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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  March 21, 2020 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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a has clinically proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try neuriva for 30 days and see the difference. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. thank you so much for joining me. we continue to stand by for this briefing at any moment now. you see in position, members of the cabinet and also dr. anthony fauci there. you're seeing hud secretary, ben carson. many of them in place perhaps now waiting for the president and vice president and we were told earlier that a fema administer would be there today. the number of cases in new york has jumped by nearly 25%. this as the president enters the room along with the vice president. let's listen in. >> thank you very much.
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a lot of things going on. we're going to be going over to the hill and we're having a lot of meetings and -- from the financial, this is a medical situation, not a financial situation. financial, though, is moving along very nicely. i want to thank you for being here and update you on the progress we've made after a week of extraordinary mobilization in our war against the virus. governors, mayors, the businesses, charities and citizens are working with urgency and speed toward one common goal which is saving american lives. we're in communication with foreign countries. it's now at 148 foreign countries. can you believe that? you talk about a spread, you talk about a violent spread, 148 countries. not even believable. there's been a week of national action and of great national
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solidarity. people are getting along. we're getting along with republicans and democrats and independents and liberals and conservatives and it's a nice thing to see. we're one beautiful, big american family and that's taking place right now. last night i approved major disaster declaration for the state of new york. worked very closely with governor cuomo and it's the first time in our nation's history that a president's used the stafford act to declare a disaster. never happened before. considering other areas where we may or may not be doing that and working very closely with governor newsom, the governor of california, we may be doing the same thing with others.
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it's been unprecedented action in new york and we've had a tremendous federal response all over the country. i want to thank all the people in the federal government and the state governments and local governments. we are working hard, everybody is working hard. the people standing alongside of me are working very hard. that i can tell you. we've also reached agreements with canada and mexico on new travel rules at our northern and southern borders to halt the entry of the chinese virus while continuing trade and commerce. and we've had very good talks. i've -- with prime minister trudeau and today, this morning, with president lopez. we talked about joint measures that we're taking to prevent the spread of the virus in our countries and to suspend nonessential travel. we had a great conversation this
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morning, the president of mexico. and our close cooperation with mexico and canada will keep our people healthy, keep their people healthy. yesterday i had a call with 12,000 small businesses, representatives of these businesses, that's the genuiengf our country. people don't realize that. the small business when you add them up together, is really the economic engine of our country and i assured them that my administration is doing everything within it's considerable power to support them and their employees. nobody has ever done what we've done. likewise i had calls during the week with all sorts of representatives and systems like the hospital system. we spoke to many of the hospital systems throughout the country. nurses and doctors representing hundreds of thousands nurses and
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doctors. airlines and cruise ship companies, the business round table which was fully attended and it's all of the top ceos of our country and beyond, frankly. the business -- really these are world-style businessmen. these are businessmen that control the biggest companies in the world. many of them have taken hit and is many of them are just going forward. their businesses have been great. some have been very badly affected. some haven't been affected at all, and some are doing very well. they continue to do very well. walmart is an example. it's been really helpful to us. and i assume they're doing pretty well because people are certainly buying more than even a clip at christmas by substantial numbers. pretty amazing. they're doing incredibly. they put on tremendous extra staff. you don't have empty shelves.
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a lot of things have happened that are very good. restaurants, fast food, executives, grocery stores, all retailers, literally all of them in groups and we spoke with the g-7 leaders at length as you know. you probably know about that. spoke to many of the governors. spoke to almost all of the governors in conference call and is many of the governors individually. and the religious leaders. we had a great conversation yesterday with the religious leaders of our country. many of the religious leaders. and we've had a number of them during the course of the last two weeks, actually. yesterday we had a very significant call with the religious leaders of our country. i signed legislation providing american workers with paid sick leave and paid family medical leave at no cost to employers and free testing for those who
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need it. the testing is going very well and the admiral will speak to that along with tony. we're working quickly to pass additional legislation that will provide massive relief to small businesses and affected industries and give direct payments to our great workers and hard-working american families. there's never been anything like we're doing on the hill right now. they're negotiating. mitch mcconnell, chuck schumer, they're all up there. kevin mccarthy and nancy pelosi. they're all negotiating and everybody is working hard and they want to get to a solution that's the right solution. i think we're getting very close. we've also announced that we've moved tax day from april 15th to july 15th which is a big deal, giving businesses and individuals extra time to file and pay without interest or penalties. we've moved the date, way back, and so it will be july 15th
