Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 4/17/20: Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing

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The President: Thank you.

Thank you very much.

I just had a great conversation with the

leading faith leaders of our country.

It went extremely well.

We learned a lot.

I learned a lot.

And we're working on some things that are very

interesting and very positive.

I thank them all for being on the call.

And yesterday, we unveiled detailed guidelines for

America's governors to initiate a phased, safe,

and gradual reopening of America.

That's what's happening.

The guidelines provide governors with the

fact-driven and science-based metrics they

will need to make the decisions that are right

for their own particular state.

To view the guidelines, you can go to the website


So that's

Treasury has sent out economic relief payments

to more than 80 million Americans who have their

direct deposit information on file with the IRS.

And an incredible success it has been.

If you have not received your check, please visit

How about that one?

That way, the IRS can get you your payment in days

-- and they've done a fantastic job, I have to

say -- and you won't have to wait for a check in the mail.

I have some very good news: We sent out 80

million deposits, and less than 1 percent had even

little problems.

A couple had minor glitches, but it's

substantially less than 1 percent.

So out of 80 million deposits, less than 1


And that gets corrected immediately.

So just please do as I say.

You'll get that very quickly, very easily.

Today, I'm also announcing that Secretary Perdue --

who happens to be right next to me; handsome man

-- and the Department of Agriculture will be

implementing a 19-billion-dollar relief

program for our great farmers and ranchers as

they cope with the fallout of the global pandemic.

Very honored to be doing this.

Our farmers, ranchers -- we have -- these are great

people, great Americans.

Never complain.

They never complain.

They just do what they have to do.

The program will include direct payments to farmers

as well as mass purchases of dairy, meat, and

agricultural produce to get that food to the

people in need.

The USDA will receive another $14 billion in

July that will have funding to continue help

our -- helping.

And this will help our farmers and our ranchers,

and it's money well deserved.

So not only were they targeted at one point by

China -- and that was over a period of time, and you

saw that happening.

And they never complained, but that worked out very


Twelve billion dollars they got, and sixteen

billion dollars they got.

And now it's $19 billion.

And I'm just going to ask Secretary Perdue to

explain exactly how we're going to handle it.

Thank you.

SECRETARY PERDUE: Well, Mr. President, you may

remember earlier this year, you tweeted a

message to our farmers and ranchers that, no matter

their circumstances, you pledged to stand behind


And while none of us could ever have anticipated this

type of pandemic that we're currently in, I

think today's announcement is proof that you've put

our -- you have our farmers' backs and that

you will continue to do what it takes to support


And they are very grateful.

We've heard a lot recently -- all of you -- about our

food supply chain.

I think America now knows that, more than ever, the

wholesome food that our families depend upon, it

starts with America's farmers and ranchers.

America agriculture has been hard hit, like most

of America, with the coronavirus, and President

Trump is standing with our farmers and all Americans

to make sure we all get through this national


So today, thanks to your direction and leadership,

Mr. President, USDA is announcing the Coronavirus

Food Assistance Program.

As you mentioned, this new 19-billion-dollar program

will take several immediate actions to

assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response

to the COVID-19 national emergency.

The program is really divided into two parts.

One is a direct payment -- $16 billion in direct

payments to farmers, ranchers, and producers

who have experienced unprecedented losses

during this pandemic.

Since we wanted to get the payments out to producers

as quickly as possible, we decided to use the funds

in the CCC -- the current funds of 6.5 million --

billion dollars, combined with the 19.5 of COVID

money, rather than wait for the replenishment of

the CCC funds in July.

Based on industry estimates of damage,

Mr. President, it is becoming apparent that

we'll need the additional CCC funds as we continue

to track the economic losses.

Secondly -- and this is really important as well

-- the USDA will be purchasing $3 billion in

fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to be

distributed to Americans in need through our food

bank networks, as well as other community and

faith-based organizations.

Having to dump milk or plow under vegetables

ready to market is not only financially

distressing, but it's heartbreaking, as well, to

those who produce them.

This program will not only provide direct financial

relief to our farmers and ranchers, Mr. President,

who will allow for the purchase and distribution

of our agricultural abundance in this country

to help our fellow Americans in need.

So in recent weeks, we've seen -- all of us seen the

heroic patriotism of our food supply-chain workers,

and they've shown, day in and day out, doing the

work to serve the needs of fellow Americans.

Our farmers have been in the fields planting and

doing what they do every spring to feed the

American people, even with a pandemic, as we speak.

I want to thank you, Mr. President, for your

unwavering support.

They want to thank you for your unwavering support

for America's farmers and ranchers.

And I want to commit to you, Mr. President, and to

the American people that USDA will do everything in

our power to implement this program as quickly

and as efficiently as possible to help our

farmers, ranchers, producers, and consumers

during this great time of need.

So thank you very much for having me here today.

And God bless you.

God bless America.

God bless American agriculture.

The President: Thank you very much.

Thank you very much, Sonny.

Fantastic job.

Thank you, Sonny.

So, our great Secretary of Agriculture was the

governor of Georgia for eight years, and the only

reason he isn't still there, frankly, is that he

was term limited.

And I said, "Let's get him for agriculture."

And you've done a fantastic job.

We want to thank you very much.

Eight years at Georgia.

We really appreciate it.

Great job.

Even as we prepare to rebuild our economy,

America continues to wage an all-out medical war to

defeat the invisible enemy.

To date, we have conducted more than 3.78 million

coronavirus tests -- by far, the most of any

country; it's not even close.

In the hardest-hit areas, such as New York and

Louisiana, we've also tested more people per

capita than South Korea, Singapore, and every other


The United States has the most robust, advanced, and

accurate testing system anywhere in the world.

As of yesterday, we have distributed nearly 660,000

Abbott IDs.

Now, that's a -- an incredible test.

It's called the ID NOW point-of-care diagnostic


And it's fantastic.

It's a hot -- it's the hot one.

The problem with this business is it's the hot

one until about two days from now, because we do

have a saliva test that just came out, and that

can be self-administered, and it's said to be


I want to thank Abbott Laboratories.

They have been incredible.

I want to thank Roche.

They've likewise been incredible.

Over the last several days, we've seen a

dramatic increase in the number of tests conducted

by hospitals and academic institutions, which have

now performed nearly 600,000 tests.

There is a tremendous amount of unused capacity

in the states available for governors to tap.

We have tremendous unused capability within those

laboratories, and I hope the governors are going to

be able to use them.

The governors are responsible for testing,

and I hope they're going to be able to use this

tremendous amount of available capacity that we


It's up to 1 million additional tests per week

-- when you think of that.

In the next few weeks, we'll be sending out 5.5

million testing swabs to the states.

Swabs can be done easily by the governors


Mostly, it's cotton.

It's not a big deal.

You can get cotton easily.

But if they can't get it, we will take care of it.

Yesterday, the FDA announced a new

collaboration with United Health Group, the Gates

Foundation, Quantigen, and U.S.

Cotton to greatly expand the supply of essential

swabs, including a new polyester Q-tip-type swab

for the coronavirus testing.

All of these actions will help our testing

capability continue to grow dramatically.

So we're helping people, even with swabs.

We get ventilators.

We're now the king of ventilators.

We have hundreds of thousands under


We don't need them ourselves.

The governors are in great shape.

If we do, we have a great stockpile that we'll

immediately send to the state in need.

But we've handled that situation incredibly well.

I hope people understand it.

I wish the media would get the word out.

What we've done in ventilators is amazing,

because they're big, expensive, and highly


We're speaking to other countries.

I spoke to the President of Mexico today -- a great

gentleman -- and I told him that we are going to

be helping him out with ventilators, helping

Mexico out.

And we'll be helping some other countries too.

We have a lot of very high-level, high-quality


And they're here, and they're also being

manufactured as we speak.

Following the announcement of our reopening

guidelines, there have been some very partisan

voices in the media and in politics who have spread

false and misleading information about our

testing capacity -- it's totally false and

misleading -- demonstrating a complete

failure to understand the enormous scope of the

testing capabilities that we've brought online.

