.
We were stoppingthe infection.
But we also stopped Europevery shortly thereafter.
That was a big decision.
That was not an easydecision, either.
I stopped them a long timebefore people started stopping anyone.
So we stopped China.
We stopped Europe.
We stopped all of Europe.
And then ultimately, westopped UK, Ireland.
In the back.
The very back.
The Press: Mr.
Presidentand the team, going back to hydroxychloroquine, howmany clinical trial tests, numerically, would youlike to see before you put a stamp of approval on it? Because it's — there areclinical trials being — taking place aroundthe world right now.
The President: You couldanswer that, please.
The Press: Isthere a number? How many cases wouldyou like to see? Dr.
That is an FDA decisionand it really depends on a variety of factors.
What I would like to see:a clinical trial that has a comparison to somethingthat is comparable to what it means without the drug.
I mean, I keep saying it.
I say it all the time andI'll say it again: It's a controlled trial thatcompares it to something meaningful.
When that — The Press:Are there particular trials that you'rewatching taking place around theworld right now? Dr.
Fauci: Well, there area number of trials going on, not only in the UnitedStates, but also in other parts of the world.
You know, right now, it'stoo early to make any determination, but I justwant to get back to what I say all the time: Thedefinitive way that you get an answer is by doinga randomized, controlled, clinical trial.
The Press: Dr.
Fauci, on social distancing.
President — ThePress: (Inaudible.
) The President: You're talkingabout the chloroquine? Is that what you'retalking about? In — specifically, per the last question? The Press: Yes.
The President: Yeah.
No, there aretrials going on.
But there are also trialsgoing on — we're trying them on peoplethat are now sick.
That's a very important –that's a very important trial, to me.
The Press: But we knowthat there are cocktails being experimentedwith around the world.
So, my question wasreally, like: Are there specific — The President:We're watching whatever happens around the world.
We're watching thosetrials very closely.
The Press: Mitch McConnellhad a line today.
He was on — ThePresident: Mitch? The Press: MitchMcConnell.
He said that impeachmentdiverted the attention of the government.
Do you thinkthat, in any way? This was happening andbuilding at the same time.
Did it divert yourattention or your team's attention or the VicePresident's attention? The President: Well, Idon't like to think I did.
I think I handled it verywell, but I guess it probably did.
I mean, I got impeached.
I think, you know, Icertainly devoted a little time to thinkingabout it, right? The Press: (Inaudible)the pandemic? The President: So, butthink of it: It was a hoax.
It was a total hoax.
And when you think that Igot impeached only because they had a majorityin the House.
They didn't get one –they didn't get one Republican vote– 196 to nothing.
Not one Republican.
It's nev- — I don'tthink it's ever happened.
The Republicans stucktogether and they stuck together in the Senate– 52 to a half.
So, you know, when you saythat — yeah, I think it took a lot of — I seethem going and saying about speed.
Well, they probablyillegally impeached me in the sense that, if youlook at the FBI today — with what happened, thehorrible things — nobody cares about that nowbecause all they're thinking about is thevirus, and that's okay with me.
But you look at the reportthat came out from IG Horowitz; it'sdisgraceful what went on.
It's a total disgrace.
They got caughtin the act.
But you know what? We won't talkabout that now.
Did it divertmy attention? I think I'm gettingA-pluses for the way I handled myself duringa phony impeachment.
Okay? It was a hoax.
But certainly, Iguess, I thought of it.
And I think I probablyacted — I don't think I would have done any betterhad I not been impeached.
Okay? And I think that's a greattribute to something; maybe it's atribute to me.
But I don't think I wouldhave acted any differently or I don't think I wouldhave acted any faster.
But the Democrats, theirwhole — their whole life, their whole being, theirwhole existence was to try and get me out of officeany way they can, even if it was a phony deal.
And it was a phony deal.
And it turned out — andall you have to do is look today at the FBI reports.
Take a look atwhat the FBI did.
Take a look at the people.
Take a look at Comey'sreport — 78 pages of total kill.
Take a look at that.
Take a look at thereport on McCabe.
Just read it and you'llsee how horrible it was.
And you know what? I don't think this countryis going to take it, if you want toknow the truth.
The Press: Was there somecall you would have had time to make? Is there — how did ittake you out of the game? The Press: What guidanceare you offering to Florida when it comes tothe two Holland America cruise ships that areseeking to dock here? Many are sick and –The President: Yeah.
Well, I'll be speaking –I'm going to be spea- — in fact, he has a callin to me and we'll be speaking to — we'll bespeaking to the governor and we'll bespeaking to him soon.
But there's a case– we have two ships.
There are people thatare sick on the ship.
