Here is a summary of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus press conference on Friday, April 3.
Trump introduced U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), whom the president called “the future speaker of the House – I hope.”
Trump said the people of California did a great job in reducing the bump.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says that you (meaning Trump) have worked very closely and it has been effective. Thank you to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for helping small businesses.
Bank of America provided 10,000 loans in two hours (from the stimulus).
McCarthy commiserated with small business owners. You don’t have the income coming in, you have to pay rent and employees. The CARES Act will help small businesses hire people back.
Our hearts go out to the people of New York as they bear the brunt. Louisiana is hard-hit; so are parts of Michigan. New Jersey is doing better.
Trump praised the courage of New York first responders and healthcare workers.
We will spare no expense. The governor is doing an excellent job.
In a policy change, the CDC now is recommending that non-symptomatic people wear a mask. This should be a cloth covering.
On testing costs: BlueCross BlueShield said it will not require a copay on tests and treatment for the next 60 days.
Hospitals and workers treating uninsured patients will be reimbursed by the government from stimulus package.
The Defense Production Act will be used to prohibit the export of scarce medical supplies. The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA stopped the exporting of N95 masks and gloves. The DPA has stopped hoarding and price-gouging. Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice seized 200,000 N95 masks, 130,000 surgical masks, 600,000 gloves and many bottles of disinfectant sprays that were being hoarded. Those will be given to healthcare workers.
The Department of Defense is donating 8.1 million N95 marks; 200,000 have been given to New York City.
The two largest healthcare providers in New Orleans said they have enough ventilators.
Nine-thousand retired military medical personnel have volunteered to serve.
Alternative therapies continue to be studied.
Banks are making $3.5 billion in loans.
Trump said he met Friday with leaders in the energy sector and told them he will build up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Vice President Mike Pence:
Some areas in America where the mitigation efforts are having a positive effect: California and Washington State remain at a steady but low rate with cases. They’re not out of the woods yet. We want to commend people in those states for putting into practice social distancing and other measures.
We are tracking outbreaks in New York State, Chicago, Michigan and Boston.
Tests: 1.4 million have been done; some 266,000 people have tested positive.
Abbott Instruments can do 15-minute test nationwide; they have 18,000 machines. FEMA is getting over 1,200 more machines to send to every state.
FDA approved an antibody test and we are looking at ways to scale up tests.
We held a teleconference with commercial retailers and thanked them for how their members embraced the virus guidelines.
Paycheck protection program: $1.5 billion has been issued.
Dr. Deborah Birx:
We want to recognize the number of Americans who have lost their lives.
There are concerning trends in Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania; and Colorado.
Uninsured patients: The administration is rolling out $1 billion in funding from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to cover healthcare providers’ expenses for testing and diagnosing the uninsured.
The CARES Act includes another $100 billion for healthcare providers. A portion will go for the care of uninsured. Providers will be paid at Medicare rates and will be forbidden from billing patients for the remainder of the cost.
Oracle is donating a web portal and platform for gathering crowdsourced from providers about how patients respond to experimental treatments. Healthcare providers can register online at covid-19.oracle.com.
Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams, Surgeon General:
The mask recommendation: We first said not to wear masks based on the evidence at the time. We always said symptomatic people should wear a mask. The change came about we now many patients lack symptoms. Even those who develop symptoms can transmit the virus before they show symptoms. Coughing or sneezing. CDC recommends cloth-based coverings in public. Maintaining six feet of distance is key to stopping the spread.