And we started, really, from ground zero.

We started from really being very, very outdated

and obsolete as a country, from the past.

And I will say this: If they didn't understand it,

it's just really -- unfortunately, I hate to

say this because we've been getting along very

well, but it would be false reporting, because

they understand the capability.

And it's going to be up to the states to use that


The states have local points where they can go

-- a governor can call the mayors, and the mayors can

call representatives, and everybody -- everything is


And that's the way it should work and always

should work.

We'll help New York and all of the other states

get even better on their testing.

We have to get even better.

And some people think a little bit differently.

There are areas where you have vast amounts of area

where you have very few people and almost no

people are infected.

And those places will be looked upon differently by

different governors.

And I think you're going to have a lot of news

coming out about that over the next few days.

I think certain states are going to come online, and

they're going to start the early stages of the puzzle

that we're putting together.

And it's going to be together sooner rather

than later.

A lot of really incredible things are happening.

And at some point in the not-too-distant future,

we're going to have our country back.

And it's going to be, I think, really -- with what

we're doing on stimulus, and helping people keep

their businesses together and their lives together

and their jobs, it's going to be better than ever


I hope so.

I really do.

The current conversation is reminiscent of what

happened on ventilators -- you remember that -- when

requests were made far beyond what was

objectively needed.

We were hearing from a certain state and we were

hearing from a lot that they needed far more


In one case, they wanted 40,000 ventilators --


It turned out that they had plenty and they had a

number of about 7- or 8,000, and that was


We supplied them with a lot.

But that was the right number; we got it just

about right.

And if they did need more, we're ready to give more,

but I think the surge seems to be over.

And there are a lot of governors just doing a

great job.

And they're working with us, but we're all working


The research and development that we've

done at the federal level has been absolutely


The media will be accepting of these figures

when they get to see the end result.

I think they're going to see it and I think they're

already seeing it.

That includes not only ventilators, but beds.

We've built, in most cases, far more than they

even needed, but we wanted to err on the side of


This is what the governors wanted.

They wanted a certain amount in Louisiana.

I spoke with the governor; I had a long talk with


And I said, "Do you think you'll need that final


And they actually didn't need it.

We built a lot of -- a lot of beds.

So, I appreciate it, from the governor.

And we saved -- building a hospital in New York, we

did a -- I think, just a spectacular job at the

Javits Center.

And even sending the ship up became -- we brought it

into COVID, but they didn't -- they didn't

really need it.

It didn't get much use, but it was there and


It wasn't supposed to be used for that purpose; we

changed it into that purpose.

And it was there -- ready, willing, and able.

Same with Javits, but they didn't quite need the

rooms that we -- the beds that we -- we produced.

So we produced almost 2,900 beds, and I think

I'd rather tell you that we were over-prepared that

we were -- than we were underprepared.

And that was a good-faith effort by New York, I have

to say that.

A very good faith effort.

But it's nice that we didn't need that, instead

of needing it.

It was not very occupied, but it was ready to go.

It's still there should something happen, but I

think they have it under very good control.

As you'll hear from our experts today, we've

already built sufficient testing capacity

nationwide for states to begin their reopenings.

And I think you'll be hearing a lot about

reopenings in the coming weeks and months.

Most excitingly, in the coming weeks, I think

you're going to see some very, very dramatic steps

taken and very safely.

We're putting safety first.

We may be opening, but we're putting safety


And when you look at the numbers, when you look at

the possible number of death -- deaths at 2.2

million people -- and it could have very well been


It could have been more.

Frankly, I've been looking at numbers where it could

have been higher than that -- 2.2 million people


If you figure we lost 500,000, maybe 600,000 in

the Civil War.

2.2 million people.

A minimum, if we did nothing, would have been

1.6 [million].

If you cut that in half, you're talking about

800,000, 900,000, a million people dying.

But we did a lot of work, and the people of this

country were incredible, I have to say.

And I think we're heading to the other category, and

that would be if we did work and if it was

successful, they had between 100,000 and

220,000 to 240,000 on the upside.

And I think we'll be substantially, hopefully,

below the hundred number.

And I think, right now, we're heading at probably

around 60-, maybe 65,000.

And one is too many.

I always say it: One is too many.

This is a horrible thing that happened to our


This is a horrible thing that happened to 184

countries all over the world.

This is a horrible thing, and there was no reason

for it.

It should never, ever happen again.

In a few minutes, you'll be hearing from

Dr. Redfield, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and Admiral

Giroir to explain these facts in -- in really

great detail.

Earlier this week, the FDA authorized two new

antibody tests -- which is very exciting -- that will

determine if someone has been previously infected

with the virus, bringing the total to four

authorized antibody tests already.

This will help us assess the number of cases that

have been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and

support our efforts to get Americans back to work by

showing us who might have developed the wonderful,

beautiful immunity.

Ultimate victory in this war will be made possible

by America's scientific brilliance.

There is nothing like us.

There is nobody like us.

Not even close.

I wish I could tell you stories -- what other

countries, even powerful countries, say to me --

the leaders.

They say it quietly and they say it off the

record, but they have great respect for what we

can do.

And our country is at a point -- a few weeks ago,

think of it -- four or five weeks ago, we were at

a level that nobody had ever attained: the best

job numbers we've ever had, the best economy

we've ever had.

Every company virtually was doing better business

than ever before.

The stock market was at all-time highs.

And then one day, they said, "You got to close it


And we did the right thing.

We saved maybe millions of lives by doing it the way

we did it.

But we're paying a price, but that price is very

unimportant compared to the number of lives we're

talking about.

The NIH and others are conducting clinical trials

of 35 different therapies and treatments --

therapies being so exciting to me, because

that's really like -- if something happens, you're

going to get better reasonably quickly and

without such a horrible deal, as some people have

to go through.

To that end, today NIH announced that it is

launching a public-private partnership with more than

a dozen biopharmaceutical companies.

They're -- HHS, FDA, CDC, and the European Medicines

Agency, they're all working together.

We're working together with a lot of other


The partnership will marshal and coordinate the

vast resources, knowledge, assets, and authorities of

more than a dozen organizations and agencies

to accelerate development of the most promising

therapies and vaccines.

The vaccines are coming along really, really well.

Johnson & Johnson is very well advanced.

One thing is they have to -- we're having great,

great success, but we have to test them and it takes

a long period of time.

It takes probably over a year, unfortunately.

But therapies likewise are coming along very, very


Therapies are immediate.

When we get that, that'll be a big day.

We're also equipping our medical warriors on the


In total, we have the Project Air Bridge -- and

the air bridge has been incredible; the National

Strategic Stockpile; and every other channel the

federal government has deployed.

If you think about this: 44.5 million N95 masks,

nearly 524 million gloves, 63.5 million surgical

masks, and more than 10 million gowns.

And we have 500 million masks coming in very soon,

between manufacturing and orders -- 500 million


The last few months have been among the most

challenging times in the history of our nation.

This invisible enemy is tough and it's smart and

it's vicious.

But every day, we're getting closer to the

future that we all have been waiting for.

I talk about the light at the end of the tunnel; we

are getting very, very close to seeing that light

shine very brightly at the end of that tunnel.

And it's happening, and I want to thank everybody in

the room.

I want to thank -- I actually want to thank

some of the media.

We've had some fair coverage -- some really

fair coverage -- and I appreciate it.

What I'm going to do is I'm going to introduce our

great Vice President, Mike Pence, and he's going to

take over for a little while.

I'm going to leave and I'm coming right back, and

we'll take some questions.

They're going to go over our tremendous testing


And again, I'll be right back.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

The Vice President: Thank you, Mr. President, and

good afternoon all.

Today, as the President just reflected, it remains

a challenging time in the life of our nation.

But because of the extraordinary efforts of

the American people, because of the strong

partnership the federal government has forged with

states across the country, we're making progress,


Despite the -- the tragic loss of more than 36,000

Americans, according to our best data reporting

this morning, we continue to see new cases low and

steady on the West Coast.

And we continue to see cases and hospitalizations

declining in the Greater New York City area, in New

Orleans, and Detroit, and elsewhere.

