EXCLUSIVE: Trump, Coronavirus task force participate in Fox News town hall

EXCLUSIVE: Trump, Coronavirus task force participate in Fox News town hall


welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall with President Trump and members of his coronavirus Task Force on Bill Hemmer at the Rose Garden here at the White House harris and i’m harris faulkner in new york the administration’s 15 day plan you saw the vice president holding that up several times the plan is to curb the spread of covin 19 in the united states and it’s set to expire in less than a week from today now president Trump and his task force are plotting the way forward for all the nation in the next hour joining us to talk about all that President Trump and still with us vice president Mike Pence the White House coronavirus response coordinator dr. deborah birx and the Surgeon General dr. Jerome Adams and welcome and thank you all for being here unusual circumstances where were you’re trying to communicate with the American people we’re trying to maybe bring the American people a little closer to you and get some answers to you mr. president when was the moment that you thought we got a move on this well I think when I started seeing and reading about China and seeing what was going on in China Wuhan and specifically it seemed to come mostly out of there that area the province and when I saw that and I saw the kind of death they were you know talking about on television on in the papers and I started reading a lot about it and really wanted had to make a decision do I stop people from China and specifically that area but from China to come into the country and everybody was against it almost everybody I would say was just absolutely against it we’ve never done it before we never made a decision like did somebody come to you with a bit of information and a piece of data was it a world leader was it a member of your own team no we had a large group of people right behind me in the Oval Office and I made it I consulted with Mike but we made a decision I made a decision to close off to China that was weeks early and honestly I took a lot of heat sleepy Joe Biden said it’s xenophobic I don’t know if he knows what that means but that’s okay he said it’s racist what I did thousands and thousands of more people probably tens of thousands would be dead right now if I didn’t make that decision and I must say doctors nobody wanted to make that decision at the time it was very very early called it lucky Cola talent it doesn’t matter we made a great decision I took a lot of heat from China they weren’t happy with it now they understand it and they’ve really you know we’re doing just fine but they were not happy with it bringing it it’s not from a lot of people bring the conversation to present day and the past day and a half you got a lot of tension for this a tweet that I think went out late at night you said the cure we cannot let the Cure be worse than the problem itself so you start to look at this 15-day period which will come to us day 15 is next Monday today arguably day nine what are you trying to gauge as to how you can open the country back up yeah when you say I took a lot of heat for that essentially I really didn’t I mean a lot of people agree with me our country is not supposed to be you know it’s not it’s not built to shut down our people are full of vim and vigor and energy they don’t want to be locked into a house or an apartment or some space they it’s not for our country if we’re not we’re not built that way and I said you know I don’t want the Cure to be worse than the problem itself the problem being obviously the problem and you know you can destroy a country this way by closing it down where it literally goes from being the most prosperous I mean we had the best economy in the history of our country three weeks ago and then all of a sudden were supposed to shut it down and then we’re supposed to pay people not to go to work we never had that we used to pay people to go to work when I had but this is a government order to go ahead and stay home it’s tricky though when you try and turn the faucet back on New York could be different from it is Utah Louisiana could be different from Arizona so how do you go about making that decision well you have to make the decision look we lose thousands I brought some numbers here will as thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu we don’t turn the country off I mean every year now when I heard the number you know we average 37,000 people here can you believe that and actually this year were having a bad flu season but we lose thousands of people a year to the flu we never turned the country off we lose much more than that to automobile accidents we didn’t call up the automobile companies say stop making cars we don’t want any cars anymore we have to get back to work now with all of that being said it’s incredible what the American people have done and and honestly the American people have learned we’ve all learned together between the shaking of the hands and the washing of the hands although I used to wash my hands that I always wash my hands a lot I never was a big believer in shaking hands once I become a politician you shake hands and you get a little bit used to it like immediately when I see you I sort of apologize that I’m not checking where we exchange to air elbows which is seems to be the thing is that I never like to see that actually but but right now on Capitol Hill you’ve got members of the Senate debating a two trillion dollar bill yeah more than did you think that it it blows away the ability for us to imagine that they could pass legislation in excess of two trillion dollars now who knows what’s behind the curtain there who knows what is stacked into two trillion dollars how much concern do you have well we can’t deliver good she’s facing criticism that President Obama faced and in 2009 we came out sweetheart deals for certain companies as Democrats would argue I cancelled the deal last night I said I’m not gonna sign that deal because Nancy Pelosi came in and put a lot of things in the deal that had nothing to do with the workers that had to do with an agenda that they’ve been trying to get passed for 10 years and I came in I told Mike I told a lot of people there’s no way I’m signing that deal I was