RUSH: The president just came out and we’re not gonna get much of him here because we got a break coming up. But we’re gonna get started here on the coronavirus briefing.
THE PRESIDENT: This Sunday millions of Christians celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At this holy time we pray that God will heal the sick and comfort the heartbroken and bless our heroes. As American families look forward to Easter, we’re reminded that our story ends not in despair, but in triumph and renewal. Very appropriate, isn’t it? I’d like to provide Americans an update on our ongoing efforts in the war against the invisible enemy. Before I do that I’ll have a couple of notes.
The United States, in discussions last night with Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and in dealing with OPEC nations, we are trying to get Mexico, as the expression goes, over the barrel, and Mexico is committing to do a hundred thousand fewer barrels.
RUSH: Sorry for that cough, folks. I thought I hit the cough button, I don’t know where these buttons are. We gotta bump outta here, sadly, this started at the worst time for us to cover this, but we’ve gotta go to our breaks.
RUSH: The White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing is underway. The president still is reciting some stats and updates on the movement of things like ventilators, the food supply chain. So let’s join the update in progress here and see how it goes. We’ll stick with it and see what happens.
THE PRESIDENT: It could be sniffles. It could be —
RUSH: It could be one of the best updates that we’ve ever had.
THE PRESIDENT: — but they’ve had it. And they’re the lucky ones. The NIH, CDC, and FDA are currently validating these antibody tests to ensure that they’re accurate and they’re doing that at breakneck speed. I think we can say that, Doctor. We’re gonna get ’em approved very quickly, Dr. Han. When validated, we’re confident that the production will scale up to tens of millions of tests very quickly.
We’re leading the world now in testing by far, and we’re gonna keep it that way. Other countries are coming to us, and they’re wanting to know about our tests and can they buy tests and can they do whatever they have to do to get tests, and we’re gonna make that — very soon we’ll be in a position to make that — possible.
RUSH: See? Our tests are better than anybody’s tests.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re gonna have an announcement on the World Health Organization sometime next week ’cause, you know, we give them approximately $500 million a year.
RUSH: What a waste!
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re gonna be talking about that subject next week. We’ll have a lot to say about it. We’ll hold it. Every American should be proud of what our country has achieved in just a short period of time. The U.S. military has deployed thousands of personnel to build 23 temporary hospitals with more than 16,000 beds, and we have the potential to build many more if we needed them. We’re all ready to go, but I don’t think we’re gonna need them, which is good.
RUSH: There we go.
THE PRESIDENT: Fake news.
RUSH: We’re not gonna.
THE PRESIDENT: And we built those hospitals in 12 states, and the District of Columbia using the Defense Production Act, and we used it like a hammer. A lot of the media said, “Oh, we weren’t using it.” We used it like a hammer to a point where all we had to do was say the words and everybody gave us max. And they’ve done a good job.
They really have done a good job, with few exceptions. And we’ve harnessed the full power of American industry to produce ventilators and other essential supplies. Right now, we’re making thousands of ventilators, many of which we won’t need. But we’ll use them in our stockpile and we’ll build that up. We’ll also help build up the stockpiles which they should have had in the states.
And so we’re working with governors on that and we’ll also help other countries. There are countries that are calling us for help. They need ventilators, and they’re in no position to build ventilators. We are. We have Ford and General Motors and many, many companies are building ventilators. So we’re gonna be helping at a not too distant point. We’re gonna be helping quite a few of the countries.
Now, we’ve launched Project Air Bridge and delivered nearly 300 million pieces of personal protective equipment from and around the globe. We’re also shipping out 60 sterilization systems to 10 different cities that can each sterilize up to 80,000 masks each day — and I’m even hearing it can go up to 120,000 masks a day, certain equipment with certain additions.
It’s a company in Ohio that makes it. It’s a great company, great… I hear it’s a great product, works very well. I asked that question. I said, “How come we have to buy so many masks? Why can’t we sterilize the masks that are being used?” And the answer was, “You can.” In this case, they say up to 20 times so we can take a mask, certain types of masks, the N95s in particular, and we can sterilize them —
RUSH: You are listening to EIB Network. We’re carrying the coronavirus task force briefing here to see what shakes out.