This is a tribute, first and foremost, to our --

our healthcare doctors, nurses -- all of those

working on the frontlines.

But it's also a great tribute to the American

people, who have put into practice the social

distancing, the guidelines, the guidance

of state and local officials.

And we -- we hope that every American is

encouraged by the steady progress that we are


We're continuing to bring, at the President's

direction, the full resources of the federal

government to bear.

Today, the President approved a major disaster

declaration for American Samoa, and now all 50

states and all territories are under major disaster

declarations for the first time in American history.

At this present moment, 33,000 National Guardsmen

are on duty; 5,500 active duty military personnel

have been deployed to 9 states, including 716

medical professionals, doctors, and nurses who

deployed out to 14 different hospitals today.

Among those were 10 hospitals in New York


And military personnel were also serving today in

hospitals in Connecticut, Texas, Louisiana, and New


Yesterday, as the President reflected, we

unveiled the President's Guidelines for Opening up

America Again.

There were two parts at the beginning of those


First, the criteria that we hope will guide

governors in their decisions about reopening

their states on either a statewide level or a

county level.

And then also, we outlined what we believe would be

the most important state responsibilities to have

in place before moving into a reopening plan.

For phase one, the President's guidelines,

you'll recall it advised that states that have a

downward trajectory in cases over a 14-day period

of time and ensure that they have proper capacity

in their healthcare facilities could move to

phase one with the easing of some of the social

distancing and the criteria that have been in


But for states that meet the criteria, we outlined

specific responsibilities protecting workers in

critical industries, particularly protecting

the most vulnerable, those who live and work in

senior care facilities.

And we also encouraged states to have a plan for

testing symptomatic individuals and ensuring

testing to our most vulnerable populations.

As the President has made clear, governors will

decide the time and manner that their states reopen,

and we will look to support them in that


But as we assured the American people yesterday,

at the President's direction, our

administration will continue to work with

governors across the country to ensure that

they have the equipment and the supplies and the

testing resources to reopen safely and


On the subject of supplies, today we issued

a letter to our nation's governors summarizing all

the medical equipment and supplies that have been

distributed to their state from FEMA between the

first of this month and April 14, through Project

Airbridge and through the commercial supply network.

We'll be speaking with our nation's governors on

Monday and detailing that information at that time.

As of April 16th, as the President reflected

briefly, FEMA has coordinated the delivery

of millions of pieces of medical equipment,

including 44 million N95 respirators, 63 million

surgical masks, more than 10,000 ventilators, and of

course, deployed more than 8,600 federal medical

station beds.

On the subject of testing resources, we're going to

take some time to speak about our administration's

approach and partnership with states to continue to

expand testing across the country at this briefing.

But from the very outset of this epidemic,

President Trump made efforts to essentially

reinvent testing in America.

The traditional testing in this country that takes

place at CDC or at state labs was designed for

basically the kind of diagnostic testing that is

routinely required.

But the President, early on in this effort, brought

together the leading commercial labs in

America, and we forged a public and private


And six weeks ago, we had performed some 25,000

tests, and at this day, we have performed 3.7 million


We believe that labs and hospitals are now

performing more than 120,000 tests a day.

And we've actually stood up a team from Walter

Reed, under the direction of Dr. Deborah Birx, that

is working around the clock to identify

additional testing capacity across the


We believe that states could actually more than

double the amount of daily testing that is happening

today by simply activating all of the labs.

And Dr. Birx will detail some of those resources

today, and we'll be going over those very

specifically with governors on Monday.

We've also been promoting the development of new and

innovative tests.

We all know about the 15-minute Abbott test, but

the FDA is currently working on an antibody

test that literally could add 20 million new tests

to our supply, even before the end of April.

I want to assure the American people that we're

going to continue to work with your governors and

with your state health officials to scale testing

in the days ahead.

But as you'll hear from all of our experts

tonight, our best scientists and health

experts assess that states today have enough tests to

implement the criteria of phase one, if they choose

to do so.

Let me say that again: Given the -- given the

guidance in the President's new Guidelines

for Opening Up America Again, states that meet

the criteria for going into phase one, and then

are preparing the testing that is contemplated by

going to phase one, our best scientists and health

experts assess that, today, we have a

sufficient amount of testing to meet the

requirements of a phase one reopening, if state

governors should choose to do that.

And you'll hear more detail on that in just a


At the President's direction, we're going to

be presenting an outline of our approach to testing

in partnership with states, during this


Our approach will continue to be locally executed,

state managed, and federally supported.

Dr. Fauci will give us a brief introduction to the

overall approach to testing that is

contemplated to deal with the coronavirus.

Dr. Redfield and the CDC will describe our plan to

mobilize CDC officials in all 50 states to

specifically monitor coronavirus -- coronavirus

incidents that occur in every state in the union.

Of course, Dr. Deborah Birx will describe not

only our tests, but also the current capability and

the capability that we could expand to very


And Admiral Giroir of the U.S.

Public Health Service will summarize our approach.

But I want to assure the American people that, at

the President's direction, we are going to continue

to work every single day to make sure that our

states and communities have the testing they need

to reopen at the time and manner of their choosing.

And we're going to work every day to make sure our

states have the resources and the supplies to reopen

their states and reopen America in a safe and

responsible way.

With that, Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Fauci: Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.

So, as the Vice President said, I'm going to give

you a brief introduction to, kind of, answer the

question that we've been asked a lot.

In fact, we had a very productive teleconference

with the Senate Democratic Caucus just a few hours

ago, and they asked a number of questions which

were really reasonable questions -- questions

that are on the mind of a lot of different people.

And one of them was the question that was just

posed a moment ago, is: Are there enough tests to

allow us to be able to go through this first phase

in a way that is protective of the health

and the safety of the American people?

So I just want to spend a couple of minutes

clarifying a few things and maybe providing some

information on a broad 40,000 foot, which you'll

hear some of the more granular details from my

colleagues who will be following me.

I think they -- they asked me to give the "40,000

foot" one because I'm not a testing person; I didn't

run a testing lab, but I'm part of a team that is

looking at this of how we can best make sure that

this happens in the right way.

So, first of all, let me say something that we've

said before, and I apologize if I'm repeating

things that you already know, but I think in some

respects it's important to do that so that people

have clarity in what we're talking about.

There are two general types of tests, even

though within each general type there are different


One of them is to actually test for the infection: is

a person infected.

The other -- and I'll get back to that in a second.

The other is to test, as we just mentioned, if

someone has been infected -- usually someone who's

been infected, who has recovered.

And as I'll get to in a moment, that you could

assume -- although, we need to do some more work

on that -- that that person is actually

protected against subsequent exposure and

infection with an identical organism.

So what are some of the pluses and minuses of


Because the pluses and minuses are really going

to impact how we best use the test and how the test

actually should be used.

So let's take the test for whether or not you're


The test of whether or not you're infected is a test

that, right now, is called a nucleic acid test.

It's not an easy test to do.

There are some that are more rapid.

There are some that have a high throughput.

There are different groups within that.

The good news about that is that it's a sensitive

and specific test, so that if you're infected, you

know you're infected, so that -- as I'll get to in

a moment -- if you need to do something with that --

get that person, put them in care, take care of

them, get them out of circulation -- that's


The point about that that I think is often

misunderstood is that if you get a test today --

like I did today; it's negative -- if you get a

test today, that does not mean that tomorrow or the

next day or the next day or the next day, as you

get exposed, perhaps from someone who may not even

know they're infected, that that means that I'm


Which means, if you take that to its extreme, in

order to be really sure, you would almost have to

test somebody either every day or every other day or

every week or what it is to be absolutely certain.

That's an issue.

Now, the problem that I talk about when I try and

compare this to other situations, with what

testing means to you -- I, as I think most people

know, have been involved in HIV/AIDS for 38 years,

39 years -- from the very first week of HIV.

So that's what I do.

If you get a test for HIV and you are negative, and

you do not practice any risk behaviors, you can be

guaranteed that next month, six months, one

year from now, you will be negative if you don't have

a risk behavior.

