President’s Coronavirus Update for Monday

Testing is vital to getting the country reopened.

Testing for the coronavirus was again an uppermost topic at the president’s briefing with the coronavirus task force on Monday. He told reporters that adequate testing existed but was being underutilized by governors, after state leaders and healthcare experts said the country has an insufficient testing capacity. President Trump said that public-private partnerships had significantly expanded the nation’s testing capabilities, “but some states need to take action to fully utilize it.”

Unfortunately, he said, some partisan voices are attempting to politicize the issue of testing.

“We’re in great shape on testing,” he said. “We have different platforms. We actually have nine platforms… with tremendous testing capability.”

President Trump announced that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would be at the meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Tuesday. He said the two of them “get along.”

The president said he has hopes that this week will bring some bipartisan agreement on additional relief funding, possibly including $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion in emergency funding for hospitals, $50 billion for small business disaster loans and another $25 billion for testing. But, he said, “lawmakers must stop blocking these funds.”

He was questioned about comments he made over twitter calling for “liberation” of Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia. He described protesters at those states and others as “very responsible people.” He said, “They’ve been treated a little bit rough.”

In reporting on the virus itself, the president said that on a per-capita basis, the mortality rate in the U.S. is far lower than other nations of Western Europe, with the lone exception of possibly Germany. He says it is erroneous to report that the U.S. is number one in the world in deaths, but “we’re not number one: China is number one, just so you understand. China is number one by a lot. It’s not even close.”

He said Texas and Vermont are allowing certain businesses to open while still requiring social distancing precautions. Montana will begin lifting restrictions on Friday. Ohio, North Dakota, and Idaho have advised non-essential businesses to prepare for phased reopening beginning May 1.

In the move to destroy the virus, the president said the Administration is taking steps to protect high-risk communities by providing funding for 13,000 community health center sites and mobile medical stations. They will be equipped with advanced and robust testing capabilities.

He reiterated many of the same accomplishments that he has outlined in prior briefings concerning ventilators, hospital beds, and support given to states, and of countries seeking help as well.

Asked about the plunging price of oil, President Trump said the U.S. is “looking” to add as many as 75 million barrels of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And, he added, “we’d get it for the right price.” He called “negative oil” a short-term “phenomenon,” and said, “this is a great time to buy oil and we’d like to have Congress approve it.” He also said that “at a minimum” the government would charge for storage in the reserve.

He said it is more of a “financial squeeze” than an oil situation, and another month or so out, the prices will be around $28 or $30 a barrel. “No one is driving automobiles around the world right now so demand is way down. It is going to pick up and the energy market will be strong, but it is very tough for right now.”

Vice President Mike Pence reported that the U.S. is conducting 150,000 tests daily and has conducted 4 million tests overall. He called on governors to activate all labs in their states to ramp up testing as the country looks to return to normalcy.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the president and Congress to come to terms on further stimulus solutions.
  • For governors to utilize the testing available.
  • That the coronavirus numbers continue to drop and treatments increase and improve.

Sources: NPR,, MarketWatch


Back to top