President Briefs Country on Coronavirus

Hospital facilities have been erected rapidly and National Guard is active.

President Trump opened his coronavirus update saying, “This is a very violent and contagious disease, and we need to do all we can to fight it.”

The National Guard has been activated across the U.S., he said. Governors are utilizing these remarkable men and women in varied ways. Hospitals are being built at a rate never seen before.

He said again that difficult days are ahead, and the hearts of the American people go out to New York, going through such a challenging time being ravaged by the disease.

Doctors are designing therapies as they pour over genetic codes, as remedies and vaccines are high on their priorities.

The most powerful weapon is the spirit of the American people. Stay home. “If you don’t get the virus, you can’t pass it on.” People are pulling together with a new unity, he said.

Everyone is ready to rebound and return to normal lives, but all must be patient in the meantime. There is great pent-up demand to get back to work, but don’t rush things.  There is no hard and fast answer on how soon the economy will rebound.

He has proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. He has asked for tax advantages for businesses with deductibility of restaurant and bar expenditures.  This would return business to these people, many of whom are small businesses. “We want them bigger and better than ever,” the president said.

Vice President Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Dr. Anthony Fauci joined President Trump for the question and answer period.

Dr. Fauci said that social distancing will have to relax once the curve goes down to near zero. Systems have improved for containment, for contact tracing, and these mitigations. The ultimate solution is a vaccine. He said we will probably have cycling with another season of this virus, which is why a vaccine is so important. Vaccines are being tested. Data will take a few months. They are on target for a year to a year and a half for a vaccine.

There is a lot of activity centered around a passive transfer of antibodies from blood plasma.  He would not be surprised if the pursuit of this brings good results. Antibody testing right now is not the first thing on the priorities, but it is important to get a better feel for this. Dr. Fauci can foresee a future with the serum studies bringing about good results.

Dr. Birx has been asking for rapid tests for healthcare centers. An entire hospital could be screened in a day or two. Every university in every state has been asked to work on these tests. They are also looking at “dry blood spot” tests to determine if they would work. 

Many healthcare workers have been on the job for four or more weeks, they may have the antibody and be protected. The universities can have these tests ready by Friday if they meet her challenge. “We are not waiting. We are asking for help now,” she said.

Vice President Pence reported that every American needs to know that they can get this virus and not have to worry about their costs. Two top health insurance companies are waiving co-pays on testing, but co-pays are also waived on all coronavirus treatments. Now, of course, thanks to the president and Congress, there will be no American who has to pay for testing.

But please, stay home for the next 30 days. Practice the mitigation strategies. Great progress has been made in dealing with supplies and the making of personal protective gear and ventilators. Healthcare workers will be properly compensated for their extraordinary and courageous work.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is giving waivers for treatment, so Americans will have access to coverage.

American businesses are engaged, stepping up, and doing their part. Food supply is strong. Many businesses have been engaged early on. Insurance companies are stepping up. More of that will be coming with flexibility to meet this moment. We will use the full weight of the federal government, as needed.

For Phase 4, the prime thing the administration is looking at is jobs. It is time to spend money in the United States on roads, bridges, schools, airports, and the other necessary areas of infrastructure.

Vice President Pence said that more than 100,000 tests have been administered every day. The drive-through system is working. HHS has delivered test kits all around the country; many still have not been used because of laboratory capacity. The public-private partnership has greatly expanded this. He credited Roche, Quest and LabCorp. The new 15-minute test will bring results quickly in the 19 or so states that do not have significant outbreak.

The president said he is looking at flights in and out of “hot spots” and whether to put limitations on them. Trains are going back and forth also. It is a very big decision, and it is late in the process as the nation are expecting to hit the top of the curve soon.  Airlines and trains are doing tests on people getting on and getting off.

The N95 masks, that are very expensive, can be re-sterilized up to 20 times. A number of companies are now making equipment to do this.

There is a lot of discussion about individual Americans wearing masks in and out. He wants masks saved for medical personnel. “A scarf might work for an individual. It might not hurt,” the president encouraged.

Social distancing as it relates to churches and worship centers came up, and the president said he is disappointed that churches cannot meet in this time of great need. However, it would give the invisible enemy a big advantage. It is very disappointing to not have services on Easter, but he recommends that churches adhere to social distancing.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For all members of the task force to have supernatural wisdom from God as they continue to work against what the president calls “the invisible enemy.”
  • For President Trump and the discussions he is having with industry leaders from across the country over the many aspects of work closures, limitations of supplies, and other matters.

Sources: Fox News, CBS


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