getting calls from John Kennedy from Ben Sasse from many many people Lindsey I was getting calls from a lot of different people saying this deal Tom cotton to steel is terrible what they’ve done they took a deal you know we almost had a deal the day before and it was between Schumer and Mich and it was really a good solid you all of a sudden they start throwing all of the little green New Deal stuff in right and the board rooms what they look like and we want green energy we want all this stuff let’s stop drilling oil they had things in there that were terrible windmills all over the place and all sorts of credits for windmills they killed the birds and ruined the real estate right a lot of problems I mean a lot of problems and I said I’m not signing this with two trillion dollars now they’ve really hard to avoid some of the holdout doors you could argue but we have great things for not only companies forget the companies the companies are nothing other than they are an employer of thousands and thousands of people and they pay them very well we want to protect our workers I want to protect our workers workers first mm-hmm but you have to protect companies like Boeing they had a real bad year let’s face it with the problems and they were in trouble before this and then all of a sudden this happened we can’t lose a Boeing and we can’t lose some of these companies and companies frankly bill that were solid as like triple-a companies because of what’s happened over the last couple of weeks they go from triple-a to being like they could use a hand tough time we can’t do right we can’t lose those companies if we lose those companies we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs millions of jobs the faster we go back the better it’s going to be we have a pent-up energy that’s going to be unbelievable gonna bring it back fast I really believe I’ve got a lot more questions and I might soon as my colleague harris faulkner I’ll allow her to rejoin the conversation now Harris do I have an ear plug here hello mr. president so good to see you today this will be a little bit to relay I understand you guys are going back and forth on the economy and employers but more than 66 percent of people are employed by small businesses the VP talked a little bit about this we hear you dropping big companies names the question here is how do you shore up both as you look forward the question is a good one and it’s pointed you’re talking about Boeing and yet you’ve got what 2/3 of American businesses or small business and you think about what they’re trying to do in terms of adjusting to this new reality has been thrown on them what will you do for small business well first of all I have to say that Harris is one of my favorite people and I didn’t hear a word she said and I was hoping it wasn’t too devastating in question but she is a fantastic person I have to say that ok now that I’ve said it because I can’t hear Harris but know the bill is very much focused on the small business person it’s very much focused on small companies including restaurants and all sorts of small companies and what people don’t realize you know you’re talking about these massive we have the greatest companies in the world you talk you add them all up and the small businesses are just about equal in size to these massive companies of which we have many also it’s it’s the engine of our country small business this bill is absolutely aimed at the small business and the worker and the workers of those small businesses and the owners the owners are gonna need help they’re gonna need some loans they’re gonna need things that we’re gonna be able to take care of them because we don’t want those small businesses to go out of business nor do we want the big businesses to go out of business when they said mr. president we gotta shut this down how hard did you push back today I never heard of such a thing we’ve had flus where we lose 36,000 we’ve lost as many I guess is 78,000 people in one year and they came in and they said to be sure we’re gonna have to close the country I said what are you talking about well we have a virus it’s coming in and I knew that and I made the early decision with China so I already already closed it off to China and that was a long time before they came in but they came in experts and they said we’re gonna have to close the country I said we’ve never closed the country before this never happened before you’re saying I said are you are you serious about this we are going to take this country that’s fully employed well we have 160 million people working and you tell me we have to close it and people are gonna go out of business and they’re gonna go bankrupt and they’re not gonna have jobs what are we talking about here just don’t forget this has never been done we’ve had flus before we’ve had viruses before so this is something new and this is why I say we have to I gave it two weeks and you know I guess by Monday or Tuesday it’s about two weeks and we’ll assess at that time and we’ll give it some more time if we need a little more time but we have to open this country when they came to you and had that conversation with you how long did it take you to accept that new reality look I accept things I understand things very quickly I mean I understood exactly what they were saying but we can socially distance ourselves and go to work and you have to work a little bit harder you can clean your hands five times more than you used to you don’t have to shake hands anymore with people that might be something good coming out of this although I must tell you as a politician it’s a lot warmer when you walk into a crowd you shake it a lot of people’s hands you love I’d agree with you they love me and I love them you know but but it is a little bit colder but but you won’t be shaking hands for at least a while and and things will happen but we have to put the country to work look you’re gonna lose a number of people to the flu but you’re gonna lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression you’re gonna lose people you’re gonna have suicides by the thousands you’re gonna have all sorts of things happen you’re gonna have instability you can’t just come in and say let’s close up the United States of America the biggest the most successful country in the world by far you know when