President Trump, White House coronavirus task force update for April 21

Local News

WASHINGTON (CBS) — President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force held a briefing Tuesday to discuss efforts to fight the virus.

President Trump said Tuesday in the daily coronavirus task force update “my administration has worked aggressively with Congress to negotiate this critical $482 billion funding package,” which passed in the Senate.

The president added “I urge the house to pass the bill and they’re going to be voting on it. I imagine very very soon.”

“A short time ago the Senate passed the paycheck protection program and healthcare enhancement act, with additional funding for the paycheck Protection Program hospitals and testing, a lot of money for all of them, especially for our workers and our small businesses. My administration has worked aggressively with Congress to negotiate this critical $482 billion funding package. We reached a deal that includes 3802 billion dollars and crucial small business support to keep workers on the payroll $75 billion to aid hospitals which really need the aid and very badly, very proud of that, and $25 billion to support Coronavirus testing efforts. I urge the house to pass the bill and they’re going to be voting on it. I imagine very very soon.”

President Trump

Trump recognized the Senate for passing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a 482 billion-dollar funding package largely for small businesses as well as hospitals and COVID-19 testing. He urged the House to pass the bill, too.

Trump said 20 states are working on plans to reopen their economies in the “very near future.”

Regarding large companies who received money, the President was asked if he was going to ask that they return that money?

President Trump said, “I’m gonna ask to return money. Harvard’s gonna pay back the money. They shouldn’t be taking it. So Harvard’s going to. You have a number of- I’m not going to mention any other names but when I saw Harvard, they have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country maybe in the world, I guess, and they’re going to pay back that money.”

Regarding seeing COVID-19 numbers improving in most cities, Dr Birx remarked, “…looking at all of the information across the United States we do see improvement across all the large metros. I know you know that we’ve been talking about the New York metro area, New York City, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Long Island, and really we do start to see improvement there and we see improvement even now and in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Detroit Metro is doing quite well with significant declines now.

“New Orleans is nearly back to their baseline of where they started for new infections we also are seeing improvements in Chicago and Boston and that has been a great concern for us over the last several weeks, but they appear now to be flattening both also Philadelphia and Houston, Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and St. Louis also appear to be flattening. The DC Metro area we don’t see a decline yet so I hope all of you are still social distancing and doing everything that you can,” added Dr. Birx.

When asked if the virus could return and actually be worse in the Fall Dr. Birx replied, “I don’t know if it will be worse. I think this has been pretty bad. When you see what has happened in New York, that was very bad. I believe that we’ll have early warning signals both from our surveillance that we’ve been talking about in these on the vulnerable populations. We’re going to continue that surveillance from now all the way through the fall to be able to give us that early warning signal. I think what we’ve learned just how good Americans are about immediately reverting to all of those issues that they need to do in order to ensure that they’re protected and their families.”

President Trump said Tuesday the U.S.N.S Comfort docked in New York will be returning to Virginia to prepare for its next mission.

“I’ve asked Andrew if we could bring the Comfort back to its base in Virginia so that we can have it for other locations. And he said we would be able to do that. Javits Center has been a great help to them. But we’ll be bringing the ship back at the earliest time and we’ll get it ready for its next mission, which will, I’m sure will be a very important one also, but it was an honor. They, they reconverted it after it got there into handling an event that they were not expecting to be handling,” added President Trump.

After reports came out Monday that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un is possibly in serious health condition, Trump said he doesn’t know about his status but he wishes him well.

Asked if he was concerned that the state of Georgia was going too far, President Trump said he’s scheduled to speak to the governor, and added: “I’m concerned about what happens everywhere.”

President Trump tweeted on Monday night that he would be signing an executive order that would halt immigration into the United States for 60 days. At Tuesday’s daily coronavirus briefing, the president reiterated that he would be signing an executive order and that he was in support of it to take care of American workers laid off by the pandemic. The president also said only those seeking permanent residency would be affected.

Regarding farmers relying on seasonal migrant workers, President Trump replied, “Yeah that’s not gonna be affected. The farmers will not be- that’s an important point, the farmers will not be affected. Yeah, that’s very important point I mean it’s a great point. Actually, I’m glad you brought it up. No the farmers will not be affected.

If anything, we’re going to make it easier and we’re doing a process that will make it better for those workers to come in to go to the farm where they’ve been for a long time now,” added President Trump.

President Trump said the protests he’s seen have been social distancing and added that “people, they want to get back to work. They got to make a living, they have to take care of their family. They don’t want to do this.”

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