And we don't want to be –like, they're going to be ghost ships.
You know, people turnthose ships away.
There was a ship, as youknow, in a certain part of Asia, and, from port toport, nobody would take it.
But in the meantime, youhave people that are dying on the ship or at leastvery sick, but they're dying on the ship.
The Press: So what is –The President: So, I'm going to — I'm going to– you know, I'm going to do what's right, not onlyfor us, but for humanity.
I mean, these are two bigships and they have a lot of very sick people.
And I'll be speaking to –I'll be speaking to the governor.
Let's do just a coupleof more back here.
Yeah, go ahead please.
We'll get — we'll get– go ahead please.
The Press: Thankyou very much.
I was hoping you could –The President: Do you ever run out of questions, you people? It's the mostunbelievable thing.
You go through the room– The Press: So — The President: But I havenothing else to do.
So if you want us –I mean, if you want.
Should we keepit going, John? I think so.
The Press: Would youclarify something for me, please? Andrew Cuomo, today, saidthat the system that you have, where governors aretrying to get ventilators, “it's like being on eBaywith 50 other states bidding on aventilator, ” plus FEMA.
And then you just saidtonight, “They shouldn't be doing that.
” The President: You mean hewas — he was complaining? The Press: Well, he said– The President: Say it.
What did he say exactly? What did say? Go ahead.
The Press: He said thatwhen you have states competing for ventilatorsand medical care, “it's like being on eBay with 50other states bidding on a ventilator, ” plus FEMA.
The President: Well, heshouldn't be complaining because we gave hima lot of ventilators.
And if you take a look atthe chart — it's down — but I wish he got goinga little bit sooner.
But we gave him alot of ventilators.
And you know what? He has a lot ofventilators.
The problem is: With somepeople, no matter what you give, it's never enough.
It's never enough.
Like, they'll say, “How's Trump doing?” And you're a Democrat.
Some of them said, “Really good.
” I'll tell you, GavinNewsom, from California — who is doing a good job, by the way — and others said, “Really good.
” But, you know, generally, your natural reflex — “How's Trump doing?” You ask that questionto a Democrat.
“Uh, well, uh, wedon't like it.
” “Oh, really? You don't like it?” We're gettingvery high marks.
But I'm not doing this formarks; I'm doing this to save lives.
When John acted –(Cross-talk.
When John saw the numbersand when Jim saw those numbers, they'reshocking numbers.
You know, you'retalking about deaths.
Even at the low end, youwere shocked when you see 100- and 120, 000 and200, 000 people over, potentially, a veryshort period of time.
I want to save lives.
I'm not doing thisfor any other reason.
I want to save lives.
But the governor of NewYork has gotten, I think, maybe — probably hasgotten more than anybody.
He's gottenfour hospitals.
He's gotten fourmedical tents.
He's gotten a ship, thelikes of which nobody has ever seen before — otherthan Los Angeles, which has the twin.
I mean, we've done a lot.
But many ventilatorswere sent to New York.
And Mayor de Blasio — I'mgetting along with Mayor de Blasio great and Ithink he's very happy with the job we're doing too.
We're sending a lot of –actually, Mayor de Blasio had an interestingrequest.
He wanted people.
And we're sendingmedical people.
You know, a lot of people– a lot of the states aren't having a problemwith ventilators; they're having a problemgetting medical people.
And we're sending a lotof people in — military, very talented people.
Who didn't go? Go ahead, and thenI'll do you second.
The Press: Your responseto that question was — The Press: Thank you.
You mentioned GavinNewsom — The Press: Your response to that questionearlier was that they shouldn't be doing that.
If they need something, we'll — if they need them that badly — ThePresident: They shouldn't be doing what? The Press: Competingagainst each other.
The Press: They shouldn'tbe — the governors shouldn't be competingwith each for ventilators.
The President: No, theyshouldn't be competing.
And they should call us.
The Press: So, are yousaying — The President: Wait.
No, I don't want themto compete because all they're going to do isdrive up the price.
I don't wantthem to compete.
They should be calling us.
And we can work it so theyget the ventilators and they get shipped directly.
If they're competing, ifthey're calling — even if there's only two of themcalling, they're going to just drive up the price.
Because as nice as someof the people that do ventilators, they dowant to make money.
Okay? The Press: So you'resaying that you're going to take (inaudible)overall? The President: Now, youknow, New York had a chance to buy16, 000 ventilators.
I guess they didn'ttake that option.
That was in 2016.
And that's a hard optionto take because it's a lot of money and who wouldever think you need 16, 000 ventilators? Who would ever think it? But this is a very uniquetime in — in life.
