Tuesday, March 31, 2020

White House Official Admits Trump Is Sending More Essential Medical Equipment To Swing States He Needs For Re-Election, While Consigning Many People To Death In States He Can't Win

Four days ago, I wrote that "a classic Trumpian move would be to send existing equipment to Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which (coincidence!) are key swing states in this November's election".

Well, guess the fuck what?

A White House official has admitted to the Washington Post that Donald Trump is making sure "red" states like Florida get all the coronavirus personal protective gear that they have requested, while denying essential equipment to "blue" states (like New York, which Trump has no chance of winning).
The federal response to this pandemic is based on Donald Trump's re-election campaign needs.

I'm dreaming, but what if the media sank its teeth into this and did not let go? What if every single question posed to Trump tomorrow was about this report?

Officials in Florida have pointed to the close relationship between [Republican Governor Ron] DeSantis and Trump as a helpful tool in shaping federal policy. The two speak almost daily. Trump has formed an especially close relationship with DeSantis, a former congressman whose pugilistic defenses of the president helped him secure a race-changing endorsement in his 2018 bid for governor. Trump will probably need the 29 electoral votes of his adopted homestead to win reelection.
Check out what happened last Saturday. DeSantis called Trump and complained that people with the coronavirus were traveling from New York to Florida. (Sure, that makes sense. I know anytime I'm running a fever and coughing and having trouble breathing, I find the best thing to do is get in my car and drive 1,200 miles for no reason.) Anyhoo, Trump hung up and immediately tweeted that he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as a punishment, I guess. (He ultimately decided against it.)

One White House official said Trump is attuned to the electoral importance of Florida in November, giving added weight to the arguments DeSantis has made to the administration that his state's economy should reopen as soon as possible. ... Three days after requesting 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators and other equipment on March 11, Florida received all of the items. The state received an additional shipment less than two weeks later. As of late last week, it was awaiting a third shipment.
The official added: "The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection ... He pays close attention to what Florida wants."

Trump also continues to push his nonsensical theory that doctors and nurses in New York City, after working grueling 14-hour shifts, are then selling boxes of masks "out the back door". This is merely one more shovel of dirt on the Mount Everest of evidence of Trump's ignorance and projection.

Dolt45 cannot conceive why so many masks would be needed (since the number of cases should be "close to zero" by now, plus April's warm, virus-destroying weather is arriving tomorrow) and he assumes everyone would do whatever he would do.

But because Trump knows he would happily step over a pile of dead bodies to sell masks on the underground market doesn't mean anyone else would. ... Who is buying these masks? And for what purpose? It's beyond bizarre. But it's been well-established that when Trump gets confused about why something is a certain way, his mind goes immediately to illegal action.
Hey! Halle-fucking-lujah!
That con job was built on the even-more-amazing magic conservatives conjured decades ago, when they convinced pretty much everyone in the US that the country's media is liberal. If you actually go and read and listen to the media, of course, you'd quickly realize the claim is hogwash.

In 1992, Rich Bond, then the chair of the Republican Party, said:
There is some strategy to it [bashing the 'liberal' media] ... If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one.
James Baker, the White House Chief of Staff under both Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Herbert Bush, admitted that complaining about the media was silly:
There were days and times and events we might have had some complaints [but] on balance I don't think we had anything to complain about.
Patrick Buchanan, an ultra-conservative pundit and former presidential candidates:
I've gotten balanced coverage, and broad coverage-all we could have asked. For heaven sakes, we kid about the 'liberal media,' but every Republican on earth does that.
William Kristol, one of the most influential Republican/neoconservative in America, confessed:
I admit it. The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.

Dying Is One Of The More Unpleasant Things, Possibly the Most Unpleasant, Really ... Most People Don't Know That

Donald Trump, March 29, 2020:
I wish we could have our old life back. We had the greatest economy that we've ever had, and we didn't have death. We didn't have this. We didn't have this horrible scourge, this plague — you can call it whatever you want. The virus. ... [The media] should be fair because ... this is about death. ...

