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Donald Trump Dr. Deborah Birx Dr. Tony Fauci Seema Verma Some Random CEO

Press conference with Donald Trump (3/30/20)

Today’s participants are Donald Trump, a bunch of CEOs, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci and Seema Verma.

DONALD TRUMP

  • Yesterday he announced we’d be extending the social distancing guidelines through April.
  • They are still expecting the United States to reach the peak of our infection curve in two weeks.
  • He says by following these guidelines, we can save one million American lives. “Think of that!” he says as if he’s commenting on a plaque at Ripey’s Believe It Or Not.
  • “Our future is in our own hands” he says, and now I am nervous because his hands are TINY.
  • “We will have a great victory. We have no other choice.” I mean, I suppose he’s right. If we’re all here in three months it will be a great victory. And if we’re not, well we won’t be able to complain. So… WINNING!
  • He says this is a very important 30 days. It’s very vital, because we “have to get back”. THINK OF HIS HOTELS, YOU GUYS! THE HOTELS ARE SUFFERING!
  • With all the energy of a child reading lines in detention, he says “the more we commit ourselves now, the sooner we can win the fight and return to our lives. And they will be great lives. Maybe even better than ever.” Ok Donald, and maybe I’ll lose 30 pounds in quarantine, but the way I’m running through the snacks, it’s not looking likely either.
  • The nightly bragging about how many people we’ve tested is now extended to the secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar. He gets up on stage and reminds us that no other country has done a million tests. That whole speech goes on for a few minutes, and by skipping it you’re missing just about nothing, which is why he’s not getting his own section tonight. It’s almost 3am, so all I’m hearing is “here’s a bunch of stuff you’ve heard before.”
  • He talks again about the new five minute tests Abbott has and repeats pretty much the same talking points as yesterday. He brings up someone from the FDA who also repeats the same talking points as yesterday.
  • The five minute tests will be delivered to market tomorrow.
  • The United States government now has 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine available, and Bayer has donated one million doses of chloroquine as well, which will soon be distributed to states.
  • Another private company is about to donate an additional six million doses of Chloroquine.
  • The FDA has also authorized an N-95 mask sanitizing kit.
  • Donald says he has always been asking why they need to throw the masks away, because apparently he’s qualified to ask questions like that now. This would also be a good time to ask everyone to pray for our medical community. They will need it.
  • He says the machine that was just approved can sanitize 120,000 masks per day, and that they will then be “just like a new one!”. I hope this is accurate.
  • He says each mask can go through this process 20 times.
  • There are currently two machines in Ohio, one in New York, and one will soon be shipped to Seattle, Washington and Washington, DC.
  • He spoke to our nation’s governors this morning to make sure they have everything they need, and Mike Pence asked our nation’s hospitals to begin reporting total bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, ventilator capacity, and vital medical supply levels on a daily basis.
  • QUOTE: “In New York, the 2009 bed hospital which is now completed, they completed it in 3 days, you might say 3 and a half days at the Javits Center will be completed today, will be… and when you look, they’re going up. I think they’re gonna be adding some more beds which will be completed today, and we’ve opened up… whoops, there goes our box. My hair’s blowing around, and it’s mine. It’s the one thing you can’t get away with, if it’s not yours you have a problem. If you’re president.”
  • Friends, if any of you have run out of alcohol or mary jane while in quarantine, just read that last quote about five or six times and you’ll feel just as loopy as if you were fully loaded.
  • He’s once again saying how unprecedented it is to completely flip the Javits Center but, as I discussed yesterday, being flipped to fit an ever changing need for the space is actually the entire purpose of the Javits Center. It’s fantastic that they were able to get the medical supplies necessary to make that happen, but I wish Trump would stop speaking about it like he oversaw the construction of the pyramids or something.
  • He strokes his hair mid speech, and I am instantly reminded of a tribble on Star Trek. Do I have any Trekkies reading this blog? If yes, you’ll be happy to know I’m one of you too! Live long and press conference!
  • The USNS Comfort arrived in New York today. It will service people who need hospital services, but do not have COVID-19.
  • To date, FEMA has given more than 1.3 billion dollars in federal support to the state of New York.
  • He says “we’re getting the job done”.
  • In addition to the 8,100 ventilators that they’ve already delivered to various states, they are sending more than 1,000 additional units soon. 400 ventilators are going to Michigan, 300 to New Jersey, 150 to Illinois, 150 to Louisiana, and 50 to Connecticut.
  • FEMA has delivered millions of PPE products.
  • Ford just announced and they will be producing 50,000 ventilators along with general electric healthcare, and they’ll be doing it in less than 100 days.
  • General Motors and nine other companies are also making ventilators.
  • He says as we outpace what we need, we’re going to be sending them to Italy, France, Spain, and to other countries when we can.
  • More than 14,000 national guard members have been activated to help with this fight.
  • We have 51 loads of supplies coming in now from all around the world. The first one landed in JFK yesterday.
  • We’re also sending “things that we don’t need”, 100 million dollars worth of “surgical things”, to Italy.