And I think — you know, I'm dealing with New York and we're having a verygood relationship.
And you see what justhappened in Central Park with the tents.
I mean, we're having areally good relationship.
You didn't get one.
And then we'll go to you.
The Press: Thank you.
Gavin Newsom — youmentioned Gavin Newsom and the job that he's doing.
The President: Yes.
The Press: I'm interestedin what you think California has doneto contribute to the suppression of the curve– The President: Well, they've done a good job, California.
Now, let's see whathappens because we could have a spike.
Doctors — I mean, you don't know.
They could have a spikewhere, all the sudden, it spikes upward.
We had a couple– like Louisiana.
I think they're doing areally good job, but they had nothing.
Now, they had Mardi Grasand then, all of a sudden, after Mardi Gras –which tells you about distancing, I guess.
I mean, it's a — it'san example of what could happen.
But they werelike flawless.
I was always surprised.
I was lookingat Louisiana.
And I understandthat state.
I love that state.
And I'm saying, “They'rein great shape.
” Then they have Mardi Gras.
It was a big success, tremendous success.
And then, all of a sudden, it went like a rocket ship.
So that tells youabout distancing.
The Press: Are youconcerned, though, about the homeless population inCalifornia because I know California officials think that it could spread like wildfire.
And obviously there's ahomeless — The President: Say it again.
The Press: There's ahomelessness crisis in California.
The President:Yeah, there is.
The Press: They'reobviously concerned that it could spread likewildfire in that community.
So is there anything theadministration is doing? The President: Well, they're looking at that very strongly.
And I know that it's– it bothers Gavin.
I don't know if it bothersNancy Pelosi, but she's got it in her districtat a very high level.
They have to bevery careful.
They have a very bighomeless population in an area which, just a fewyears ago, didn't have anybody in those areas.
And they're livingin the streets.
And they're — I know thatsome people in California are working onthat very hard.
The Press: Mr.
President, you spoke several times with Prime MinisterTrudeau, President Macron.
And at the end of lastweek, President Macron talked about an importantinitiative that you and him would launch.
Any news on that? The President: No, we'retalking about something that will be very positivefor the world if we do it.
We'll see if wedo it or not.
The Press: What –what would it take? The President: Well, Idon't want to talk — it's — it's a private thing, but it will become public if we decide to doit, but positive.
Our relationship withthe President, our relationship with Franceis, you know, I think extraordinary, very good, probably as good as it's ever been.
The Press: Back to yourcomments about what could have happened and — andthe actions that you took.
Is there any fairness tothe criticism that you may have lulled Americans intoa false sense of security — The President: No.
The Press: — when youwere saying things like, “It's going to go away” –The President: Well, it is.
The Press: — andthat sort of thing.
But — The President:Jim, it's going away.
The Press: But when youwere saying it was going to go away — ThePresident: It's going to go away, hopefully atthe end of the month.
And, if not, hopefully itwill be soon after that.
The Press: But hasn't yourthinking on this evolved? The President: Oh, it isgoing — Jim, it is going away.
The Press: Hasn't yourthinking on this evolved? You're taking thismore seriously now.
The President: I think, from the beginning, my attitude was that we haveto give this country — I know how bad it was.
All you have to do is lookat what was going on in China.
It was devastation.
And all you have — lookat the numbers from China, those initial numberscoming out from China.
But, you know, I read anarticle today, which was very interesting.
They say, “We wishPresident Trump would give more bad news.
Give bad news.
” I'm not about bad news.
I want to givepeople hope.
I want to give people afeeling that we all have a chance.
I mean — The Press: Butmy — The President: — when — when you saw –when you saw the numbers and when John and all ofyou saw those numbers — and you're saying, “120, 000 people? You mean, that's good?” A hundred thousand deadpeople within a short period of time.
I want to give peoplea feeling of hope.
I could be very negative.
I could say, “Wait aminute, those numbers are terrible.
This is goingto be horrible.
” This is a horrible thing.
The Press: Is it possiblethat people heard what you were saying — ThePresident: Hey, Jim, this — The Press: — lastmonth and said, “Okay, let's go to the beach, let's go to the airport, let's go down toMardi Gras.
” The President: Well, therewere a lot of people — The Press: “Let'sgo do those things.
” The President: There werea lot of people that could have said that.
We didn't say that.
Fortunately, Ididn't say that.
And that was analternative.
We talked about it.
That was alwaysan alternative.
That's what I said.
“Let it rip, let it ride.
” And we could have had 2.
2million dead people, more than that, becauseI didn't do that.
And we did catch it early.
And we stopped Chinareally early, and we stopped Europe reallyearly, because I saw what was happening.