I came in when I was elected and you knew this number China was gonna overtake us in the year 2019 it wasn’t even close we went way up and they didn’t we’ve done great they pay us a fortune in tariffs and everything else and yet we have a good relationship with them we just signed a trade deal but with the number one in the world by far and now a few people walk into the Oval Office say sir we have to close up the country and the Saudis I said what do you know that mr. president must have been a very difficult thing to accept one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made because I knew that when you do it as soon as you do it you’re gonna drop I mean they’re talking about 20 or 25 points of GDP nobody’s ever heard of 25 points if we went down a point that’s a big deal now all of a sudden you’re basically turning off the country I said this has never been done before what are you talking about but we understand it you have hot spots but we’ve had hot spots before we’ve had horrible flus I mean think of it we averaged 36,000 people death death I’m not talking about cases I’m talking about death 36,000 deaths a year people die 36 from the flu but we’ve never closed down the country for the flu so you say to yourself what is this all about now how did you it’s never been how did you process that not good I wasn’t happy about it and I also knew that I had to do it because look with turkey I give this as an example in Syria I said sign a deal with the Kurds make peace they’re the one he didn’t want to he said he’s a man who loves Turkey and I have a very good relation I said sign a deal he didn’t really want to the Kurds didn’t really want to and it went on you know the so-called safe zone the freeze recently a few months ago I said sign a deal do me a favor sign it they’ll get it done they didn’t really want to all of a sudden they start fighting fighting fighting fighting and it was vicious and other countries got involved now I say let’s sign a deal they said okay well sign a deal we needed a period because I don’t think if I would have not done it we would have been unbelievably criticized for not doing it but it’s never been done before one more bill somehow the word got out that this is the thing we’re supposed to be doing now we’ve had some really bad epidemics and other things I mean we’re going this pandemic but we’ve had bad epidemics I’m sure they could have been called pandemics but we never did a thing like this before but I had to do it it’s been very painful for our country and very destabilizing for our country and we have to go back to work much sooner than people thought and people can go back to work and they can also practice good judgment one last question then we get back to our viewers here – a month ago the CDC had an initial test that failed at that moment late February you said it’s perfect and it wasn’t perfect so what happened there in the early stages was in late February said it’s perfect was my conversation with the head of the Ukraine that’s what I really said is perfect okay that was another old scandal nonsense a total you know witch-hunt but this one is a much different thing we had other administration’s not just the last one they built up a platform they built up a test but the test was no good it didn’t handle large numbers of people it was okay for a very small group but not for a large group so we had to break it down did the CDC screw up or did you screw no we did not screw at this and I don’t think CDC screwed up either they had a test that would have worked for a small group of people in other words for a normal problem I don’t think anybody could have in all fairness to CDC and this is a big government agency and they’re very good people in there but nobody ever expected a thing like this nobody would say that millions and millions of people would have been tested so what we did is we broke that egg we broke that system and we’ve created a new system that now we’re doing unbelievably big numbers and it’s set for the future should we ever need it again I hope we don’t need it again thank you for your time we’re gonna bring the others in as well in a moment thank you for being patient we will get to you we have so many questions not only from our network but from millions of people all across the country so your questions in a moment here as we continue live in the Rose Garden at the White House with the president and his task force in Washington welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall with President Trump and his coronavirus task force excited to finally get to be able to talk one-on-one with him now we got our tech problems worked out I want to first ask you mr. president about the idea of the political division that’s going on on Capitol Hill you’re talking about these bills this phase one two and three of the stimulus bill like they’re gonna fix so much with the economy and people are literally fighting like cats I mean what can you do to bring them together well I think they’re actually coming together we had a bill that was done the other night and then all of a sudden somebody else injected herself in and all of that we didn’t have a we didn’t have anything that was even remotely signed a ball but now I hear just from a few minutes ago that they’re doing well and it’s for the workers it’s for the people of the country and I hear they’re doing pretty well so we’ll see how it comes out but it should have been well it’s like I watched Governor Cuomo and he was very nice we’re building him hospitals were building on medical centers and he was complaining about we’re doing probably more definitely more fit than anybody else and he was talking about the ventilators but he should have ordered the ventilators and he had a choice he had a chance because right here I just got this out that he refused to order 15,000 ventilators I’ll show this to bill but take a look at that bill what does that say social distancing here this says New York Governor Cuomo rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic for a pandemic established death panels and a lotteries instead so he had a chance to buy in 2015 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down I’m not blaming him or anything else but he shouldn’t be talking about us he’s supposed to be buying his own ventilators we’re