So there's a big difference there about

what testing actually means.

So the point I think you're getting is that,

although there is clearly a place for needing to

test somebody for a given reason, a test means

you're negative now.

Now, the other test is an antibody test -- a test

that tells you, in fact, that you've been infected.

That's really good.

You're going to hear about that -- a bit about that

from my colleagues in a moment.

Because that will give you a broad view of two

things: one, what the penetrance of the

infection had been; and number two, you can make

an assumption -- though we still need to prove that.

I mean, we are assuming that if you're infected

and you have antibody, you're protected.

And I think that's a reasonable assumption,

based on our experience with other viruses.

But what we want to make sure that we know, and

these are some of the challenges: What is the

titer that is protective?

How long is the protection?

Is it one month?

Is it three months?

Is it six months?

It's a year?

So we need to be humble and modest that we don't

know everything about it, but it really is an

important test.

The other thing is the difference between testing

and monitoring out there -- what's out there.

The difference between what we really need it

for, for phase one, is to be able to identify,

isolate, contact trace.

A very important part of when you're putting --

pulling back gradually and slowly on the mitigation,

and you have people who might be infected -- you

want to know they're infected; you want to put

them in care.

That is something that we absolutely need to do.

But there are other ways we -- I want to make sure

people understand that -- not to underestimate the

importance of testing.

Testing is a part, an important part, of a

multifaceted way that we are going to control and

ultimately end this outbreak.

So please don't anyone interpret it that I'm

downplaying testing, but the emphasis that we've

been hearing is essentially, "testing is

everything," and it isn't.

It's the kinds of things that we've been doing --

the mitigation strategies -- that are an important

part of that.

Now, just a couple of things before I hand it

over to my colleagues.

No doubt -- no doubt that, early on, we had a


I had publicly said that we had a problem early on.

There was a problem that had to be corrected, and

it was corrected.

It was a problem that was a technical problem from

within that was corrected.

And it was an issue of embracing -- the way we

have now, and should have -- the private sector, who

clearly has the capability of making and providing

tests at the level that we will need them for any of

the things that I've just spoken about.

So, having said that, right now, I totally

understand -- and I am not alone; my colleagues

understand -- that although we say there are

X number of tests out there -- and you're going

to hear from Admiral Giroir about that -- the

fact is there have been and still are situations

that are correctable, and will be corrected, and

some of which have been corrected.

I know -- I get on the phone a lot with my

colleagues, because, believe it or not, some

long time ago, I was where they are in the hospitals,

in the emergency room, looking at very sick

individuals that you need to take care of.

And I know what it means when someone tells you,

"Hey, you have what you need," and you look around

and you say, "Well, maybe you think I have what I

need, but I don't really have what I need."

So we have to figure out: How do we close that gap?

And there are a lot of things that I think we've

learned, and that we are correcting and going to


Namely, you have a situation where tests are

needed and appropriate.

And either people have found there's no tests or

there's no reagents or there's no swabs -- or a

person needed a test and were told that there was a

restriction; they couldn't get a test.

These are all the things that I'm telling -- you

already know because you've heard them.

So right now -- or there's a delay of five to seven


And what does that mean if you want to do -- if you

want to get somebody out of circulation?

We understand that that existed, but upon careful

examination, what you are going to hear: that many

of those have been already corrected and other of

those will be corrected.

Because what I think people don't appreciate,

through no fault of their own, is that there's --

that there are two issues: There's supply and demand.

And if you have a supply that can meet the demand,

but the supply is not connected to the demand,

then supply/demand falls apart.

What do I mean by that?

I mean there is an existing capacity that we

have that, for one reason or other, maybe has not

been fully communicated as to the availability of

that existing capacity.

And you're going to hear about that now.

There's production capacity that gets better

and better and better.

And that's what we're talking about, because for

what we need now, we believe that, with better

communications, we'll be able to make that happen.

So I know there's going to be a lot of questions

about that.

I didn't want to go on too long, but let me just

finish by saying, given what I've just said and

what I believe what you're going to hear, that, for

what we need in the first phase -- if these things

are done correctly, what I believe they can -- we

will have and there will be enough tests to allow

us to take this country safely through phase one.

Thank you.

The Vice President: Thank you, Tony.

Dr. Redfield.

DR. REDFIELD: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

I want to make a few comments here.

First, I want to talk a little bit about CDC has

developed multiple systems to monitor disease


I think many of you are familiar, for example, how

we monitor for foodborne illness or how we monitor

for antibiotic resistance in hospitals.

But we've also developed a system to monitor for

upper respiratory tract disease.

If I can get the first slide there.

This is an example -- because when we talk about

what we know about this current pandemic, the

reality is we know a lot because we've developed

these monitoring systems.

Up on the slide is a system that we've

developed initially for flu.

And what it does, as you can see, there's multiple

different flu seasons, and they track them over the

course of a year.

I want you to look at the red line.

And that happens to be this year's respiratory


And you see there's a peak there up over the 50-52


And that peak was when we actually had a peak of

Influenza B.

This year was a little different because after

that viral syndrome came down -- and you can see it

-- that actually we had another peak.

And that's when Influenza A was active through our


And you can see Influenza A started to drop.

But then you saw a third peak.

That peak was -- here, we're were looking at the


So we have systems, all the way down to the county

level, that we can see where there's respiratory

tract illness.

And so it's not just -- just taking a test.

It's monitoring these systems that have been

developed over the last -- over decades.

And we have multiple ones.

We have another one -- this -- that is monitored

in emergency rooms, looking at syndrome


And they show the same thing.

So we're well equipped to monitor -- to see when

respiratory tract viral disease will come.

And it becomes a very good surrogate for when you can

begin to understand that we need to start looking

more at ideologically about what's going on.

You can see now, in week 15, we're really coming

down to the baseline background, in terms of

our flu surveillance system, from the overall

coronavirus situation right now.

The second thing I wanted to say is that CDC

continues to enhance the state's public health

capacity to accelerate their ability -- as Tony

talked about, and it's critical as we open

America again -- to diagnose individuals that

present with influenza-like illness or

coronavirus-like illness, to diagnose them, to be

able to isolate them, and to be able to contact

trace around them, and then diagnose the


And those that are coronavirus-positive, to

go back and do their contacts.

This is the traditional public health approach,

which was started in this outbreak in January, in

February, and was quite successful.

And as I mentioned before, through February 27th,

this country only had 14 cases.

We did that isolation and that contact tracing, and

it was very successful.

But then, when the virus more exploded -- got

beyond the public health capacity.

But right now, CDC is enhancing that public

health capacity.

And if I can get the second slide, I want to

show you that -- this is just showing, as we sit

here today, that CDC has embedded, in these health

departments and all of these state -- states

across this country, more than 500 individuals.

We also have an additional almost 100 individuals

that are working on more than 20 coronavirus

outbreaks that are going through all these states.

And finally, at the direction of the

President, we've been asked to further enhance

this deployment in each of the states, as the Vice

President said, so that there's additional public

health personnel to help accelerate the state's

ability to basically move forward aggressively.

And we assist them so they can operationalize the

President's Guidelines To Open Up America Again.

So I just wanted to make those points for you


The Vice President: Great job.

Thank you.

Dr. Birx.

Dr. Birx: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, and

thank you, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield, for all of

that clarity.

If we can have the next slide, I'm going to go

back to what Dr. Fauci was talking about just to

emphasize those points about the two types of

tests and I'm going to talk about a third one.

So first, we all know about sampling in the

front of your nose.

To all of the labs out there and to the

providers, you don't have to use the nasal

pharyngeal swab anymore; you can do front-of-nose


And again, as Dr. Fauci talked about, is that is

sampling for the virus itself that replicates in

your nose and, as we know, throughout some of the

respiratory tissues.

The second test is, of course, then your immune

response to that infection that's in your nose.

And so, that's the antibody test.

And so those are the two tests we want to talk


But I want to come back to something that both

Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield said and we covered

yesterday: Testing is a part of the exquisite

monitoring that needs to occur in partnership with

CDC and state and local governments, utilizing the

surveillance systems that are available -- what we

just talked about: the flu surveillance system,

because we no longer have flu, and the syndromic

respiratory system.