What — what happened isI stopped Italy, because Italy was reallyheavily infected.
We started off withcertain parts of Italy, then all of Italy, then we saw Spain.
Then I said, “Stop Europe.
Let's stop Europe.
We have to stop themfrom coming here.
I love Europe, but theywere having problems.
I don't think anybody dida better job than that, especially when you seethe 2.
2, million number.
And I hope we're going tobe substantially under the numbers that you'relooking at on the minimum side.
Then I think we will have– hey, look, it's still tremendous death.
The Press: You weren'tjust hoping that it would dissipate, that thiswould disappear.
The President: Iwant to be positive.
I don't wantto be negative.
I have to — I'm apositive person.
Somebody said, “Oh, I wishhe'd be more negative.
” They literally havethat; it's in one of the wonderfulnewspapers today.
“I wish he'd bemore negative.
” Well, this is really easyto be negative about.
But I want to givepeople hope too.
You know, I'm acheerleader for the country.
We're going through theworst thing that the country hasprobably ever seen.
Look, we had — the CivilWar, we lost 600, 000 people, right? Here's the thing: Had wenot done anything, we would have lostmany times that.
But we did something, and so it's going to be, hopefully, way under that.
But, you know, we losemore here potentially then you lose in WorldWars as a country.
So there's nothingpositive, there's nothing great about it, but I wantto give people in this country hope.
I think it'svery important.
The Press: So you knewit was going to be this severe when you weresaying, “This is under control” and — ThePresident: I thought it could be.
I knew everything.
I knew it could behorrible and I knew it could be maybe good.
Don't forget, at thattime, people didn't know that much about it, even the experts.
We were talking about it.
We didn't knowwhere it was going.
We saw China, but that was it.
Maybe it would havestopped at China.
We wish we could havekilled it in China, but it didn't happen.
It startedspreading to Europe.
It started spreading here.
It startedspreading all over.
But — and I'm notblaming anybody.
I'm just saying that wehave an incredible thing.
I think the people –our professionals, our military, our governors, our politicians — I think they've done anincredible job.
I mean, with fewexceptions, I think they've done anincredible job.
But I don't want tobe a negative person.
It'd be so much easier forme to come up and say, “We have bad news.
We're going to lose220, 000 people and it's going to happen overthe next few weeks.
” And with that, I did startoff by saying today, long before this question, Isaid, “This is going to be a rough two orthree weeks.
This is going to be one ofthe roughest two or three weeks we've everhad in our country.
We're going to losethousands of people.
” When I see 28, 29 peoplefrom the governor of New Jersey — 29 people.
When you see 173 peopledied in New York yesterday — or whatever the numberwas; I think it was more than that.
When you see the kindof numbers that we're witnessing, we've neverseen numbers like that.
So, it's easyto be negative.
And then everybody canbe negative, but I'm a cheerleader for ourcountry and I want it to do a great job so thenumber can be kept — and I've always said it: Iwant as few a number of people to die as possible.
And that's allwe're working on.
The Press: I know youdon't — you don't like the question, but are younow taking responsibility — The President: Idon't mind the question.
The Press: Do you — doyou mi- — The President: I don't mind the question.
I think it's actually –The Press: Are you now taking responsibility forhow things go from this point forward? The President: I thinkit's not meant to be.
Look, I know you wellenough, so it's not meant to be a fair question, butit is a fair question.
I think we've donea fantastic job.
The Press: Actually, it's meant to be a fair question.
I — The President: Okay, fine, I'll — I'll accept your word.
Look, Jim, I thinkwe've done a great job.
We're going to seehow it comes out.
But when you look atminimal numbers of 120, 000 people, when you look atit could have been 2.
2 million people died andmore if we did nothing — if we just did nothing, itwould've gone up and it would've come down.
As per your statement, itwould have been confined.
It would have been asimilar time, maybe even less time.
It would have beenviolence like we've never seen in thiscountry before.
We had greatprofessionals, great military, really greatgovernors and politicians.
I cannot say enoughabout what's going on.
And as per what you said, I think we're way ahead of schedule, interms of numbers.
But if we can keep itunder the minimum numbers, the country is doing –not me — the country has done a great job.
But I think I've donea really good job of mobilizing.
I think Mike Pencehas been fantastic.
I put him in chargeof the task force.
We have wonderful peopleon the task force, Jim.
They're — this man wasworking, literally — he had days where hedidn't go to bed.
He didn't go to sleep.
He called — he went 24hours and then started the next day.
People don't knowthe job he did.
I didn't even know he wasthat good of a manager, to be honest withyou — Mike, okay? And, you know, you neverknow that about somebody until they'retested under fire.