gonna help but you know if you think about ITIF you think about Governor Cuomo wig building him for hospitals we’re building him for medical centers we’re working very very hard for the people of New York we’re working along with him and then I watched him on the show complaining and yet 16,000 ventilators that he could have had it a great price that he didn’t buy I am yeah and I hear you going back and forth and and Governor Cuomo has talked in recent days that you regularly talk and have a good relationship and so we will follow the news as you’re bringing it to us there right there in the Rose Garden I want to get to a viewer because the people’s voice is so huge right now and always mr. president Joyce submitted a question from Facebook about the stimulus checks let’s watch and I want to get your reaction I am fortunate I can continue to work I can telecommute there are people who are losing jobs they’re losing an entire income for a household and rather than receive a check I would just like to pay it forward and have the government passed mine one to someone else Wow is that great well you obviously come from West Virginia and I love that state and thank you very much Joyce I’ll tell you what that’s great I wish we had more people like Joyce I’ll tell you but you know it’s going to be a substantial amount of money around $3,000 for a family of four and assuming it all gets done assuming we can get the Democrats to sign it but it’ll be great but Joyce I think that’s such a nice gesture really I appreciate it thank you well and you just said right when you and I began talking a few minutes ago that you know almost in breaking news fashion it looks like the juggernaut might be moving on Capitol Hill to try to push toward that stimulus bill so we’ll be watching for that you know mr. president I’m watching the Dow as you have been talking and formerly the vice president it’s up by more than 1500 points what do you watch for each day I mean are you keeping your eye on that is it is it companies calling you small and large like what what is your barometer that okay things were in trouble or things are doing better well I think the Dow was helped by the fact that they you know there were theories that we’re going to stay out for four or five months and you can’t do that as I couldn’t you destroy our country if you did a thing like that and we’re going to be opening relatively soon and we are our time comes up and Monday or Tuesday our you know the allotted two weeks but we’ll stay a little bit longer than that but we want to get open very soon I think that was big reason it’s gone up I also think that the fact that the Senate and the house I’ve we seem to be getting along as much as you can get along we seem to be getting along now on a on a bill I I think that maybe had even less of an impact than the fact that we’re opening up this incredible country because we have to do that I’d love to have it open by Easter okay I would love to have it open by Easter I will I will tell you that right now I would love to have that it’s such an important day for other reasons but I’ll make it an important day for this too I would love to have the country opened up and they’re just raring to go by Easter that’s April 12th so we will watch and see what happens I’m gonna toss it back to my cohort bill thank you Harris that would be a great American resurrection two and a half Plus weeks from this dr. Burks a series of questions on the medical front here I want to go to Allison from Indiana appropriately so mr. vice president who has a question by way of facebook about possible mutation watch my question is this if you were to get the corona virus can it mutate and can you get it again mm-hmm dr. Burks so that’s a great question and a very smart question because it’s an RNA virus it can mutate and it constantly mutates but what has been pretty good about the corona viruses in general is they keep their structural pieces very similar what do I mean by that there’s certain the outer coat the envelope and the inside part of the virus has stayed very constant it’s even very similar to SARS which we haven’t seen since 2003 and so we what has been picked for sites both for the vaccine and for monoclonal antibodies are very much those constant sites and we believe that anybody who becomes positive and makes effective antibody because there are some people who can’t make as good of antibody as others but if you make effective antibody you shouldn’t get reinfected the way it was described to me and corrects the medical positioning of this question but the virus is trying to figure out a way to survive and that’s where it moves around and new dates now in Singapore there was a headline earlier today suggesting a possible second wave in that island nation how do you how do you gauge that this very in Singapore they took the president’s guidelines and they executed them very early because they could see China next door and so they saw those and they implemented those guidelines so very few people became infected in Singapore because so few people have been infected you don’t have what they call herd immunity and so until we get through this current pandemic this if it has seasonality which we hope and believe it could if it gets through this current season it will be in everybody’s best interest to do as the president has recommended our work on vaccines our work on additional therapeutics and really getting to both pre and post prophylaxis so that the healthcare providers can get get a shot potentially that will protect them we would call it pre exposure prophylaxis all of those things are being worked on to prepare us for the next season we’re so we’re focused today on what we need today and to get through this current epidemic and then we’re also getting prepared in case it comes back in the fall or in case it comes back in the fall of 2021 when we’d have it back I’m gonna bring in the Surgeon General in this and to both of you I’ve been listening to you very carefully for weeks now and what you’ve said is we want to be the model of South Korea well South Korea has flattened the curve to borrow a phrase and their death rate is about 1.2 percent this morning here in the US our death rate was right around that same mark 1.3 percent – the Surgeon General what does that tell you or