HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force Update Americans on Relief Efforts
SIGNS OF PROGRESS
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We continue to see evidence that our aggressive strategy is working, and working at a very high level. Nationwide, the percent of tests that come back positive has declined very significantly.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “18 states now show a decline in a number of positive tests over the last seven days.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Half of all Americans live in states that have now taken steps to open their economies. Just yesterday, Governors Gavin Newsom of California, Tim Walz of Minnesota, and Bill Lee of Tennessee announced additional plans to restart certain sectors. We ask every American to maintain vigilance and hygiene, social distancing and voluntary use of face coverings.”
RELIEF FOR AMERICANS AND BUSINESSES
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, I signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, providing $320 billion to keep American workers on the payroll.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “$30 billion of the Paycheck Protection funds will be reserved for small financial institutions, including those that serve minority and distressed communities, extending vital relief to thousands of African-American and Hispanic-American small business owners and their employees.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The bill also delivers $75 billion for hospitals, so badly needed for hospitals, they’ve taken a very big hit, and medical providers.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re sending direct payments to millions of American workers. More than 80 million Americans have already received their payment – $3,400 for a typical family of four.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The FDA approved the first at-home COVID-19 test kit. Just got approved. … They’re approving things at record numbers at a record rate, and it’s really been helpful. Many tests are going on, many vaccine tests, and tests of every different kind.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “You may recall that one month ago, all of the testing that had been done in America, 80,000 Americans have been tested. But as of this morning, 5.1 million Americans have been tested for the Coronavirus.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We want to express our appreciation to every governor across the country that are standing up all of those labs that are available, that are working with us and our supply chain personnel to make sure that the reagents and swabs and equipment is there to be able to process the tests, and we’re going to continue to increase testing dramatically in the weeks ahead.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We want to thank our governors for the progress that we’re making on testing and for their role in urging their citizens to practice the kind of mitigation and social distancing efforts that are really making real progress.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “This week, as the President said, we authorize the first at-home test by a company called LabCorp … Under certain circumstances, with a doctor’s supervision, a test can be mailed to a patient and the patient can perform the self-swab and then mail it back and get the results after that time, all under the guidance of a licensed physician.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “We are working with more than 400 test developers who are pursuing authorization for their diagnostics under our current policies.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “We have heard and have reported to us, 220 labs around the country have begun patient testing using their own validated tests. This has allowed us to increase significantly tests around the country.”
CRITICAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I spoke with the leaders of numerous countries today. They’re asking if we can send them ventilators, and I’m agreeing to do it. We have tremendous capacity, now over capacity of ventilators.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The Federal government has over 10,000 ventilators and we could have a lot more if we wanted to do that. But we’re helping Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia, France. We’re sending to France, we’re sending to Spain, we’re sending to Italy, and we will probably be sending to Germany should they need them.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We of course had Pete Gaynor of FEMA report on progress, more than 35,000 National Guard stood up, 5,000 active duty military deployed to 10 states.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We were also pleased to report that FEMA, HHS, and the private sector have coordinated the delivery of shipments to states around the country, including nearly 67 million N95 masks, 105 million surgical masks, surgical gowns, shields, gloves, more than 10,000 ventilators, and more than 8,000 federal field medical station beds.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “The President has asked us, and under his leadership, to actually cut down as many barriers as we possibly could to get medical products into the medical community, and we have done that.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “When it comes to therapeutics, we are leaving no stone unturned in finding treatments for Covid-19. … 72 trials of therapeutics are underway in the United States under FDA oversight and 211 are in the planning stages. So we expect to see more. This includes convalescent plasma, as well as antiviral therapies.”
FDA COMMISSIONER HAHN: “Work continues on vaccines and two firms have announced that the FDA has authorized their trials to go forward.”
WORKING WITH AMERICA’S GOVERNORS
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “The President made clear when he asked me to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force, not merely a whole of the Federal Government but a full partnership with state and local governments across the country. And today, we renewed that with our latest conference call with governors all across America.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We met with them today specifically to speak about the progress that our governors are making, expanding testing across the country. And we were pleased to hear about extraordinary and rapid progress that governors are making.”
Washington, DC – Faith & Freedom Coalition Executive Director Tim Head issued a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today urging them to vote against H.R. 1, legislation which would undermine the constitutionally protected free speech and association rights of every American.
H.R. 1 creates and then regulates a new overly broad and incredibly vague definition of political speech —namely, communications that “promote, attack, support, or oppose” federal candidates and elected officials.
The legislation would also expand the definition of “coordination” under the law such that any discussion about public policy, at any time, could conceivably be deemed “coordinated” with a candidate for federal office and therefore a donation to the campaign.
Non-profit organizations, including churches, would also be subject to politically motivated FEC investigations with the specter of criminal liability and fines for speaking on public issues.
“A vote in favor of H.R 1 is a vote to restrict free speech and association and to discourage political participation by ordinary Americans,” said Head.
“This bill would undermine the constitutionally protected free speech and association rights of every American and have a chilling effect on political participation and would further empower unelected bureaucrats to target and harass faith-based organizations in order to silence them.”
The expansive “coordination” standards included in H.R. 1 are unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s decision in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC, where the Court held that the FEC could not presume coordination, but had to prove it in order to regulate it.