Unfortunately, the enemy is death. It's death. A lot of people are dying, so it's very unpleasant. It's a very unpleasant thing to go through. But the level of competence, the level of caring, the level of love, I — I just think it's brilliant, and it's possibly happening in other countries. Possibly. I don't know. ... Thank you very much.

Trump & Pence Praise Pace Of US Testing; 100% Of The Evidence Says The Opposite

Heather Digby Parton, March 30, 2020:
Recall these prescient words during Donald Trump's impeachment trial:
Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that's prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding. What would you think if you lived there and your governor asked for a meeting with the president to discuss getting disaster aid that Congress has provided for? What would you think if that president said, "I would like you to do us a favor? I'll meet with you, and send the disaster relief, once you brand my opponent a criminal." Wouldn't you know in your gut that such a president has abused his office? That he'd betrayed the national interest, and that he was trying to corrupt the electoral process? I believe the evidentiary record shows wrongful acts on those scale here. (Professor Pamela Karlan's testimony)
And this from Adam Schiff:
In fairness to Trump he isn't asking Governors to investigate his political rival. He just wants them to "appreciate" him, meaning they are required to extoll his virtues in public in order to get the federal aid they need to save people's lives.

Why? So he can use their coerced words in ads like these:

He extorted the president of Ukraine into publicly declaring an investigation into his political rival in exchange for badly needed military aid. Now he is extorting American governors into publicly singing his praises in exchange for badly needed medical aid for their dying citizens — so he can use them in campaign ads.

This is what he does. It is who he is. If people cannot see that the man is corrupt all the way down to the blackened void where his soul should be, we won't survive this.

US              CASES   DEATHS
March 15        7,473      115      (  737 new cases and  11 new deaths)
March 16        8,210      126      (  983 new cases and  18 new deaths)
March 17        9,193      144      ( 1748 new cases and  23 new deaths)
March 18       10,941      167      ( 2848 new cases and  41 new deaths)
March 19       13,789      208      ( 4530 new cases and  58 new deaths)
March 20       19,383      266      ( 5594 new cases and  49 new deaths)
March 21       24,207      312      ( 4824 new cases and  46 new deaths)
March 22       33,546      429      ( 9339 new cases and 117 new deaths)
March 23       43,714      569      (10168 new cases and 140 new deaths)
March 24       54,803      794      (11089 new cases and 225 new deaths)
March 25       68,158    1,041      (13355 new cases and 247 new deaths)
March 26       85,382    1,309      (17224 new cases and 268 new deaths)
March 27      104,073    1,710      (18691 new cases and 401 new deaths)
March 28      125,485    2,225      (19452 new cases and 525 new deaths)
March 29      145,398    2,588      (19913 new cases and 363 new deaths)
March 30      165,751    3,161      (20353 new cases and 573 new deaths)
March 31                            (21482 new cases and 638 new deaths as of 21:37 GMT)
March 25 - US sets a record for most new cases in a country a single day
March 26 - US breaks the one-day record it set yesterday
March 27 - US breaks the one-day record for the third consecutive day
March 28 - US breaks the one-day record for the fourth consecutive day
March 29 - US breaks the one-day record for the fifth consecutive day
March 30 - US breaks the one-day record for the sixth consecutive day
March 31 - US breaks the one-day record for the seventh consecutive day

Monday, March 30, 2020

Let Me Tell You, No One Has Been More Polite In All Of History Than Donald Trump

Updated AGAIN below.

White House, Rose Garden, March 29, 2020:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. I have two questions. The first is, you've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment that governors are requesting, they don't actually need. You said New York might need —

Trump: I didn't say that.

Q — might not need 30,000.

Trump: I didn't say that.

Q You said it on Sean Hannity's, Fox News.
[Yes, he did: "And you know, they'd say, like Governor Cuomo and others that say we want, you know, 30,000 of them, 30,000. ... And now, all of a sudden everybody's asking for these vast numbers. ... I think that a lot of things are being said that are more. ... And you know a lot -- a lot of equipment's being asked for that I don't think they'll need ..."]

[Trump then said it four more times at a White House press conference on March 27 (and managed not to throw a tantrum when asked about his comments). And he said it again this morning.:
Trump: I didn't say — come on. Come on.

