Indianapolis April 1, 2020 – Early this evening, President Donald Trump briefed the American people and media concerning counter-narcotic operations that are currently on-going, and then to speak about the Wuhan virus itself.
Joining POTUS in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room were: Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz, National Security Council Advisor Robert O’Brien, Attorney General William Barr, Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday. Also in attendance, President Trump’s Counselor to his administration, Kellyanne Conway.
President Trump announced that the United States will be launching enhanced counter-narcotic operations in the Western hemisphere. The mission behind the counter-narcotics operation according to President Trump is to “surveil, disrupt and seize shipments of drugs and to eradicate the drugs.” POTUS added that “We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic.”
Secretary Esper reported on the operations: “70,000 Americans die on average from drug overdoses. The U.S. Military will not allow drug cartels to take advantage of the COVID-19 virus to kill more Americans.” Speaking on counter-narcotics operations capabilities, he added that “operations have nearly doubled in the Southern Command.”
In addition to the counter-narcotics operations President Trump added,“I will also be deploying additional Navy combat ships, air crafts and Coast Guard cutters.”
AG Barr spoke to the Department of Justice aspect of the counter-narcotics operations saying his “focus is on COVID-19, but law enforcement officials must remain vigilant in the fight against the drug cartels. The DOJ’s highest priority is to destroy the Mexican drug cartels. We are not interested in half measures. Cartels are a National Security threat,” Barr added.
White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien served notice on drug cartels and others stating “It would be a mistake for any adversary to try to do us harm during this health crisis.”
The president then addressed the Coronavirus Task Force work for the balance of the press conference. Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci all joined POTUS on stage. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was also called upon to participate.
Full video of the briefing:
(courtesy of White House YouTube)