MonaLog — Coronavirus Task Force Briefing April 10, 2020

As of Friday evening, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States has topped 500,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 18,600 people have died of the virus in the nation.

President Trump and members of his Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing on the coronavirus at the White House Friday afternoon.

  • Trump kicked off the press briefing with a prayer on Good Friday that “God will heal the sick and comfort the heartbroken and bless our heroes.”
  • Trump said that the death toll from the coronavirus could end up being “substantially below” the 100,000 deaths predicted by models last week. He noted that the American people have shown tremendous “resolve” to help lower the projections.
  • U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the government is “taking steps now” to combat the “alarming trend” of data regarding the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. He added the administration is “taking steps now to reach, protect, and strengthen all communities impacted by this disease, and especially our communities of color” and the details will be forthcoming. 
  • Trump directed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to expedite aid to American farmers of $16 Billion funds to provide relief.
  • The FDA has issued 47 emergency use authorizations for advancements and testing new ventilator designs, innovations, and personal protective equipment, and experimental medicines. 
  • Trump deployed two major shipments of hydroxychloroquine from the National Stockpile that went to various cities since Monday.
  • Trump said he hasn’t received any calls from governors at this moment “needing anything” and they are in “great shape for this surge.”
  • More than 2 million coronavirus tests have now been completed, Trump announced adding the nation is conducting approximately 100,000 more every day.
  • On the World Health Organization, Trump said he will have an announcement “in great detail” regarding the organization and the funds the U.S. gives them “sometime next week.”
  • Dr. Deborah Birx said for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the United States “are starting to level on the logarithmic phase like Italy did about a week ago.” However, she cautioned that the US has “not reached the peak” of coronavirus mortality.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci commended the steps Americans are taking to socially distance but warned that the country as a whole should not “be pulling back.”
  • FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the federal government has provided guidance to manufacturers to make cloth gowns — as opposed to the plastic ones typically used — for health care workers. Hahn said this is an effort to “increase the number of gowns” available for health care workers with “no further regulatory red tape to go into circulation.”
  • Trump announced “opening the country” council consisting of administration officials, governors, medical and business leaders focusing on reopening the U.S. economy. Names will be announced on Tuesday.
  • Trump suggested that insurance companies should pay out business interruption claims related to the coronavirus, even if coverage for a pandemic is not explicitly included in their policy.
  • Trump said the Democrats demands for additional money for hospitals, states, and cities that caused an impasse to secure additional money for small businesses should be focused on the Phase Four stimulus package.
  • Trump joked that Dr. Fauci should move to New York and run against Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and he would “win easily.”
  • For Easter Service, Trump said he will be watching Pastor Robert Jeffress online. He had a message for other pastors who are planning to hold an in person service and defy social distancing to “Let’s get healed before we do this.  And there’s time to do that.”
  • Trump was asked what message would he say to Americans in need. He said, “Number one, I love them.  Number two, we’re working really hard.  It wasn’t their fault, what happened… and they’re going to be back.  And I hope they’re going to be back even stronger than before.”
  • Trump said facts and recommendations from health experts will determine the next steps taken to re-open the economy. When asked what metrics he would use to come to a final conclusion about reopening the, Trump pointed at his head, saying he will be guided by his health officials and will “make a decision based on a lot of different opinions.”
  • Trump says the decision on reopening the country will be the biggest decision of his life. “I’m going to have to make a decision, and I only hope to God that it’s the right decision.  But I would say, without question, it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

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⎼ Jackie Kennedy
Trump Announces ‘Opening The Country’ Council Focused on Reopening the Country
MonaLog — Coronavirus Task Force Briefing April 10, 2020

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