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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 8, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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i'm wolf blitzer here in the situation room. experts on the coronavirus task force are scheduled to begin briefing the public very soon. standby for that. we'll hear from the experts. meanwhile more than 14,000 americans have now died during the outbreak, and more than 400,000 here in the united states have tested positive for the virus. but dr. anthony fauci says earlier estimates perhaps 100,000 americans could die are not necessarily inevitable. a white house model now predicts 60,000 fatalities in the u.s. down from 80,000, 50,000 dead here in the united states by august. that's still a huge number. experts warn that social distancing must remain in place for the time being, and there's now new concern about potential hotspots in philadelphia, baltimore and right here in washington, d.c. let's go to cnn's erika hill. she's joining us from new york right now. give us the latest on all the late breaking developments. >> reporter: wolf, of course.
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as we look at those potential new hotspots you just mentioned there's a focus on how this is rolling out in new york. we learned from governor cuomo today hospitalizations are down. while he's clear to say that is good news there's still a long road ahead. a blunt assessment from the top. >> it's going to be a bad week for deaths. >> reporter: new york state announcing a new high for single day deaths, 779 on tuesday. with morgues overloaded hard hit communities are bringing in refrigerated trailers and more help. in new york city hundreds of national guard members and more than 50 active duty mortuary military specialists are now asesting the office. and states and cities report a rising death toll there is some hope. revised down significantly
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thanks to social distancing. the message from officials, this is no time to let up. >> we're all looking to finally get out from under this, but it's not that time yet. >> reporter: washington, d.c. now one of several cities on the radar because of potential hot spots according to it white house task force coordinator who also singled out philadelphia, baltimore and houston. a majority of americans feel the federal government has done a poor job preventing the spread. 80% feel the worst is yet to come. >> more rural areas are starting to get hit, and i'm really worried because hospitals in these areas don't have as many icu beds, don't have the same capacity. >> reporter: with each day there's also mounting evidence the virus is impacting african-americans at a much higher rate. underserved communities also hit hard. >> whatever the situation is, with natural disaster, hurricane
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katrina, the people standing own those rooftops were not rich, white people. why? why is it that the poorest people always pay the highest price? let's learn from this moment, and let's learn these lessons, and let's do it now. >> reporter: new york governor andrew cuomo said the state will increase testing and research in minority communities starting today to better understand the disparity. the department of health and human services announcing gm will produce 30,000 ventilators for the national stockpile, costing nearly half a billion dollars. those will be delivered by the end of august. as hot spots across the country face concerns about meeting the needs today. >> we don't have enough masks. >> reporter: meantime the conversation about how and when to reopen the country is starting with a focus on antibody testing to learn who was infected but asymptomatic. >> this makes a very big difference in understanding who
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can go back to work and how they can go back to work. >> reporter: those tests could be available in the next 10 to 14 days according to dr. birx. when in reality there's no clear end date for this pandemic. pennsylvania and new york following new jersey's lead, lowering flags to half staff in honor of the thousands lost to this virus. and, wolf, the javits center behind me where there were 2,500 beds for covid positive patients, there are 10 had being treated right now. we just learned at the billy g. king tennis center out in flushing queens, the chase center there 470 additional beds will be added. why so many empty beds and why are more being added? governor cuomo said today it's a good sign these beds aren't needed right now, but again stressing it's important to be prepared and have them ready. >> very important indeed. erica hill, reporting for us. thank you. even though experts say social
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distancing needs to remain in place president trump is already looking ahead to a grand reopening. our chief white house correspondent jim acosta has more. >> reporter: with administration officials sounding more optimistic ability the battle against coronavirus president trump is already talking about reopening the country all at once. >> i'd love to open with a big bang one beautiful country and just open. >> reporter: but top doctors on the coronavirus task force are being more cautious adding a return to normalcy won't happen like a light switch. >> the real challenge if we do then try which everybody is talking about now to get back to some degree of normality, not turning a light switch-on and off, that's not going to happen. but some degree of normality, we better make sure that we very aggressively and vigorously do not allow the resurgence of a case of 2 or 3 or 10 or 20. >> the president all but
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tweeting victory, tweeting flattening of a curve as a new model forecasting thousands of fewer deaths than what was predicted. with a new cnn poll finding only 41% of americans think the government has done a good job in preventing the spread of coronavirus. and only 37% return to normalcy if social distancing ends, the president has settled on a new scapegoat, pointing the finger at the world health organization. >> they called it wrong. they missed the call. they could have called it months earlier. they would have known, and they should have known. >> reporter: w.h.o.'s director is pleading with the president to cut it out. >> please don't politicize this virus. if you don't want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it. my short message is please quarantine politicizing covid. >> but there are new indications the president and his team
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missed the warning signs themselves. as a report from abc news finds u.s. intelligence officials were sounding the alarm the coronavirus was spreading in china as far back as november. >> but did to pentagon receive an intelligence assessment on covid from china last december from doa? >> i can't recall, george, but we have many people to watch this closely. >> and the president insists he didn't see -- >> i didn't see him. i didn't look for him either. >> something we have yet to put in place nationwide. task force dr. deborah birx says they aren't running the test fast enough. >> right now about 80% of them are idle, and there's over a million test kits sitsing ready to be run.
