“Our country is in the midst of a great national trial, unlike any we have ever faced before,” U.S. President Donald J. Trump told the nation.
“We’re at war with a deadly virus. Success in this fight will require the full absolute measure of our collective strength, love, and devotion,” he said from the White House in a live televised broadcast at the start of his now daily Q&A with the press. It lasted for 2:12.
“Each of us has the power through our own choices and actions to save American lives and rescue the most vulnerable among us. That’s why we really have to do what we all know is right. Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices. Every business is being asked to fulfill its patriotic duty. Every community is making fundamental changes to how we live, work and interact each and every day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this going on long into the future when this virus is gone and defeated.”
“I know our citizens will rise to the occasion and they already have sacrificed a lot. We had the greatest economy in the history of our country. We’re the greatest economy in the world. We had the best unemployment numbers and employment numbers that we’ve ever had by far, and in one instant we said we have no choice but to close it up. Just as Americans have always done, they will do a job like few have seen before and they’re proud to do it. And I see that there’s a great pride going on right now.
in great national trial.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2020
“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks. And then hopefully as the experts are predicting, as I think a lot of us are predicting I after having studied it so hard, you’re going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel, but this is going to be a very painful, very, very painful two weeks. When you look and see at night the kind of death that’s been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”
“As a nation, we face a difficult few weeks as we approach that really important day when we’re going to see things get better all of a sudden. And it’s going to be like a burst of light. I really think and I hope that our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love and courage and ironclad resolve.”
“As a nation, we face a difficult few weeks as we approach that really important day when we’re going to see things get better all of a sudden. And it’s going to be like a burst of light.”
“I really think and I hope that our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love and courage and ironclad resolve.”
“As we send plane loads of masks and gloves and supplies to the communities battling the plague, and that’s what it is. It’s a plague. We also send our prayers. We pray for the doctors and the nurses. For the paramedics and the truck drivers, and the police officers, and the sanitation workers. And above all, the people fighting for their lives in New York and all across our land.”
Speaking again of his horror at seeing the hospital in Elmhurst, Queens, near where he grew up being featured on the television news with refrigerator trucks, the president said:
“I watched the doctors and the nurses walking into that hospital this morning. It’s like military people going into battle, going into war. The bravery is incredible, and I just have to take my hat. I would take my hat if I were wearing a hat, I’d rip that hat off so fast and I would say ‘You people are just incredible.’ They really are. They’re very brave.”
Dr. Birx explained that thanks to the five or six international and domestic modelers from Harvard, from Columbia, from Northeastern, from Imperial, who helped tremendously, estimates of a before and after the stand in place orders are now understood.
“In their estimates, they had between 1.5 million 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to this virus without mitigation. Yet through their detailed studies and showing us what social distancing would do, what would happen if people stayed home, what would happen if people were careful every day to wash their hands and worry about touching their faces. That what an extraordinary thing this could be if every American followed these. And it takes us to that stippled mountain that’s much lower, a hill actually, down to 100,000-200,000 deaths, which is still way too much.”
“So of course this is a projection and it’s a projection based on using very much what’s happened in Italy, and then looking at all the models, and so as you saw on that slide, that was our real number, that 100,000 to 200,000, and we think that that is the range. We really believe and hope every day that we can do a lot better than that, because that’s not assuming 100% of every American does everything that they’re supposed to be doing. But I think that’s possible.”
President Trump steps in as the line of questioning returns to the total number of deaths now expected, between 100,000 and 200,000 people
“It says 100 to 200,000, anything, it’s a lot of people. Right? It’s a lot of people. Well, you didn’t ask the other question. What would have happened, because this is the question that I’ve been asking Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx for a long time, and they’ve been working on this for a long time. The question is what would have happened if we did nothing? Because there was a group that said let’s just ride it out. Let’s ride it out. What would have happened? And that number comes in at 1.5 to 1.6 million people, up to 2.2 and even beyond. So that’s 2.2 million people would’ve died if we did nothing. We just carried on our life. Now I don’t think that would’ve been possible because you would have had people dying all over the place. This would not have been a normal life. How many people have even seen anybody die? You would have seen people dying on airplanes. You would’ve been seeing people dying in hotel lobbies. You would have seen death all over.”
This would not have been a normal life. How many people have even seen anybody die? You would have seen people dying on airplanes. You would’ve been seeing people dying in hotel lobbies. You would have seen death all over.
“But that was something that everybody was talking about, Steve. Like, just don’t do anything, don’t do anything. Forget about everything. Just ride it out. They used the expression, ride it out. We would have had at a minimum 1.5, 1.6, but you would have had perhaps a more than 2.2 million people dying in a very short period of time. And that would have been a number that the likes of which we’ve never seen.”