That is across the United States, and you can see

it's going back to baseline so that we'll be

able to see, at the community level, any

deviation from that baseline.

In addition, what we talked about yesterday was

adding that asymptomatic component.

Because I think you'll see, as more and more

articles come out for surveillance that other --

and monitoring that other states have done, higher

and higher antibody in multiple individuals who

don't remember having a sickness.

And that will give us an idea -- that's our

asymptomatic monitoring in these sentinel monitoring


And what we talked about yesterday -- we talked

about nursing homes, we talked about indigenous

people, and we talked about vulnerable people in

the inner city, really ensuring that something

that is so small, that can't even be seen on the

surveillance monitoring, will be able to be seen in

the asymptomatic.

And so those are the two tests that we have: one

available now, two that have been approved -- or

three, by the FDA.

I want to just leave you with my last concept on

the antibody tests.

Antibody tests have different specificity and


The FDA, we've made that -- the FDA has been very

cautious about the antibody tests because I

see -- I know you see reports every day of

countries that have ordered the antibody test

and found that they were 50, 60, 70 percent faulty.

So we're taking that very seriously because you

never want to tell someone that they have an antibody

and potential immunity when they don't.

And so those tests perform better when there's a high

prevalence or a high incidence of disease.

So we want to work with mayors around the United

States, as those antibody tests become available, to

really see what it is in first responders and

healthcare workers in the highest prevalence states,

so that we can know about the quality and the

real-life, real-field experience of those


Because things can look very good in the lab, and

then when you take them into the field, sometimes

they're not as good.

I've learned this lesson repeatedly in working

around the globe.

The next slide.

So this is what we have asked commercial and

diagnostic companies to be working on, because when

you talk about multi-millions' worth of

tests, the way we do this in the United States today

for strep, for influenza, and for malaria, is we

test for the antigen.

Now, we don't know, right now, if you shed antigen

in the front of your nose.

And so that is the question that scientists

and companies are working on right now.

Because that becomes a simpler test.

Now, the flu test -- I think many of you will

look it up tonight -- you will see that outside of

the flu season, because of the specificity of the

test, it doesn't work so well.

So these are tests we're working on today that

would be like a screening test, because if you're

positive on it, it's a good test, but it may miss

that you actually have the flu.

So then you would move into the -- what we call

the "nucleic acid test."

So we're trying to build an algorithm of tests that

bring the full talent of the science of the United

States into the reality of the clinic.

And so, bench to clinic.

And so this is what we're working on for the future.

Next slide.

So as I promised both the senators and the

governors, this is the United States' current

platform capacity, designated as high and low


And what do I mean by that?

There's -- we've talked about the high-throughput

platforms of Roche and Abbott and others.

And then we've talked about the gene expert and

other machines that may be moderate to lower


I want you to see how it's distributed through the

United States.

So these are the current testing platforms

available today throughout the United States for


And as you heard from Dr. Fauci, everything has

to be working, from the swab, to the transport

media, to the laboratory, to really get those tests

run and the results back to the client.

The next slide.

So then we've looked at all of the testing

capacity from those platforms, and this gives

you an idea of what that capacity is.

The darkest red -- you can see, like, in Texas and

New York, those are -- those are states that have

lots of different platforms, as you saw on

the prior slide, and the ability, if you just add

up the platforms and the potential for test, of

over a million tests per month.

And so this is what we're working with each of those

states on unlocking that full potential.

And how are we doing that?

Well, we're call- -- we're calling on the American

Society of Microbiologists.

They have -- they work closely with 300 lab

directors around this -- around the country; we

talked with them this morning.

And the Walter Reed team who developed the entire

HIV testing program for the military 35 years ago.

I've called them back into service and they're

calling lab by lab to find out what are the technical

difficulties to bring up all the platforms that

exist in your lab.

Is it swabs?

Is it transport media?

Is it extraction?

And I just really want to thank them.

They've already worked through over 70-plus of

those laboratories to really understand.

And the American Society of Microbiologists and the

academic societies of the laboratories are working

together to ensure that all of this potential can

be unlocked.

Next slide, please.

We talked a little bit yesterday about New

Orleans, and we -- and the President talked about how

many tests New Orleans has done during its outbreak,

which you can see now is waning.

They've done, throughout the last month, 27 tests

per 1,000 New Orleans and Louisianians.

So 27 per thousand.

So that is a good mark, and that's what -- Italy

has done about 20 per thousand.

So in evaluating an outbreak -- and really to

get control of this outbreak -- they did about

27 tests per thousand.

So using that as a measure -- next slide -- we then

looked across all the states of the United

States of America, and looked for states that had

30 or more -- ability to do 30 or more tests per

thousand of their inhabitants in each state.

And you can see that, across the country, except

for Oregon and Maine and -- Dr. Fauci: Montana.

The Vice President: Montana.

Dr. Birx: (Laughs.) Montana.

I worked overseas way too long.

Thank you all.

So those are the three states that we're working

on building capacity in.

So this is just to give you a perspective of how

seriously we're taking the testing issue.

As we've described, we've measured every single

platform and every single state.

We know exactly where they are, by geography, by

address, by zip code, what their capacity is, what

their cumulative capacity is, what their roadblocks

are on non-ability to run all their full capacity.

And we're addressing those because each one of those

is different and you have to address each of them

one by one with the governors, with the state

and local labs, and with all of the hospitals.

I have not come across one laboratory or one

laboratory director or one society that doesn't want

to contribute to solving this issue of testing and

ensuring that this testing is available for everyone.

There is a strong -- just as all the Americans have

social distanced, and behind everyone -- we

don't often talk about the laboratories; we'll talk

about the nurses and doctors on the front line

-- behind all of them are the laboratory technicians

and laboratory directors who are coming in every

day and putting things together to ensure that

every single person that needs to be diagnosed is


And hopefully you can see from these labs -- I mean

these slides that, really, there is capacity out


It is our job, working with the states and having

the state in the leadership role, and the

laboratory directors in the leadership role to

provide support to ensure that all the potential for

testing in the United States is brought to bear.

I just want to end with -- these are nucleic acid


There will never be the ability on a nucleic acid

test to do 300 million tests a day or to test

everybody before they go to work or to school, but

there might be with the antigen test.

And so that's why there's a role for nucleic acid

test, there's a role for antibody tests, and

there's a role for the future development of

these other key tests to bring the full ability to

the United States.

And so, when we finish this, we'll be talking to

all Americans because there's other tests that

other Americans should have.

And I think this has really brought to light

the importance of diagnosis.

And we'll talk to you further about hepatitis C

and TB and other things that we can do to assure

every American is healthy because I think this has

really raised the awareness among all

Americans about how you do test for different kinds

and different parts of your disease state and

what is long-lasting immunity, and what may be

long-lasting immunity, and what is a nucleic acid

test and what an antigen test is.

And with that, Admiral Giroir.

The Vice President: Great.

And let me amplify one point, as the Admiral

steps forward, to conclude remarks about our approach

and the efforts we put underway.

Governors across the country have been working

very closely with us to roll out the level of

testing that we have today.

And all the information we presented to you is going

to be reviewed in the days ahead and with all of our


Our objective is to connect every one of

America's governors and state health officials and

to all of the labs that are currently able to do


And -- but Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci have both

described, we believe today that we have the

capacity in the United States to do a sufficient

amount of testing for states to move into phase

one at the time and manner that they deem to be


And with that, I'll allow Admiral Giroir to complete

our briefing on testing.

And we expect the President to return.

ADMIRAL GIROIR: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, and

thank you to all my really great colleagues.

Can I have the -- my next slide?

So I wanted to start by where we are today and

just to visit where we've come in such a short

period of time.

As everyone on the stage has said before, our

testing right now is well over 3.78 million tests

that have been completed.

And if you are impressed by bar graphs, that's over

1.2 million tests reported just in the last week.