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instead of your traditional april 15th and very importantly, you will have a lot of time but you're not going to have interest penalties or any kind of penalties by filing at that later date. hud announced that foreclosures and evictions are suspended with fha-insured mortgages for 60 days and our great head of hud is going to say a few words in a moment. the department of education will not enforce standardized testing which is another big deal requirements for students in elementary through high school for the current school year, not fair to do that. so we are waiving that. i would imagine it's probably the first time ever that's been waived. but i think it's only fair to the students and to the parents of the students. it is also waiving interest and other things that we're
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discussing right now. on federally held student loans, directed that borrowers will able to suspend their payments for 60 days. we'll be talking about student loans. going to help the students. they're under a great burden right now. we'll be talking about that further. but we're waiving during this 60-day period various elements and very important elements on student loans, big subject. i signed an executive order invoking the defense production act as you all know giving us new authorities to help states, cities and hospitals procure needed supplies. there's been a clear call to action to the private sector and the call is made right here. it's been really pretty amazing what's happened with the private sector. they're really in sixth gear, i think, which has responded in full force helping to produce and supply much needed masks, swabs, sanitizers, ventilators,
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and everything else. there's a move that's incredible right now. and by way of example, hanes, great company, great consumer cotton products company is retrofitting its capabilities in large sections of its plants to produce masks and they're in that process right now. the fda has taken rapid steps to make these items available for medical use right now. most excitingly to me is what the fda has done in order to get possibly a very successful -- number of -- not just one or two, number of therapeutics, medicines that can help people that are already sick, help people not get sick. and obviously you know about the vaccine and tony will discuss that a little bit later. but the vaccine is moving along.
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but this is something that right now, for right now, this is what we really -- it's incredible. what the fda has done and dr. steven han is a highly respected man. he's only been here for a couple of months and he's gotten thrown into the swim of it and he's standing up. but the fda has really moved mountains. they moved mountains to get approvals on things that maybe work. we'll find out very soon. it won't take long. an example of the -- this is really an example where we're repurposing alcohol. they went out and repurposed their alcohol production capabilities in arkansas, kentucky, texas and west virginia to make hand sanitizer. that's a big difference. and they've been unbelievable.
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they really -- their first delivery will be on tuesday. it's going to go to various states. they're going to start i think in new york and they're going to work their way around. they're making a tremendous amount of hand sanitizer at a very high level, too, by the way. we've activated the national response coordination center to level one, that's your highest level. there's the nerve center of all of our government response to crisis and it's coordinating very closely with our nation's governors, our nation's governors. many of you were at the call yesterday with the governors. and i think you can see the relationship and we've had numerous calls with governors, by the way. but the relationships are pretty amazing. they're loving what we're doing and the coordination between the federal government and the governors, states and even local has been pretty incredible.
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fema administer will be providing you with an update on the center's operations and fema has been incredible. we got them involved last week and now they're involved nationwide. we've dramatically expanded telehealth so americans can see a doctor without leaving home. something which more and more people are using and now they're really using it and the ones who are using it are loving it. and i think we're going to change the way our country functions medically and probably in other ways because of what's going on right now. this will reduce the chance of infection and preserve hospital capacity. it solves a lot of problems. every american has a role to play in defending our nation from this invisible, horrible, enemy. it really is. it's an invisible enemy. and we will be successful, very successful very much sooner than people would think. we say stay at home and save
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lives. this is a time of shared national sacrifice, but it's a time to treasure our loved ones and take stock of what is most important, our faith, families, neighbors and our great countries. and i want to thank all of the incredible people of our country, the citizens of our country that -- what you've done and the way you're responding is just very special. something that we will never forget, that the history books will never forget. we're going to have a great victory. we're going to be celebrating a great victor in the not-too-distant future. i'll introduce our vice president, mike pence, who's led the task force and i will tell you this, he has not slept much, maybe a tiny bit, but not much. he's done an incredible job. mike, thank you.
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please. >> thank you, mr. president. >> good afternoon, all. thank you, mr. president. the white house coronavirus task force met today. we briefed the president on our latest recommendations. we continue at the president's direction to lead not a whole-of-government approach, but a whole of america approach. you just heard the president described one inspiring story after allow the way the american people are responding, the way american businesses are responding, religious communities across this country. the american people are coming together. they're responding with commonsense, compassion and generosity. people are heeding the advice of state and local authorities and tens of millions of americans are putting into practice 15 days to slow the spread.
