This is a summary of President Donald Trump’s April 9 COVID-19 press conference.
Trump said he expects to announce a decision over the weekend on helping the airlines.
He held a phone conversation with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and the president of Saudi Arabia on oil production. The numbers are so low there will be layoffs all over the world and we don’t want that here. We had a good talk. We’ll see what happens. OPEC met today.
Trump expressed his gratitude to the American people for making sacrifices to save lives.
He hopes to open up the economy soon.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing better and was removed from ICU.
Javits Center in New York has been converted into a hospital.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building 21 hospitals and facilities around the nation with 17,000 beds.
An ongoing airlift operation to obtain personal protective equipment (PPEs) is expanding. There have been 24 flights and more are planned.
Pfizer said it found a treatment that may prevent virus from replicating. It hopes to begin testing soon in clinical trials.
Nineteen therapies are being tested. More are planned.
Trials for Gilead’s antiviral drug continue.
Hydroxychloroquine manufacturers are ramping up production.
The Federal Reserve is taking steps to help the economy.
We are working to replenish the paycheck protection program. We need both parties to make it happen.
Over $6 billion is available for college students impacted by cancelation of classes and campus housing. We had waived payment for six months of student loans.
A reporter asked about oil production.
Trump: Our strategic national storage is nearly full. OPEC and other countries are close to a deal.
Q: How can you reopen the nation without a good nationwide testing system?
Trump: We have good tests. We are giving out millions of tests. We will do massive testing in certain areas of our country.
Q: What would you say to the 16 million Americans who have lost their jobs?
Trump: I think the economy will do very well. We’re at the lower curve of deaths of what the early models suggested.
Q: Oil was selling in New York for $23 a barrel. Where do you want it?
Trump: The virus knocked out 40 percent of the market. We need a minimum number so the energy companies don’t lay off their workers. We need to go with the market.
Q on the paycheck protection program: Small business owners say their banks don’t know how to access the money.
Trump: There are a lot of banks making a lot of loans. They wanted changes in applications and loan requirements, but they’re taking in billions of dollars in loan applications.
Q: Some experts said we need to do 750,000 tests per week before the economy reopens.
Trump: I don’t like the word “needed,” but I think we will try to hit that number.
Vice President Mike Pence:
We have done over 2 million tests. We are testing over 100,000 a day. We are scaling up new tests.
Over 450,000 Americans tested positive.
Our hearts go out to the families that have lost loved ones. All of us working at every level understand these are not numbers, these are lives.
We continue to see evidence that in areas where the epidemic impacted most – New York, Louisiana, Detroit, Denver – we see evidence of stabilization. It appears we are close to the peak in each area.
We are watching Chicago and Boston.
$125 billion was approved in the paycheck protection program. Treasury will issue an FAQ document tonight on how seasonal businesses can participate in the program.
Stimulus payments will go out by end of next week.
The president approved 54 major disaster declarations.
DOD said 4,100 military medical personnel were deployed to the states. They are helping relieve medical personnel in New York City.
States opened hundreds of drive-through test sites.
We will help states transition from a federal test site to a state site. This gives states more flexibility but we will still partner with states if they like.
We are in the process of acquiring tens of millions of medical supplies.
The coronavirus task force is looking into allowing hospital workers use cloth gowns for procedures like in the old days. We expect guidance on this.
We held a conference call with mental health professionals.
Dr. Deborah Birx:
We’re over the 750,000-testing threshold.
Here are demographic numbers on testing:
We tested over 200,000 young people up to age 25; 11 percent were positive.
Over half million between 25 to 45 were tested; 17 percent positive
Nearly half million ages 45 to 65; 21 percent positive
Nearly 200,000 tested ages 65 to 85; 22 percent positive
About 30,000 tested over age 85; 24 percent positive
56 percent tested are female; 16 percent are positive
44 percent tested are male; 23 percent positive
Dr. Anthony Fauci:
This has been a bad week for deaths, like we had predicted. We are seeing decreases in hospitalizations.