Coronavirus Task Force briefing TRANSCRIPT: 4/7/20, The Beat w/ Ari Melber

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s a great thing if it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that`s no good.

We`re in the midst of a great national struggle, one that requires the shared sacrifice of all Americans.

In recent weeks it`s been remarkable to see -- companies and organizations and individuals, like the banks that I just told you about, biggest banks in the world. They stepped up to help small business, they are big business, small business. The small business will someday be the big business.

But the small business is 50 percent of our economic strength. People don`t realize when you add them up, but they just -- they just rose to the occasion. Everybody`s rising to the occasion. It`s been incredible to watch.

To honor and celebrate the extraordinary examples of patriotism and citizenship, we`re seeing I`m asking Americans to use the #Americaworkstogether. When sharing stories of how we`re all working together, get through -- getting through this ordeal in a fashion that nobody would have ever thought possible.

It`s been incredible and that`s why the numbers are so far much better we want to keep it that way. If you look at the original projections, if we did nothing it would be disastrous.

If we decided to do something, we closed it down. I had no choice, it was a good move. That was a good move. The early China move was a good move, the early Europe move was a good move. But a lot of good moves.

But closing it down was a big statement, was a big important thing. But we`re looking to have far fewer deaths than originally thought and I think we`re heading in that direction but it`s too early to talk about it. I don`t even want to talk about it now because we just want to work.

And I think that people are doing an incredible job, the doctors the nurses, the firefighters, the police, all medical people, what they`re doing. The bravery that they`re displaying is just incredible.

Every citizen should take immense pride and the selflessness, and all of the courage and compassion of our people, the workers, the people that are working, and construction workers going into hospitals knowing nothing about this problem other than it`s dangerous. And they go in there to rebuild sections of hospitals, and you have people in really big trouble right next door. They know nothing about it. All they know is they`re going to get it done, they`re going to fix that wing, so they can have more people in there, it`s incredible.

But this is a national spirit that won our independence and settled the frontier and explored the horizons of space and that`s what we`re doing. I mean this is all -- this is all new territory.

It unlocked the miracles of science and we`re doing that when you -- I wish you could have heard the calls I had yesterday with these great companies that come up with cures to diseases. And the success they`ve had over the last 15 years is really amazing.

So, I just want to thank all of them, they`re working very hard. They`re working with U.K. right now, and the U.K. doctors hopefully helping with their great prime minister. But these people are really tremendous signs of success, are staring us right in the face.

I think we`re going to have something that`s going to be great in terms of vaccines and in terms of everything else that they`re doing. Just helping - - really helping us. Helping the people of our country and helping ultimately the people of the world.

So, I want to thank you all for being here. I will take some questions, and then, I`m going to give it over to the vice-president, and they`re going to go into great detail on to what we`re doing, and all of the successful supplies and medical equipment that we`re getting. All of the ventilators I`ve said it, but you can go over it in more detail if you`d like, but we`re taken in and building thousands and thousands of ventilators and they`re very high quality.

I said you got to go for the quality and these are quality companies doing it. So, because there is a big difference between a good ventilator and not so good ventilator, Tony, right?

We`ve seen that and a big difference. So, we`re going top-of-the-line. Steve, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The acting Navy secretary submitted his resignation today, Modly. Why did that become necessary and what role did you have in this, sir?

TRUMP: Well, I have no role in it. I`ve heard, I don`t know him, but I`ve heard he was a very good man. And it was -- the whole thing was very unfortunate. The captain should not have written a letter, he didn`t have to be Ernest Hemingway. He made a mistake, but he had a bad day. And I hate seeing bad things happened, man made a mistake.

But, you know, he shouldn`t be writing letters and you`re in the military, you`re the captain of a great ship, and you shouldn`t be writing letters, and sending them to many people and -- then, it gets out to the media.

And you know, the question is how did it get out to the media? So, there`s a lot of bad things happen there. And I had heard he did because he didn`t want to cause any disturbance for our country. So that was a -- because he wouldn`t have had to resign, I would not have asked him. I don`t know him. I didn`t speak to him.

But he did that, I think, just to end in that problem. And I think in one - - in really many ways that was a very unselfish thing for him to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What should happen now to Commander Crozier, who let the --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, (INAUDIBLE) that. I think the secretary of defense, as you know, is what -- you know, Mark Esper, and he`s very capable. And I think he`s looking at that right now. They`re going to just take it under regular Navy channels to see what they want to do.

But he made a mistake, but he shouldn`t have done that. And your secretary, probably, shouldn`t have said quite what he said. He didn`t have to resign, but he felt it would be better for the country. So, I -- you know, I think, it`s -- it will end it quickly.

Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, a couple on the economic front, the $250 billion that was added today will be added for the small business loan program.

TRUMP: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brings it to $600 billion in total. Do you think that figure is enough? Might (INAUDIBLE) on the line.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, we`re going to find out. You know, when you see hundreds of thousands of applications, don`t forget, they`re for $3,000 for 7,000. Some for a couple of million, I guess, one of the banks said, a couple of million. So, therefore different very varying amounts of money, and there`s a limit on the top, and then, there`s really no limit on the bottom as to what it might be.

But, it`s really popular. It`s hundreds of thousands of applications they really like it. What I like is it keeps these companies together -- these little companies. Just like we`re going to help the airlines and the big companies. We`re going to help the little companies.

And the banks running nobody`s equipped to do a thing like that. But the banks are equipped. So, the banks are doing it, big banks, small banks, we have many banks, community banks, and they are processing the loans. And they`ll be able to watch it and make sure it`s done properly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talk today, sir, as well about potentially reopening the economy in the upcoming weeks. You mentioned the other day about a potential economic task force. Can you give us some sort of update as to where that may or may not --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, we`re thinking about that. But we want to open up, but we want to get it open soon. That`s why I think maybe we`re getting to the very top of the curve. I spoke with Governor Cuomo and he seems to think that he`s getting close. And I think a lot of people think that a lot of places are getting close.