Q You said that you might —

Trump: You know, why don't — why don't you people act — let me ask you: Why don't you act —

Q You said some states —

Trump: Why don't you act in a little more positive? It's always trying to "get you."

Q My question to you is —

Trump: "Get you. Get you." And you know what? That's why nobody trusts the media anymore. That's why people —

Q My question to you is: How is that going to impact —

Trump: Excuse me. You didn't hear me. That's why you used to work for the Times and now you work for somebody else. Look, let me tell you something: Be nice. Don't be threatening.

Q Mr. President, my question is —

Trump: Don't be threating. Be nice. Go ahead.

Q My question is: How is that going to impact how you fill these orders for ventilators or for masks? Your views that —

Trump: It's not going to impact.

Q They're — you're not going to — it's not going to impact you at all?

Trump: We're producing tremendous numbers of ventilators. We're doing a great job on it. … The fact is, we've done a great job of delivering. … We had a meeting at 3 o'clock. It lasted for a long time. It was a great meeting with the generals and with everybody else. ... We sent thousands of generators to New York. They were put into a warehouse — a New York warehouse — that happened to be located, interestingly, in Edison, New Jersey. They were given to New York, and we then went to other places, also giving thousands of ventilators. The people in New York never distributed the generators. ... I knew they had them. So we said, "Why didn't you distribute them?" ... But maybe they didn't need them so badly. But just so you know, we're all — you, me, everybody — we're all on the same team. You know, when — when journalists get up — and you're a journalist, a fine journalist —

Q I was quoting you directly from Sean Hannity

Trump: — when journalists get up and ask questions that are so threatening — we're all on the same team.

Q I was quoting you directly from your interview with Sean Hannity.

Trump: Take a look at my interview. What I want to do is, if there is something wrong, we have to get to the bottom of it. When I hear facemasks go from 10,000 to 300,000, and they constantly need more, and the biggest man in the business is, like, shocked — he knows all about the virus, by the way; he's not surprised by that. He knows all about it. He shouldn't be surprised. He should say, "Well, that's standard," because this is, really, a very tough disease. This is, really, a very tough virus to handle.
Okay. Please, go ahead.

Q Mr. President, my second question — Mr. President, my second question —

Trump: Go ahead.

Q My second question is —

Trump: That's — that's enough. Thank you very much.

Q But, Mr. President, my second question is —

Trump: Please. Please.

Q My second question is —

Trump: That's enough.

Q Mr. President —

Trump: That's enough. That's not fair to your other reporters. It's not fair. You had a long time, a long question.

. . .

Q Thank you, sir. I would also like to ask you about some comments you made on Friday. You were talking about governors of different states, and you said, "I want them to be appreciative." You also said, "If they don't treat you right, I don't call."

Trump: But I didn't say that. I didn't say that.

Q These are direct — direct quotes, sir.
[Yep. Direct quotes, but Trump constantly denys reality. Again, from the White House website, March 27:]
Trump: No, it's such a — excuse me. Ready? Ready? Ready? Take a look at what I said. I want them to be appreciative of me — okay? — and then you cut it off, because it's fake-news CNN.

Q — of you and of your administration. Absolutely.

Trump: Listen. Just, please, let me just finish. You just said it again, and you know the answer is a lie.

Q I could read you your full comments, sir, if that would be easier.

Trump: You know that your statement is a lie. Let me just say — look, your statement and your response and your answer is a lie, because here's the story. Are you ready? I said, "I want you to be appreciative of me," and then you go on, and then I go on, and you cut it off. But it says, because when you're not —

Q You said, "I want them to be appreciative. I don't want them to say things that aren't true. I want them to be appreciative. We've done a great job. And I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about Mike Pence, the task force. I'm talking about FEMA…" —

Trump: Thank you.

Q — "…and the Army Corps of Engineers."

Trump: Thank you.

Q But then you went on to say, "If they don't treat you right, I don't call. He's a different type of person," you said —

Trump: I don't call.

Q — referring to the Vice President.

Trump: No, I don't call. No, I don't call the governor of Washington now. [Trump now admits to what he denied about 30 seconds earlier.]