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we are officially, mr. president, at six days into our 15 days. as we look across the country, while we strongly support the decisions that governors in states where we have significant outbreak have taken, we encourage every american to listen to those state and local authorities for every american this is what you can do to make sure a difference. over the next week and a few days to protect your health, protect your family's health, but most specially, slow the spread and the potential for the coronavirus to impact the most vulnerable. as the president said, we've been -- we've almost been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support from american businesses, the president spoke yesterday to thousands of small businesses. we spoke to manufacturers yesterday and in fact as the president indicated, the fda in
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record time just approved one manufacturer. they'll be producing millions of surgical masks in a matter of weeks for the american people. the pastors we spoke to, we want to thank all of the religious leaders, making the hard choice to suspend services, to have online services. even while those ministries are continuing to support food banks and come alongside the most vulnerable and of course the chorus of prayers that is coming up from communities of faith around the country is making the difference it always has in the life of this nation. one thing the president and i promised was to remind people on the weekends that you're not in the pews, it's still a good -- it's still a good idea to, if you can, to go ahead and make that donation. all the ministries are continuing to play a vital role in our communities and we encourage your continued support. the president and i are grateful
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that the american people are listening to state and local authorities and putting into practice all of -- all of the recommendations in the president's coronavirus guidelines. and as you will hear in just a few moments from the admiral, testing is expanding rapidly across the united states of america. state-run drive-throughs are expanding across the country. as you will hear detailed this morning, 195,000 americans and more who have been symptomatic have been tested. that number does not include county hospitals or health care labs around the nation, some 15,000 in number. and among the number of the more than 195,000 that have been tested, it's important to remember that only 19,343 at this moment have tested positive for the coronavirus.
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we continue to urge state and local health authorities to contact fema for all of the latest developments and innovations in testing. but we want to remind americans as dr. fauci will emphasize in a moment, if you don't have symptoms, don't do a test. it is another way that the american people can make sure that we are preserving the resources that our health care workers need to administer and support those who are dealing with the coronavirus and other illnesses. in a moment, pete gainer will detail the efforts at fema. we have fema in the lead, stood up the national response coordination center as the president said and we are working closely, hour by hour, through fema, processing requests from states like new york, california and washington state and will continue to work
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closely with those states through the traditional means of federal emergency management at fema. secretary carson will describe actions the president alluded to to bring foreclosure relief to americans and on the subject of supplies, in a moment, you will hear of not only the progress that we're making on testing but on monday we'll be detailing for the american people the progress that we are making on the president's strategy of procuring more personal protective equipment and medical supplies, allocating them through the system of fema and continuing to urge concentration by americans. in fact, i'm pleased to report to the president today that he was hhs just placed an order for hundreds of millions of n-95 masks that will be being made to health care providers across the country. we do renew our call for americans to postpone elective medical procedures, including dental services and, remember,
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this is another way that you're going to make sure that medical supplies are available because by postponing elective medical procedures, you're freeing up medical supplies. as the president mentioned, our team is on capitol hill as we speak working with members of congress in both political parties. they're making progress by all accounts on a bipartisan bill. they worked late into the night last night. it started early this morning and we're working to pass that legislation on monday in both the house and the senate. on a personal note, many of you may have been made away that a member of my staff has tested positive for the coronavirus. we learned of that late yesterday. i am pleased to report in a he's doing well. he had mild coldlike symptoms for about a day and a half. has not been to the white house since monday. neither the president nor i had
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direct contact with that staff person. we worked immediately with the white house physician and the cdc. we've done all contact tracing and the white house doctors indicated that he has no reason to believe that i was exposed and no need to be tested given the unique position that i have as vice president and as the leader of the white house coronavirus. both i and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon. let me say, again, how grateful the president and i are that every american has acted on the president's coronavirus guidelines. we are six days into 15 days. as dr. fauci may reflect in a moment, it's an opportunity for us here on the footholds of this epidemic curve in our country, to lower the impact in our nation and save lives. every american can do their part to slow the spread and we encourage you each to continue to do that. as the president says obvioften
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we're all in this together and remember that for most americans the risk of serious illness from the coronavirus remains low, the reason we want to put into practice the president's coronavirus guidelines is because no american would want to inadvertently expose someone who is vulnerable, a senior with a serious underlying health condition to the coronavirus. i heard a story about a senior, she's at the life care center in kirkland, washington. she's not only a grandmother, she's a great, great grandmother. 90 years young. she tested positive for the coronavirus on march 6th. by all accounts, she's doing well. she wanted america to know there is hope and her strength and her enthusiasm is truly an inspiration to the nation. as the president said many times, we're going to get through this.