We want to start heading that hitting the downside, and I think we`re going to be doing. This is going to be a very difficult week, however. This week will be a very difficult week because that`s the most difficult week when you`re at that top position. And we`ll see what happens, we`ll see what happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), what should the federal government do? Because --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, the federal government has done a lot, and it`s going to do a lot. We want to -- I really think that with the stimulus, we can be maybe even beyond we`re going to do, perhaps, infrastructure, which you wouldn`t have gotten approved before, and now people are looking to do it.

And the beauty is we`re paying zero interest or very close to zero interest. In some cases, we`re paying actually zero. Have no interest charge. And the dollar is very strong and people are investing in the dollar. They want -- you know, the fact that we have the strong currency, we have v-currency. We -- our currency is everything.

And other companies, other countries want to be in our currency. So, we`re getting all of the investment wanting to come into the dollar. The dollar is the strength, the dollar is the whole ballgame, we have a strong dollar.

Other currencies are going down, way, way down in some cases. You look at other countries, I won`t mention them, but other countries are going down 22 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, and it`s very hard for them that makes it much more difficult with us.

Our currency is relatively now stronger than it ever was, or it was over the last few years relative to other countries. It`s always relative to other countries, but our currency is very strong.

So, therefore, people want to invest if we do a bond issue to do infrastructure, everybody wants a piece of that issue. Even at zero interest. Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Did you see these memos that reportedly, Peter Navarro, wrote back in January? When did you see them and how does that -- these memos sort of square with what you`ve often said that nobody could have predicted this? It sounds like he was predicting.

TRUMP: I didn`t see him, but I heard he wrote some memos talking about pandemic. I didn`t see him, I didn`t look for him, either. But that was about the same time as I felt that we should do it. We -- that was about the same time that I closed it down.

I asked him about it just a little while ago because I read something about a memo. I said, did you do a memo? I didn`t look for -- I didn`t see it, I didn`t ask him to show it to me.

He said, yes, I talked about the possibility of pandemic. Nobody said it`s going to happen, but you know, there is a possibility, there always has been a possibility, but people wouldn`t talk about it. But it was right about the time that I closed it down.

And interestingly, the World Health Organization was not in favor of us closing it down. And if we didn`t close it down, we would have lost hundreds of thousands of more lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President -- Mr. President.

TRUMP: So, we did a good thing. We did a good thing. Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, at the time, though, when Peter Navarro did circulate those memos, you were still downplaying the threat of coronavirus to the U.S. You were saying things like, I think it`s a problem that`s going to go away with a couple of days.

TRUMP: We should right about -- we think it will go away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said within a couple of days, the cases will be down to zero.

TRUMP: Well, the cases really didn`t build up for a while. But you have to understand, I`m a cheerleader for this country. I don`t want to create havoc and shock and everything else. But ultimately, when I was saying that, I`m also closing it down. I obviously was concerned about it because I closed down our country to China, which was heavily infected. I, then, closed it down to Europe. That`s a big move, closing it down from China, and then, closing it down from Europe, and then, ultimately, closing it down to the U.K.

So, and it was right about that time. But I`m not going to go out and start screaming this could happen, this could happen. So, again, as president, I think a president has to be a cheerleader for their country. But at the same time, I`m cheerleading, I`m also closing down a very highly infected place, specifically, the location, as you know, in China that had the problems.

And we`re closing it down, but we closed it down to all of China. Then, we closed it down to all of Europe. Those were big moves, and it was right about that time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, sir. Just going to quick -- just a quick follow- up Mr. President. Mr. President --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, can you just clarify, did you just learned about this today?

TRUMP: Say it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you learned about the memo just today? Just --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I read about it maybe a day ago, two days ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel like someone in your -- among your staff or Peter Navarro, himself should have told you about the memo?

TRUMP: No, not at all. That was a recommendation, it was a feeling that he had. I think he told certain people and the staff, but it didn`t matter, I didn`t see it. But I did, I closed it down, I don`t remember it even being discussed. We had a meeting where there were a lot of people. Most people felt they should not close it down, that we shouldn`t close down to China. But I felt we had to do it. And that was almost the exact same time as the memo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you had read the memo at the time, how would that have changed the steps you (INAUDIBLE) for the statements that you --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I don`t think I want to change because I did -- I basically did what the memo said, and the memo was -- you know, the memo was pretty good, memo from the standpoint that he took, I guess, I didn`t see it yet.

But you were saying that the U.S. would -- warning that the U.S. could lose trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

TRUMP: Well, we`re not going to lose millions of lives, but you lose plenty of money. But I couldn`t have done it any better because it was about the same time, and I closed it down to China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And just last -- so you maintain confidence in him, in Peter Navarro.

TRUMP: Of course, I maintain -- he wrote a memo and he was right. And I haven`t seen the memo. I`ll see it later on after this. But it didn`t matter whether I saw it or not because I acted on my own. I guess I had the same instincts as Peter. Peter is a smart guy, he is a good guy. And he`s done a wonderful job. But he wrote a memo and I guess he talked to various people about it.

But ultimately, I did what the memo -- more or less, what the memo said just about the time the memo came out. I closed it down. I took a lot of heat. The World -- you know, Health Organization was very much against. They didn`t like it. They actually put out statements about it.

In all fairness to Joe Biden, he called me xenophobic, like, I don`t like China. I like China, I like -- the Chinese people are phenomenal people. So, I was called xenophobic, I was called racist, how could I do a thing like this?

Now, since then, Joe said that he was wrong, and he said that I was right. But I closed it down, and I was called names by some of the morning show hosts who don`t have a clue what they`re talking about, they`re not smart people. And I was called all sorts of names when I closed it down to China.

