This is a summary of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 press conference on Good Friday, April 10.
Happy Good Friday.
He mentioned how Easter ends in triumph and not despair.
Last night, the U.S. held discussions with Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC nations. Mexico committed to producing 100,000 fewer barrels. OPEC agreed to a 23 percent reduction. There is a tremendous glut of oil and we don’t want anything to hurt our industry.
On the virus fight, tremendous progress is being made. The death toll in New York has been horrible. The number of beds being used is substantially reduced. We’re saving so many lives compared to what it could have been.
We had an estimate on the low end 100,000 lives lost with social distancing. 90 percent of recommendations we did. We will be substantially under that number. 60,000 is fewer. The estimate went up to 2.2 million deaths if we did nothing. We’ll see what it ends up being, but looks to be under 100,000.
Detroit and New Orleans appear to be stabilizing. I spoke to governor of Louisiana; we are building them hospital beds. I don’t think they will need them, or not many.
We’ve kept our fatality rate lower than many nations.
The black community has been hit hard. It’s very troublesome.
Elective surgeries: The choice is between the patient and doctor. We are getting to the point of thinking about doing those surgeries soon.
I told Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to expedite aid to American farmers, $16 billion, especially for smaller farmers. I expect him to make sure our food supply is stable and safe and our farmers are prosperous.
The FDA authorized 47 emergency-use authorizations for testing and other uses.
We are giving doctors and patient freedom to make their own decisions.
From Monday, we made two major shipments of hydroxychloroquine from the national stockpile to various cities. We are disposing and getting out portions to the Department of Veterans Affairs and DOD. The DOD will send out 10 million N95 masks.
Over 2 million tests have been done. We are doing about 100,000 more a day. We are working to bring blood-based serology tests to market to tell people if they already had the virus and maybe have immunity. Departments including the NIH and CDC are validating the antibody tests very quickly. Once validated, we can do tens of millions of tests quickly. We’re leading other countries, which are asking us about tests.
We will announce a decision next week about WHO, which we give $500 million a year.
Every American should be proud of what we have achieved in such a short time.
The military built 23 hospitals with more than 16,000 beds in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
We used the Defense Production Act “like a hammer.”
We produced ventilators. We are making thousands; many won’t be needed, but we will put them in the national stockpile and the stockpiles they should have had in the states, and send some to other countries.
Project Air Bridge has brought in nearly 300 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPEs).
We are shipping 60 sterilization systems to cities that can sterilize up to 80,000 masks a day or even up to 120,000. They are from a company in Ohio. Some masks can be sterilized up to 20 times.
The stock markets are closed today. In four days, we had the biggest stock market increase in 50 years. There’s something very good going to happen. We have to get back. We’ve done well. We’ve had the greatest mobilization since World War II.
Dr. Deborah Birx:
Epidemic curves: You can see for the first time, the U.S. is starting to level out on a logarithmic phase. This gives me great heart. Much is driven by NYC because of the impact of what the citizens in that area are doing to change the course of this pandemic.
We still see cases occurring in Boston and Chicago, but their rate of increase seems to be slowing. She gave a shout out to the mayor of Baltimore for that city’s response.
Our mortality in the U.S. is less than other nations when you correct for the population thanks to the front-line health care workers.
We applaud California, Washington state and Oregon for keeping the virus from becoming logarithmic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci:
This is the end of a week where what we predicted would happen, did happen.
This is not the time to feel that since we made an advance in the mitigation that we should pull back at all.
There are other areas to make sure they don’t get spikes like New York. I spoke to about a dozen governors who are committed to not having such spikes.
There are many candidate interventions going into trials that are the gold standard of how you find out if something is safe. For more information, go online to Cliniciltrials.gov.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn:
FDA worked with industry and authorized two companies to sterilize N95 masks. We are buying 60 sterilization machines. Each can do 80,000 masks a day and may increase further.
FDA issued guidance on the laundering of gowns. We heard hospitals may not do that because of regulations, but if you follow our guidance you will be complaint on Medicare and Medicaid.
Specifications for making cloth gowns are available.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams:
Mitigation works. Thank you to America for your efforts to flatten the curve and save lives.
Yesterday I met 2,000 Hispanic leaders. Today I was on a call with black leaders and the vice president to talk about alarming trends on minority communities. IN NYC Hispanics account for the majority of deaths.
It’s alarming but it’s not surprising that minorities have chronic health conditions.
Chronic health conditions make minorities more vulnerable, especially when added to social challenges.
We tell people to wash their hands, but 30 percent of homes in the Navajo Nation have no running water.
The reason for vulnerability is not genetic. It’s social issues and other health conditions.
This does not have to be our nations’ future. We are reaching out to all communities. More details are forthcoming.