Updates from the COVID-19 Response Coronavirus Working Group

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Highlights of President Trump’s briefing:

  • USNS Comfort is open to COVID-19 patients.
  • Trump is considering a new round of “direct” payments to the Americans.
  • Approximately 9,000 fans are in the federal inventory.
  • Trump is skeptical of the new HHS IG report revealing testing problems across the country.

President Trump said USNS Comfort docked in New York will now be open to patients with coronavirus after the ship was originally to take only non-COVID-19 patients to free beds in New York hospitals . The floating hospital is now also open to New Jersey patients.

Mr. Trump said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo contacted him about Comfort. “He asked whether or not it was possible to use the ship to fight the virus, and we didn’t have that at all in mind, but we’ll let him do it,” said Trump, who has already praised Cuomo for his handling of the situation in New York.

“As we enter a crucial phase of our battle, we continue to send our prayers to the people of New York and New Jersey and to all of our country,” Trump said on Monday.

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In Monday’s briefing from the Coronavirus Task Force, the president and his team warned that it will be a difficult and painful week for the nation. Opening the briefing on Monday, the President expressed his best wishes Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was placed in intensive care after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I would like to extend my best wishes to a very good friend of mine and a friend of our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” said Mr. Trump. “We are very sad to hear that he was placed in intensive care today a short time ago. The Americans are all praying for his recovery. He was a very good friend, he was something very special: strong, resolute, does not quit, does not give up. “

Trump rejected report from Inspector General of Health and Social Services who investigated hospitals and found severe shortage of tests, long wait for results and shortage of essential personal protective equipment . Mr. Trump – who late Friday night fired the inspector general of the intelligence community – appears to have rejected the report because it was written by an inspector general. Inspector Generals are appointed across the government to uncover waste, fraud and abuse within agencies.

“Did I hear the word inspector general? Really? Trump said, demanding that the reporter who asked the question give him the name of the Inspector General who wrote the report.

As hospitals across the country, particularly in hot spots, scramble to find ventilators, the president said there are about 9,000 ventilators in the national stock. Moments earlier, Admiral Brett Giroir told reporters that he would not say how many fans are in the stock.

But the nation is also fighting an economic battle, as the president often emphasizes. As Americans across the country wait for their checks to arrive from the stimulus bill, the president said he is seriously considering a new round of “direct” payments to the Americans. These payments would require additional legislation. Americans are expected to see their first set of checks up to $ 1,200 per adult this month.

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United States has exceeded 10,000 on Monday, and experts estimate that the number of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, will continue to increase even though the number of new ones case begins to stabilize in some places.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, warned Sunday on “Face the Nation” said the week ahead will be “bad” and said that although the mitigation measures in place are starting to work, the nation has not yet reached the peak of the death toll.

Fauci also rejected the idea that the United States has the coronavirus epidemic under control.

“It would be a false statement,” he said. “We have a hard time controlling it, and that’s the problem right now. “

At Monday’s briefing, Fauci suggested that life in the United States would not return to normal before the coronavirus until there was a vaccine. It could take at least a year.

On Sunday, Trump continued to encourage the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, telling reporters that it would be “shameful” for the drug to work and not be used in hospitals in the United States. But earlier Sunday, Fauci told “Face the Nation” that “the data is really suggestive at best.”

“In terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say that it works,” he said.

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