Now, they try and hide that -- you know, the tape of them saying terrible things. But that was a great decision. If I didn`t do it, if I didn`t do that, we would have had hundreds of thousands more people dying. Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talk a lot about the WHO, and I was wondering Dr. Fauci had discussed them earlier, so, if I could ask you a question about - -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, he respects the WHO, and I think that`s, that`s good, and he`s worked with them for a long time. But they did give us some pretty bad play calling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve also, I think, given lots of countries in the world accurate coronavirus testing that`s been central to your kind of data modeling, and so --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: To that, I don`t know. I can only say that with regard to us, they`re taking a lot of heat because they didn`t want the borders closed, they called it wrong. They called -- they really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong, until --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So -- the funding increase that not --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I`m not happy about it. Look, we fund it. Take a look, and we go through step by step. They said there`s no big deal, there`s no big problem, there`s no nothing. And then, ultimately, when I closed it down, they actually said that I made a mistake in closing it down, and it turned out to be right, but at the time they -- you know, they did that.

So, we`re just going to take a look at it. You know, we fund it, and they seem to be -- you know, I said, recently, a social media has said they seem to be very China-centric. That`s a nice way of saying it, but they seem to be very China-centric.

And they seem to air always on the side of China, and we fund it. You know, so, I want to look into it. Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please -- quick follow-up on that. So, is the time to freeze funding to the WHO during a pandemic?

TRUMP: No, maybe not. I`m mean, I`m not saying I`m going to do it, but we`ll going to look at it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We give a tremendous -- no, I didn`t. I said we`re going to look at it, we`re going to investigate it, we`re going to investigate it, we`re going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding.

Yes, because you know what? They called it wrong, and if you look back over the years even, they`re very much -- everything seems to be very biased toward China. That`s not right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to follow up, we talked about African Americans and having been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

TRUMP: Seems to be, unfortunately.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you plan on requiring the CDC of any federal agencies or state agents public, public places doing tests, and private companies doing tests to collect that data on the race of the people being tested.

TRUMP: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the race of the people being treated and (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: Well, we just seeing tremendous -- we`re seeing tremendous evidence that African Americans are affected at a far greater percentage number than other citizens of our country because we`re dealing with our country.

Now, we`re looking at it from a worldwide standpoint. Tony Fauci is looking at it very strongly, but these numbers have started to come out, and they`re very strong, and they`re pretty obvious. I mean, you talking about --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you will release that -- you will release that publicly?

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE), would you like to talk about that for a second? Please.

SEEMA VERMA, ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID: I think one of the things that we`re going to be doing with our Medicare data is to do that analysis. We`re going to look back at the last month or so, and look at, you know, related type illnesses going forward.

We now have a code for coronavirus, so we can actually stratify by demographic information. So, we can look at race as a factor. We can also look at what the underlying health issues are as well. So, we`ll be providing that data very shortly. But we will be doing the analysis.

TRUMP: We`re working on that very -- this is something that`s come up over the list. I hadn`t heard this, and then over the last few days, this has come up more and more. And I don`t mean by a little bit. I mean, many times. It`s a real thing.

Now, we want to find cures, we want to find therapeutics, we want to find vaccines because that will solve everybody`s problem. But why is it that the African-American community is so much -- you know, numerous times more than everybody else. And we want to find the reason to it.

And Dr. Fauci, Seema, and both of them, and others are working on this. And they get -- have very good, I would say over the next in less than a week, I think, you`re going to have very good statistics. A couple of days --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And to something specifically aimed at those communities that are being hard hit, those black communities that are hard hit.

TRUMP: But we`re helping them a lot. But what`s happening is we`re trying to find out why is it that it`s three and four times? Now, maybe that`s not going to be the final number. But why is it three or four times more so for the black community as opposed to other people? It doesn`t make sense, and I don`t like it.

And we`re going to have statistics over the next probably two to three days, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President --

TRUMP: Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I`d like to ask the question on behalf of myself and a colleague who couldn`t be here due to social distancing.

TRUMP: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

TRUMP: Who are you with? Who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Hearst Newspapers, on the print (INAUDIBLE) today. Thank you.

Some banks are only providing paycheck protection program, loans to clients with whom they have existing banking relationships. And you spoke to banking CEOs today.

TRUMP: I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wonder if you -- you`ll ask them, these lenders to accept applications from all small businesses.

TRUMP: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not just the businesses with whom they have existing (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: OK, they`ll be doing that. But we`re also working with small community banks. So, they will be doing that. It`s a question I`ve already spoken about. Having in many cases, they have long term relationships with thousands of companies.

I was amazed to see how many -- you know, you saw the number of applications. It`s hundreds of thousands. It`s a lot of work. But I did ask that question and they are working on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you and my second question from my colleague is Congressman Gerry Connolly a Democrat from Northern Virginia, told the local D.C. CBS station that you personally requested the CARES Act stimulus bill be stripped of $25 billion for the postal service.

Connolly claims that unless the USPS gets that $25 billion, the agency will be run out of money by June. He accuses you of hastening the demise of the Postal Service. Could you respond to that case?

TRUMP: The biggest -- I`m the reason the Postal Service -- the Postal Service as well as billions of dollars every year for many, many years. So, I`m the demise is the new one. I`m now the demise of the Postal Service.

I`ll tell you who is the demise of the Postal Service. So, these Internet companies that give their stuff to the Postal Service packages, and I don`t know why they`re not -- you know, I don`t run the Postal Service. You have a group of people, so-called independent people, and they run it.

But these packages are, they deliver, they lose money every time they deliver a package for Amazon or these other Internet companies. These other companies that deliver, they drop everything in the post offices and say you deliver it. And if they`d raise the prices by actually a lot, then, you`d find out that the post office could make money or breakeven. But they don`t do that, and I`m trying to figure out why.

These are independent boards that were appointed by other administrations. They are sort of long term. They`re there for a long time. And I`ve been talking to them also. You can look it up, take a look, they should raise -- they have to raise the prices to these companies that walk in and drop thousands of packages on the floor of the post office and say deliver it.

And they make money, but the post office gets killed. OK? So, they ought to do that, and we`re looking into it, and we`ve been pushing them now for over a year. And you know that because you`ve seen the stories, I`m pushing them.

It`s not fair for them to these great, wonderful modern companies, they walk into our old post office with all these routes that could never be built. You could never build them. They go into areas that you could never do. And they say, here, deliver this. And they lose a lot of money per package. And they have to raise their prices but this postal commission doesn`t do it.