THE ENDLESS PARADE OF CEOs

  • We’re getting another CEO parade today. Honestly, all they do during this section is praise Trump, so we can skip this part too. I thank them for all of their hard work and what not, but…
  • HOLD UP, NEVERMIND! I’ve got a hot quote for y’all from the CEO of MyPillow!
  • QUOTE: “God gave us grace on November 8th, 2016 to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God, and I encourage you to take this time at home to get back in the word, read our bibles and spend time with our families. Our president gave us so much hope when just a few short months ago, we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up. It was amazing. With our great president, our vice president, this administration, and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever.”
  • PERSONAL NOTE: Wow, there’s just so much to unpack here. Listen, I am certainly not opposed to prayer. I have been praying for our country daily as well. But, what I’m furious about is this ridiculous belief that God had ever been taken out of our country. First of all, if you believe in God then no one can remove God from your life. PERIOD. Belief in God is exactly what that first word says, it is a belief. You can’t take a belief from someone. Believe me, if I could take beliefs from people, I would gladly take away people’s sexim, racism, homophobia and bigotry. Those are beliefs too. But, beliefs do not work that way! Beliefs are in your mind and your heart, and only you can determine if you have them. If your belief in God is so precarious that not being allowed to pray in school could destroy it, then your beliefs were never really very strong at all. Second of all, what made America godless to this man before Trump came along? Was it that we had a liberal, black president? Are all democrats godless? What changed for you, sir? And lastly, how can anyone hold Donald “grab her by the pussy” Trump up as a godly man? Donald Trump has committed more sins than a whore house with a cheap buffet. I just can’t understand the logic here.
  • FRIENDS IN MINNESOTA: This man’s name is Mike Lindell, and Donald Trump is apparently encouraging him to run for Governor. I will pray for you all that he does not win, since he clearly needs to devote more free time to reading the bible and reinforcing his obviously unstable faith.
  • Ok, we’re back to the standard CEO stuff now. Lots of people are producing lots of stuff.

SEEMA VERMA

  • Seema is the administrator of the centers for Medicaid and Medicare services.
  • Today is national doctor’s day, and we thank all of our doctors.
  • Due to our current situation, CMS is waiving a wide range of regulatory requirements.
  • She says regulations shouldn’t stand in the way of patient care.
  • The first thing they are announcing is “hospitals without walls”. This new program will allow hospitals to create new treatment sites outside of their facility to expand capacity and be able to safely separate COVID patients from everyone else. I believe this also refers to the literal tent hospitals we now have in New York for overflow.
  • These waivers will allow local communities to convert things like hotels and gymnasiums into medical facilities, in order to help the main hospitals focus on ICU patients.
  • They are also making changes to Medicare to allow for home testing for patients that can’t leave their homes.
  • They are also expanding their workforce.
  • They are also allowing hospitals to provide more support to their healthcare workers. This extra support will include childcare, meals and laundry services.
  • They are also expanding telehealth. They will now be paying for doctors to make phone calls and give people help over the phone, and will be eliminating restrictions that previously demanded face to face visits.
  • They are also going to compensate healthcare providers for delaying elective surgeries.
  • Thank you to the team at CMS!

DONNY BOY

  • We’re gonna get through this with as few deaths as possible and resume WINNING soon.
  • They’ll be back tomorrow with some statistics, and some updates on timing.
  • “We have to get our country back.”
  • There are going to be a lot of deaths. We will lose a lot of people who are true heros to this country.
  • He says he has a lot of friends who are now sick, and one of them is now in a coma. In this second, I can see that he is having human emotions and that he is afraid. Because I am not heartless, I do feel sorry for him as he tells this story. Unfortunately, this is what it takes to get through to him. But, I’m just glad that something is getting through.
  • Thank you to all of the medical professionals who are trying to save our lives.
  • “We’ve learned so much.”