THE PRESIDENT: — passed the largest emergency economic relief package in American history to save the U.S. economy and protect the American worker. As you know, this past week — which was four active days on the stock market. Good Friday today is not included. The markets are closed. In four days, we had the biggest market increase, stock market increase that we’ve had in 50 years. That tells you that there’s a pent-up demand. That tells you, they want to get back. There’s something good going to happen. I really believe that. There’s something very good going to happen. We have to get back. So think of it. In this horrible period —
RUSH: He’s laying the groundwork for this. He keeps doing that. That’s good.
THE PRESIDENT: — this horrible, dark period where this monster came and worked its horrible, horrible spell over the world — 184 countries as of this morning, 184 countries! We’ve done well and I guess the market thinks we’ve done well, because the biggest stock market increase — without one day, we’re talking four days instead of five — that we’ve had in 50 years — 50 years, think of that. More than 50 years, actually.
In short, the American people have launched the greatest mobilization of our society since World War II, deploying every scientific, governmental, medical, and military resource to defeat the virus. So I want to just start then with — we’re gonna answer questions later. We’ll have time. We have a lot of time today. A lot of people are off an as they should be, Good Friday. So I’ll stick around. I want to answer question later.
I want to start with Deborah Birx, please, Dr. Birx. And you can go over some of the numbers we just looked at and —
RUSH: All right. The Scarf Queen is up next at the coronavirus task force briefing.
BIRX: Thank you for how outlining how well we are doing in a series of metro areas. What also has been encouraging for those of you who are watching epidemic curves every day — and I’m sure you are and watching them in log phase, because that’s how epidemiologists like to look at their curves — you can see for the first time that in the United States we’re starting to level on the logarithmic phase like Italy did about a week ago.
And so this gives us great heart that not only in specific places, but we’re starting to see that change. Obviously, a lot of that is driven by the improvement in New York City. Remember for a long time they were over 50% of our cases and 50% of our new cases. That has dramatically changed because of the impact of what the citizens of New York and New Jersey —
BIRX: — and across Connecticut —
BIRX: — and now Rhode Island are doing to really change the course of this pandemic —
BIRX: — and really change the trajectory of new cases. We’re seeing that what many states in metro areas were experiencing as twofold and fourfold, fourfold increases that went to twofold, that now those are going to eight days between the doubling rate. Watching this every day gives us hope across these metro areas, from New York and New Jersey and all through Denver and of course through New Orleans.
We still see cases occurring in the Boston area and in Chicago, but their rate of increase seems to be stabilizing, and we really want to call out the work of the mayors of Baltimore and the District and Philadelphia who have really brought all of their health experts together and — working with their communities — are starting to really change the curves in those areas. What we’re seeing is we’re united in social distancing —
RUSH: There we go.
BIRX: — and that’s been very encouraging to all.
BIRX: — and it should be encouraging to the health care providers that are on the front line, many of which are serving our Americans are such dignity and respect and ensuring that everybody gets optimal care. And as the president noted, our mortality in the United States is significantly less than any of the other countries when you correct them for our population, and that is really solely the work of our health — our frontline health care providers.
And so working with… You can really… Hopefully you get the theme today, that we are incredibly proud of our public health leaders — at the city level, at the state level, at the federal level — who are working together to really change the course of this pandemic, working with their citizens and their communities to make these changes, and the American public who has really taken all of this to heart and stayed home.
RUSH: There you go.
BIRX: I know last week we really asked a lot of people in the Washington and Baltimore area to consolidate, not go out frequently to grocery stores or pharmacies. You can really see that that’s having a huge impact. So it’s really about the encouraging signs that we see. But as encouraging as they are, we have not reached the peak.