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>> all right, jim acosta reporting for us. let's discuss, sanjay gupta still with us, kaitlyn collins as well. we're learning on a conference call with house democrats earlier today dr. deborah birx warned that philadelphia, baltimore, washington, d.c. are expected to become new hot spots for the coronavirus. what do these cities need to be doing right now to brace for a potential surge? we all hope obviously these cities aren't going to become another new york city. >> well, right. and i think, you know, especially when it comes to the corridor, the baltimore, d.c. corridor when you look at some of the modeling, it does follow a trajectory at least the early part of the curve that's similar to where new york city was a couple of weeks ago. and i think that's what prompted these concerns. i think in d.c., for example, i was just looking at the model. wolf, you may remember the first case was actually diagnosed march 7th. so just a month ago and the first person who died was march 20th.
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you get an idea how quick these things change in these areas. what they're going to need to do, wolf, is the same sorts of things we've seen in washington, d.c. luckily i think the stay at home orders with relative to the timing of the curve earlier in d.c. in that corridor, so hopefully that will be helpful. but as you know the hospital capacity has been headlining as they describe it in new york, going to make sure the hospital capacity and several hospital said in that area are ready for, you know, what will likely be a influx of patients. keeping in mind again, wolf, we've made this point many times, we're looking at a lagged picture. so by the time someone comes to the hospital that's usually several days, maybe even a couple of weeks after the time they were exposed. most people won't need to come to the hospital, but if they do it's a couple of weeks after they were exposed. so the picture right now is from 2 weeks ago.
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the picture two weeks from now is going to be from right now. i'm sorry, the picture two weeks from now will be reflecting of right now. so we have to see what's going on in the curve right now, wolf. >> sanjay, the identification of these new potential hot spots, baltimore, philadelphia, washington, d.c., comes as the president is touting what he describes as a flattening of the curve. but these signs of progress he's pointing to are not necessarily uniform across the nation, are they? >> right. no, they're not. and, you know, we have to really look at several different waves or areas, hotspots, whatever you want to call them. new york's obviously got the most attention because it is such a, you know, significant area of these infections, these confirmed infections. but you are seeing these other areas of concern, and the curves are either different or you're earlier in the curve in some of these places. so, you know, we look at new york as a model and we are
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seeing some evidence even though the daily death toll sadly has continued to go up, we are seeing some notes for optimism because the hospitalization rate has gone down. one thing i want to point out is that when people do go to the hospital for coronavirus, again most won't need that, but when you do you're typically in the hospital for quite some time as well. so that's feeding into this. hospitalization rates have gone down, but time in the hospital is still pretty significant for patients who are there. we've got to see if that sort of trend continues as well. we can look at the united states really as a whole, you can see the numbers as a whole, but they reflect many different parts of the country. >> it's a big country indeed. the president's job approval rating when it comes to the economy as slid to 48%. is the economy a central factor in the president's decision making process right now? >> well, it certainly is. the president has been making that pretty clear in recent days. he made so clear last night
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talking about how he wanted there to be a big economic upturn once the nation does move past these social distancing guidelines they've put in place. but several people would say the president is weighing both of these options here, he's not just weighing the economy. and the thing they point to when they talk about that is how insistent the president had been despite no advice from his health experts on that easter date to reopen the country. and that was something he quickly moved away from once he was shown models from the white house. we don't know what the white house has planned after these 30 days are up. we're told they had a pretty late meeting last night, and democratic lawmakers say they're going to try to release some kind of guidance today because they do want to work on getting but a balancing act what to do with these health guidelines and not to erase any of the gains
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you've seen in the last several weeks. the economy is definitely a key part on the president's mind. and we're told often in these meetings the president is often looking to the economic advisers while pence turns to the health experts. it's really both sides making their arguments. and the question is where do we go from here, who wins that argument, and if they can come to something that we lead to in a few weeks where they can reopen the economy to the president's desire but also maintain by the guidelines that the health experts think they need to. >> very important indeed. standby. we have a lot more developments emerging. we'll take a quick break and be right back. safe drivers save 40%!!! guys! guys! check it out. safe drivers save 40%!!! safe drivers save 40%! safe drivers save 40%!!! that's safe drivers save 40%. it is, that's safe drivers save 40%. - he's right there. - it's him! he's here. he's right here. - hi! - hi. hey! - that's totally him. - it's him!