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come out stronger than ever before and we'll get through this as americans together. thank you, mr. president. >> thank you very much. thank you, mike. admiral? >> thank you, mr. president, mr. vice president. as i told you earlier last week, we're in the process and are effectively transitioning to large-scale testing by leveraging all the components of the american health care system. when we started, it was cdc only. then it was the state public health laboratories, now we're transitioning into the mainstream of american testing with many of the companies that the president invited in the rose garden just a week ago. so currently, 91 public health laboratories, state public health laboratories, are up and running in 50 states. the district of columbia, guam and puerto rico. this is our curve, and i want to be very clear about this, that this only accounts for cdc state
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public health laboratories and the laboratories that are members of the american clinical laboratory association. these are the main reference laboratories, labcorp, quest, and sonic health care. it does not account for the 10,000, 15,000 hospital-based labs, many of which are doing testing for whom we will get data this week to give you an overall role of. as you can see, over 195,000 people in america have completed their testing. that means tests plus results. this does not count the people whose tests are in process and this curve is -- it will continue to rise dramatically over the next period of time. so, again, this is utilizing all the components of the great american health care system, the state and local health laboratories, the hospital system which is not represented here and the main reference
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laboratories. i do want to make it clear that although testing is becoming more available and dr. fauci will definitely emphasize this more, there are priorities for testing and clearly everyone should understand that those hospitalized are in an icu or a priority for testing. symptomatic health care workers for obvious reasons, we want to make sure that their health is preserved and they are not going to spread to those who may be seriously ill. symptomatic people in long-term care facilities, as the vice president has highlighted and we've said many times, elderly in our society have a higher mortality rate. symptomatic individuals over 65, symptomatic individuals who have underlying conditions, like chronic heart disease or liver disease or other types of chronic diseases, patients in public health investigations and there are local priorities
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around the country particularly health care workers for testing and dr. fauci is going to emphasize this about the types of people who may not need to be tested. testing is going well but we should have priorities. finally i want to talk about the community-based testing sites. i know they're popular now, cbt sites. we talked about these earlier in the week. i wanted to emphasize these are state managed and locally executed. the federal government is there to provide support, know-how, blueprints on how to do this, but these are springing up at dozens and dozens of sites all over the country, adapt today the local needs. some are drive-through, some are walkup, some are geared to health care workers and emergency responders. again, what we see in the upcoming week is this curve will continue to increase, as testing
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becomes more widely available, as the health care industry continues to increase the availability of tests and the throughput of those tests. thank you. >> what i want to do over the next minute or so is connect some of the dots of the things you've heard today. first the status of the dynamics of the outbreak. you all know the numbers. you've seen them. we have large spread infection but to varying degrees throughout the country. so, for example, when you talk about if kinds of mitigation issues that we have put forth and have emphasized, just as i mentioned the other day, there are two dynamic forces that are going on at the same time. you're having the natural course of an outbreak trying to peak at a high level and then you have the mitigation strategies which are aimed at dampening that. by mentioned that multiple times. we get asked, how do you know you're having an effect because there are two things that are going on at the same time, they may be confounding.
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well, i can tell you for sure, from a public health standpoint and experience with other outbreaks, we know we are clearly having an effect but we can't quantitate it for you accurately now because looking forward, you'll know what the impact of the rate of the steep inclines will be. so that's why we're going to come back to you every day and keep you up to date about that. getting with regard to the disproportionate of the response, everyone is right here, i'll open up the vice president's book with his permission. this is baseline for everyone. in other words, throughout the country. but there will be areas, and you've heard them, washington state, california, new york city, in which the dynamics of the outbreak are clearly different and much more robust, if you want to use that word. that's the reason why we've seen the mitigation ratcheted up in that regard. again -- and i have confidence
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it will happen. you will see an impact on that. next, getting to testing. you saw the numbers with testing. remember, there was always an issue with testing. i think we're getting to the solution that everybody in the country is looking for. but i want to emphasize one thing that the admiral mentioned. not every single person in the united states needs to get tested. he gave you the priorities. i don't want to repeat them. but let me tell you one of the unintended consequences of individuals who don't need to get tested that flood the desire to get tested. currently, and i hope we'll be able to change it and make it much less reliable on ppes, when you go in and get tested, you're consuming personal protective equipment. those are high priority for the health care workers who are taking a pair of people who have coronavirus disease. so what we don't want to do is
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to have a situation where we will -- we do have disparities in availability of ppes now and we're working hard to correct that. but currently today, we want to make sure that the people who are taking care of people with coronavirus disease do not endanger themselves because they don't have the personal protective equipment. finally, one last thing, the surgeon general has been pushing this, please put off, cancel elective medical and surgical procedures. you don't want to not ever do them. but for the time being, don't do them because they also not only consume personal protective equipment, they may consume ventilators that you might need. let's pull together and i promise you we will get through it. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president and