how much do you consider the death rate here at home when we try and make decisions for ourselves well thank you for that bill I think there are a couple of important things for the American people to remember the first one is that when you look at the data here in the United States of all the people who we’ve tested so far only about 90 percent of those well 90 percent of those folks do not have the coronavirus they test negative so most people even when they have cold and flu symptoms do not have coronavirus number one number two ninety-eight ninety-nine percent of people are recovering so people need to understand yes some people will get coronavirus in many communities across America but that most of them will recover that that’s very important for people to understand and beyond that we’re trying to help people understand the importance of stopping the spread and the president when he nine days ago listened to his health his health providers his health his health consultants he said what do we need to do right now and we said we need to lean into this next two weeks to stop the spread and then we need to re reassess and one thing I can tell you for certain is that I’ve been on the task force for three weeks and the president listens to Tony Falchi he listens to dr. Burks he listens one eye or dr. Carson or dr. Hahn or dr. Redfield speak up and he also listens to the governor’s and so we will assess at the end of the 14 days and we’ll figure out the most appropriate thing to do and based on my experience in the task force so far the president will make an appropriate decision based on all the data thank you for that answer is everything cool with you and dr. Falchi he was not there he wasn’t there last night for the briefing he’s not here today as he has other your relationships good I think it’s been very good you would have heard about it if it wasn’t I mean every time he does he’s not in a meeting and sometimes other people do they said why isn’t dr. Brooks at a meeting is there a problem and I said Debra could you please come to the meeting do you mind because no they they you know I respect all of these people these are great people and Debra is extraordinary and Tony’s extraordinary I get along with all of them but if there’s you know they have other things to do and yesterday we weren’t really talking about what he’s an expert on we were talking about other things a lot of other things and you know they I don’t think they should be at every show he’s got you’re good that’s the point yeah we’re fine dr. Burks early on you said it with the massive amount of testing in South Korea 96% to the surgeon general’s what 96 percent came back negative I think that’s an important point to convey again to the American people Noah from Maryland has a question now his question is about health care workers on the front lines of this pandemic now my mother is a nurse she works in the health care field what do you and your team plan to do to help health care workers that are putting themselves at risk every single day as a result of the coronavirus excellent question dr. Burks you wanna yeah that’s I love that question because my mother’s a nurse she’s 91 now so she’s not practicing but I think we have to remember in majority of hospitals in the majority of places it is the nurse that are the frontlines they’re the ones working every moment with the patients to ensure that they do well they’re the ones at the bedside they’re the ones providing comfort they’re the ones providing the medical interventions and they are our first priority it is why we’ve worked so hard to get the protective personal protective equipment out there but I think what we didn’t often talk about is we’re really with the changing guidelines for testing that is going to free up all of that personal protective devices that were being utilized for testing back into the hospitals and the clinics for our nurses and doctors and that’s going to make millions of more masks and PPE as we call it available to the hospital workers who need it the most because now people can self test and bill can I jump in on that really quickly I want people to know that I’m a still practicing anesthesiologist at Walter Reed the vice president and I we first met during Ebola and I went into the hospital I put on PPE I know how scary it is even when you have the proper equipment to deal with an infectious disease and I’m getting text phone calls messages from people all across the country and I want health care workers of America to know we are fighting for you each and every day to make sure you get what you need from the stockpile to make sure you get what you need from manufacturers across America to make sure you’re getting decreased demand which is why we put out our new guidelines on elective surgeries because it’s not just about increasing the supply we aren’t going to supply our way out of this problem as important as supply is we need to also lower demand by decreasing unnecessary usage of PPE and a game changer that just came out just this week was the new FDA self swabs and the vice president and the president have talked about that that will utilize less PPE so we’re working on making sure supply gets where it needs to and FEMA is doing a great job without lowering demand how can someone watching this right now acquire a self-test well right now the FDA is making that more available we’ve seen testing increase in real numbers when you look at last week from Monday to Friday the amount of testing increased tenfold so we’re seeing testing increase that the concern is it’s actually using up more PPE which is why we want to prioritize testing for the people who are most in need the health care workers and the people who are vulnerable and why we’re pushing the FDA has lowered barriers like none other to make sure we can get these new testing modalities available that use less PPE and do more tests thank you for that back to Harris now with another question Harris all right actually you know what I want to stay on this home testing kit topic for just a second with dr. Burks you know the home tests whose is there a place where people check a box and say I’m positive or not how are you going to keep up with people who test themselves and you need that information dr. Burks to know where the clusters are in the