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the president's now answering reporters questions. let's listen in. he was just asked about when he learned about the potential for a pandemic. >> a lot of americans want to see businesses reopen -- >> yeah, so do i more than anybody. >> so what specifically has to happen for you foofeel it's safe to reopen the country, and what is your plan to do that? >> i think we can say we have to be on that down side of that slope and heading to a slow direction this thing has gone. we can do it in phases, go to some areas where you know some areas are much less affected than others. but it would be nice to be able to open with a big bang and open up our country, or certainly most of our country. you look at what's happening i would say we're ahead of schedule. you hate to say it too loudly because all of a sudden things don't happen. but i think we will be sooner rather than later. but we'll be sitting down with
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the professionals. we'll be sitting down with many different people making a determination. and those meetings will start taking place fairly soon. >> so you wouldn't do that until the health experts tell you it's safe to do it. >> i would rely heavily on it, yeah. >> do you think there's a system for monitoring and testing that you're looking at -- >> yeah, we're putting in very heavy testing systems. we have the best testing systems. and again, don't forget when we look at cases -- i'm not going to insult anybody, not going to insult any country, but i'm looking at countries that are showing less cases than us. it's testing. we're testing more than anybody. and you saw exponentially more than anybody by far. and our testing i think it'll end up being a big strength. other countries that the media talked about are now calling us for what are we doing and how are we doing it so quickly, and where are we getting these tests because our tests are very good now. they've been proven to be
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accurate. >> two quick questions. one on infrastructure. members of your administration and members of congress have pointed out at the top of the federal employee -- it's not the president it's the head of the tennessee valley authority and he made $8 million last year. >> it's rulickdous, i agree. i think it'sest paid government -- long before i got here, you said tennessee valley authority, right? it has to be the highest paid man in any government, makes approximately 8 or $9 million. i don't know the gentleman, but he's got a heck of a job. he gets paid a lot of money. he's been there for a long while hasn't he? >> -- came in april but -- >> that's separate. but we just had some people going on the board. as you know that's a quasi public agency, and whoever the head of the agency is that person makes a lot of money, which is an amazing thing.
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when we want them to do something they're not there for us. that's not good. that's not good. he's been there for a long time. that's been the story for a long time. >> i assume you would support reducing their salary as part of the infrastructure bill? >> reducing it by a lot. that is the greatest job in the history of government almost certainly if you're into money. tennessee valley authority, that's right. go ahead. i've been waiting for somebody's to ask me about that. it's been bothering me for a long time, too. go ahead. >> one of the biggest rating hits from the coronavirus has been a show on netflix called "tiger king" and the man who starred in this is former zoo owner and he's asking you for a pardon saying he was unfairly convict. your son jokingly yesterday said he was knowing to advocate for it. i wonder if you'd seen the
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show -- >> which son. must be don. i had a feeling it was don. is that what he said? i know-nothing about it. he has 22 years for what? >> he allegedly hired someone to murder anmal rights activist, but he said he didn't do that. >> you think he didn't do it? are you recommending a pardon? >> no, i'm not advocating -- >> as a reporter you're not able to do that. would you recommend a pardon? >> i'm not weighing in on -- >> i don't think you would. go ahead, do you have a question? >> i want to get back to the coronavirus, mr. president, if i can. last week your top experts were saying we should expect 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in this country. it looks like these numbers are now plateauing. are these numbers now being revised downward? i know you don't want people to stop social distancing and that sort of thing, but what can you tell us about the numbers?
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>> my impression those were the numbers set and set by an expectation quite a while ago. if either of you would like to talk about that that's a fair question. if you want to come up, deborah. >> yes, so, i think all of you -- many of you have done the analysis of the same models we utilized. and if you do the models of the models you end up with that range. at the same time we carefully looked at italy and spain, and we are doing much better in many cases than several other countries, and we're trying to understand that. we believe that our health care delivery system in the united states is quite extraordinary. i know many of you are watching the act now model and the imhe model, and they have consistently decreased the number of -- the mortality from over almost 90,000 or 86,000
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down to 81,000 and now down to 61,000. that is modeled on what america is doing. that's what's happening. and i think what has been remarkable i think to those of us who have been in the science field for so long is how important behavioral change is and how amazing americans are in adapting to and following through on these behavioral changes, and that's what's changing the rate of new cases, and that's what will change the mortality going forward. because now we're into the time period of full mitigation that should be reflected within the coming weeks of decreasing mortality. i mean, that's what we really hope to see. we are impressed by the american people. and i think models are models. i've always worked on validating. i spent my life validating models all over the world, and that's why woo do surveys and surveillance, and make sure what we think is right is right.