But he saw itvery early also.
We both did.
They saw it very early.
They knew pretty soon –they probably knew sooner than anybody becausethat's what they study, that's what they do.
Must be a depressingbusiness, right? Must be a little bitdepressing, but they've — they've seen it all.
Go ahead, John.
The Press: Can I ask Dr.
Fauci a question about a headline that's beenrunning all day to get his perspective on it? The President: Go ahead.
The Press: There is aprofessor from MIT, Dr.
Fauci, who suggeststhat coronavirus can be carried on droplets adistance of 27 feet.
Do you buy into that? And if that might be thecase, does that suggest that current socialdistancing guidelines may need to be extended? Dr.
Fauci: This couldreally be terribly misleading, John.
What it was, was lookingat the distance that droplets by — byspeaking, by coughing, or sneezing.
So if you go wayback and go, “Achoo!” And go like that, youmight get 27 feet.
But — so when you seesomebody do that, get out of the way.
But that's not practical.
The President: There aresome people that can do that.
I know peoplethat can do that.
Fauci: That isnot practical, John.
I — I'm sorry, but I wasdisturbed by that report because that's misleading.
That means that, all of asudden, the six-foot thing doesn't work.
That is a very, veryrobust vigorous “Achoo” sneeze.
That's what that is.
And that's not whatwe're talking about.
The President: Do youwant to keep going? Should we keep going? I don't mind.
The Press: One more.
I have one more, sir.
The President: Allright, go ahead.
How about over here? The Press: I got afollow-up on the masks, sir.
But, first, you hadmentioned Franklin Graham earlier — ThePresident: Yes.
The Press: –talking to him.
As you know, his father, Billy Graham, was a trusted spiritual advisorand friend to many presidents.
A lot of yourpredecessors, in times of national emergency, reached out to pastors and other spiritualcounselors.
Have you done that duringthis national emergency? The President: Well, I never say that, but Franklin Graham issomebody that's very special.
I have many veryspecial people.
And very many special –in the evangelical — evangelicalChristian community.
You can talk rabbis, youcan talk a lot of — you know, I have tremendoussupport from religious leaders.
And Franklin Graham, Ijust spoke to him today for an extendedperiod of time.
I told him what afantastic job you're doing.
And he does this;he loves doing it.
He loves helping people.
And he loves Jesus –that, I can tell you.
He loves Jesus.
He's a great gentleman.
The Press: Can I ask, onthe masks, sir — on the — on the masks, maybe for the doctors? The President: The what? The Press: On the masks:Is the reason why there's no CDC recommendation forthe public to wear masks because they're meant tosave and preserve the masks for the medicalworkers, or is it because the virus is not primarilytransmitted through the air? Dr.
Birx: So there was areco- — the CDC does have recommendations on theirwebsite about masks that came to the task forceseveral weeks ago, about if you're infected wearinga mask, to protect others.
And if you can't, you'reworking with someone who's sick and you have tobe that worker in the household — becauseremember we want people in the household being takencare of — that they should wear a mask.
I know your question isbroader than that, and it's just being consideredby the task force now about whether thatrecommendation that already exists, relevantto wearing masks, should be altered in any way.
So it's stillunder discussion.
The President: And — andjust about masks, you can get a mask, but you couldalso do — I mean, most people have scarves, andscarves are very good.
And they can use a scarf.
And we're only talkingabout a limited period of time.
But — and it says in therecommendations, you can use — you can substitutea scarf for a mask.
So if people feel that –and I think, you know, some people disagree withthe mask for various reasons, and somepeople don't.
But you couldwear a scarf.
You can do the masks ifit makes you feel better.
We have no objectionto it, and some people recommend it.
Let's go back– in the back.
The Press: Thankyou, Mr.
The President: Youpeople never get tired.
Look at you.
The Press: Never.
The President: And they'restill good questions, actually.
The Press: Mr.
President, again, I'm looking at the cases around the worldin Latin America, in the Middle East.
And, still, you don't wantto impose a travel ban for these areas.
In Brazil, for instance, the President Bolsonaro, he keeps on being veryactive with groups.
Aren't you afraid thatwhat we're doing here can be threatened by what — The President: You mean you people? You mean you people? The Press: Not here, but Imean the United States — The President: I mean, you'repretty spread out already.
I don't have any more– The Press: But you understand what I — The President: I don't think we'll have press conferences anymore.
But — The Press: Iunderstand what — The President: Look — look, we're very careful, I'm very careful, personally.
And — The Press: But the travel ban — I mean, aren't you afraid? Aren't you — The President: We are looking at numerous countries asthey get in a position.
Brazil, as an example– you mentioned the President.
