Coronavirus Task Force Briefing – Late Sunday

The president and vice president gave updates.

President Trump said every effort is being marshalled in the fight against the virus. It is critical that Americans follow the guidelines to defeat this unseen enemy. The commitment of every single American is required.

Urgent efforts are being made with Congress on legislation to help Americans who have been hit so hard through no fault of their own. Small businesses are a particular focus for relief.  “I think the economy will skyrocket when this is over.”

The president has taken action to enable the National Guard to fully assist states like New York who have been hit. FEMA will cover 100% of the cost of bringing the Guard to assist the states.  More information will be coming on these hard-hit states in the coming days.

Hundreds of tons of supplies are being sent out of federal reserves to states in need. A disaster declaration has been approved for New York. Washington was also approved today. California has sent a similar request and it is under consideration.

Large quantities of supplies are coming through FEMA, including medical stations with up to 1,000 beds for several states, and will be delivered within 48 hours. The USNS Mercy will be deployed to Los Angeles.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working on four large medical stations of 1,000 beds for the state of New York. New York is by far the hardest hit at this point and the administration is working closely with Governor Cuomo. The president also itemized the numbers of personal protective items that have been supplied to New York, California and Washington state. Medical stations are also being provided to Washington, although most of them have fewer beds. Eight large federal medical stations with over 2,000 beds are going to California.

The outpouring of the private sector has been incredible. Honeywell will be producing new masks out of their facility in Rhode Island. The masks will be distributed by the government. They are also doubling or tripling manufacture of personal protective gear.

The president announced that there is a new private-public partnership in the technology sector to assist researchers and others who need additional computing capabilities.

The president spoke about additional resources being deployed for the benefit of veterans, and the authorization of distance learning, and, of course, the choice opportunities for veterans’ medical care. The VA is also expanding telehealth, after the removal of unnecessary red tape to make it possible.

The development of safe and effective vaccines is ongoing, and medications that could work to diminish symptoms for those who are sick will be available beginning Tuesday.

“This is a challenging time for all Americans. We are enduring a great national trial and we will prove that we will meet the moment. … We are at war, and we will defeat this invisible enemy.” He said he is seeing a more unified America. “For those who are fearful, you can feel confident that you have a leader who will fight for you and not stop until we achieve victory. … I am very proud of our country.”

The FEMA director said that medical supplies are en route to California, New York and Washington, with quantities already delivered and more to come in the next 42 hours. Regional administrators are addressing the needs of people everywhere.

The USNS Mercy hospital ship, requested by both Seattle and Los Angeles, will be going to Los Angeles, and will be there within two weeks. They will take hospitalized individuals that are not infected with the COVID-19 virus.

He reminded people that the National Guard is not moving out under martial law, but at the request of governors and under the direction of the states and not the federal government.

Peter Navarro, White House adviser, discussed the Defense Production Act. He is overseeing actions that are purely voluntary at this time, and it is the greatest mobilization since World War II.

He is moving to cut red tape and bureaucracy under the Act to enable industries to repurpose themselves without delay. Distilleries are already setting aside alcoholic beverages in favor of manufacturing hand sanitizers.

Mobilization, repurposing, building up capabilities, and allocating resources are being leveraged to best advantage for all of America. The government has not had to use a heavy hand anywhere. Actions are being taken against wholesale hoarders and price gougers.

Vice President Mike Pence thanked the American people for their responsiveness, for cooperating and communicating, on behalf of particularly the most vulnerable among us. He also thanked the governors across the country for their effective cooperation in working to contain the virus.

The bipartisan spirit taking place on Capitol Hill is a great credit to the nation and an encouragement to the American people, people are coming together to meet this pandemic head-on.

On testing, more and more are available very single day, and more details will be coming tomorrow. As of today, 254,000 Americans have been tested with 30,000 testing positive. These are people with symptoms. These numbers do not include local hospitals and local labs. Efforts are being made to make testing happen faster. The backlog should be caught up by the middle of the week.

All labs should prioritize in-patient testing, and HHS will be issuing a memo on this tomorrow. Not everyone admitted to a hospital for what they think is coronavirus actually has the virus.

FDA is working with manufacturers to come up with faster and more innovative tests. States should contact FEMA. Everything is being done to make sure states have what they need.

For Americans abroad, with travel suspended, be assured that the State Department is working around the clock to assist them in coming home to American soil. They are working diligently to get chartered flights for some areas where commercial flights have not been available. 

The vice president and his wife were both tested yesterday for the virus after a mention of the vice president’s staff tested positive. Both were negative.

The president concluded on the matter of testing that the new test will be a game-changer, one that can give results quickly.  Its efficacy will be known very soon.

The Mercy and the Comfort hospital ships have operating rooms and full medical service availabilities. The Comfort will be coming into New York Harbor in the next few weeks. It has been in the midst of maintenance and is being resupplied. Arrangements for where it will be docked are being made.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the president and his administration as they continue to combat the virus and equip state governments.
  • For cooperation between the Executive and Legislative branches as solutions and relief are sought.
  • In praise to the Lord for the way the private and public sectors are working together.

Sources: C-Span, Fox News


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