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i think this will change how people look at respiratory diseases because it will change what is possible when the globe and particularly the american people do this level of mitigation. and i think as i talked about yesterday we are still -- we are still in awe really of the american peoples strength in this and following through. >> director, i think that's it. we have done -- they have done, everybody has done everybody a great job. so those were original projections and we don't want to say anybody about beating again, but i think we will have a very good chance to beat them substantially. >> thank you, mr. president. i just want to add to what ambassador birx said. i mean, this is consequence of the commitment of the american people. you know, a lot of us have always had challenges changing behavior, whether if it's
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exercising regularly or different habits or smoking. when it affects us what's been remarkable to watch here is how the american public has changed their behavior when it protects the vulnerable. i think that's really what i'm so proud to see. >> just a follow-up on something from yesterday and a question. on yesterday you said you had not seen peter navarro's memo. were you ever briefed on those memos? could you ever discuss those memos -- >> i don't remember that. i didn't see the memo. as you know world health was saying that was not correct because at the time they called it wrong. but i didn't see the memo, but i acted as quickly -- people were shocked i acted so quickly, and everybody thought i was wrong because i did act so quickly as you know wrrpt to closing the
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borders. with respect not only to china but with europe i closed the borders and i think that was very important. but i didn't see the memo at the time. but i have seen it since. let me do a couple of others and we'll go back. >> as the world health organization today warned against politicizing -- >> i agree with that. >> he said politicization could create more body bags. what do you think -- >> i think when you say more body bags i think we would have done -- and he would have been much better serving the people that he was supposed to serve if they gave a correct analysis. i mean, everything was i said china centric. everything was going to be fine, no human to human, keep the borders open. i closed the borders despite him, and that was a hard decision to make at the time. we made a decision against the
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world health organization, and so when he says politicizing, he's politicizing, and $452 billion, almost $500 billion last year, hundreds of billions in previous years. and they got to do better than that. they've got to do better. when you talk about politics i can't believe he's talking about politics when look at the relationship they have to china. so china spends $42 million, we spend $450 million, and everything seem tuesday be china's way. that's not right, it's not fair to us. and honestly it's not fair to the world. question in the back. >> thank you, mr. president. there's breaking news today and a couple different reports from a couple different outlets that jared kushner's team is seeking to create a national coronavirus database of tracking system for patients who have been diagnosed. now, his spokesperson said that's not true --
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>> it's not -- i have never heard about it. i have not heard about that. >> are you okay with it -- >> i don't know if i'd be okay. i'd have to see it, but it sounds very scientific, and it sounds like it could be good based on tracking, but it also have to do with rights and lots of different constitutional questions. i have not heard that at all. >> so some people are concerned it would be like the post-9/11 patriot act, that it ultimately led to the fisa abuse. are you concerned -- >> fisa abused in which i was the one abused and a couple of other people in all fairness. no, i don't know anything about it. i haven't heard it. i'll speak to them. i don't think so. they would have told me. i would have known about it. >> thank you, mr. president. the delegation is unhappy because smaller casinos and businesses that make up -- >> in nevada -- >> in nevada found out they're not eligible for the cares act ppp money. and i talked to a member who
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said -- >> because of the number of employees -- >> because of the number of employees and they thought gaming would not be treated any differently than any other business -- >> i can look at that. i can look. it's a great state and i will take a look at that strongly. are you talking only the smaller casinos? i'll take a look at that, fine. i don't mind that. yeah, we'll take a look. nobody's told me about it but i'll look at it. it's a great state. they do a great job so i'm going to look at it very strongly. i understand what they mean. >> thank you, mr. president. in terms of the economy what if you urge americans to go back to work they don't listen to you, would you leave that up to governors, businesses, citizens to decide when it's safe to stop social distancing? >> well, when you say they don't listen, i think they're going to listen. they're going to go back. they're going stir-crazy. they've been in those houses and apartments, and they've really been -- they've done a great
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job. when you look the question was just asked about how we're doing compared to projections, those were just original projections. the big projection being 2.2 million people would die if we did nothing. that was a another decision we made, close it up. that was a big decision that we made. two very smart people walked into my office and they said, listen, these are your alternatives, and that was the projection of i guess 1.5 to 2.2 million people would die if we didn't close it up. that's a lot of people. so if we do a number that's tremendously smaller than that, if we did close it up and the numbers got to 100 to 220 million people, so if we can stay substantially under the 100, which was the original projection, i think we all did a very good job. even though it's a lot of people. >> -- by may 1st? >> right now we're doing well in turp of the numbers.
