President’s Coronavirus Briefing for Friday

As testing increases and cases decrease, ventilators are being provided to other countries.

President Trump opened by mentioning that sixteen states are showing a flattening of the line on new cases, and many states are opening up in phases.

He said that he had signed the just-passed relief bill for additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.

“I have agreed to send ventilators to countries that are asking for them. We have over 10,000. We are helping Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia, France, Spain, Italy and perhaps Germany,” said the president.

The FDA approved the first-ever at-home test kit. “They have been approving many things at a pace that is unmatched, but with care and caution. It has really been helpful,” the president assured. Vaccine and therapeutic testing is also going on.

Dr. Stepen Hahn of the FDA said that over 10,000 scientists and medical workers have been working around the clock on regulated items, authorizing tests and other products.

“As part of the forward motion, we have cut down on some timelines, but with every care and caution. This is a totally new disease. A test normally takes years to develop; and it has happened in weeks and months as we work with industry and academia,” said Dr. Hahn.

Sixty-three tests, both diagnostic and antibody tests, have been authorized, including LabCorp’s new at-home test. All is done under the guidance of a licensed physician. More than 400 test developers are pursuing authorization for their products. Some 220 labs across the country are testing using their own validated tests.

“The antibody tests, one part of our response effort in identifying immunity, is moving forward. No stone is being left unturned in therapeutics, although no single item has been approved. Seventy-two are in trials and many more are seeking authorization for trials,” said the doctor.

The treatment acceleration program is moving with due diligence and speed to get these items done and to the market.

Dr. Hahn took questions about marketing in the U.S. that requires that people be informed about whether a test has been authorized by the FDA or not. “The National Cancer Institute and CDC are working with us in developing authorizations for testing,” he assured.

Vice President Pence reported on the whole-of-government response to the pandemic in America. “We have sought out a full partnership with the private sector. Today we had our latest conference call with governors. We specifically spoke about their progress in testing,” he said.

FEMA reported to the governors on their actions. FEMA, HHS and the private sector have coordinated the delivery of items to states across the country.

“One month ago 80,000 people had been tested; as of this morning 6.2 million people have been tested. As testing increases, cases increase as well. Do not be discouraged. We are seeing very positive trends in hospitalizations, emergency rooms, and progress in discharging patients,” said the vice president.

On the nearly two-hour call, they discussed the implementation of resources provided by the government. Governor Cuomo said that testing is a partnership between the federal and state governments. “He also said he is using his licensing authority to stand up more labs, and we urged other governors to do the same,” the vice president stated. Other governors reported on testing in their states, and government assistance for them. Many states are adding drive-through sites for testing this weekend. He said he was inspired by the work of states and their abilities to track this challenging virus. “Positive trend lines are being seen in samples of states across the country. We are encouraged, and people all across the country should be encouraged also,” Vice President Pence said.

Testing is being supplied by the federal government and deployed by the states. Testing will increase dramatically in the weeks ahead.

Mitigation is still required. “We are one team with one mission: to save lives. We are doing this with the help of incredible healthcare workers across the country; but perhaps most of all, Americans are cooperating and they are praying,” said the vice president.

Vice President Pence will visit Mayo Clinic in Minnesota next Tuesday to see for himself how they are operating their testing facilities.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the researchers and labs who continue to work on testing and treatments.
  • For the president and the task force as progress is made against the virus.
  • That the economy will recover as the states phase their reopenings.

Sources: Fox News, C-SPAN


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