Now, we just got a chance to point to a couple of people onto the commission as I understand it, and that`s good. But they have to raise their prices. Otherwise, they`re just going to lose a lot of money.

And tell your Democrat friend that he ought to focus on that. Because if he focused on that, he could truly save the post office. Post office has been losing billions of dollars a year for many, many years. And have him take a look at that because that`s the way to solve the problem. They got lose better.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, Mr. President. Thank you so much. Mr. President, you say this week, could be very painful, very difficult. But a few weeks ago, you say this was just like a flu. What have you learned?

TRUMP: I didn`t say two weeks ago was a flu.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A few weeks ago.

TRUMP: You know what, can I tell you what? Excuse me, ready?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question is, Mr. President, what have learned that it could offer as an advice to foreign leaders who still are skeptical about this pandemic and who are against social distancing? What is your advice? What had you learned?

TRUMP: OK, and you said, I said it was just like a flu. So, the worst pandemic we ever had in this world was a flu, and it was cold -- you know that it was in 1917, 1918. And anywhere from 50 to 100 million people died. That was a flu. OK?

So, you could say that I said it was a flu or you could say the flu is nothing to sneeze at.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question Mr. President, what can you offer as an advice to foreign leaders who are skeptical -- skeptical about this pandemic, and who are against social distancing?

TRUMP: Well, I think there aren`t too many of them. If you look throughout the world. And everyone -- just about everyone that has practice that is now closing up.

Well, the U.K. was an example. Now, they talk about Sweden, but Sweden is suffering very gravely, you know that, right? Sweden did that. The herd, they call it the herd.

Sweden suffering very, very badly. It`s a way of doing it, but the -- you know, everybody is been watching everybody else. And so far, almost every country has done it the way we`ve done it, we`ve chosen to do it.

If we didn`t do it that way, we would have lost hundreds of thousands of more people. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, there is voting going on today in Wisconsin, there were reports of thousands of people waiting in hours-long lines, as they`ve had to waive their own personal health and their -- and their civic responsibility. What did you -- do you think that the Supreme Court was right in (INAUDIBLE) that voting should go forward and the absentee extension should not take place?

TRUMP: Yes, look, the Supreme Court, and of course, they were right, because what the Democrats wanted -- and you know what this happened? I supported a man named Justice Kelly, who`s Daniel Kelly, highly respected justice.

And I supported him just the other day, social media, I know of him, he`s a -- just a -- you know, fantastic judge -- justice. And I endorsed him. And as soon as I endorsed him, they wanted to move the election.

They didn`t want to move the election. As soon as I endorsed him, the Wisconsin Democrats, say, oh, let`s move the election to two months later. three they didn`t might have in the election until I endorsed them, which is very interesting. And now they talk about oh safety, safety.

Well, it was 15 minutes after I put out an endorsement that they said we have to move the election. They didn`t want to move the election before that. The other thing they want to do, which is crazy, at the end of the election, they wanted to have one week for proxies to come in or mail ballots.

Now mail ballots, they cheap. OK? People cheap. Mail ballots are very dangerous thing for this country because they`re cheaters. They go and collect them, they`re fraudulent in many cases. You got to vote, and they should have voter I.D. by the way, you want to really do it right. You have voter I.D.

But the Democrats, and this was turned over in the Supreme Court yesterday. I give great credit to the court. They actually didn`t want to have an election day. They wanted to have election day, and then a week after election day, you choose -- you kept all these ballots come in, these mailed ballots come in.

The mail ballots are corrupted, in my opinion. And they collect them, and they get people to go in and sign them, and then they -- they`re forgeries in many cases. It`s a horrible thing.

And so what happened is the Democrats in Wisconsin, they had no problem with the election being today until I endorsed the Republican candidate, Justice Kelly -- Daniel Kelly.

And as soon as I endorsed him, they went crazy. They went crazy. And you know, that`s true. And now all of a sudden, because go back two weeks, go back two days, they didn`t want to move the election. They were having the election, they were fine because they thought they were going to win the election.

Then, I endorsed him, and all of a sudden they think they`re not. Now, I understand there are lines that go back a long way. I hope they`re going to vote for Justice Kelly, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Mr. President, do you think that America --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Got no -- go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, with millions of pills of hydroxychloroquine donated, is there a plan or system in place to track the potential side effects?

TRUMP: Yes. Yes, would you saw the representative --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There have been serious harm, so is there -- is there a plan to track the side effects on this?

TRUMP: Look, look, is there a plan? The side effects -- the side effects are the least of it. You have people dying all over the place. And generally, the side effects are really with the Z pack having to do with the heart, the Z Pak. That`s the antibiotic, not with the hydroxychloroquine.

So, a woman last night, I watched her on one of the shows, good show, Laura. And she was -- she thought she was dead. She was a representative from Michigan. She was just in horrible shape for 12 days, 14 days, she thought she was dead.

I think she said that her doctor said, she`s -- you know, it`s going to be very tough. She saw me talking about this, and she asked her husband to go to the drugstore. Now, this is a Democrat representative, a person that, you know, perhaps wouldn`t be voting for me. I think she`ll be voting for me now, even if she`s a Democrat, even if she`s a Democrat representative.

And they went to the store, which I made available because we have millions of doses. We have, I think, 29 million doses of this drug. And she asked her husband, she said, please go out. I`m not going to make it. You have to hear a story, please go out, get it.

He went at 10:00 in the evening to the drugstore. He got it. He gave it to her. Now, you know, it`s, I don`t say it works like this at all. Four hours later, she awoke. And she said I feel better. And then, shortly thereafter, she felt great.

This is a woman that thought she was going to die. It`s -- I mean, she`s a Democrat representative, highly respected woman. African American woman. I don`t know if you saw it, as you ask the question about African American. She was an African American woman, a great woman.

Her manner of speaking, her -- the way she told the story was beautiful. I asked my husband to go and get it. He got it. She is now OK. I mean, she was interviewed last night on television.