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i can't tell you in terms of the date. we don't want to go down, and then we can start going up if we're not careful. so we have to be careful. as far as distancing, social distancing and other things, certainly for a while, you know, at some point that's going away. we'll be able to sit next to each other, and this has not happened, anything like this of this magnitude since 1917, 1918, the great pandemic. that was something. but, yeah, no, people want to sit next to each other at restaurants. they want to sit next to each other like normal at a football game, baseball game, basketball game, hockey game. no, we want to go back to life. now, for a period of time we may go a little bit slower and maybe we'll be talking about distancing, but at some point we expect to be back like it was before. and hopefully it'll never happen. hopefully if it does happen it's going to be a hundred years from
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now. the last one, 1917, that's something. that's a long time ago, and that was a horrible thing. jim, go ahead. >> i wanted to get back to what you were saying yesterday about people going to wisconsin and voting in the middle of this pandemic, really putting their lives on the line. and you said, well, if they do that, vote by mail perhaps we'll have voter fraud in this country. i wanted to ask you voters in five states and you talk about why washington and oregon vote by mail. can you or your white house staff provide any evidence to back up your reporting mail in voting is rife with fraud? and where's the evidence of it? >> i think there's a lot of evidence but we'll provide you with some, okay. and there's evidence being compiled just like it's being compiled in the state of california where they settled
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with judicial saying that a million people should not have been voting. and you saw that -- excuse me, well, i'm just telling you. i'm telling you in california, in the great state of california they settled, and we could have gone a lot further. judicial watch settled where they agreed that a million people should not have voted where they were 115 years old and lots of things and people were voting in their place. what i see and, you know, every one of those states that you mentioned is a state that happens to be won by the democrats. and if you have a position like me where it's registered, you're here and you're voting someplace where i'm not, i haven't left the white house in i guess months other than to ask a ship to wave it good-bye to new york, which by the way is now going as you know being used for the
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purpose -- >> -- voting doesn't work out well for the republicans. >> it certainly hasn't, but if you're a senior citizen and you're somebody that needs it i'm all for it. but they have to be careful because you know the things with bundsling a bundling and all the things happening with votes by mail where thousands of votes are gathered, and i'm not going to say which party does it, but thousands of votes are gathered and they come in are dumped in a location and all of a sudden you lose elections if you think you're going to win. i won't stant for it. we're going to find out about the proof because you're going to see what's going on, and i'm not going to stand for it. our voting system, first of all, we should have voter i.d. when you vote you should have voter i.d. and when you send something in you should be sure as a state and a country you should be sure that that vote is meaningful and it's not just made fraudulently, because there's a lot of fraudulent voting going on in this country. this country should have voter
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i.d. let's do another one. >> mr. president, the only way to contract these millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine being distributed across the country are the e-health data system. how systematically is your task force watching -- >> i think it's very systematic. we're distributing hydroxy all through the country. it's being distributed in large amounts. we're have it coming in now. we're up to 29 million doses and then we went to 30 million doses, but we have it coming in all throughout the country. and much of it is being distributed, and it'll start going down what we have in our stockpile. and again it's had -- i hope it works. and again, i'm not a doctor as you possibly have found out. i'm not a doctor but i'm a person with common sense, and we've had some very good results over the course including a woman who just reported it. >> through the ehealth data
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system -- >> we're looking to provide it in many different ways. in many ways in certain instances we've been asked -- in the case of michigan we've been asked who the governor of michigan i think she's become a good fan of it as something that's going to help with this horrible virus. and we're deliverling it to the governments of various states when they ask. so certain states are asking, certain governments are asking, and we're delivering it directly to the government. yeah, please. go ahead. >> thank you very much, mr. president. we know many people around the world are paying close attention -- >> where are you from? >> i'm from taiwan. >> good. >> an behalf of the foreign media group i would like to ask you two questions. first question is the french president macron called iranian president rouhani and saying
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that europe has started to shift the medical goods to iran. >> medical goods, that doesn't bother me. >> they're sending medical goods to iran that doesn't bother me. >> so the other question is we're also paying attention to the u.s. election. we know that bernie sanders has dropped out -- >> i did see that today. but he didn't really drop out. what about his delegates? he said he's going to keep his delegates, which is sort of interesting. he's going to keep his delegates and he'd like to get more. now, is he dropping out or not? that's not dropping out. when you keep your delegates and then you want more delegates before you get to the convention, that's a real deal going on there. and i don't know why president obama hasn't supported joe biden a long time ago. there's something he feels is wrong. i'm sure he's got to come out at