Brazil had no problemuntil just a short time ago, and now they'restarting to get inflamed.
And, yes, we areabsolutely looking at a ban.
There are two othercountries you mentioned.
Iran already has a ban.
They had, sort of, an automatic ban.
In addition to that, they have a ban.
So we're looking atcertain countries as they become hot.
The Press: You're startinga new 30 days now.
What are your plans? Are you going to stayin the White House? The President: I'llbe in the White House.
The Press: Are you goingto travel at all, or are you shelter in place? The President: Idoubt I'll leave.
I wanted to go to theopening of the — of the hospital in New York.
And my people couldn'teven believe it, that I said it.
But I did.
I wanted to go.
They didn't wantme to do it.
The Secret Service didn'twant me to do it for — you know, for reasons.
I wanted to go to the boatsailing into New York Harbor, but the governordid a good job of that, and the mayor of New York.
So, you know, I'dlove to go out.
But, no, I'll bein the White House.
And it's sort of likenerve center, control center.
And I think it's important– you know, look, you see what happened with BorisJohnson, you see what happened with others.
I think it's importantthat I remain healthy.
I really do.
So, for the most part, we're staying here.
I've cancelled manydifferent events, and we'll be staying here, for the most part.
The Press: Mr.
President, of Tom Frieden, the former director of the CDC, wrotean article the other day in which he said, what'sreally needed here — and he understands the workthat the task force is doing — is an incidentcommander to really take command of whereeverything is going and how things arebeing coordinated.
The President: We have it.
We have it.
The Press: Is thatsomething that could be useful in thisparticular instance? The President:(Inaudible.
) We have it.
The Vice President: Hisname is Pete Gaynor.
He's theAdministrator of FEMA.
And when the Presidentsigned the national emergency declaration, he stood up the National Response Center at FEMA.
And now, I can tell you, that when the White House Coronavirus Task Forcemeets, I'm at one end of the table, and Pete Gaynorand the whole FEMA team are by video conferenceat the other end of the table.
And that's where –whether it be the air bridge that's literallybringing in millions of medical supplies fromaround the world, the thoughtful deploymentof those supplies to hospitals, particularlywith regard to ventilators, we'reworking very closely.
HHS is fullyintegrated at FEMA now.
But because of thePresident's decision to stand up a FEMA inthe lead, we have a Coronavirus Task Force atthe White House that's bringing the President thevery best health experts and recommendationsfrom every agency.
But all theimplementation, as we tell governors literally everyday, is happening through FEMA.
It's going down to thestates through FEMA, and state requests are comingup through regional administrators for FEMAand back to the White House for (inaudible).
The Press: Mr.
VicePresident, at the same time, we have 4, 000ventilators that are parked in a warehousein New Jersey.
The President: No, no.
The Press: No, no, butthat — that was the case.
We also have — we — The President: Excuse me, we moved them out.
The Press: I understand.
The President: They couldhave had them a long time ago, but theydidn't need it.
The Press: But thequestion is — this happened.
We also have people notknowing about the new Abbott testing facilityor testing system.
If there were an incidentcommander who was in charge of all of that andgetting the word out, would that be useful? The President: John, nobody knew about the new Abbott.
It was just brought tolife two weeks ago.
They just came up with it.
The Vice President:That's right.
The President: It was aninvention that was just — so, nobody knew about it.
Nobody knew youcould even do it.
They did anincredible job.
Their scientists came upwith the idea a week and a half ago.
I showed it to youyesterday in a box.
I don't think you coulddo much better than that.
The Vice President: IfI may, Mr.
President, I think your pointis well taken.
The Abbott Laboratoriespoint-of-contact test was approved Friday.
The President announcedit in the Rose Garden on Sunday.
The President: Should'vedone it (inaudible).
The Vice President: We'resocializing that all across the country toevery governor, to laboratories elsewhere.
And I have to tell youthat this team that the President has assembled, the advisors on the White House Coronavirus TaskForce, and then this team at FEMA — whether it beHHS Deputy Secretary Bob Kadlec, who's coordinatingall supplies; whether it be Admiral Giroir, who isliterally working with every state on acounty-by-county basis to deploy testing– is impressive.
And I think it's given great encouragement to governors.
The President and I spoketo governors in all the states and territoriesagain yesterday.
Because governors — Ican tell you from my own experience as a governor, in Indiana we had tornadoes and flooding.
Governors know howto deal with FEMA.
And as soon as thePresident stood up FEMA and declared that nationalemergency, what I'll call a certain amount of musclememory kicked in, in states around the country.
And we're really seeing atremendous efficiency and communication.
And that's how we'regoing to go forward.