country that’s part of why you would do it great so it’s not a home test it’s a self test so what do I mean by that I mean the individual can drive up receive the items because again we still want to just test people with fever and symptoms that are really need to be tested they can self swab the front of their nose put it in the container then the person can collect it with gloves gloves alone with the biohazard bag and get it in I just want to speak to the Americans for just a second though we have to ensure that we still are testing even though probably by today we will have done more tests than South Korea did in eight weeks in the last eight days in the last eight days we’ve done more testing than South Korea but we did that because we transform the testing process as the president spoke to but we don’t want people who are just worried to go get tested if you don’t have a persistent fever if you don’t have a coffee if you’re not in the risk group if you’re not a nurse or doctor we really want the testing and the drive-through testing and the testing that is provided in the cities to be very much still focused on the people who need it because there’s only so much even those high throughput machines are doing they’re doing about 50 60 70 thousand tests a day now they could get potentially to 150,000 a day but we want to make sure we’re testing in the areas that really have the problems and go right ahead yeah thanks Harris you know American people are asking all the time the president I hear it all the time and see it it’s what what can they do to make a difference and in addition to the 15 days to slow the spread the American people could take dr. Burke’s advice it’s that old proverb that it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick and one of the ways that you can help is by recognizing we want to focus testing on people that have symptoms although according to the tests now as the Surgeon General said 90% of the people that have been tested for the corona virus don’t have it okay that that number we tested more than 320,000 people and and that’s an encouraging number I would expect but for any American out there that just may be concerned but not be symptomatic one of the ways you can make sure the testings available for people that have symptoms and just as importantly for our health care workers that we want to make sure have all the protective equipment that they need you can you can recognize that if you don’t have symptoms don’t do a test Harris one thing that Phil Harris one thing I might add that to me is so important again we took something that was broken and we made it the model and I didn’t even know I just heard the number for the first time from Deborah that in a short period of time we’ve done more testing than South Korea now you’re not going to read that in the newspapers because they don’t like to write things like that but I’d love you to say that one more time because that that’s a big number we’ve done more than South Korea in a short period of time we’re doing more now than South Korea by Allah what was that number so we’re believing that they’re probably around two thousand nine twenty nine hundred two thousand twenty-nine thousand three hundred ninety thousand three hundred and now we’re way over three hundred thousand but we read that over the last seven to eight days we have to do more we understand that over eight weeks we’re going up proportionally we’re going up very very rapidly every day what was our negative test rate at the moment it’s great is it 90 percenter is it higher so I really am glad you asked because this gets into where is the virus now and where is it expanding and so across the country our test rates are still way under 10 percent except for one place New York City Metro New York New Jersey close to New York City those rates are coming in in the 28 percent range right now New York the case attack rate what we’re talking about the number of people who are getting infected is four to five times any other place in the country is that density popular I think part of it is density part of is the spread that may have happened on metal surfaces like in the subway and people that were in the subway part of it may be a large number of people came back after Christmas from Asia that didn’t get caught up in the closure you blame the governor for that and part of it could be the Europeans who have come back subsequently and there’s I mean obviously it’s a big area of world trade and global transit so I think the virus probably was quietly expanding because until it gets into an older population you don’t really see it in the same thank you for that and we’ll get to all of you again in a moment here gonna get a quick break here more of your questions from across America here at the White House in the Rose Garden [Music] welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall with President Trump and members of his task force we are in the Rose Garden here at the White House and it’s a real honor to be sitting here with you all and I hope together we can kill the virus and give a lot of people hope about getting back to their regular lives true you said something 20 minutes ago that I’m sure a lot of people were pretty keen on you you said that we would I’m paraphrasing now you would like to be back to normal by Easter Sunday yes that’s 19 days from now okay is that true is that possible or is it possible why isn’t it I mean we’ve never closed the country before and we’ve had some pretty bad flus and we’ve had some pretty bad viruses and I think it’s absolutely possible now people are going to have to practice all of the social distancing and don’t shake hands and wash your hands and all of the things that we’re doing now but we have to get our country back to work our country wants to be back at work that was not a controversial thing I said the other day our country wants to go back to work and and again the cure it’s it’s like this cures is worse than the problem again people many people in my opinion more people are going to die if we allow this to continue we have to go back to work our people want to go back to work what you have said consistently as the first order of business is to kill the virus so so when you look at the data from around the world across our country how do you determine