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some point because he certainly doesn't want to see me for four more years. we think a little bit differently. uknow what, i'll tell you it does amaze me president obama hasn't supported sleepy joe. it just hadn't happened. when is it going to happen? he knows something that you don't know that i think i know but you don't know. so it'll be interesting but i saw his standard fair today, i watched. and we got a tremendous percentage of bernie people, and i think they voted for me largely because of trade, because bernie and i agree on trade. we agree that the united states has been ripped off by virtually every country they do business with. the difference is i've done a lot about it, and i'm doing more about it. and we've made incredible trade deals including usmca, the deal with china, and all of a sudden
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that gets disturbed by this virus situation. but china has to spend almost $250 billion on purchasing our products, $40 to $50 billion with our farmers. and the bernie sanders people are big believers on what i'm saying on trade, and i got a lot of them in the last election that surprised people but didn't surprise me. those are great people. but i just -- look, i'm looking at bernie sanders. i watched this morning and i said what is all that about? like you said the delegates, the delegates. he's not giving up his delegates. he's keeping them, and he said he wants to get more of them. and i think he's doing it to no negotiate i assume but that's a hard thing to do. jeff, go ahead. >> opec is meeting with russia tomorrow and other countries to discuss oil prices. oil prices are at $23 -- >> oh, that's good. finally somebody knows something when they ask a question. >> what is your message to them
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ahead of their meeting tomorrow? will the u.s. consider a coordinated prukds here? >> ewe already cut. we're very market oriented. if you look at texas and north dakota and you look at some of our states that do this very well, they've already cut way back. they've cut back automatically. but in the case of russia and saudi arabia they increased production at a time you didn't need it, and then they got hit by the virus which knocked out 40% of the market, and thou they're flooded with oil. look, i just say this. your two countries are getting hurt very badly. russia is getting hurt and that's a primary source, and saudi arabia that's definitely your primary source, and it doesn't make sense that they flooded the market for whatever reason they did that for themselves. it's an argument that they had, and i think they'll straighten it out. a lot of progress has been made over the last week, and it'll be interesting to see what comes out of opec tomorrow. but opec obviously -- i used to
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think opec was very unfair. i hated opec. you want to know the truth i hated it because it was a fix. but somewhere along the line that broke down and it went the opposite way. and we have a tremendously powerful industry in this country now number one in the world and i don't want those jobs lost. >> what will you do if they don't end up cutting -- >> we'll see. i have a lot of options. a lot of good options, jeff. duties. they might like it even more. let's see what happens. hopefully they can make a deal. let's go. >> thank you, mr. president. clearly americans are getting very anxious to go back to work -- >> including me. >> now the model has been adjusted down, when are we going to open back up? can you give us a better date? >> you said adjusted back down to 61,000. what was adjusted back down?
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>> imag model, the one that originally predicted between 100 and 200,000. >> that's still a big number, 161 -- i had a date and i thought it was a very aspirational date. it's turning out to be very interesting because a lot of good things are happening by easter. but i had a very aspirational date. i didn't think you could make it, i didn't say we could do it by easter but i said wouldn't it be great to shoot for easter. very important date to a lot of people like me and like some of you in the room. maybe all of you in the room frankly. but easter's a very important day. so i had aspirationally i said let's see if we can do it at easter, you know, but i said it would be very tough. and i was criticized for that, so i don't like giving dates. and that wasn't a date. that was just an aspiration.
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that would have been incredible. but i don't think we're going to be very far behind. and some of these models are looking like easter is going to be an important date anyway because of the curve. it's hitting the top and starting to come down. and one person said easter is looking like a good time, so a good time for heading down. so we'll see what happens. look, there's no reason to do that. we have a lot of good things happening. when i spoke to the governor of louisiana today, he said, tony, they need far less beds and i said, look, because we're building 1,000 room additional. we've built 1,000 beds and now we're building another 1,000. i said, listen, i don't want to build them if they don't need them. in new york injthe javits isn'to heavily used. and we're using it for governor murphy in new jersey so we'll see what happens, but, you know, the numbers are coming way down.
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the ventilators, we're all set. we have a lot to go if we want, but we're not getting -- i'm not getting calls where they need ventilators anymore, so we were right on those ventilators. i'd love to have additional ventilators for some of the countries that are our allies and our friends. and even if they're not our allies and friends you're saving human lives. but i'd love to see -- we're making a lot of ventilators right now. and they take a while to make, and they're very expensive, and they're very complex to make. you know, but i'd love to be able to help other countries once we're taken care of. but i just sent 100 ventilators to colorado. and that was great. a senator there who's a terrific senator, cory and cory gardener, and he called me last night. he said could you get 100 ventilators for colorado, and we just sent them out. and they'll be there very shortly. but it looks like we're in great
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shape from the bed standpoint. it looks like we're in great shape from the ventilator standpoint. and you just heard, i ordered 500 million masks. 500 n-95s and others and surgical. but we ordered 500 million masks, 300 and 200, and they're going to be here very shortly. so we're really in great shape. and we started off with an empty cupboard. so i'm going to leave the vice president and his group to handle it, and i will see you probably tomorrow. thank you very much. thank you. >> good evening, everyone. and to our fellow americans, good afternoon.
