President Donald Trump gave a press briefing about the new coronavirus pandemic, though he refused to acknowledge it was a Coronavirus Task Force Briefing, at the White House Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Here's a brief rundown of what was discussed:
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- When asked about his statement that there were 15 cases and would soon be down to zero, and now we have more than a million cases, Trump said it will go down to zero.
- He repeated, several times, that “we’re doing more testing than anyone, than all other countries combined.” Again, medical experts say the numbers that matter are per-capita numbers. The U.S. is around ninth in per-capita testing.
- Asked if he was worried about community spread in states that are reopening possibly too soon, Trump said, “A lot of people said it wouldn’t effect anyone outside of China. The experts got it wrong. A lot of people got it wrong.”
- He then talked about his ban on Chinese nationals coming into the U.S., saying it saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Of course, 40,000 plus people have traveled to the U.S. since the “ban,” and the virus was already here before the “ban.”
- Asked about the possibility of another round of stimulus payments directly to taxpayers, he said, “I want payroll tax cuts.” He called it an “incentive for people to come back to work and for companies to hire.”
- He then said he talked with “Steve and Mitch” (Mnuchin and McConnell) and they’re “not looking to recover 25 years of bad management” by the states, probably about aid for individual states, though no one asked.
- He went on to say that, “we will probably want Sanctuary City adjustments” before aid is given.
- He said Sanctuary Cities “are not even popular with the radical left.”
- Trump said he is about to sign an executive order to help the meatpacking industry.
- In regards to testing at airports for incoming travelers, Trump said, “We’re looking into doing it on flights from heavily infected areas,” and mentioned Brazil, which he referred back to his earlier conversation with Florida Governor Ron De Santis.
- Asked about experts who say the U.S. will need five million tests by June in order to “re-open,” Trump said, “We’ll do much more than that,” though there’s no evidence of the ability to increase testing by that much.
- Trump said, “Not everybody feels as strong on testing. Some governors are strong, others not so strong. The real test is when people stop getting sick.”
- Asked about big companies taking money from the Payroll Protection Program, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said they are bringing in additional people to make sure certifications are done accurately for loans over $2 million. Loans done inaccurately will not be forgiven and “there will be liability.”
- Asked if he had spoken to any families who had lost loved ones to COVID-19 and could maybe share stories that touched him, he said he’s spoken to, maybe, three people and that he’s lost a lot of friends. He called it a “bad death,” and said, “Young people do extraordinarily well.” He said he wants the schools to open. He didn’t share any stories.
Note: as of April 8, nearly 900 people under 50 had died from coronavirus. A new paper about to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that young people with coronavirus seem to be dying from strokes.