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mr. vice president. fema is leading the response on behalf of the coronavirus task force. hhs will continue to provide their experts on health and pursuant to the declaration, fema is assisting state, local, tribal areas and other eligible entities with health and safety protective measures on behalf of the american public. as of yesterday, 50 states, the district of columbia are working with fema under the nationwide emergency declaration for covid-19. in just 24 hours, we've obligated a hundred million dollars to states, territories and tribes. a little bit about supplies. it is of the upmost important that critical supplies get routed through proper channels as soon as possible and we ask everyone to follow the normal
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procedures fema uses in a natural disaster. there's no different procedure for the covid-19 pandemic. remember, you can still order supplies from your regular vendors and buy it on the open market. buy it where you can find it we will reimburse you. if you buy medical supplies from foreign sources, it is not reimbursable. if you can't buy it on the open market, make a request through the fema system. requests should go to states, from states to the regional fema offices and then from those offices right here in d.c. where the national response coordination center is open and running. we are getting requests for masks, ppe, swab sets, ventilators, hospital capacity assessments and many more. we're in lock step with hhs to answer these requests. we will do whatever is necessary
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to get states, tribes, territories and others what they need. and then finally what we are doing here in washington, d.c., again, this is a whole of government response, like all emergencies, response is most successful when it's locally executed. we can't say that enough. on thursday, our federal partners fully integrated with our national coordination response coordination center. and all ten fema regions across the country have been activated. the fema regional administers will continue to coordinate closely with governors, state emergency managers, state public health officials to determine the type of support needed to respond to this threat. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. ben, please. >> thank you, vimr. president a mr. vice president. i want to thank the fellow task force members who have been
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working around the clock to they need their fellow americans. part of the american dream is having a home. and sometimes people say, what is housing have to do with health? it has everything to do with health having a safe home. that is the reason that the president has authorized the media cessation of foreclosure and eviction proceedings for american citizens, single family as well as reverse mortgages. as you know, fhfa has decided to do the same thing for 60 days and the cfpb is happen with all of this as well. it's all about helping our people, recognizing that they're being severely impacted by the coronavirus. and we've also asked the various services of mortgage loans to
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exercise forbearance for anybody whose having difficulty. it's important if you're having difficulty to actually contact the people who have made the loan, who establish the mortgage. it doesn't happen automatically. what does happen automatically is that we cover all 8.5 million people in terms of the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. we want also for the phas to be protected, hud does not have authority to mandate that evictions can occur, but we are in contact with all the phas across the country and are petitions congress for the power to enforce that. most of the phas are run by people who actually care about other people. so we really haven't seen much
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of a problem there. we haven't seen much of a problem with forbearance and needing to try to force people to do it because they want to do it. people are stepping up and saying, what can we do to be helpful? as far as housing choice vouchers is concerned, the april vouchers will be sent out next week and may vouchers are being working on. we're also staying in contact with all the stakeholders, the advocates for low-income housing as well as other stakeholders to make sure that we're doing things that are most helpful to them. and additionally, we've extended the deadlines for health care and multifamily financial reporting requirements. that's for over 20,000 multifamily and health care borrowers until april the 30th.
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that provides them with a lot more flexibility to deal with the issues they're dealing with. i also want to thank our commissioner bryant montgomery as well as the faha director who have worked tirelessly with us to make this happen. what we're trying to do is bridge the gap, recognizing it's a lot easier for us to take these measures and for congress to take the measures that they're taking so that we don't destroy a very excellent system and have to start all over again. for those who are worried about the money that's being spent, if you don't spend the money and deal with this now, it's going to cost a lot more to try to build all this up again. and as was mentioned by the president, there's been a sense of unity that we haven't seen for a long time in this country. and let's hope and pray that
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that unity lasts far beyond this crisis. >> ben, thank you very much. questions, please. >> reporter: if you've lost your job now or you're worry that had you're going to lose your job tomorrow, restaurant, something like that, what do you want people to do immediately? the second question, sir, we heard from the vice president that he's going to be tested. have you taken a test since last saturday? >> i just took one. >> how do you feel? >> i feel great. >> reporter: have you taken more than one? >> one test. >> for those people who have lost their job already are worried that they're about to lose it tomorrow, what do you want them to do? >> what they do right now is keep receiving their paycheck and hopefully their companies are going to be in a very strong position. we want to keep everything together because we think we're going to have a tremendous bounceback. some people agree with that very strongly.