that 19 days from now it might be safe because there are millions of people watching this it may have their family fortune on the line well they have their family fortune on the line the other way too they’re going to lose their jobs maybe never to get them back they’re gonna lose their businesses never to get them back we want to start up as soon as we can because we’re gonna have a very quick comeback if we do that if we delay this thing out you’re gonna lose more people than you’re losing with the with the situation as we know it so I think it’s very important for our country to go back and I’ve had many many people you know when you said it was a little bit controversial not to most people most people think I’m right about it now whether we’re locked in a room or whether we’re in our office and practicing all of the things that we’re supposed to be practicing staying away from each other you know it cetera it’s not shaking hands washing your hands all the time but our country has to get back to work otherwise otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again we can’t lose the advantage that we have what we’re trying to figure out in this whole scenario here is how deadly the virus is and so far it is highly contagious but not very deadly we can agree on that based on the data correct yes yeah so when you take the answer of Easter Sunday do you see that as realistic do you see that as possible so my job and I think what’s really important is a lot of what we’ve done is we’ve tackled this epidemic the way people said we should have tackled flu in 1918 and they compared Saint Louis who took this kind of approach to Philadelphia what we’re trying to do now is use 21st century solutions and trying to get data down to the most granular level so we understand what’s happening at the area of the spread so even today there are counties throughout the United States that don’t have their first case so our job is to make sure they never have their first case and ensure that our efforts are focused on where the virus is expanding that can be done today because we have that level of granularity so that’s what the president has asked us to put together to use these two weeks to get all the data from around the country and all the data from around the globe and really understand what’s working and it’s really important that the Americans know I know the vice president covered this very clearly in the first hour but every American needs to continue the president’s guidelines for these next these next six days or seven days we have to have them following those guidelines if the Surgeon General shaking his head in agreement excuse me just one second you can’t compare this to 1918 we’re close to a hundred million people died that was a flu which little different but that was a flu where if you got it you had a 50-50 chance are very close of dying I think we’re substantially under 1% because the people that get better are not reporting so we only know people that go to doctors who go to hospitals that we’re taking that we’re still a little bit above 1% when you add all of the people the millions of people that have it that get better we’re substantially less than 1% and when they came to my office don’t forget they were saying 3% 4% 5% this is a very big difference no we have to put a country back to work we have a few minutes left and I want to bring in our panel of experts – dr. Mehmet Oz is with us dr. mark Siegel and dr. Nicole sapphire when we give you guys around 2 questions quickly here when dr. Oz why don’t we start with dr. Siegel this time around go ahead mark mr. president with the deaths going over 600 today I want to say that fear the fear that’s coming out of this disturbs me the most and fear divides you need unification and unified leadership to fight the fear so I was really encouraged to see you’re reaching out to governor’s Governor Cuomo governor Newsom making making liaisons that weren’t there before do you think that that kind of movement where you’re the leader and other people work with you will help us to isolate the virus and the epicenters where they are to separate out those epicenters to test the people in those centers and to thereby squash the virus I do I think dr. it’s a very good thing and governor Newsom and I have been getting along really great we’re sending the ship the great hospital ship as you know and we are doing very well with I think almost all of the governor’s for the most part it really has become something it’s it’s we’re dealing almost every day we’re speaking to each other whether it’s conference calls usually we’ll have 50 governors of the call at the same time no I think we’re doing very well but you know it’s a two-way street they have to treat us well also they can’t say oh gee we should get this we should get that we’re doing a great job like in New York where we’re building as I said for hospitals for minute we’re literally building hospitals and medical centers and then I hear that you know there’s a problem with ventilators well we sent them ventilators and they could have had 15 or 16 thousand all they had to do is order him two years ago but they decided not to do it they can’t blame us for that dr. oz is up next go ahead doctor president Trump a good surgeon knows after the surgery when his patient gave me this charge and these 15 days are like a big operation on America what a great surgeon knows when there’s a complication after discharge so if we can meet the goal of fixing America and getting it back on his feet by Easter I love to know exactly how you know that is safe from medical perspective what’s going to indicate that we might have to pull back a tiny bit in case we have a relapse well I think doctor a thing like that could happen but I really believe that we could do much of what we’re doing and we could do it from a work environment instead of a an environment where everybody’s locked up and everybody is saying oh the business is gone the business is gone and everybody’s suffering depression you know better than anybody about depression I’ve watched where you talk about depression and that causes death and it causes a lot of problems and you know these are people they want to save their business they don’t want to be locked up in some room or some apartment or house and in the meantime