Monday Coronavirus Briefing: Progress in Testing

Monday Coronavirus Briefing: Progress in Testing

Indianapolis March 23, 2020 – Led by President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the Coronavirus Task Force Team delivered today’s press briefing. Joining them were Attorney General William Barr, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, a supply and logistics specialist of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command assigned to the task force.

POTUS noted that a journalist who is suspected of having the virus was missing. “We extend our best wishes to the person affected and he or she will be better very soon,” he said. Responding to reports of abuse or attacks on Asian Americans, the President said that it is important to protect the Asian-American community and that the spreading of COVID-19, according to Trump, is “not their fault in any way shape or form.”

Sounding very confident about the United States getting back on track after this virus runs its course, the President said, “America will soon be open for business. Very soon.” He added, “a lot sooner than three or four months.” President Trump remarked that he’s not looking at three months, saying “we can’t let the cure be worse than the problem.”

Trump made note that “FEMA is distributing eight million respirator masks, and more personal protective equipment is being made and will be sent to hot spots.” The President urged the Senate to pass a bi-partisanship relief bill, saying that “they’re close and have to make a deal.”

President Trump noted a story of the remarkable recovery by Florida man who had the coronavirus and used a hydroxychloroquine therapy to save his life.

AG Barr addressed the issue of people hoarding needed supplies for the purpose of manipulating the market and price gouging: “So far, no items have been designated as scarce yet. But, under Trump executive action, HHS can begin designating,” Mr. Barr minced no words, saying, “If you are sitting on a warehouse full of surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on the door.”

Dr. Deborah Birx updated the testing aspect of the drive to isolate any contagious people. “250,000 tests have been completed in the last seven days.” Dr. Birx also added that “self-swab coronavirus tests will be available ‘this week.’”

Vice President Pence advised that the U.S. Governors have been told today that their requests for a disaster declaration would be considered expeditiously. To date, disaster designations for FEMA assistance have been approved for New York, Washington State, and California. Remarking on testing, Mr. Pence stated that “313,000 tests have been completed, with about 41,000 positive coronavirus cases.”

Full video of briefing:

(courtesy of White House YouTube)

Clips of briefing:

(courtesy of White House Twitter)

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