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some of our top economists think we're going -- once we solve the problem that we're working on, the medical problem, so we want them to keep their jobs, stay where you are, and we'll see what happens. if they don't, we have unemployment, we have checks, we have a lot of things happening. nobody has ever done -- this is working with democrats, this is republicans and democrats and myself working together. nobody has ever done a package like this. it's a great package. but ideally we want them to keep their jobs, keep the pay coming and i think that's going to happen. kelly, go ahead? >> reporter: on your defense production act power, one of the features of that is that the federal government would be able to control the output, masks or ventilators, get it to the most areas of need, and control the pricing to keep it at a market level. one of the things we're hearing from governors, they can't find supplies and prices have gone up. you talked about the act but you have not yet compelled any companies, why not?
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>> we have so many companies making so many products. every product you mentioned, we have car companies without having to use the act, if i don't have to use specifically -- we have the act to use in case we need it. but we have so many things being made right now by so many -- they've just stepped up. in fact mike pence and i were discussing it before, we've never seen anything like it, they're volunteering, we want to make masks. hanes, i brought that up earlier -- they're going to go on the open market from the standpoint of pricing. otherwise, it's going to be -- we could be very -- >> reporter: how would you direct them to the places in greatest need? >> we're directing states and sometimes we'll be competing against states which i don't want and we'll drop out of the bidding. we want the states to go first. you know what we're doing is we're helping states. that's what we want to do. same thing with the testing. we're helping states, we're helping states get to where they want and we've made tremendous
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progress in every aspect -- >> reporter: for a governor that needs equipment today -- >> it's happening fast right now and the governors are out there trying to get -- if they are competing with us, we drop out, please. >> reporter: forgive me if i heard you wrong, you said something, we are going to be going over to the hill. are you going yourself? >> my people are. i'll be in the oval office and various other places in the white house. >> reporter: on that matter, you're asking congress to pass a series of legislation that's going to amount to about $2 trillion, 10% of the gdp. what do you say to members in both parties who say this is too expensive, this is too much to debate and get done in 48 hours and have you spoken directly with speaker pelosi at all about any of this? >> i've spoken with -- i'm not going to say who i speak with. i've spoken directly or indirectly everybody many, many times. we're doing very well. i think the democrats and the republicans are going to come up with a package that's going to
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be really something very special. it's going to help people. this is the first time it's been a case where you want people to not work. we're nasking people not to wor because of -- we have to stay away from each other. if we're going to kill this enemy, we have to stay away. there's never been a thing like this in the history of the world. and other nations are doing similar things. some effectively and some not effectively. we are creating a package that's going to keep companies together, keep workers paid so they can live and sustain. we'll see what the timing is. the biggest thing we can do is get rid of the problem, the problem is exactly what we know, the medical problem. we want to have this whole, incredible situation that it can start right away, not that all of these companies break up, all the workers are out of jobs, you can't put them back together and it would take years to put them
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back together. we have the greatest economy in the history of the world until we got hit by this problem and we can be back very, very quickly. it's our intention to be back very, very quickly so we're doing a package, the likes of which nobody has ever done before. i'm obviously the one that has to approve the different things and the recommendations of the different things and like buybacks. i didn't like it the first time and this time, i'm saying, you're not doing it. i don't want money to be used for that. i want money to be used for workers and keeping businesses open, not buybacks. i am strongly recommending a buyback exclusion. you cannot buyback your stock. you can't take a billion dollars of the money and buy back your stock and increase the value. please. >> on the subject of masks, was the order just placed today? what can doctors and nurses
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expect to receive those masks. >> hhs is completing a half a billion dollar order of n-95 masks. all of this is being coordinated through fema and we're -- we are responding specifically to state requests where the needs arrive. as dr. fauci said, we want to make sure that the people who are provideding health care services to people who may have contracted coronavirus, are able to keep themselves and families healthy. i want to emphasize the supply of so-called n-95 masks has been increased in the country because the president insisted that we extend liability protection to industrial masks. what all the experts told us is that industrial masks that are used on construction sites, the president is familiar with from his past life, are perfectly appropriate to protect health care workers from respiratory
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illness. but they didn't have the liability protection because they weren't created for hospitals. we worked with leaders in both parties, we added that protection that runs through 2024, that now the industrial n-95 masks can be purchased by hospitals, purchased by states, purchased by hhs and distributed through our system. so we're making those available. the supply has been vastly increased and it's -- it's another step forward in a bipartisan accomplishment. and we're continuing to use all the kind of creative means of american industry to make sure that we're leaning into this effort and that we do whatever it takes to make sure that our health care providers have the protective equipment. >> we're hearing from doctors and nurses about the shortage. when can they expect to receive these masks? >> let me let pete gainer speak to that because fema will be -- hhs is now fully integrated into
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fema and so as the requests come in -- obviously, as i'm sure the administer will say, they're being prioritized to those areas with the highest need. >> within the national coordination center, we have a supply chain task force and we're trying to identify the universe of what's out there so whether we hold it at the federal level, we hold it in the private sector, and then match that up with demand and asking people to be creative. we're asking locals and states to do your share, try to take the burden off of us and we'll prioritize those resources. every governor is looking for the exact same thing. there's a balance but we're examining the entire -- >> when will the masks start coming in? >> they're out there now. we want to match -- we want to get out of the middle i think. we're trying to match supplies
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with demand. right now it's happening today. >> reporter: they can expect them today or they're matching supply and demand? >> there's a range of requests across the country. supply and demand, we're trying to match those every day. >> a lot have already come in. i have to tell you, the throwing away of the mask, being in private business, the throwing away of the mask right away, they're throwing it away. when you hear 55 million masks, how could it possible be such a number, they say that's just a small fraction of what we need. and i said why are we sanitizing masks? i looked at the different masks. some don't lend themselves to doing that, i think. but many do. and i said we have very good licki liquids for doing that, and that's something they're starting to do more and more. they're sanitizing the masks. i don't know if anybody would like to speak to that.
