April 20 Task Force Briefing

2020_04 21 cases

[1:39:34] – We need to reopen in a safe and responsible manner, continuing with social distancing, hand washing, etc.

5:50 – Cuomo said, “The president is right. It’s the job of the states to coordinate testing.”

6:14 – President Trump remarked on stories in National Review, “How the Media Completely Blew the Trump Ventilator Story”,The administration handled the potential shortage deftly” and “The ventilator shortage that wasn’t.”

8 minutes: We’re in very good shape on testing. The media stories about testing “are all over the place.

9 minutes: We’re still building hospital beds in some places, but it’s winding down. General Semonite, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spoke about that effort. This is an example of the spaces they built. “So far we’ve been able to stay ahead of need.”

2020_04 21 Javits

16 minutes: Trump asked General Semonite to give an update about progress on the southern border wall. They’re in good shape to meet the president’s goal of 450 miles by December.

21 minutes: Trump talked about the federal government’s support for the governors’ efforts. Delivery of PPEs continues.

27 minutes: Trump talked about the scientific efforts. Seventy-two active trials are underway and another 211 are in the planning stages, testing therapeutics and vaccines.

32 minutes: Admiral Giroir talked about the public health response, particularly with regard to testing. This is an interesting three minutes.

40 minutes: VP Pence talked about his calls with the governors of ever state and territory.

  • More than 770,000 of our people have contracted the disease; more than 37,000 have died.
  • They talked about the guidelines to open up again and how individual areas are moving ahead with this effort.
  • They also helped the governors learn where they already have testing capacity and how they can utilize it. This includes 5,000 federal facilities (e.g., military hospitals) that states can use.

47 minutes: Dr. Birx noted that some metro areas still have significant numbers of cases. Then she explained about the different machines that can do testing and how they told each governor what machines they already have and where they are.

2020_04 21 machines

She stressed that people can be contagious without having any symptoms, so we all need to keep on doing all the mitigation we can. She also talked about state websites where we should be able to see (if the state has done a good job with its site) detailed information about numbers of cases etc.

As an example for all y’all, I checked and found my state @ https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home which has general info, plus links to county health department websites. The area where we live has had 155 people test positive; 117 have recovered, 8 are hospitalized, and 2 have died. Presumably the other 28 are convalescing at home.

57 minutes: Trump answered questions, many involved the odd fact that the price of oil is currently a negative number.

1 hr 3 min: Talk about the Defense Protection Act. A reporter asked AGAIN why they don’t force businesses to do stuff. And the Task Force answered it AGAIN. Sheesh.

1 hr 5 min: More talk about testing. It’s a more complex question than you’d think. For Phase 1, the guideline recommending testing people with symptoms. In addition, they’re going to focus on testing everybody in areas (e.g., nursing homes) where people are most vulnerable to find asymptomatic carriers. The feds are also deploying teams from CDC to supervise locals with contact tracing and testing.

1 hr 13 min: Trump talked about how he’s negotiating with South Korea, with is a very wealthy nation that our military helps protect. Yet they pay very little to help support the troops we keep there. He’s also renegotiated a bad trade deal that Hillary Clinton made with them.

The tone of the reporters’ questions has been remarkably respectful.

1 hr 18 min: Questions for Dr. Birx about mutations in the virus. They’re studying it.

1 hr 26 min: A reporter said some guy blames Trump for his decision to go to a funeral, after which his family got sick. Oh. So much for civility. I stopped listening and skipped to…

1 hr 30 min: Chanel Rion (OAN) asked an interesting question, “On a personal note, what has been the most significant signal that your relationship with Democrats has improved for the good of America?

The fact that we’re able to do the aid packages with bipartisan support. … Nancy Pelosi has been very nasty. … That (impeachment) was a bad thing for our country. … They could have been looking into China.” – President Trump

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