Ambassador Birx talked to me a little earlier, and

she said, "You know, we only do about 2 million

molecular tests a year for HIV" -- something that's

been done for -- developed for 35 years.

We're now doing twice that number of tests in a month

for a disease that has never been known before,

that there's never been a test developed before.

And that's sort of where we are and where we've

ramped up.

I also want to give you a little idea -- the lighter

blue or lighter gray is our ID NOW tests.

So we talk about them a lot because they are a

point-of-care test that can be between 5 and 15


And they have a very specific role, but they're

not for everybody.

If you've got to screen a few thousand people, four

tests an hour doesn't get you there on a machine;

you have to use some of the larger,

higher-throughput items.

But they have a very important role.

And, again, coming into the market at 50,000 per

day is really an important adjunct to us.

She talked about the GeneXpert from Cepheid.

Very important.

We don't talk about that very much, but it is one

of the backbone mobile point-of-care -- not as

easy to do, per se, as the Abbott -- but it is a

point-of-care test that really carries

tuberculosis screening all through Africa.

There are these machines -- you saw that on her

slide -- every one of the 50 states has this in over

600 sites, and they've done over 700,000 tests

just on that relatively low throughput, but very

important platform.

Next slide, please.

I wanted to give you an idea of, sort of, how the

tests are distributed and how they're changing over


On the left are the state public health


And although their numbers are relatively small --

about 350,000 -- the state public health laboratories

are absolutely critical.

They're -- they're an absolutely critical core

component of our testing.

Not only were they there early and first, but they

also do things like support outbreak

investigations in nursing homes or investigations in

certain plants that have close proximity with

everyone because of their work environments.

They also do testing on many people who do not

have the opportunity to be tested elsewhere.

And they are performing outstandingly well.

ACLA -- I know we hate acronyms, but the American

Clinical Laboratory Association -- this is

America's commercial industrial backbone that

we're standing behind the President and the Vice


And when I was there a few weeks ago in the Rose

Garden -- this is the LabCorp, the Quest, the

BioReference Laboratory, Mayo, Sonic, and ARUP.

And you'll see they've done almost 2.3 million


This is the very large, high-throughput machines

that Dr. Birx talks about.

And I want to be clear about -- about this group,

is that it doesn't matter where you are.

I just took one of the largest labs, and I said,

"Map out for me where you are, within 10 miles of

where you are, every site in the country."

And when you do that, within 10 miles of a site

of one of these, 93 percent of the U.S.

population is covered.

These are truly national reference labs that cover

almost everybody within the United States.

So if you cannot get a test at your hospital, the

chances are overwhelming that you could send this

to these labs that are fully caught up now.

They have no backlog of tests.

They've ramped up their production, so their

turnaround time is about 48 hours -- because you

may need to transport it from the middle of

America, out to a lab, and result that.

But that's really very, very, very good.

The American Hospital Association and also

academic labs -- as the Vice President and the

President have said, as more and more labs come

online, they're increasing the amount of testing that

are done just at the hospitals or at academic

medical centers -- now almost at 600,000 tests.

And again, matching the other slide, I had the

Abbott point-of-care tests -- just to give you a

distribution -- and that point-of-care test is

being used, very importantly, in very

select populations where a point-of-care test is

really needed.

That could be in some hospitals, where someone

needs to know exactly if a person is positive or not

to go on a clinical trial, or in a nursing home

investigation, or sometimes to get people

screened to go back into the work environment.

Most people don't need a point-of-care test.

In fact, a point-of-care test does not -- cannot

replace the millions of tests that are here on the

other slide.

Next slide.

I don't know how interested you are in


I did not know a whole lot of swabs before a few

weeks ago.

But there's two points I want to make with these

slides -- is, yes, there have been constraining

elements, and they're constrained for a couple


Number one, because this is an unprecedented

scale-up of this type of very sophisticated

molecular tests that has never put a demand on the

system like we have.

When we started out a few weeks ago, there's very

specific, one type of swab; only get it one

place in the U.S., one place in Italy.

And we were stuck with that for a while because

it's not just the quantity, it's the


What I don't want to do is put a lot of things in the

system to make people believe that this is a

good test, when it hasn't been validated by the FDA,

to say that a positive is a positive and a negative

is a negative.

But over the past weeks, both the scientific

community, the Gates Foundation, academic

medical centers, the FDA, have really opened up our

ability to not stick that all the way back in your

nasal pharynx, but do the anterior nose, and to

greatly broaden the amount of swab types that are


So we are really at a point, right now, that

over the next -- by the end of April, will put

another 5 million swabs, in addition to everything

that's out there now, and, by the end of May, over 12

million new swabs in the system -- more than enough

to obtain the capacity that we need.

Next slide.

For these molecular tests, you take a swab and you

stick it in a test tube, and that test tube has to

have a specific kind of liquid in it.

And when we started, it was viral transport media

-- a very special kind of media.

The CDC has a "make your own recipe."

If you're interested in cooking, you could

probably do that, but it has a lot of ingredients

that go in there, but still very limiting.

We've worked with many, many different


We've worked with the FDA.

So now, PBS, phosphate-buffered saline

-- a, kind of, just laboratory-grade saltwater

-- can be used for this.

This greatly opens the ability to expand the test

to support all the capability that Dr. Birx

talks about.

And again, by the end of April, we will have put

well over 5 million new tubes of either viral

transport media or saline into the system.

I am going to get to a conclusion here, but this

was going to be more of a technical briefing.

Next slide.

So let's talk about the fact that the science

tells us that we have and will continue to have

enough tests to safely go into phase one.

So let me be very granular about this: We've already

heard that it is beyond the possibility to test

everyone in this country every day.

It's -- it's just not possible.

But it's also a bad strategy because testing a

person now just means they're negative now.

Dr. Fauci could be positive tomorrow, because

it's brewing in his system right now and we don't

know it, or that he contacts that.

That's not the way we go about things.

The way we go about things, as Dr. Redfield

said, just -- just think of the weather radar,


If the weather radar is clear, you're not going to

have a thunderstorm or a tornado.

When something pops up, that's when you've got to

go to where the action is or know that your warning

system is up.

So, sort of, think of that in the background, and

I'll go specifically about that.

So that's monitoring.

Let me talk about how much testing we need, just for

overall testing.

I'm just going to give you a number; I'm not saying

that this is the number that's there.

But let's just take a number that we are going

to enter phase one when there are 200,000 new

cases per month in the United States.

Don't get hung up on that -- it's going to be much

less than that -- but let's just say 200,000 cases.

So, how many tests do we need?

Well, we need to test those 200,000 people to

make the diagnosis, right?

Everybody nod your head about that.

We have to do that.

Now, what's a safe number over that?

You know, if everybody I test has the disease, I'm

not testing enough, right?

But if I test 100 people to have 1 person with the

disease, that's probably over-testing.

So we kind of assume that a safe number that really

gives us a good idea is if about 1 out of 10 people

are positive, then we know we're over-sampling the

population enough that we're getting all the


So if there's 200,000 cases, I need about 2

million tests.


Now, to go to Dr. Redfield's point, each

one of those that are positive have contacts

that need to be traced.

And on average, the CDC tells me that for every

positive, there are about five contacts that really

need to be traced.

So let's assume that those 200,000 people have five


So now we have an extra million tests.

So 2 million tests out there to detect the

200,000 cases, an extra million out there to trace

those contacts.

So we're up to about 3 million cases.

If you want to put a fudge factor -- say there's 4

million tests, okay?

Those are generally done at the main hospital labs,

the commercial labs, state and regional labs.

All this can be done -- as well as some of the labs

talked about by Dr. Birx.

Next slide.

The second group of testing fits exactly

perfectly with the influenza-like

surveillance system that Dr. Redfield talked about.

This is the monitoring.

This is, sort of, the radar -- the weather radar

that it would be out there -- that we're not testing

people who are symptomatic.

We want to do testing on people who are

asymptomatic because you can have asymptomatic carriage.

You know, you could have this virus and shed it,

and not have symptoms or only mild symptoms.

So what is the strategy here?

The strategy here -- this is an unprecedented

strategy, okay?