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we find ourselves in the midst of a very tough week for americans in areas most impacted by coronavirus. the new york city area and new jersey, louisiana. continue to focus resources and attention on those areas, and i know the hearts and prayers of the american people are with all of those communities. in the wake of more than 1.9 million tests we see more than 400,000 americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. and sadly we've lost more than 14,000. we grieve, but as the good book says we do not grieve like those who have no hope. in this very special week i know that the faith of millions of americans is of comfort to them. the president and i spoke to more than 10,000 faith leaders, and we were able to express to
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them our gratitude for the way they're strengthening the communities they serve. but we also find hope in the numbers that dr. birx will continue to reflect on today. for as dr. fauci explained yesterday and in the days before the losses as grievous as they are that we are seeing today are a reflection of people that contracted the coronavirus in many cases before strong mitigation steps were taken, before the guidelines for america fully took hold. the cases, however, and the new cases and the hospitalizations are, in fact, a reflection of -- of the results of what the american people are doing. and i want to echo the president's and dr. birx's
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statements today about the extraordinary work the american people are doing because we continue to see a great progress, low and steady numbers in the states of california and washington. and in the new york metropolitan area, new jersey, new orleans metro area, detroit, chicago and boston, we continue to see evidence of stabilization that should be an encouragement to every american. an encouragement that we may -- may be reaching the point where the impact of the coronavirus is beginning to level off. but it also should be an encouragement to every american to keep doing what we are all doing. heed the guidance of your state and local authorities, and for every american continue to put the white house coronavirus guidelines for america into effect, an area of particular
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concern this morning is the city of philadelphia. i spoke today to governor tom wolf, and as we begin to see early trend lines in philadelphia i assured him we were going to continue to flow resources and support to that community, but our message to the people of the philadelphia area is now more than ever a practice of social distancing so that philadelphia and to some extent even pittsburgh do not have to endure what other communities before them have had to endure. also today at the president's direction we hosted a conference call with every republican member of the house of representatives and every democrat member of the house of representatives, and we expressed our appreciation to speaker nancy pelosi and leader kevin mccarthy for convening these forums.
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the other team members of our task force team, he reported members of congress that so far we're working with more than 3,600 lenders across the country. and we've dispersed more than $98 billion in forgivable loans. these are loans that small businesses accept this money and use it to keep people on their payroll over the next two months they'll be completely forgiven. treasury tonight will be issuing a new faq, frequently asked question document that will also make it clear lenlders may use their own closing documents for completing loan applications. and that information is available at and as well. dr. birx and dr. fauci briefed
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congress today on the latest data. they'll reflect on that in a moment. and we also had admiral talk about our control system and the extraordinary flow of supplies to critical areas across the country. we also briefed on the dispersement of resources to local hospitals and gave them an update on what the secretary of state spoke about today. remarkable to think americans brought back home with nearly 500 flights. we thank the members of congress who worked with the state department to identify family members and groups who found themselves stranded overseas and we were grateful for that. in addition to our interaction with members of congress today, we spoke with members of the henry ford hospital, bob ryany. it is the henry ford hospital that is conducti clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine. he expressed great enthusiasm
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for the work he had done. they had an overwhelming response to the initial trial, which is beginning this week with 3,000 people taking hydroxychloroquine or a placebo so they can watch and match it. what the president of the henry ford hospital told me is they could like to expand the test. i put him in touch with steve hawn and the fda and will be adding several more clinical trial paths to look at impacts on particular demographic groups including seniors and minority populations. and more on that in just a moment. in the category of supplies and support, the president as of today has signed 52 major disaster declarations. vermont was the latest approved. and states have stood up some 27,000 national guard that are aiding in coronavirus response. on the critical subject of ventilators, we do have currently more than 8,000 ventilators in our strategic
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national stockpile and distributed more to the navajo nation out of colorado today. but also today we received the good news that the first delivery of newly manufactured ventilators from general electric and hamilton arrived at the strategic national stockpile, and as the president said, we will be adding newly manufactured ventilators to our resources to be available as the coronavirus epidemic reaches critical communities around the country. on the subject of the air bridge, four flights scheduled to arrive today, primarily focused on gloves for our incredible health care workers. one flight alone had nearly 19 million gloves, another 8 million, another 15 million and the like. and the american people i think would be very proud to see this vast array of now well more than