And she thanked me. She thanked me even in a tweet. She said I want to thank President Trump, he saved my life. Look, I don`t say that happens with everybody. But that`s a beautiful story.

There are many of those stories. And I say, try it. OK, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re in trouble --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: When you`re in trouble, if you`re going to die, and you`re going to die, I mean, it`s -- you`re not going to die from this pill. Now, there could be some side effects, but the side effects is really more so from the Z pack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there (INAUDIBLE) the side effects?

TRUMP: No, no. Doctors have to recommend it. I want doctors. I`m not saying to -- I`m not a doctor. I`m just saying we hear great results. And some people say let`s go to a laboratory, let`s test it for a couple of years. And then, no, I get -- we got people dying in this country and all over the world right now. Not in a couple of years.

They`re dying -- as we speak, there are people dying. And I really think it`s a great thing to try just based on what I know. Again, I`m not a doctor. And I say get a physician`s approval. And they have physicians in these hospitals, great physicians, brave physicians.

They also say it`s good for the hospital workers to take them, that it keeps it away, it keeps out of your system. I don`t know. But there`s a lot of good examples. And we have a 1,500 case study going on in New York and it`s almost complete, so it`ll be very interesting to see what happens. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

TRUMP: I appreciate that woman, she was great. You have to see it to believe it, the way she spoke. It was like a miracle. And this was not a fan of mine, but she is a fan of mine now, and I`m very honored by it. Go ahead

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. Can you talk about your decision to remove Glenn Fine from the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee? And that move and some of the criticism that you`ve leveled at the I.G.`s, how does the American public have confidence that there will be oversight?

TRUMP: We have a lot of I.G.`s in from the Obama era. And as you know, it`s a presidential decision, and I left them largely. I changed them, but I left them. But when we have reports of bias and when we have different things coming in -- I don`t know Fine. I don`t think I ever met Fine. I heard the name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn`t an Obama --

TRUMP: I heard the name. I don`t know where he is. Maybe he was from Clinton, OK. You have to check that out. Maybe he was from Clinton. But we did change him, but we changed a number. We have about seven nominations in, I believe. We put seven very, very highly qualified people for the I.G. position, and that`s a decision that I could`ve made three years ago and I could`ve made two years ago. But we`re putting in, not so much for him, we`re putting in seven names. I think it was seven. And they are going in now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, when you talk about the WHO being China- centric, what exactly are you talking about? Is it because China has underplayed how many victims --

TRUMP: I don`t know. They see to come down on the side of China. Don`t close your borders to China. Don`t do this. They don`t report what`s really going on. They didn`t see it, and yet they were there. They didn`t see what was going on in Wuhan. They didn`t see it. How do you not see it? They didn`t see it. They didn`t report it. If they did see it -- they must`ve seen it, but they didn`t report it.

Please, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, just turning back to voting in Wisconsin and those long lines, who would be responsible -- who should be held responsible if people get sick after they voted?

TRUMP: Look, all I did was endorse a candidate. I don`t know anything about their lines. I don`t know anything about their voting. I love the state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- today as well. We you take some of the responsibility --

TRUMP: I won the state, which is rare for a Republican to do, but I won the state of Wisconsin. I`m going to win it again because we`ve been great to the people of Wisconsin, as you know, with our policies, and they like me and I like them. But all I did was endorse a candidate that`s highly qualified, a very respected person, and all hell broke loose as soon as I did that. And then all of a sudden, they want to change. Before I endorsed him, they didn`t want to change this voting area. There was no problem with the Democrats voting until I endorsed the candidate. Then they said, let`s move it two months. Let`s move it three months later. Safety, safety, safety. All of a sudden, they want safety. Before I did the endorsement, they didn`t talk about safety. It was fine. For months, for months it was fine. It was always going to be. And now I endorse, and they want safety. So you know.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Just to follow-up on that, how does the election, them holding this election in Wisconsin, line up with the social distancing recommendations that have come from your administration?

TRUMP: You`ll have to ask the people that -- you have a Democrat in Wisconsin as governor. Ask him. That`s his problem. He should be doing it. Again, some governors fail. And I won`t let them fail, because when they fail, I`ll help. But that`s run by Democrats right now. OK, it`s run by Democrats. You ought to have great Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible to socially distance when you`re voting? You`re going to have to --

TRUMP: You have to speak to the governor. What you should do is call the governor of Wisconsin and ask him that question. But also ask how come it was OK to do this until I endorsed a candidate. And as soon as I endorsed him, these lines are formed, and I hear, Mike, the lines are through the roof. So hopefully they are going to vote for the right candidate.

Yes, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, can I just check in on the oil again today. I was wondering --

TRUMP: Oil? Where is it today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I was wondering if you --

TRUMP: No, no, where is the price? Give me the price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not sure, to be honest.

TRUMP: How can you ask a question when you don`t know the price?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will look it up for you.

TRUMP: Let me do somebody else. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you were highly critical of mail-in voting, mail-in ballots.

TRUMP: I think mail-in voting is horrible. It`s corrupt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You voted in Florida`s election last month.

TRUMP: Sure, I can vote by mail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can you reconcile that?

TRUMP: Because I`m allowed to. That`s called out of state -- you know why I voted. Because I happen to be in the White House and I won`t be able to go to Florida and look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the difference between mailing within the state and mailing outside the state?

TRUMP: Let me just say, there`s a big difference between somebody that`s out of state and does a ballot and everything is sealed, certified, and everything else. You see what you have to do with the certifications. And you get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody`s living room signing ballots all over the place. No.

I think that mail-in voting is a terrible thing. I think if you vote, you should go. And even the concept of early voting is not the greatest, because a lot of things that happen. But it`s OK. But you should go and you should vote. I think should go and you should vote. You look at what they do where they grab thousands of mail-in ballots in they dump it. I`ll tell you what -- I don`t have to tell you. You can look at the statistics. There`s a lot of dishonesty going along with mail-in voting, mail-in ballots.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve heard state officials to buy their own medical equipment, but federal officials are swooping in and scooping up those orders. How are you ensuring it`s being distributed fairly?