And so every day we need to continue what we did yesterday and the week before and the week before that, because that’s what in the end is going to take us up across the peak and down the other side. We continue to really applaud the work of California and Washington state and Oregon. We’re learning from all three of those states, from their public health officials —
RUSH: I’m sorry —
BIRX: — about how they were able to keep the virus from ever become log arithmetic, and I think that’s an important lesson for all of us on you how they did that, what the timing was, in case we ever have to face this issue in the future. Thank you, Mr. President.
RUSH: All right. Who’s next? Who’s gonna come up there? Ah, Dr. Fauci!
FAUCI: Thank you very much, Mr. President. So again, just keeping on the theme that Dr. Birx had mentioned, this is the end of the week, the famous week that we spoke about last weekend in which what was actually predicted to happen, happened. We started to see the leveling off and the coming down that Dr. Birx had mentioned. But it’s important to remember that this is not the time to feel that since we have made such important advance in the sense of success of the mitigation, that we need to be pulling back at all.
I was actually hearkened by the fact that we’ve been talking about the New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, and other areas where they have really big spikes, but there’s other parts of the country in the middle parts of the country where they’re concerned to make sure they don’t get those spikes. And I really to want to salute the governors of states throughout the entire the United States, but particularly in the central part of the country, because the governors out there, you see us in these press conferences, and I’ve had calls over the last several days from several of the governors — you know, from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Utah. Just about an hour and a half ago I spoke with the governors of Arkansas and Wyoming who are really committed to make sure that they don’t get into the situation where they’re gonna have spikes in their state. And they’re doing the kind of things that they don’t get recognized because people don’t talk about them much. But we have a big country. We have 50 states, and it’s not only the big cities —
RUSH: I thought it was 57.
FAUCI: — we’re gonna pull out of it in the big cities, and we’re gonna pull out of it in those areas that aren’t as densely populated. And I just want to give a shout-out to them. They’re doing an extraordinary job. I was really — I wouldn’t say surprised, because I expect it of this country, but to hear what they’re doing and the commitment that they’re putting in to making sure that we don’t have the kinds of situations that we’ve experienced, unfortunately, in other areas. This is very important.
I just want to close by one other thing, something I mentioned yesterday and the day before, that there are a lot of candidate interventions that are going into clinical trials, for those of you who are interested in it, I recommend you go to clinicaltrials.gov and you’ll see the design of the clinical trial and you’ll see that many of them are the randomized control trials that are the really gold standard of how you find out whether something really is safe and effective, and as the weeks and months — and it will probably be months — sometime is in the summer we’ll start to see which are working, which are not, and to focus on those that are redeveloping and really working. I’ll be happy to answer questions later. Thank you.
RUSH: All right. That was Dr. Fauci. Coming next. Dr. Han.
HAN: Thank you, Mr. President. The White House task force has been very focused on increasing the supply of personal protective equipment for our great providers. I was one of those providers a few months ago, and I can tell you nothing is more important than making sure that they have what they need. So in order to increase the supply of N95 masks, FDA has worked with industry and has now authorized two companies who will sterilize machines to sterilize N95 masks.
Admirable Polowczyk and FEMA are purchasing, on behalf of U.S. government, 60 sterilization machines as mentioned by the president. And they will be positioned around the country to increase the amount of supply of N95 masks. Each machine will be able to sterilize 80,000 N95 masks per day and we hope to increase that further. The vice president and the White House task force challenged us yesterday and we responded as a team, FDA issued revised guidance regarding the laundering of gowns because gowns are another issue in terms of supply that we’re looking forward on. This is not something that normally happens around this country, but issued this guidance. It’s on our website now at FDA. So there’s information about how hospitals can do that to increase the supply. We’ve heard concerns that maybe hospitals might not want to do that because of regulations and —
RUSH: Okay, folks, we are going to make the editorial decision to bump out of the White House briefing. I had a secret hope that there might be an announcement of an attempt to open in parts of the country because the president had originally said that Easter was an aspirational or target date. But the briefing is an update on progress to medical supplies distribution, the flattening of the curve. Dr. Fauci suggesting that — I’m not sure what he was talking about, randomized control trial.