This is -- this is really unprecedented.

But we're going to do, prob- -- between three-

and five hundred tests per week in the most

vulnerable populations that we know that the

virus could circulate.

And what are they?

Number one, nursing home and long-term care


We know that from the history of this -- of this

virus, that that can circulate and be


And it could circulate even in a way that you

don't have symptoms.

So we're going to survey, in a very controlled way,

driven by the CDC, supervised by the CDC,

surveys over -- we may not get to everyone, but

surveying in the areas to cover, in a selective way,

the 15,000 or so nursing homes.

Secondly, we want to work in vulnerable members in


And this is -- the way we think about that is

community health centers.

I'm a huge fan of community health centers

that are led by HRSA.

There are there are about 30,000 community health

center sites.

They take care of 30 million people --

children, adults, elderly.

They care for about one third of Americans below

the poverty level.

They are arrayed to take care of our most

vulnerable populations.

So we want to survey asymptomatic people in

those community health centers.

We also want to do in some of our indigenous


And you know, very early, I was out here bringing

machines to the Indian Health Service.

And, in fact, 1,800 members of the Public

Health Service provide care to the Indian Health

Service, and their Director and Chief Medical

Officer are both admirals in the Indian Health


Plus, workplace monitoring, particularly

for workplace environments that may have very close

contact or may have a high risk.

And some of those could be agricultural facilities.

So let's just total that up.

We have 200,000 people who need a diagnosis.

To make that diagnosis, we want to test 2 million.


So that's 2 million.

We're going to contact trace with a million.

And let's just throw you a fudge factor of about 25

percent on that; so that's 4 million.

And we have this background testing of

about 400 -- of about 400,000 per month.

So to safely do the testing, we need to be in

the range of four and a half million -- you

followed my numbers, because I want you to

understand -- per month that -- The Vice

President: For phase one.


The Vice President: For phase one.

ADMIRAL GIROIR: For phase one.


For phase one.

And I want to tell you that's really how it adds

up, and that's where we are.

Right now, we're doing about 1 million to 1.2

million per week.

We're going to continue to push that farther and

further, as we open up the laboratories and we're

able to open all the supplies that we need for


And I think that's where I would like to end.

Thank you.

The Vice President: Great.

Thank you.

I'll ask the team to step back up for questions.

And we do anticipate, as his schedule permitted,

that the President be returning momentarily.


The Press: Yeah, you talked about phase one.

Will there be enough testing for phase two?

Do you have to ramp up capacity for that?

Or how do you deal with that?

The Vice President: That's a very good question.

Dr. Birx: Yeah, that's a great question.

And what we will be doing is monitoring how much we

have to use in phase one to really help inform

phase two, because it -- the really unknown in

this, to be completely transparent, is

asymptomatic and asymptomatic spread.

And so if we find that there is a lot of

asymptomatic individuals that we find in this

active monitoring, in what we -- are very much

concerned about the most vulnerable, then we will

have to have increased testing to cover all of

those -- all of those sites.

The Vice President: And as we've made clear to the

governors and other health officials, we're going to

continue to scale the testing.

As the President has made clear, we want -- we want

governors and states to manage the testing

operations in their states.

We've given -- we've given criteria.

We've given guidance for how we think that would

best operate.

But we're looking for the states, we're looking for

the governors to manage it.

But in the midst of that, all these great experts,

working with all these great facilities, are

going to continue to use that great American

ingenuity to scale and increase the availability

of testing for states to be able to implement as

they move closer and closer to that day the

President speaks of often, where we reopen America

and put all of America back to work.

Mr. President.

The President: He did well?

They all did well?

I think.

I'll bet they did.

Please, go ahead.

The Press: Mr. President, thank you.

Earlier today, Jay Inslee said that your tweets,

encouraging liberation -- The President: Who said


The Press: Jay Inslee said your tweets encouraging

liberation in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, were

fomenting rebellion.

I'm wondering how that squares with the sober and

methodical guidance that you issued yesterday in

terms of -- The President: Well, I think we do have a

sobering guidance, but I think some things are too


And if you look at some of the states you just

mentioned, it's too tough.

Not only relative to this, but what they've done in

Virginia with respect to the Second Amendment is

just a horrible thing.

They did a horrible thing -- the governor.

And he's a governor under a cloud, to start off


So when you see what he said about the Second

Amendment, when you see what other states have

done -- no, I think I feel very comfortable.

Go ahead.

The Press: Thank you, Mr. President.

Just to be clear, when you talk about these states --

Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia -- do you think

that they should lift their stay-at-home orders?

Or can you talk -- The President: No, but I think

elements of what they've done are too much.

I mean, it's just too much.

The Press: Which elements?

The President: You know the elements -- The Press:

You cited Second Amendment.

The President: -- because I've already said.

But certainly, Second Amendment, and Second

Amendment having to do with the state of


What they've done in Virginia is just




The Press: Sir, are you concerned, though, that

people coming out in protest are going to

spread COVID to other people?

They're congregating in ways that health experts

have said they should not.

The President: No, these are people expressing

their views.

I see where they are and I see the way they're


They seem to be very responsible people to me,

but it's -- you know, they've been treated a

little bit rough.

Please, in the back.

The Press: Thanks, Mr. President.

I'm curious about some more of the dynamics we

might see as the country begins reopening -- The

President: Yeah.

The Press: -- as you put it, kind of like a


So as you've mentioned, we have states where we're

already seeing their curves begin to flatten,

but then there are others, like Florida or more rural

parts of the country, where they aren't

projected to peak for weeks or even months.

So can you talk a little bit about some of the

difficulties that those later-peaking states might

face; if they need to stay locked down for longer,

even as other places around them are starting

to open back up?

The President: Well, we're seeing great numbers in

almost every state.

We're seeing big drops.

We're really seeing -- in terms of beds -- the

numbers we have to look at are the beds -- the beds

being occupied.

People going -- which is essentially people going in.

That means that you have fewer people that are

sick; fewer people that feel they have to go to a hospital.

And those numbers are dropping really precipitously.

So I think that -- we're just seeing a lot of good signs.

Now, a place like New York, New Jersey, and

certain parts of Louisiana -- Louisiana has been

incredible lately when you look at that drop.

That drop has really been great.

Michigan has had a hard time, but it's -- it's

starting to do well.

So, I just think -- Illinois is another one.

You know, you look at some of the numbers.

But everyone is -- is dropping, and they're

dropping rather quickly.

We don't have any hotspot that's developed where,

all of a sudden, you say, "Well..."

-- other than we did have a meatpacking plant or two

where, incredibly, we had some -- you saw the number

was rather incredible.

It took place in that plant.

People would ask about that.

I wonder who owned that company.

That was a weird situation.

But, generally speaking, it's been very good.

The numbers have been really improving greatly.

Please, in the back.

The Press: Thank you, Mr. President.

U.S. intelligence is saying this week that the

coronavirus likely came from a level 4 lab in Wuhan.

There's also another report that the NIH, under

the Obama administration, in 2015 gave that lab $3.7

million in a grant.

Why would the U.S.

give a grant like that to China?

The President: The Obama administration gave them a

grant of $3.7 million?

I've been hearing about that.

And we've instructed that if any grants are going to

that area -- we're looking at it, literally, about an

hour ago, and also early in the morning.

We will end that grant very quickly.

But it was granted quite a while ago.

They were granted a substantial amount of


We're going to look at it and take a look.

But I understand it was a number of years ago,


The Press: So you are (inaudible)?

The President: When did you hear -- when did you

hear it was -- the grant was made?

The Press: 2015.

The President: 2015?

Who was President then?

I wonder.


Yes, ma'am.

The Press: Mr. President, we know negotiations are

underway for the next round of funding for small


The President: Yeah.

The Press: If tens of billions of dollars went

in a matter of days the first time, will this next

relief package be enough?

The President: Well, I think it will certainly --

it's going to get us to a point that's going to be

rather beautiful.

We think that that will be the point -- and it could

be they want more, but maybe at a certain point,

we're going to stop.

It's been a tremendous success.

It's been executed flawlessly.