TRUMP: I didn`t hear that. We are getting great prices on equipment. We`re getting great prices on equipment, and we are hoping the states, and the governors are very thankful. Mike Pence had a call yesterday with every governor was on the call, and every -- it was like a lovefest. They`re very happy. I don`t know if they tell that to the press. Some of them don`t. Some of them will never say good to the press, but they know we have done a great job. Not a good job, a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- state officials are widely --

TRUMP: No, no, I think sometimes it does. And what we say is let us know and we will immediately drop out of the bidding. Let us know. And we do that and we drop out. Sometimes we tell them to drop out because we`ve got a good price. And then we will deliver to them.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead, behind, please. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: No, no, no, no, not you. In front. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some states have had trouble with getting accurate death counts, particularly because of lack of testing --

TRUMP: Did you say "death counts"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, because of lack of testing and no uniform system to --

TRUMP: I don`t know. When you say "death counts," I think they are pretty accurate on the death counts. Somebody dies, I think the states have been pretty accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if there`s no testing.

TRUMP: That`s a big deal, what you`re just saying. The death counts, I think they are very, very accurate. I do say this, I think if you look at China and if you look at some of these very large countries, when you talk about cases, number of cases, I would be willing to bet they have more cases than we do, but they don`t do the testing like we do.

But you look at some of these, certain country, and I would be willing to bet a lot that they have more cases. But we are more accurate, and our testing is done very accurately, and we`ve got a good process.

Did you have one? Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you have been consistently supportive of a payroll relief tax.

TRUMP: A what? Payroll?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Payroll relief. I know you`re still busy trying to implement phase three, but as we move towards phrase four, are there still obstacles to that? Because that would put money in Americans` pockets consistently.

TRUMP: I would love to see a payroll -- good questions. I would love to see a payroll tax cut. And I think on behalf of the people, it would be quick. It`s a longer term, it`s a longer time, because it`s over a period of a year or whatever you want to make it, but I would love to see a payroll tax cut. There are many people that would like to see it as a permanent tax cut, payroll tax cut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is stopping it?

TRUMP: The Democrats right now are stopping it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are their reasons?

TRUMP: I don`t know. I don`t know. Maybe they think it`s good politics to stop it. But you`d get a lot of people a lot of money immediately. The payroll tax cut would be a great thing for this country. I would like to have it regardless of this, but this would be a fantastic time to have the payroll tax cut.

The Democrats are stopping it, but I think there`s a certain flexibility. I think it`s something that we should do both for business and the people. But this would get money into the hands of small business immediately, money in the hands of people, the workers and people immediately. And it would be over an extended period, and it would be simple to do, it`s so easy to do. It`s a great tax cut, and I would love you to speak to the Democrats and let`s get it done.

So I`m going to give this now to Vice President Pence. And they`re going to go over some very good statistics with everybody. And we`ll have a couple answers on that because we are working very hard on the African-American community with respect to what`s going on, because it`s not good. I don`t like it. And we`re going to have some very good statistics, Tony, I think over the next couple days.

So thank you all very much. Thank you.

MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. A few updates and then I`ll introduce Dr. Deborah Birx to talk about what we are seeing around the country, what the data is telling us. But suffice it to say, as the president said several times, this is a very tough week in America. And our hearts go out to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. But I know I speak for the entire White House Coronavirus Task Force when I say our hearts are with the people of the greater New York City area today.

As we stand here today in the midst of heartbreaking numbers of losses in New York City, I also want to assure the American people there is reason for hope. As Dr. Birx will enumerate in just a few moments, despite the increase in losses, as Governor Cuomo articulated today, hospital admissions continue to decline. And in our report early this morning from Dr. Birx, we continue to see evidence of stabilization in some of the areas around the country of the most significant outbreak. The New York Metro Area including New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut, New Orleans Metro Area, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, and Denver, as Dr. Birx will explain, continue to give evidence of stabilization, which, in a very real sense, is evidence that the American people are putting into practice the social distancing, the president`s guidelines for our nation.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, for that, as -- as the president said earlier today, we thank the American people.

Even in the midst of hardship and loss...

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: All right.

With me now, we have got a lot to unpack, as you just heard there.

NBC News -- I have got NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander. We have got a critical care physician, NBC News medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta. I have got internal medicine physician MSNBC medical contributor Dr. Lipi Roy here.

There is so much of some questionable things that the president said that I do want to go through or some unusual things he said. There is a lot on mail balloting. He claims it`s corrupt in many cases. Literally, there has only been one in the last 25 years. It was down in North Carolina where we had that.

There has been some odd things about the secretary of the Navy. He didn`t see any memos.

So I`m going get that with Peter.

But, Dr. Gupta, I want to start with you. In particular, what was sort of the theme of the day of the president is saying, hey, don`t look at -- don`t look over here in the United States. The WHO let us down.

And he seems to just say that they`re in the pocket of the Chinese, but they`re not explaining why.

What do you hear there? And is there any merit to the president`s criticisms of the WHO?

DR. VIN GUPTA, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No, Chuck.

And I thought that was a reprehensible attack on the WHO to scapegoat them. And it`s just -- it`s really unfair. I feel -- I have a lot of colleagues at the WHO, and I feel for their senior leadership, because I thought this was an unfair attack.

Here is the truth, and I will do my best to disseminate it, and thank you for asking the question.

There is something called the Contingency Fund for Emergencies. So, whether you`re a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, it`s called the CFE. The WHO relies on this funding mechanism to finance epidemics before they become international emergencies.

Guess what our total allocations to this fund have been in the last three years? Zero dollars. So, this notion that the WHO hasn`t been a willing partner, they have dropped the ball is completely irresponsible as a comment.

We haven`t done our part to adequately fund preparedness and global health security. The president fired all the experts in global health security a few years ago. And so he is trying to lay blame elsewhere, because the fact is, our response has been dysfunctional.