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>> yeah, there are cdc guidances about how you can minimize the use of masks by different things that you could do with testing. when you have masks, how you might reuse them. >> do you think there's a solution to this other than buying more masks? do providers need to change how they're using them? >> there are a couple things. we're moving towards getting testing where you don't have to have ppe. i'm not going to tell you the day it's going to be there. but it's going to be a swab that you can stick in the nose of the person who is either infected or not. that person doesn't need ppe. the person who is administering the test. if you could do a self-administered test, you don't need a mask, you don't need ppe. that's one of things we're trying to do. >> and one other -- this is another story about great american industry. the president and i literally heard directly from apple that they're donating 2 million
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industrial masks to this effort around the country and working with our administration to distribute those and it might be a good opportunity for us to renew our call for -- as the president and i deliver this message to businesses yesterday, maniers and small businesses, this is a great time to go to your store room and if you have n 95 masks, a hundred of them, 10,000 of them, just load them up, drive them over to your local hospital. that story is literally happening all over the country. and now with more americans stepping away from elective surgery including elective dental care, we're urging dentists around america to look at their supplies of n 95 masks and make those available to our hospitals. but the great news is the president said the american people are all doing this now, so allow me to say on behalf of the president, thank you for
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what you all are doing today. we want to encourage people in business, encourage people in dentistry in particular. look at those supplies of n 95 masks. pack up as many as you can spare. drop them off at your local hospital. be a great service to the country. >> mr. president, i just want to read you some of what some of the doctors on the front lines of the crisis are saying. >> you mean the ones saying good things or bad things? >> these are doctors talking about the shortage of medical splaz they are facing. in kentucky the doctor says there is absolutely no way to protect myself. a surgeon in fresno, california says we are at war with no ammo. dr. mel in illinois says, if this is a war time situation, then now is the time to act. i know you're talking now about increasing production at so many of these facilities to get the masks out, but given this is one of the wealthiest, most powerful countries in the world, should this even be happening? shouldn't this have been resolved months ago? >> well, i'll tell you the way i look at it. so many administrations preceded
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me. for the most part they did very little in terms of what you're talking about. this is unprecedented. you can speak to tony. speak to anybody. this is unprecedented or just about unprecedented as time goes by we're seeing it's really at a level that nobody would have believed. nobody would have thought possible. that this could happen. and we are making much of this stuff now and much of it is being delivered now. we've also gotten tremendous reviews from a lot of people that can't believe how fast it's coming. when i hear they have an order of 55 million masks and that is just one order out of many and there are many millions of masks beyond that, and i keep saying, how is it possible to use so much? that's the way it is. part of that is they'll use the mask for a short period of time and then they throw it. the fact is we are doing a tremendous amount. we started with very few masks. we had some but nothing for an
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event like this. now we're making tens of millions of masks and i think it's unprecedented what we've done and what we're doing. and many doctors and i've read many, many doctors. they can't believe the great job we've done. >> it's been nearly three months since your administration learned about this virus. >> well, if you remember, i was the one that closed the country down. i was the one that -- you don't write that or say it too much certainly on cnn -- but i just read an article yesterday that by closing the country down so early, very early, we saved tens of thousands and much more than that lives. so, you know, you might want to report that, too. >> mr. president, i'd just like to address that for a moment. again, i am an icu physician, and i first of all want to thank everyone who is on the front line in the emergency room and the icus and the hospitals.