SBA has done a very good job.

But the banks have done a great job, whether it was

Bank of America or Wells Fargo.

The community banks have been incredible.

I think we had over 4,000 community banks.

A lot of people didn't know you had that many


But 4,000 community banks -- they gave the money


It's so organized, and it's been such a great


And so, essentially we're waiting for $250 billion;

the Democrats are refusing to do it.

This is money that essentially is going to

the workers.

It's going to keep these companies whole -- the

restaurants and a lot of great companies.

And it's a small amount of money relative to what it

represents, because it represents small

businesses; it represents them staying in business.

And, you know, when you look at it -- people don't

know -- small businesses represent approximately 50

percent of the power of our business enterprises.

It's not all the big, monster businesses that

you read about every day.

It's all of these small businesses when added.

It's something that should be approved by the


The Republicans want it badly, and the people want

it very badly.

The Press: If I could just follow up on that.

The President: Sure.

The Press: Nearly 10 percent of the loans that

were given out were for $5 million, but some

small-business owners say they can't even get a loan

for $100,000.

Is that acceptable?

The President: Well, they would -- no.

They would get that, but they have to approve --

nobody knew it was going to be this successful.

Don't forget, when you say the money is gone it's

been a tremendous success as a program.

People are -- they really want it.

And some people won't be able to get their -- keep

their business open unless they get that money.

It's been a tremendous success.

It's been executed flawlessly.

It's been -- I mean, with few exceptions, it's

really been good.

And I think the Democrats are going to do it.

Look, Nancy Pelosi -- she's away on vacation or

something, and she should come back.

She should come back and get this done.

I don't know why she's not coming back.

The fact is, she's not doing her job, and there's

nothing unusual about that for her.

Go ahead.

The Press: And Leader McCarthy said they're now

considering also adding more funding for hospitals

included in this.

The President: So they are thinking about hospitals,

and hospitals -- The Press: Did you okay that


The President: Well, hospitals are a good


Hospitals have been decimated by this.

You know, they've given up their business -- which is

good, because they did the right thing -- in order to

take care of the COVID-19.

And, no, hospitals -- I'm with that all the way, if

they want to add hospitals.

We could also add it into phase four, if we do a

phase four.

Phase four would be, hopefully, infrastructure.

A lot of people are talking about the best

thing we could do for this country would be the

payroll tax cut that I've been suggesting.

A lot of Democrats like it, believe it or not.

The payroll tax cut.

And Art Laffer, who's tremendous -- he's a

tremendous -- in fact, he recently got the

Presidential Medal of Freedom -- economist.

He was with Ronald Reagan, and he's been -- he looks

like he's 25 years old, but I think he might be a

little bit older than that.

He looks so great.

But Art Laffer said the single best thing you can

do is the payroll tax cut.

And I would just about agree with that, and I'd

like to see that.

I'm not sure that we're going to get that, but I

think that's something that could be done.

It's simple.

It's really good for both the company that employs

these people and for the people that are employed.

So we're going to see whether that happens or not.

The payroll -- I put it out there -- the payroll

tax cut would be a tremendous incentive for

this country. Steve?

The Press: China now says its coronavirus death toll

in Wuhan is 50 percent higher.

The President: Yep.

The Press: It went up to about 4,000.

Does that sound like a credible number to you?

The President: Well, you know, when I listen to the

press every night saying we have the most, we don't

have the most in the world -- deaths.

The most in the world has to be China.

It's a massive country.

It's gone through a tremendous problem with this.

A tremendous problem.

And they must have the most.

So, today, I saw they announced that,

essentially, they're doubling up on the numbers.

And that's only in Wuhan; they're not talking about outside

of Wuhan.

So it is what it is, Steve.

It is what it is.

What a sad -- what a sad state of affairs.

The Press: The investigation into whether

the virus escaped from this lab in Wuhan, how

active is that?

And when do expect to hear (inaudible)?

The President: Well, we're looking at that.

A lot of people are looking at it.

It seems to make sense.

They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat

wasn't in that area.

If you can believe this, that's what they're down

to now, is bats.

But that bat is not in that area.

That bat wasn't sold at that wet zone.

It wasn't sold there.

That bat is 40 miles away.

So a lot of strange things are happening, but there

is a lot of investigation going on and we're going

to find out.

All I can say is, wherever it came from -- it came

from China -- in whatever form, 184 countries now

are suffering because of it.

And it's too bad, isn't it?

And it could have been solved very easily.

When it was just starting, it could have been solved

really very easily.



In the back.

The Press: Thank you, sir.

So, about the 80 million payments that have gone

out -- The President: Yeah.

The Press: -- that you mentioned, you said that

less than 1 percent have had snafus, but that could

be 800,000 snafus.

So we've also seen reports of -- The President: Well,

I'm just saying it's less than 1 percent, and the

snafus are very minor.

And they're -- and they were fixed.

The Press: They're not -- you're not talking about

-- The President: No.

Excuse me.

The Press: -- massive numbers of dead people who

have received checks -- The President: No, they

were -- they were -- 80 million payments -- The

Press: I mean, that could be -- that could be tens

of millions of people.

The President: -- went out over a period of a few


And they caught certain mistakes that they made,

but this is a tiny amount of mistakes.

I can tell you mistakes were made in government

where wrong countries were signed, okay?

Eighty million -- this has been a tremendous success.

And any mistake that was made, they've been caught.

And it's less than 1 percent.

That's a very good percentage.

I can tell you, for government -- The Press:

If how -- The President: -- I mean, how about --

how about the Obama website?

The Obamacare website, where they spent $5

billion on building a website that you could

have built for -- for peanuts.


The Press: If money went out to deceased people, is

the government going to get that back?

The President: Yeah.

Anything -- anything that was sent out -- it's like,

sometimes you send a check to somebody wrong.

Sometimes people are listed, they die, and they

get a check.

That can happen.

You're talking about -- I guess the number is about

80 million people.

Yeah, sure.

We'll get that back.

Everything we're going to get back.

But it's a tiny amount.

They've done a fantastic job.

This was done in a matter of a few days.


The Press: Your campaign said today that they are

planning on resuming rallies before the


Is there a timeline that you're looking at?

Would it be restricted to certain states?

Have you thought about how that would work?

The President: Well, I hope we can do rallies.

It's great for the country.

It's great spirit.

It's great for a lot of things.

It's a -- for me, it's a tremendous way of getting

the word out.

If you look at our success rate, we've had tremendous


We win where we have rallies, including

endorsements of candidates.

Our success rate is, I think, unparalleled.

There's nothing like it.

So I certainly hope we can have rallies.

We'll find out.

I don't like the rallies where we're sitting like

you're sitting.

I mean, you got many reporters outside trying

to get into this room.

And I come in, I'm looking at this room and I see all

this -- it loses a lot of flavor.

It loses, to me, a lot of flavor.

But I hope we're going to have rallies.

I think they're going to be bigger than ever.

I will say this: The rallies that we were

having -- until we had to stop, with regard to the

problem that we had here -- the rallies were bigger

than they were -- I think even substantially bigger.

We'd go into the biggest arena and we'd turn away

20-, 30,000 people sometimes.

In -- in one case, I think they said, in New Jersey,

we had 175,000 people show up for an arena that holds

9,000 people.

And they showed up.

And the reporters even reported that.

That was almost shocking to me.

But I hope we can resume rallies because I think

they're an important part of politics, actually.


The Press: Mr. President, under your reopening plan,

some workers can go back to work in phase one, but

schools cannot reopen until phase two.

Many parents don't have an option to work from home.

So how can you get businesses back up and

running as long as schools are closed?

The President: Well, I think the businesses are

going to.

And I think now we've given the businesses a

real jolt.

A real positive jolt.

They're able to keep their employees.

You know, without the employees -- if the

employees leave that area, if they leave -- you know,

who knows where they're going -- or if they get

another job maybe someplace else, you're not

going to have the same business.

So we gave them money to hold their employees.

They're going to do that.

We hope we can do $250 billion more.

It's -- it's absolutely so inexpensive compared to