Again, the President'svision here is FEMA's vision, which is inresponse to a health crisis.
It's locally executed, state managed, federally supported.
And I have to tell you, we're — we're seeing that whole processspinning up every day.
And I — I hope Americanslooking on are encouraged by that system.
And I know they're hearingfrom governors around the country about the flow ofresources and testing and supplies.
And we'll continue to keepthat — what you call an incident command, what wecall the Federal Emergency Management Agency– working 24/7.
The President: And I haveto say this: I've had, in the last less than a week, three governors call up that truly have dislikedme over the years — even before I decided to runfor President — and they said, “I have to tell you, you've done a great job.
You and your team havedone a great job.
” These are three governors– respected — very respected in two cases.
And they said, “Like ornot like, you and your team have done anincredible job.
” And I think they have.
I think they've donean incredible job.
Go ahead, please.
The Press: Mr.
President, thanks so much.
My first questionis on modeling.
Was there any kind ofWhite House modeling based on whether or not therewould be a national lockdown or some sort ofguidance to every single state that they neededto have lockdowns? The President: Sure.
Birx: So, I can –all of the modelers who presented did — I mean, I just want to thank them again because theyassembled from around the globe very quickly, abouttwo or three weeks ago, to — before we announced thefirst 15 days — to show all the implications ofclosing the schools, having people stayin their homes.
And that's how it wasmodeled: stay in your homes, socialdistancing of six feet.
So, no one actually termedit a lockdown, as far as I remember.
It was more aboutstaying in your home.
And I think the differencewas — and these weren't in the models.
And I think when you talkabout, “Could we have known somethingdifferent?” — you know, I think allof us — I mean, I was overseas when thishappened, in Africa.
And I think when youlooked at the China data originally, and you said, “Oh, well there's 80 million people, ” or 20million people in Wuhan and 80 million people inHubei, and they come up with a number of 50, 000, you start thinking of this more like SARS than youdo this kind of global pandemic.
I mean, I'll just befrank, that's — when I looked at it I was like, “Oh, well, this is not.
” — you know, as close asthose quarters are, you know — So I think themedical community made — interpreted the Chinesedata as, that this was serious but smaller thananyone expected, because I think probably we weremissing significant amount of the data, now that whenwe see what happened to Italy and we see whathappened to Spain.
And so what was modeledis not a lockdown.
Two countries did removepeople from homes that were positive and putthem in separate spaces.
That also wasn't modeled.
But it could be modeled.
And so we could go backand ask the modelers about lockdown versus notlockdown, but what they modeled was peoplestaying at home.
The Press: I guess whatI was asking is, for best-case scenarios, since it says “best-case scenario is 100, 000people” — I know you're trying to get that numbereven lower — but is best-case scenario everystate basically having lockdown behavior, notmaybe actual lockdowns but basically everyonestaying in their homes? So if that's — and ifthat's true, why not tell every state to do that? Dr.
Birx: It's everybodysocial distancing by six feet when they're outside.
And that is probablyabsolutely the key, more than anything else, is ifyou're never more than — if you're never withinsix feet of any single individual, then you'vecontrolled the virus.
There are different methods to get you to that point.
And I think what I'veheard from our President and our Vice President isthey trust the American people to understand thatthey can be outside, take walks, be six feet awayfrom anyone else, and be in their homes, and wetrust them to do that without havingto lock down.
The Press: And then, Mr.
President, a question on ventilators.
The President: I just want– I just want to add, I think the one thing nobodyreally knew about this virus was howcontagious it was.
It's so incrediblycontagious.
And nobody knew that.
This is like — I don'tknow that anybody has ever seen anything like this.
Normally you'd have to getclose and touch and this — a lot of thingshave to happen.
This is just like — it's– it's truly invisible and so contagious.
And I don't think anydoctor knew it at the time.
I don't think anybodycould have known it.
People have not seenanything like this.
Yeah, so go ahead.
The Press: A questionabout ventilators.
You've talked about thefact that you don't want to see states biddingagainst each other.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said that there should be a federalsystem where the federal government sets the price, the federal government distributes theventilators.
Why not have thattype of a system? Why have this(inaudible) with states? The President: Well, essentially, we do.
We've distributedthousands of ventilators.
And we have now thousandsof ventilators, and we're buying them ata good price.
And we're actually makingthem by the thousands.
We're making them — yousaw yesterday where Ford is going to have atremendous number.
They're looking to make100, 000 ventilators.
Ford has been great.
General ElectricHealthcare has been great.
General Motors hascome a long way.
I have to be honest, theywere working very hard.
We're making thousands andthousands of ventilators.