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Do you think any of the national guidelines will change this month? Do you think you’ll be adding more? Are you reconsidering any of the travel bans?
  • TRUMP: Everything will be staying the same, though the guidelines may get tougher.
  • QUESTION: It’s great that we’re producing a lot of ventilators, but will everyone who needs one be able to get one in time?
  • TRUMP: He brings up the 10,000 ventilators in the national stockpile again, and repeats that he thinks we will have more than we need. He says that these flair ups of the virus keep popping up “out of nowhere! Even in Alabama!”, but he thinks we’ll be prepared.
  • QUESTION: Do you think we’ll have enough though?
  • TRUMP: He says, yes, he does. He then says that all of the governors are “very happy” before going on about the Navy ships again. He is actually being very civil today, which is almost unnerving in a way because it means that even he can see this is serious now.
  • QUESTION: North Virginia has ordered a 70 day stay at home order for their state. Do you think that’s legal or warranted?
  • TRUMP: We’re letting the Governors do whatever they think is their best in their own state. People should be staying at home.
  • QUESTION: QUOTE “2,405 Americans have died from coronavirus from coronavirus in the last 60 days, meanwhile you have 2,369 children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day. That’s 16,500 children killed every week. Two states have suspended elective abortions to make more resources available for coronavirus cases. That’s Texas and Ohio. Do you agree with the states who are placing coronavirus victims above elective abortions, and should more states be doing the same?”
  • TRUMP: QUOTE “Well, I think that what we’re doing is we’re trying to, as a group, and that’s republicans and democrats, we’re just working together to solve this problem. That’s been a uh, what you’re mentioning has been going on for a long time, and it’s uh… it’s a sad event. A lot of sad events in this country. But, what we’re doing now is we’re working on the virus. We’re working on that hidden enemy, and I think we’re doing a great job on, uh… as good a job as you could possibly do when uh… when Tony and Deborah came up with numbers yesterday to say if we did nothing we could lose 2.2, up to 2.2… maybe beyond, I don’t know… maybe beyond. But, 2.2 million people if we did nothing. And I can’t tell you what the unfortunate final toll is going to be, but it’s going to be a very small fraction of that. So, uh… we’re doing an awfully good job with what we’re doing.”
  • NOTE FROM ME: Ok, you guys. Now, I know the world really is ending because… I think he actually gave the right answer? For once, I wasn’t totally embarrassed by his response. She asked a clearly inflammatory right wing question, and he completely dodged what she was really getting at. Bravo, Donald? I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I’m willing to give credit where credit is due. His answer was not a total dumpster fire.
  • QUESTION: Are you considering a national stay at home order?
  • TRUMP: He says they’ve talked about it. Some areas are more affected than others. He says they have issued a travel advisory, and he thinks that’s enough. He again showed some real human emotion talking about how empty 5th avenue is, and I find myself wondering if Donald has reached a turning point here.
  • QUESTION: Dr. Birx, you had mentioned that the model that gives us 100,000 deaths was if we did things almost perfectly. Are we doing things “almost perfectly”?
  • DR. BIRX: She says that’s a great question, and tomorrow will go through all of the graphs. She looks so tired and defeated today. But, on a superficial note, today’s scarf is probably my favorite one so far. She says that when you look at the data on all of the states together, all of them are moving in exactly the same curves. That’s why they decided that the guidelines needed to be federal guidance. Because it may look like some states only have two cases today, but they become 2,000 quickly. She says that she believes that we can still prevent worse numbers if we all follow the guidelines.
  • QUESTION: If this becomes a cyclical virus, are you prepared for that?
  • DR. FAUCI: He says yes, he anticipates that it will become a cyclical virus. But, next time around, we may have a vaccine. We will have therapeutics as well, and we will be prepared.
  • QUESTION: Do you think everyone should be wearing a facemask in public going forward?
  • TRUMP: He says they haven’t discussed that to that extent. But, it’s something they can take a look at.
  • QUESTIONS: People have also talked about tracking everyone through GPS to ensure distancing, and isolating sick people in hotel rooms. What about that?
  • TRUMP: He says “what? Would an alarm go off? That’s pretty severe.”
  • QUESTION: What would you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you downplayed this crisis over the past few months? He then reads a list of direct quotes from Trump about how the virus will disappear and we have it all under control.
  • TRUMP: QUOTE “It will go away, and I do want people to stay calm, and we are doing a great job. If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true. Stay calm. It will go away. You know it is going away. And it will go away. And we’re gonna have a great victory. And it’s people like you, and CNN that say things like that… that uh… it’s why people just don’t want to listen to CNN anymore. You could ask a normal question. The statements I made are I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want panic in the country. I could cause panic, much better than even you. I could make you look like a minor league player. But, you know what, I don’t want to do that. I want to have our country be calm. And Strong. And fight. And WIN.”
  • NOTE FROM ME: DENIAL AIN’T JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT, FOLKS!
  • QUESTION: You expressed some concern that medical supplies were going out the back door, can you update on that?
  • TRUMP: He repeats all the same crap from yesterday. He tells the reporter “I have no idea who you are, but that’s ok. You should go over there, go to the hospital, and find out.”
  • QUESTION: Something about the economy.
  • TRUMP: He says this was bad for the economy, and we had THE GREATEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD before, but the economy is secondary to lives. “We’ve learned a lot” he says, and goes on to say “having borders is very, very important.”
  • QUESTION: We are still not testing as many people per capita as other countries who have been affected, when will our number be on par with that?
  • TRUMP: It is on par.
  • REPORTER: No, it’s not!
  • TRUMP: “I know South Korea better than anybody.” he goes on to say “we have vast farmlands.” He continues on to say that we had a “broken system” and goes on to say that other countries wish they had our testing.
  • TRUMP: QUOTE “you should be saying congratulation instead of asking a really snarky question, because I know exactly what you mean by that, you should be saying congratulations to the men and women who have done this job, who have inherited a  broken testing system, and have made it great. And if you don’t say it, I will say it.”

He was so close to making it through a whole press conference without having a tantrum about his direct quote and misinformation. But alas, he fumbled at the end. Check back tomorrow for the much hyped Tuesday briefing!


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