“When (reporter) John saw the numbers and when (reporter)Jim saw those numbers, they’re shocking numbers. You know, you’re talking about deaths.”
“Even at the low end, you were shocked. When you see 100 and 120,000 and 200,000 people over potentially a very short period of time, I want to save lives. I’m not doing this for any other reason. I want to save lives.”
“I think from the beginning, my attitude was that we have to give this country … I knew how bad it was. All you have to do is look at what was going on in China. It was devastation. Well, yeah, look at the numbers from China, those initial numbers coming out from China. But I read an article today which was very interesting. They say, “We wish president Trump would give more bad news.” Give bad news. I’m not about bad news. I want to give people hope. I want to give people a feeling that we all have a chance. I mean, when you saw the numbers and when John and all of you saw those numbers and you were saying 120,000 people, you mean that’s good? 100,000 dead people within a short period of time. I want to give people a feeling of hope. I could be very negative. I could say, “Wait a minute. Those numbers are terrible. This is going to be horrible.” This is a horrible thing.
“I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative. I have to … I’m a positive person. Somebody said, ‘Oh, I wish you’d be more negative.’ They literally have that. It’s in one of the wonderful newspapers today. I wish you’d be more negative. Well, this is really easy to be negative about, but I want to give people hope too. I’m a cheerleader for the country. We’re going through the worst thing that the country’s probably ever seen. Look, we had The Civil War, we lost 600,000 people. Right? Here’s the thing, had we not done anything, we would have lost many times that, but we did something and so it’s going to be hopefully way under that, but we lose more here potentially than you lose in world wars as a country. So there’s nothing positive, there’s nothing great about it, but I want to give people in this country hope. I think it’s very important.”
“But I don’t want to be a negative person. It’d be so much easier for me to come up and say, “We have bad news. We’re going to lose 220,000 people and it’s going to happen over the next few weeks.” And with that, I did start off by saying today, long before this question, I said, ‘This is going to be a rough two or three weeks.’ This is going to be one of the roughest two or three weeks we’ve ever had in our country. We’re going to lose thousands of people.”
Today, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration announced for the details on the paycheck protection program, which was made possible by the $2 trillion relief bill I signed into law last week. Nearly $350 billion in loans will soon be available through lending partners to help small businesses meet payroll and other expenses for up to two months. These loans will be forgiven as long as businesses keep paying their workers. This includes sole proprietors and independent contractors. Applications will be accepted starting this Friday, April 3rd. So on Friday, April 3rd, that’s when it begins.
Over the past two months, the US State Department has organized one of the largest and most complex international evacuation operations in American history. Mike Pompeo is working around the clock along with Ambassador O’Brien. Since January 29th, we have successfully repatriated over 25,000 Americans from more than 50 countries where they were literally stuck. In some cases, locked in.
“So far, nobody has been able to find any money that was spent on infrastructure. I want to use it for infrastructure. And one of the reasons I’m suggesting it, John, is we’re paying zero interest. The United States is paying almost zero interest rate. The Federal Reserve lowered the rate, the fed rate. And that and a combination of the fact that everybody wants to be in the United States. You know, we have a dollar that’s very strong, and I know that sounds good, but it does make it hard to manufacture and sell outside, because other currencies are falling, and our currency is very strong. It’s very, very strong. Proportionately, it’s through the roof.”
“And I’m suggesting $2 trillion. We redo our roads, our highways, our bridges. We fix up our tunnels, which are many of them in bad shape, like coming into New York, as you know, really bad shape. And we really do a job on our infrastructure, and that doesn’t mean we’re going to do the Green New Deal, because I won’t do it. I won’t approve it. We’re not going to do the Green New Deal and spend 40% of the money on things that people just have fun with.”
BY THE NUMBERS:
250 ambulances and 500 EMTs from FEMA
USNS Comfort, a thousand rooms and 12 operating rooms, from US Navy
8 facilities to expand hospital capacity up to 50,000 beds from Army Corps of Engineers
USNS Mercy hospital ship is now operational and receiving patients from US Navy
Major Disaster Declarations
States authorized to use full federal funding, Title 32, to pay National Guard
National Guardsmen activated
Completed virus tests
How many people taking test version of malaria-based cure
How many days into the 7-day trial
Results of Saudi Arabia & Russia oil price war
99 cents for a gallon of gas
How many American industry jobs could be lost if oil prices don’t rise soon?
1000s and 1000s of jobs.
h/t @RevTranscripts for the free transcription of every recent POTUS press conference