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i speak to my colleagues daily. we need to preserve our ppe to the degree we can. cdc guidelines has had that. the president has talked about it. i also want to say we are making product as the president said but we are also responding through the fema system to distribute the strategic national stockpile resources according to requests that come in. stockpile has been distributed to many states. first order, second orders, and on a daily basis adjudicating that. if there are shortages in your hospital system, i can't tell you if dr. x, y, z, that needs to be clearly iterated to the local emergency management. >> -- hospitals talking about this two nights ago or -- >> we were on the phone two nights ago or three nights ago with over 2,000 hospitals or hospital systems sharing best practices from seattle where they've been very innovative pioneering some of these areas.
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when there is a shortage they need to go through their emergency management. it goes directly up to the fema system, which really rocks. it really works very, very well. then there is a distribution of the stockpile. now, the stockpile isn't infinite. that's why it's being replaced by all the orders. but masks, supplies go out on a daily basis as they are needed and requested through the fema system. i don't know, administrator gainer, if you want to add to that. >> just to reiterate, we don't take lightly what you just read. i get the calls every night the way you get e-mails. it is a serious issue. we don't want that to happen. but it is happening. you're not making things up. i know that because i'm experiencing it myself. what you just heard about the different avenues some of which weren't even recognized about how you can get help through the fema process in addition to the large amounts of additional ppe
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that is coming into the system we hoped that very, very, very soon we're not going to get those kinds of real life difficulties. >> there's a question about the timeline here. even fema can't quite answer what the timeline is. days, weeks? >> sooner than weeks. it's going to be days i would hope. we're going to try to make it days to the best possible way we can. >> again, we're trying to help the states get things faster. we're implementing. and the magnitude of this -- it is an absolute tragedy -- but the magnitude is something that no matter who you were, where you come from, nobody ever thought a thing like this could happen. you read about 1917 and you read about certain things but do you think in a modern age a thing like that could never happen. well, it comes back. it is genius. it comes back. and it's too bad. but i think the people working
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on this have been incredible. the job they've done has been incredible. there is a tremendous amount of not only masks but ventilators, respirators, everything you can think of, much of it and i can say all of it is being manufactured right now. steve, please. >> yesterday there were questions about the use of the mall area drug. have those questions about the malaria drug been resolved? >> i don't know resolved. it is going to be distributed. new york is getting i think 10,000 units and naum rouumerou people. it could be the malaria drug plus the z pack. we'll find out. look, i feel as the expression goes, what do we have to lose? i feel really good about it. tony would feel like he'd like samples done a certain way. i understand that, too.
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many doctors agree with that. we don't have much time. we have a lot of very sick people right now in hospitals all over the place. and speaking with the governor of new york, cuomo, i said how does it look? he said got a lot of sick people. so we're going to be delivering and a lot of samples to new york and other places and we're going to find out very shortly whether or not it is going to work. i feel very confident. i've seen things that surprised me frankly. as tony said there are other things we're looking at, too. vaccine is of course incredible but this is more immediate. right now this to me would be the greatest thing that could happen. this would be a gift from heaven, a gift from god if it works. we're going to pray to god that it does work. it would be a fantastic thing. >> mr. president, on the economic front there are reports the coronavirus is really hurting your businesses especially your hotels. >> my businesses?
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>> sure. >> is that true? >> i wouldn't say it's thriving when you decide to close down your hotels and businesses. no. but i'm very under levered in everything so that is good. is it hurting? yeah. it's hurting me and hilton and it's hurting all of the great hotel chains all over the world. it's hurting everybody. i mean, there are very few businesses doing well now. there are some that are like as an example the walmarts of the world because everybody is lined up to get things and stock up their house and this and that. but sure. it hurts my business. >> and did you or anyone in your administration talk to anyone at the trump organization about the potential effects of the coronavirus? >> no. i didn't speak to anybody. i speak to my sons. i talk about the coronavirus but not as it pertains to my business. they basically follow the rules. when they say close them down in new york, we close them down or wherever they may be. i actually have them all over the world. and when they say close them down, we close them down. what, kelly? >> will you no longer go to
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mar-a-lago? >> i have nothing planned at mar-a-lago, but right now i think mar-a-lago i guess, i haven't even asked, but i imagine that's closed down just like a lot of other businesses in florida. go ahead. >> do you expect your family companies to seek government assistance if eligible? >> i don't know. i just don't know what the government assistance would be for what i have. i have hotels. everybody knew i had hotels when i got elected. they knew i was a successful person when i got elected, so it is one of those things. i guess i get paid $450,000 a year. i give it up. i put it back into the nation. i usually -- i have to, by the way -- you have to designate where you want it so i oftentimes give it to opioid research and things. but as far a

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