You know, at the end ofthis — and there will be — don't say I'moptimistic, because I don't want to, you know– I wouldn't want to do that.
But I am optimistic.
I'm a veryoptimistic person.
Let me tell you, we will have thousands of ventilators.
And what I want to do ismake sure that we always have plentyfor the future.
But then we want to helpItaly and France, and other countries that youdon't even know about yet, with all of the problemsthey have, because ventilators are verytough to come by.
They're very hard to make.
They're very complicated.
They're very expensive.
The Press: Thank you, sir– The Press: Is Governor Cuomo mistaken then? The President: You can– you can go ahead.
The Press: Is GovernorCuomo mistaken when he's saying that he wants tosee this federal system? The President:Well, I don't know.
You know, I can't takeyour interpretation of what he said.
I don't know what he said.
I think he's beenreasonably generous, considering he's aDemocrat and I think he'd like to run for President.
So I think he's beenpretty generous under those circumstances.
But he's been verygenerous to me.
Look, I got him ships, Igot hospitals, I got him a lot of things that henever thought — he had paydirt.
Okay? And I've been verygenerous on ventilators.
If you look, theyhad 2, 000 and 4, 000.
They had thousands ofventilators in his warehouse, in theirwarehouse, waiting to be picked up.
They never picked them up.
So, I'd have to hear itfrom him, face-to-face.
Do you want to add — howabout one more and we'll see you tomorrow? Is that okay? Don't say thatI cut it short.
You'll say he — ThePress: If you stay long enough, it'll be tomorrow.
) The President:That's right.
It could bealmost tomorrow.
But you know what? In the meantime, I'm sure– I'm sure people are enjoying it.
No, it's — I will saythis: It's an incredibly dark topic, an incrediblyhorrible topic, and it's incredibly interesting.
That's why everybody is– it's — they're going crazy.
They can't get enough ofit and they want to be careful.
And I guess they'restudying it for themselves.
They're studyingif they get it.
A lot of people have it.
A lot of people arepositive, and they hope for the best.
Because when this gets thewrong person, meaning a person that qualifies, generally speaking, on the list, it is ravaging.
It is horrible.
Well, how about you? In the back.
The Press: Thank you.
Is there any data tosuggest that you're going to see a second wave atthe point at which these stay-at-home orders, these lockdowns — The President: Well, if wedo see a second wave — because I've heardDr.
Fauci answer this question — if we do, we're going to be, I think, very well prepared.
And the second wave won'tbe like the first wave.
And with that, I betterlet him give you a little bit more to that answerbecause I don't want to have him upset with me andsay, “I wish you would have answeredthat question.
” Come on, Doctor.
Fauci: So, when youtalk about second wave, I think you really aretalking about to two different things that area little bit different.
So, for example, after the30 days, if we get the mitigation that we hopewill get us to the suppression that Dr.
Birxwas talking about, there's a danger, if we don'tcontinue to maintain that, that we will have aresurgence right within the current outbreak.
That's sort of a secondwave, but it really is a exacerbation ofthe current wave.
We hope that doesn'thappen, and that's why we're really pushing andwhy I was so emphatic about making sure we abide by those mitigation strategies.
The other aspect of asecond wave is something that's just the nature ofa virus that's, as the President said, highlytransmissible and is going to be circulating in otherparts of the world, as we're going down — whichI think we will and I feel certain that we will.
Then we have to worryabout the next season.
And as was just mentioned, that's when you use the experience that you have, the interventions that you've developed, andhopefully a vaccine that you'll be able to deployas quickly as you possibly can.
That's that second wavethat really is more seasonal than anexacerbation of something that you pull back on.
The President: And alot of — a lot of very positive things arehappening with the therapeutics and drugs of different kinds and the vaccines.
I think a lot of verypositive things are happening.
The Press: Mr.
President — The President: Please, go ahead.
The Press: So, undersome of the worst-case scenarios, there is a realscarcity problem if you've given out, say, 7, 000ventilators and we got 10, 000 around.
So I'm just curious, whois — who signs off on those life and deathdecisions before GM and Ford ramp up? The President: Well, Iwould say — The Press: Who's going tosign off on that? The President: — MikePence, myself, the head of FEMA, some of our generalsthat are working, that are doing an unbelievable –you know, we have generals that are working that areunbelievable talents, unbelievable leaders.
And it'll go through oneof three or four people, if it comes down to that.
And I hope it doesn't comedown to that because I think we're verywell equipped.
And it's an honorto be here tonight.
I appreciate it.
I appreciateyour interest.
I think there is agreat interest in it.
And we'll seeyou tomorrow.
We'll see you tomorrow.
Thank you very much.