their restaurants closed their businesses closed they want to be saving their business and I believe very strongly you’re gonna lose far more people by going that way than you are if we kept this thing going I could keep them out I mean I’m sure that we have doctors that would say let’s keep it closed for two years okay let’s close it up for two years now we got to get it open or people want it open and that’s the way this country was built dr. Nicole Sapphire now doctor go ahead with your question thank you and president Trump I do believe as a nation that we are beholden to you for your decisive swish swift action in the beginning with the travel ban I do think that we would have been in a much different worse situation had that not happened however we still did have a lag in the testing which of course did not have anything to do with you but my question is for dr. Burks and the task force as we still see across the nation that some people are not able to get tests I have colleagues that still can’t test some of their patients is there a plan to fast-track or even parallel track wrap it Eliza their logical testing to try and get this out there so that we can mobilize it more PPE and more hospital beds by doing more testing and being able to isolate those people quickly yeah that’s a very good question so right now the tests that we have are all based on the RNA of the virus and so we’re utilizing the platforms and goodness were utilizing the platforms that were developed really to work and support hiv-positive clients so this is their their machines that have been used to detect their viral load for the last more than a decade in the United States those machines right now are being utilized for this test in a high-throughput way we’ve asked developers to work on a point-of-care fingerprint test that could be used for antibody and antigen but the antibody test will only tell you if you have been infected even if we can get IgM it will be part of the early and probably recovery phase and then we’re working with companies to work on getting RNA tests at our point of care so these are really critical tests that people are working on right now but in the meantime we’re using what we have today to ensure that we can get more testing done and I just wanted to say I want to thank the American people and physicians who have let us prioritize remember we didn’t have this platform until eight days ago we’ve done all of these diagnoses for inpatients primarily so that they can get on the appropriate therapy and we prioritize our testing to hospital patients we will over the next few weeks be able to make more tests available to the actual American public with symptoms and to the doctor’s offices as you’ve requested and Nicole it’s important to remember we’ve done more tests in eight days then South Korea is done in eight weeks and our tests are better they’re highly sophisticated and frankly I took one it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world I will tell you that we’re gonna have a much simpler test very soon but we have a really good test and we’ve done more in eight days nobody know that I just heard this number a few minutes ago I learned it from being on your show actually I think the way you described it was up the nasal passage and right now you’re right at the I do all of you stand by we’ve got a few more moments left here but as our virtual Town Hall continues to all the doctors and the Coase a fireman that AHS and Mark Siegel we very much rely on you in a day to day basis so thank you for being a part of this today quick commercial break back to the Rose Garden in a moment as our town hall continues back here in the Rose Garden the White House I’m bill hemmer along with my colleague harris faulkner have about 90 seconds left and just with the panel here the president the vice president dr. Burks and the Surgeon General thank you again for your time I see this as a public service but also as a way to try and figure out what the facts are and that’s that’s the reason we came here but you were just saying again mr. vice president during the commercial the way you can achieve your objective is how well the president made it clear yesterday that we we want to open up the country as soon as we can but the key is the more Americans and tens of millions are bill more Americans have put into practice the president’s coronavirus guidelines office because it’s hard to see if the sooner we’ll be able to open up what does it wash your hands if you’re sick stay home personal hygiene it’s it’s if you if you’re sick stay home if someone in your house has the virus stay home but it’s also avoiding groups of more than ten avoiding unnecessary travel don’t eat in restaurants during this period of time use the drive-through these are all the principles that every American can do now there are going to be Americans that that have different guidance from their state and local officials that are more stringent we defer to that we respect that but the more Americans who do this the sooner that will be able as the president said to get back to we have to be a patient nation if you’re gonna ask them to do that as you well know mr. president thank you for your time and I’ll see a bit later on Bill Hemmer reports at 3 o’clock Eastern Time and did mr. vice president Mike Pence thank you dr. Burks terrific work in the Surgeon General thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today that is it from here at the White House and Harris I will see you back in New York very soon I hope the last two hours held some value for a lot of our viewers across the country and around the world Harris

One thought on “EXCLUSIVE: Trump, Coronavirus task force participate in Fox News town hall

  1. Look guys we are lucky to have trump in office I think he is doing a good job . One skill he has is the ability to surround himself with very skilled pepole and he listens to them he collects the data and makes responsible decisions . We all need to build our president up we are on the world stage as Americans . Every time we are negative to our leaders and publicly humiliate or put them down we look foolish . Let's continue to be the country that all people of the world want there country to be like . Keep America Great

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