TODD: Dr. Roy, I would like you to -- there was another thing he said about -- as he was getting very specific about the use of hydroxychloroquine, and that the side effects, really, all the negative side effects are due to the Z-Pak, not the hydroxychloroquine.

Can you bring some clarity to that? It`s just -- it`s been very hard to sort of digest exactly what the president is claiming here with this therapeutic.

DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Chuck, I have to tell you, sitting here as a licensed physician, listening to a politician with zero medical training talk to the public about medications, their side effects, their clinical indications, was, frankly, cringeworthy.

And I say this because there is nothing that we do in medicine that doesn`t have some potential harm. Everything we do in medicine is a trade-off. Even a baby aspirin, which is known -- it`s a fairly benign over-the-counter medication that is known to reduce heart attacks, can also have this adverse effect of causing brain hemorrhage, again, very rare.

But the point I`m making is that everything we do in medicine has to be carefully weighed, the pros and cons.

Hydroxychloroquine, we know for a fact is not FDA-approved to treat people with coronavirus infection. Every single medical professional, public health professional has pretty much said this.

We need to wait for studies to come out to equivocally that hydroxychloroquine can be used in patients with COVID-19. So, for him to say that this medication, yes, just take it, let`s just try it, that`s flippant, and, frankly, it`s harmful.

TODD: I was just going to say, Dr. Roy, address the fact, he seemed to put it in terms of, well, if you`re going to die without it, why not try?

ROY: I`m beyond words.

I think it`s just reckless to say that. Look, I think it`s very reasonable for the reporters there to be asking these medical questions, but, for God sake`s, please allow the medical people to field those questions. That`s all I ask.

TODD: Yes, it`s a very fair point.

Peter Alexander, there was another theme to this briefing, and it was him claiming he didn`t know -- he didn`t know about a few things. He didn`t know who the acting -- he didn`t know anything about the acting secretary of Navy, he didn`t know anything about Peter Navarro`s memos.

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

TODD: And so -- and it`s not -- and he didn`t want to -- when he wanted to talk about the impact on African-Americans: I don`t want to say it. Tony, you say it, referring to Dr. Fauci.

It`s the second time in a week when the most -- when the grimmest news had to be said last week, the president didn`t want to say it. He said I -- and almost literally almost said: I don`t want to say it. Let me let Dr. Birx say it.

What -- I know this is somewhat of a crutch for him. If he doesn`t like talking about a fact, he either didn`t know about it or a deflection.

Let`s focus first on these Peter Navarro memos. It`s amazing how few people read them.

ALEXANDER: Yes.

Yes, not only how few people read them, but let`s be clear. The president said he didn`t know about them, that he didn`t see them. The memo, as we have now seen, reads: "Memo to the president of the United States."

The question I would have asked if I was in that Briefing Room is, Mr. President, you may not have seen them, but were you briefed about them at the time?

You heard from the president about this. He conceded that, in the early days of this, that he effectively downplayed the situation with COVID-19, coronavirus. We heard him back in January saying things along the lines of: It`s totally under control. It`s all going to be fine.

The day after, the day after this memo was written, he said it is -- quote -- "very well under control."

Clearly, now the president concedes it`s -- or at least it was not, with more than 10,000, 12,000 Americans who have died. And what he said the reason for this was is because he wanted to be a cheerleader for the United States.

TODD: Yes.

ALEXANDER: I think most Americans would agree that while they want the president to help cheerlead the United States, their number one priority them their president is that he gives them the facts and speaks to them straight.

And, again, Chuck, we didn`t hear that today. As it relates to the death counts, the president said he thought the death counts were very accurate in the United States, ignoring what we were hearing from state and local officials, saying that they believe there is a significant undercount right now because there are very different standards in the way those numbers are counted.

And without providing any evidence, he said he knew -- quote -- "for a fact" that other countries were undercounting their death tolls. But, obviously, he has not provided any evidence of that.

TODD: He didn`t share.

The other thing he seemed to not know about was, he didn`t understand the reason why African-Americans were disproportionately being impacted by this, given the underlying health conditions. And it seemed he didn`t -- either he didn`t think about the idea that maybe this has to do with poverty, maybe this has to do with access to health care, maybe this has to do with cost of getting the health care.

He didn`t even remotely discuss those things. It seems like he is sensitive to the issue, but didn`t want to talk about root causes.

ALEXANDER: Yes. Yes.

No, I think you`re right on that. It was notable that he -- in the conversation about hydroxychloroquine, that he raised the example of an African-American representative from Detroit who has now spoken out in his favor, saying that, because he raised that issue, that that really helped him.

TODD: Yes.

ALEXANDER: He noted multiple times that she is a black woman.

But the numbers are staggering as it relates to this disease and its disproportional impact on minority communities. Take Louisiana right now, the population there, I think, 32 percent African-American. Seventy percent of the deaths in that state so far, at least of the best recording I`d seen earlier today, were African-Americans.

TODD: Right.

ALEXANDER: This is obviously something the president didn`t want to talk about more broadly.

And what was striking to me, Chuck, on the topics where he sort of likes to kind of disguise or push off, dismiss questions, one of the reporters in the room was trying to ask a question of Dr. Fauci, the top adviser to the president on this issue, as it related to the World Health Organization that he`s tried to turn into his villain here.

And the president wouldn`t turn over the mic, basically wouldn`t let him answer that question, which reminded me of what we witnessed only 24 hours earlier, when he was -- Dr. Fauci was being asked to answer questions about these proposed therapies.

The president said, he`s answered that 15 times. The president wants to put his own spin on the ball, so to speak, and doesn`t want the facts to be distributed through other folks.

TODD: That`s a very important to put out.

Dr. Gupta and Dr. Roy, I want to get to the other announcement that we heard there, and it`s really been something that we have discussed. And I think, Dr. Gupta, you and I discussed it earlier.

And that is, there seems to be some evidence of some flattening of the curve. You can see it in totality. Certainly, there`s some optimism in New York City.

Dr. Gupta, you have been very -- this is not the time to let the foot off the gas. But it`s hard not to feel, at least somewhat, optimistic about all of this, is it not, Dr. Gupta? First, you.

