Coronavirus Task Force Briefing for Thursday

New cases are declining, and revelations to help eradicate the virus are being discovered.

The Coronavirus Task Force press conference began with President Trump saying he expected the House of Representatives to pass the additional relief for American workers and small businesses yet Thursday evening.

He said states are beginning to come out of this virus shutdown, and he is pleased with the work the governors are doing. He is also pleased with large businesses and major colleges and universities who have sent back funds to the government, to the tune of around $350 million. He particularly thanked Harvard for acting swiftly and decisively. Princeton, Stanford and others were named.

Small lending institutions will also be receiving funds to help particularly minority communities.

New cases have declined in 23 states. A drop in patients has been reported in 46 states. Every citizen must continue to maintain vigilance, including following the guidelines, with the voluntary use of face covering.

“This is very exciting but we are not letting down our guard. We need to take our country back and get us back to work. We learn more each day. Tests are showing that the virus does better in cold and dry climates than in warm and humid ones, and how it also reacts in sunlight,“ the president said. A lot of trials are going on, for both therapeutics and vaccines. “We must be careful, but we will get this done. We are not close to testing on a vaccine yet, but it will get done,“ he said.

New contracts have been signed for manufacturing N95 masks as well as sterilizing equipment. “We want our hospitals and institutions to use the sterilizing equipment, so a mask can be sterilized up to 20 times. We have airlifted personal protective equipment into the U.S. through Project Airbridge.  We are getting only the highest level of equipment, and it is being delivered to states quickly,“ the president assured.

Each governor is being given a county-by-county listing of equipment that has been distributed to them. Governors are being informed of the supply-lines and how to access materials as they need them.

Convalescent plasma is being more widely tested by the FDA. Nearly 3,000 patients are now enrolled in receiving transfusions. This will also be used to manufacture a treatment that won’t require use by specific blood types. Clinical trials will begin within weeks for these antibody plasmas. If anyone has recovered and can help, blood donations are important.

“Leading technology companies and others are working on establishing a database on articles that can be analyzed by artificial intelligence, and we are collaborating with universities, tech companies and labs and great progress is being made at a very rapid pace,“ said President Trump. American science and technology along with the courage of the American people will bring about an end to this plague and a return to prosperity, he stated.

Vice President Mike Pence reported that the team is seeing data that shows promising signs of progress. New York metro, New Jersey, New Orleans and other areas are showing signs of relief.  “We are getting there, America. We are making meaningful progress,“ the vice president assured..

The task force believes that continuing the mitigation efforts as states enter phased reopening by early summer the United States will be in a much better place as a nation with much of the epidemic behind us.

A conference call was held with Secretary Ben Carson. A group is being convened dedicated to housing, homelessness and bettering the lives of people in urban communities to put the health of everyone first.

A conference call with all governors will be held tomorrow to hear from them about the practices and methods they are employing to increase testing following the task force report of increased capacity for testing in every state. Ohio and Minnesota have reported vastly increased testing, Iowa has tripled their testing, and Indiana and Kentucky are having additional drive-through testing locations.

FEMA reports that 35,000 National Guard have been deployed across the nation to help our medical workers. More than 4,500 active duty military doctors, nurses and medical assistants have been deployed across the country. Nineteen hospitals in seven states are the recipients of these men and women and their skills.

States are being encouraged to reinstate elective surgeries in hospitals to help alleviate financial strains on those hospitals. Arizona and Indiana are allowing elective procedures to begin in the next week.

State reopening plans have come in from 16 states. States are beginning to make their plans embracing the phased approach that was communicated in the Opening America Again plan. The task force will continue to work with the governors providing them with data and other information they need.

“Thank you to the American people. The progress that that we are seeing is a testament to what you all have done. Partnerships between the government, state and local officials, private industry, and each and every American is saving lives, protecting the most vulnerable, and moving us toward opening America again,“ said Vice President Pence.

Bill Bryant, Science and Technology Director at the Department of Homeland Security, reported that over the last several months identifying and delivering the response of the virus has been their focus. “We’ve studied the biology of the coronavirus. We look for countermeasures for addressing biothreats,“ Director Bryant said.

“There are trends we believe important. Our most striking information is the affect that sunlight has upon the virus. We measure decay of the virus by its half-life because it doesn’t change. Every 18 hours, the life of the virus is cut in half,“ he said. “For non-porous surfaces, the half life goes down at a rapid pace from exposure to higher temperatures and humidity. If you inject sunlight into that, half life goes from 6 hours to two minutes. We’ve looked at aerosol half-lives also, by suspending virus in the air inside a drum in a multiple of environments.  With sunlight, it is less than half a minute.“

“Within the conditions we have tested today, indoors and dry conditions give the best survival to the virus. The virus dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight.“

So increasing the temperature and humidity of indoor spaces reduces the life of the virus.

“We’ve tested bleach, isopropyl alcohol. Bleach kills in 5 minutes, alcohol in 30 seconds. If you rub it, it goes away faster,“ said the director.

President Trump said that additional testing is being done with UV light and patients who have the coronavirus, and also the use of medical disinfectants. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the task force to help the governors open their states efficiently and safely.
  • For the scientists who continue to study ways to treat and eradicate the virus.
  • That the president would be surrounded by wise counselors and accurate evaluations.

Sources: Fox News, C-SPAN


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