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Highlights of March 29 White House Press Briefing
Health Guidelines extended to April 30th to slow the spread of COVID-19
by LibbyMT.com
March 30, 2020

Click on this link to read the full remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in the Press Briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sunday, March 29, 2020. March 29 White House Press Briefing

- The modeling put together by Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci and our other top healthcare experts demonstrate that the mitigation measures we are putting in place may significantly reduce the number of new infections and, ultimately, the number of fatalities. Your selfless, inspiring, and valiant efforts are saving countless lives. You’re making the difference. The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. The peak, the highest point of death rates is likely to hit in two weeks. Therefore, the next two weeks, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines. Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread. On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data, and strategy to the American people. We can expect that, by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery. Take heart and confidence in the fact that we have the best medical minds in the world tackling this disease. We have the best science, the best researchers, and the best talent anywhere working night and day to protect your family and loved ones and to overcome this pandemic.

- We have to really do a great job for another couple of weeks. We had the greatest economy in the history of the world three weeks ago, and now we’ve said, "Please don’t work anymore." We’re actually paying people not to work. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx gave us a number, that 2.2 million people would have died if we didn’t do what we’re doing. Now we’re looking at numbers that are going to be much lower than that.

- On Friday, the FDA authorized a new test developed by Abbott Labs that delivers test results in as little as five minutes. Normally, the approval process from the FDA would take 10 months or longer, but this was done in four weeks. Abbott has stated that they will begin delivering 50,000 tests each day, starting this week.

- The United States is doing more testing than any other country anywhere in the world. It’s one of the reasons that we have more cases than other countries, because we’re doing more testing. It’s also one of the reasons that we’re just about the lowest in terms of mortality rate, because we’ve been doing more testing. So we have bigger numbers to look at. The deployment of rapid testing will vastly accelerate our ability to monitor, track, contain, and ultimately defeat the virus. It will also allow us to test doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers immediately and enable us to act quickly and aggressively to shut down the spread of the virus in critical facilities like hospitals and nursing homes.

- The Army Corps of Engineers, along with FEMA, built 2,900 beds’ worth of hospital in the Javits Center in New York in less than four days. It’s a complex, top-of-the-line hospital. Now they’re moving to other locations throughout the country where they already have people building hospitals.

- 1,100 patients in New York are being tested with hydroxychloroquine along with the Z-Pak, which is azithromycin. It’s very early yet, started two days ago. Will see what happens.

- The FDA is allowing the emergency use of a blood-related therapy called convalescent plasma as an experimental treatment for seriously ill patients. This treatment involves taking blood plasma from patients who have already recovered from the virus, meaning, their plasma is rich in antibodies against the virus, and transfusing it into six patients to boost their immune system. Early results are good, but we will see. Approvals for that came very quickly.

- We’re also looking at an approval for the sterilization of masks so they can be used a second, third, fourth time. A company in Ohio is in the final process of getting approval for the sterilization of masks, some which might be able to be sterilized up to 20 times. They are working on getting a fast approval for the sterilization of masks.

- Still working to try to find a vaccine.

- Vaccines are an answer, but also looking into something therapeutically to care for the people that are already sick. This is a blood-related therapy.

- A facility in North Carolina is now manufacturing an additional 40 to 50 million masks per month to get into the U.S. healthcare system.

- FEMA is working with private companies to launch Project Airbridge to expedite the movement of critical supplies from other countries to the United States. The first flight arrived at JFK Airport, New York, this morning, filled with 80 tons of personal protective equipment, including 130,000 N95 respirators, 1.8 million face masks and gowns, 10.3 million gloves, and many other things. FEMA has scheduled 19 additional flights and is adding more daily. We hope to have about 50 flights. We’re going to have up at 51 flights with these massive planes from the different companies.

- UPS is one of the companies helping with the distribution effort. Their Big Brown army, 495,000 UPSers across the country, are bringing in the supplies from around the world as fast as they can to serve the communities that need them most.

- The USNS Comfort departed from New York three weeks ahead of schedule, fully loaded with 12 operating rooms, 1,000 hospital beds, and hundreds of the best doctors, nurses, and medical professionals anywhere in the United States.

- Two of the country’s largest health insurers, Humana and Cigna, are announcing that they will waive co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles for the coronavirus treatments to help ease the financial burden on American families during this pandemic.

- I’ve directed my staff to use any and all authority available to give restaurants, bars, clubs incentives to stay open. We’re looking into the restoring of the deductibility of meals and entertainment costs for corporations. We’re going to go to deductibility so that companies can send people to restaurants. I think it’ll have a tremendous impact and maybe keep them open. By restoring the deductibility of meals and entertainment costs for corporations, they can send people to restaurants and take a deduction on it.

- We have reviewed 12 different models. All of the flu models predicted anywhere between 1.6 and 2.2 million fatalities, if we didn’t mitigate. Some of them predicted half of the United States would get infected and have that level of mortality.

- The financial relief bill signed on Friday provides historic relief for American workers and small businesses, and it includes $350 billion in job restoration and retention with loan forgiveness available for businesses that continue paying workers. Three hundred billion dollars in direct cash payments are being sent to every American citizen earning less than $99,000 per year; $3,400 for the typical family of four. Approximately $250 billion in expanded unemployment benefits. Under this plan, the average worker who has lost his or her job will receive 100 percent of their salary for up to four full months. The bill provides for these unemployment checks to be delivered through the existing state unemployment systems, not us.

- Regarding rents, as the first of the month is three days away. What should people be doing for the first of the month? People are going to be getting money. The President hopes landlords are going to take it easy. A lot of people that are owed money are going to take it easy. They don’t, sort of, have a choice. A lot of concessions are being made that wouldn’t have even been thought of three weeks ago.

- The President said the money from these relief loans to private companies will come back. The government will also take warrants, meaning, the government will take pieces of the company for the taxpayers of our nation.

- We truly do believe that while there are challenges in the weeks ahead, there is hope that as every American continues to put these guidelines into practice, as every single one of us continues to do our part, that we’ll get through this.

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