GUPTA: Chuck, absolutely.

I think -- I think we needed that psychological boost, that what we`re doing right now, which is so un-American, not to be in our communities and commiserate, that it`s paying off.

TODD: It`s unhuman in some ways. Forget that. We`re tribal people, right? We`re a species that likes to...

GUPTA: It`s unhuman.

TODD: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

TODD: Sorry. Go ahead.

GUPTA: Well, it`s also to say, though, something that he said later on -- something he said later on, which was, he likes to talk about closing borders and that he closed the borders, in defiance of the WHO.

First of all, here`s the thing. There is no evidence. There`s something called the international health regulations that he ignores, and those exist for a reason. They say, closing borders isn`t going to do a darn thing.

Pandemics find a way. But what will help is, let`s shut down the nation. Let`s make sure all governors are having the same stay-at-home order laws, not a patchwork approach, not Missouri saying, let`s keep all essential businesses open, Nevada saying, you can go to the golf course.

That`s not going to work. But he`s not taking a strong stance at home, for political optics, most likely.

TODD: Dr. Roy, right now, today, you heard a lot of questions about Wisconsin.

And, basically, the officials there essentially lifted the -- you could argue they lifted the stay-at-home order for the day. Is Wisconsin a petri dish for the next three weeks to find out how this worked?

ROY: Time will tell.

I really -- I was concerned, seeing the line of people. Yes, some of those were wearing masks. They tried to keep a distance. But, look, this physical distancing needs to apply to every single person in this country.

But if I could just go back to that flattening and the data points, look, I live in New York City...

TODD: Yes.

ROY: ... in New York state, where it`s still the epicenter. And we have over 5,400 deaths. The deaths are actually increasing.

And if you listen to Governor Cuomo, yes, we have plenty of beds, which is promising, but we need more health care workers. So, we need front-line doctors and health care workers.

So, I have some cautious optimism, but not really. We need a lot more data points, and we need to aggressively practice public health measures, preventive measures.

TODD: OK. All right.

Speaking of data points, Doctors, we`re going to go back to the briefing.

Dr. Birx is speaking right now.

BIRX: ... and the communities of historic black colleges and universities.

We really need to improve messaging, and I am asking them to help us increase the messaging around this.

We don`t want to give the impression that the African-American community is more susceptible to the virus. We don`t have any data that suggests that. What our data suggests is they are more susceptible to more difficult and severe disease and poorer outcomes. And we really need to make sure that every household is aware of what it`s going to take to protect the individuals in the household that have preexisting conditions.

We could call on the indigenous nations, the tribal leaders to also be working very closely to protect the elders of their communities. We know this is more difficult in multigenerational households, and it is really going to call for really unbelievable attention to details of handwashing and protecting others from each other, particularly if you don`t feel well. This is really a call to action to the communities to make sure that we get messages appropriately out there so that everyone understands what it`s going to take for us all to protect one another. And we know it can be done because we can see these changes.

I wanted to go through the numbers at a high level so you understand why particularly these supplies went to these areas to begin with. We talk about attack rates or the cases per population. So in the New York, as a state they have seven cases per 1,000. This is the highest in the country. In New York City itself, it`s closer to almost twice that in New York City. New Jersey is four per 1,000, Louisiana three per 1,000, Massachusetts two per 1,000, Connecticut two per 1,000, Michigan 1.5 per 1,000, the District of Columbia and the Baltimore area now 1.5 per 1,000, and we are watching them very closely. Pennsylvania, one per 1,000, but we are concerned about Philadelphia.

What is allowing us to move supplies based on burden of disease and need is the extraordinary west coast that has had very low numbers, from Washington, that was less than one per 1,000, California that has less than 0.5 per 1,000, and Oregon that`s even less than that. And it`s those states where there is large populations, because of the enormous work that they are doing to prevent expansion and spread of the virus, it`s allowing resources to go to these states and these communities and these counties that need more support.

And so this kind of data analysis is allowing us to make very intelligent decisions about need, but also really understanding what`s happening across the country in the development of the curve, as you have heard about. And so we do see, and I know you heard me caution that over the weekend sometimes there is decreased case reporting, and so there were increases in a series of communities on Monday. We are seeing that stabilize again. And when you look over three days, you are starting to see that we may be actually in a series of communities outside of New York and New Jersey and Connecticut creating a much flatter graph, a much flatter curve.

So you saw New York and their increase, and then you saw, we are hoping, as Governor Cuomo and the mayor has described, that they are getting to a steady state where the next outcome is going down. But we see across the country in Detroit and Chicago some real, not as extreme, going to seven cases per 1,000, but really staying in more two cases per 1,000 and different curve parameter. And it really shows the amazing, amazing activity of every American in those cities to really ensure that they are social distancing and really importantly to ensure there is less socialization between households, and really ensuring that the household really remains independent and protected, and not really at this moment going out into the community or socializing anywhere but in a virtual way on computers, by Zoom, by Facetime. And I think we can really see that in the data. And it`s really given us great heart.

I want to finish by really talking to my laboratory directors, because you are extraordinary and you`ve done an amazing amount of testing. Those nearly 2 million tests that we are getting to, those were all done in the last two to three weeks. But we do have excess capacity. So if all the lab directors could look in their laboratories, if they have an Abbott m2000, if they could get that up and running, we could double the number of tests that we are doing per day. That is a high throughput. The machines are throughout the United States. There`s hundreds of them. Right now, about 80 percent of them are idle. We are going to have a call with the laboratory directors of these laboratories to really ensure this is an automated, robotic situation that they can run. There`s over a million tests sitting, test kits sitting, ready to be run.

We have five platforms of tests. This is one of our really high-volume platforms, like Roche, and we are really calling on them to really increase that capacity so that we can do not only increased diagnostic testing, which I think we`re doing quite well right now, but also increasing the ability to do more health care workers, first responders, community testing, and surveillance.

And so, and then finally, you will see, and you`ve heard of it happening in the U.K. and other places. There is a series of antibody tests out there that have not been validated.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END