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50 flights that are bringing in supplies from all over the world. and again working through fema, we're directing those resources with the guidance of our scientific experts to the communities most in need. as we announced yesterday, the white house coronavirus task force has requested that the cdc and our team assemble data on the unique impact that we're seeing reported on african-americans from the coronavirus. dr. fauci spoke about it yesterday, and we will reflect on his perspective on that as well. tomorrow with the surgeon general and others on the white house team will be speaking with leaders in the african-american community. and as dr. fauci will reflect, there have been historic challenges in the health care of the african-american
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communities, particularly in our inner cities. and now more than ever, i will just say from my heart to all of our african-american family members, now more than ever, practice the guidelines, look after those most vulnerable, people who have serious underlying health conditions. it's more important than ever we all put those principles into practice. finally today, i'm going to have -- after we hear from dr. fauci and dr. birx, i will ask dr. redfield to stand up because the cdc will be producing new evidence on the health care workers exposed to covid-19 and don't have any symptoms and don't have a temperature and don't have any reason to believe they have the coronavirus. at the present moment the guidance is if you have been in proximity to someone who did test positive to the coronavirus, the guidance of the
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cdc is even with essential critical workers in industries from health care to food supply, that we ask people to stay home for 14 days. the new guidance tonight will hopefully make it clear that there would be an opportunity for those people playing such an incredible role in our nation's response to be able to return to work done so safely. finally, let me just say again how inspired we are at the response of the american people. tonight coronavirus pandemic. each and every day as we see the beginnings of encouraging news, the low and steady numbers in california and washington state and now beginning to see numbers of hospitalizations going down and new cases leveling and in some cases going down. we all hope it is the beginning
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of a trend but we also hope it is an encouragement for every american to keep doing what you're doing, not just for your own health and health of your loved ones, but we want to make sure all of us are doing our part to make sure the fewest number of americans possible are exposed to the coronavirus. given the fact this, i remind you, is three times more contagious than the flu. each of us has a role to play in slowing the spread. that's what the 30 days to slow the spread is all about. it's about protecting your health. it's about making sure that our health care workers are -- and our health care system is not overwhelmed by the coronavirus. and ultimately it is about saving lives. we talk about the numbers, and i'm going to ask dr. birx to come up and reflect on them. but i think all of us know, this
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is one american at a time, it is one heartbreak at a time. having lost loved ones in my life, just like everyone here and everyone looking on, we want to work every day to make that number of losses the lowest possible, and it will take all of us to do it and keep doing exactly what we're doing after today. dr. birx? >> thank you, mr. vice president. i just want to start where the vice president left off. i come out of the services, army. we always talk about honoring the fallen. and i think for every american what we can do now to honor the fallen that have fallen and given really their death to this horrible disease to the health care workers that are on the frontlines trying to save every single one and honor them and honor our elders and individuals we know are at the greatest risk for a bad outcome, we all need
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to continue to do our work. yes, the number of cases has stabilizing or is stabilizing but i do want to go through those numbers with you because we talk about these as micro epidemics in metro areas and in rural areas. so in the new york metro area, which includes obviously northern new jersey, connecticut and rhode island, there's still 11,000 new cases per day and their positivity rate on their testing is still in the 40%-plus range. so there's still a significant amount of disease there and everyone needs to continue to follow the guidelines. new orleans metro area, 800 new cases per day but zero positivity rate on their testing of 28%. detroit metro area, 1,400 cases per day, 26% positivity. chicago, 1,200 cases per day and 18%. boston, 18% positivity, 1,100
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cases per day. denver has fallen to 180 per day but still has 15% zero positivity in their testing. california and washington have stayed stable at about seattle's 350 per day, l.a. metro area 800 cases per day but their test positive rates remaining in the 9% range. so this really gives us some idea of what it takes. they have been continuously mitigating. imagine what we're talking about, are new york going from 40-plus percent, zero positivity and 11,000 cases a day, down to the l.a. metro area of 800 cases per day and 9%. this is what when the president talks about reaching the top and coming down, those are the kinds of things we need to see and the only way we will see them is if every american continues to follow the guidance. now, in the philadelphia metro area, where i come from, it's
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1,400 cases per day. this, of course, includes camden, the counties around the philadelphia metro and wilmington. and in the baltimore and washington, d.c. area, 15% zero positivity and 500 cases per day and 200 cases per day in baltimore. this is how we're looking at it, county by county, metro by metro, rural region by rural region to make sure we don't miss anything and we're triangulating testing data with the attack rates, with the hospitalization, with the number of cases and really creating a mosaic of who needs what when to ensure every american is served well. i had a great call today with a group of pediatricians, the head of the american academy of pediatrics and with the american college of obstetrics and gynecology. behind the scenes and working every day are the pediatricians fielding those phone


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