Indianapolis – April 21, 2020 – President Donald Trump opened today’s daily Coronavirus press briefing by offering his condolences to the American people, who have died from the coronavirus.
POTUS announced today that the COVID-19 mortality rate remains among the lowest of any country in the world. “We’re opening up America again,” Trump said. The data shows that 20 states (which represents 40% of the United States population) have announced plans to restart their economies. “The country wants to get back to work,” POTUS noted.
Trump was proud to announce that the Senate just passed before the press briefing another phase for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), along with funding for hospitals and testing. “Approximately $382 billion dollars for small businesses and as the ink is drying, the House will vote on the Senate bill tomorrow, which then Secretary Mnuchin will begin work on Phase #4,” Trump added.
Along with the $382 billion dollars that is going to small businesses, $75 billion dollars is going to aid hospitals and $25 billion dollars is going to support Coronavirus testing.
When questioned about the money from Phase #1 given to Harvard University from the PPP, President Trump simply answered, “Harvard’s gonna pay back the money.”
During today’s briefing, POTUS addressed a tweet that he sent out on Monday night.
Due to the Wuhanvirus, President Trump ordered a 60-day pause on legal immigration and it will only apply to people seeking green cards, which will be signed probably tomorrow, sometime Trump announced. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans to be replaced by immigrant labor during the pandemic,” Trump noted.
Under Section f. Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
President Trump and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) had a productive meeting today before the press briefing according to POTUS. Along with discussing Trump’s statewide testing strategy, POTUS asked Gov Cuomo, “If the USNS Comfort could return to Norfolk?” Gov. Cuomo thanked the President Trump for the ship and POTUS stated “We’ll be bringing the ship back at the earliest time.”
“I actually see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, The light is getting brighter and brighter every day.” – President Donald Trump
Secretary Mnuchin is looking forward to the House passing this next phase of the PPP. 30 million workers have been impacted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) / PPP. “We look forward to this having a big impact on the economy,” Mnuchin stated. According to the Secretary, a million very small companies got money in the first tranche, but now there’s a lot of money back in the program. To clear up some confusion in the small business sector, there will be FAQ released elaborating on certification for PPP eligibility and severe consequences for those who violate the certification requirements.
Mnuchin touched on the Phase 4 of the SBA / PPP, which will be money to aid infrastructure, restaurants and payroll tax cut, but the Secretary said, “It’s too premature to lay out the cost of phase 4 relief bill.”
Dr. Birx made note that there has been improvement across all the large metro areas in United States, including Chicago and Boston, but not in the DC region. “Even in rural and smaller population states, long-term care facilities are seeing outbreaks of coronavirus,” Dr. Birx added. Before closing, she reminded the American people that deaths are a lagging indicator that will continue, but she did thank all the health care providers for helping ensure the lowest morbidity rates in the world in this war.
Dr. Hahn updated everyone on antibody testing. “Antibody test is just one piece of the reopening plan and the FDA requires labs to validate their Antibodies tests,” Dr. Hahn noted. There are now over 140 antibody test applications and just 4 antibody tests have been approved.
After all remarks, President Trump returned to the podium and fielded questions from the media.
Full transcript of today’s briefing can be found here
(courtesy of Public Pool)
Full video of today’s briefing:
Clips of today’s briefing:
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