HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a News Conference

President Trump and members of the Task Force provided an update on the Administration’s coronavirus response efforts.

LOOKING OUT FOR WORKERS AND BUSINESSES

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We are going to take care of and have been taking care of the American public and the American economy. We are going to be asking tomorrow — we’re seeing the Senate, going to be meeting with House Republicans, Mitch McConnell, everybody, and discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief – substantial relief, very substantial relief. That’s a big, that’s a big number.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck – whether it be working with companies and small companies, large companies, a lot of companies so that they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault.  It’s not their fault. It’s not our country’s fault. This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it and we have been handling it very well.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Also we’re going to be seeing small business administration and creating loans for small businesses.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S AGGRESSIVE RESPONSE

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Because of the unprecedented action that President Trump took in January – suspending all travel from China, establishing travel advisories for portions of South Korea and Italy, establishing screening of all direct flights, all passengers from all airports, Italy and South Korea – we have bought a considerable amount of time, according to all the health experts, to deal with coronavirus here in the United States.”

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “The President did deploy not just a whole of government approach, but also a whole of America approach and last week at the President’s direction we met with leaders in industries from nursing homes to airlines, pharmaceutical companies, commercial labs and it’s had great, great impact.”

LOW RISK FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “The risk of contracting the coronavirus to the American public remains low and the risk of serious disease among the American public also remains low.”

SURGEON GENERAL ADAMS: “We have been looking at the data from around the world, and we now know more than we ever have about who is at risk. Who is at risk are people over the age of 60.”

SURGEON GENERAL ADAMS: “The average age of death is age 80. What we also want communities to know, is that if you are a child or young adult, you’re more likely to die from the flu, if you get it, than you are to die from coronavirus.”

TESTING AND THERAPEUTICS

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Pharmaceutical companies are already working literally around the clock on the development of therapeutics that can bring relief to people that contract the coronavirus and I know that how pleased the President was to learn that the commercial labs in this country led by companies like Lab Corp and Quest have already brought a test forward and are taking that to market effective today.”

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Testing is now available in all state labs in every state in the country. Over a million tests have been distributed, before the end of this week another 4 million tests will be distributed but as I said before, with the deployment of the commercial labs, we literally are going to see a dramatic increase in the available — availability of testing and that’s all a direct result of the President’s leadership.”

HHS SECRETARY AZAR: “We now have a total of 2.1 million tests that are available, either shipped or waiting to be shipped or waiting to be ordered. We, by the end of this week, expect to be able to be producing up to 4 million tests per week in the United States.”

GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES, BUSINESSES, AND SCHOOLS

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “We directed our team to come up with helpful recommendations for every American, every American family, every American business and school.”

DR. BIRX: “The guidance will be around how to keep workplaces safe, how to keep schools safe, how to keep the home safe, and how to keep commercial businesses safe where people would eat or be present.”

DR. BIRX: “We will be providing that this evening in great detail so every mother, father, child, son, daughter, caregiver will know precisely what to do and what to ask for.”

THE GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “A brief word about the Grand Princess. The Grand Princess has docked this afternoon in Oakland, California, at a commercial dock. 25 children, and we were happy to learn through the screening over the last two days, the 25 children on the ship are all healthy. Of the people that have contracted the coronavirus – 21 in all – they’re being dealt with in proper isolation we’re working with health authorities in California. We hope before the end of today to begin to disembark California residents to Travis Air Force Base in Miramar. We’ve made arrangements with Canada and the U.K. to take their passengers back.”

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “They’ll be transported out to the tarmac and charter flights home and tomorrow the remaining passengers will be transported again through very, very carefully controlled environments. All the passengers will be tested, isolated as appropriate, quarantined as appropriate.”

See the full news conference on The White House website.