Q But why in this time of —

Trump: But Mike Pence calls, and the head of FEMA calls. I don't stop them. Did I ever ask you to do anything negative, Mike, to Washington, the State of Washington? … No, I don't have to call because I'm probably better off not, because we don't get — he's a failed presidential candidate. He's a nasty person. I don't like the governor of Washington. So you know who calls? I get Mike Pence to call. I get the head of FEMA to call. I get the Admiral to call. But what you didn't say — see, you started it off and you talked about "I have to be appreciated," but then, when you read the rest … See, and that's why people aren't watching CNN very much anymore. That's why they don't like it. That's why your ratings are no good, because you even — after knowing the truth for days now, you bring up the old lie. Read the read — the rest of your question, the rest of your statement, you didn't put in. You have to put that in. And it said in there "FEMA," and it said in there "Army Corps of Engineers." Because when they disrespect me, they're disrespecting our government. And you know what? I don't mind if I'm disrespected, but they can't disrespect the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA. Okay. Please, go ahead.

Q Why is the lack of appreciation something that's important in the midst of —?

Trump: I want them to appreciate the incredible job we're doing. We are doing a job the likes of which has never been done before. And there are a couple of people that know that, but for political reasons — let's say they're Democrats; they don't want to give this administration credit, and that's okay. But I don't have to deal with them, but our Vice President does deal with them. Please, go ahead.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

Trump: But that's why CNN is not trusted anymore. They are not trusted. They are fake news. Remember that. Go ahead.

Q We're not fake news, sir.

Trump: Yes, you are.
White House, Rose Garden, March 30, 2020:
Q Sir, what do you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you —

Trump: Here we go.

Q — downplayed this crisis over the last couple of months? "We have it very much under control in this country. The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. It's going to disappear. It's like a miracle. It will disappear."

March 4th: "We have a very small number of people in this country infected."

March 10th: "We're prepared. We're doing a great job with it. It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away."

Trump: Well, isn't it true? It will go away.

Q What do you say to Americans who believe that you got this wrong?

Trump: And I do want them to stay calm. And we are doing a great job. If you look at those individual statements, they're all true. Stay calm. It will go away. You know it — you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we're going to have a great victory. And it's people like you and CNN that say things like that. That — it's why people just don't want to listen to CNN anymore. You could ask a normal question. The statements I made are: I want to keep the country calm. I don't want to panic in the country. I could cause panic much better than even you. I could do much — I would make you look like a minor league player. But you know what? I don't want to do that. I want to have our country be calm and strong, and fight and win, and it will go away. And it is incredible the job that all of these people are doing ... It's — it's almost a miracle, and it is — the way it's all come together. And instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question.
Like: "Mr. President, you are so amazing and smart. You are the best - at everything. Could you tell us - who are all in awe of you and your big abrain, by the way - how you are able to be so perfect every single day?"

More bullshit with the press for not kissing his ass and reporting his propaganda exactly as he wants it:
We're ranking counties and we're ranking states. And a lot of people put out false information because they don't know what they're talking about.
You were next. He was very nice in doing it, though, nevertheless. Go ahead.

Q Thank you, sir.

Which is unusual for CNN.
I think we're going to be in very good shape. And we had a great call today with a governors. And they were — I actually said, I hope that the media is listening to this call because it was a really good call. And that was randomly selected — largely Democrats and Republicans in there. … [T]hey were saying thank you for doing a great job. … [P]eople are very happy with what we're doing. … I think they're very impressed by the federal government.
Q You said several times that the United States has ramped up testing, but the United States is still not testing per capita as many people as other countries like South Korea. Why is that? And when do you think that that number will be on par with other countries?

Yeah, well, it's — it's very much on par.

Q Not per capita —

Look — look — per capita. We have areas of country that's very tight. I know South Korea better than anybody. It's a — very tight. Do you know how many people are in Seoul? Do you know how big the city of Seoul is?

Q But the question is about —

Thirty-eight million people. That's bigger than anything we have. Thirty-eight million people all tightly wound together. We have vast farmlands. We have vast areas … We have done more tests. What I didn't — I didn't talk about per capita. We have done more tests, by far, than any country in the world, by far. Our testing is also better than any country in the world. … So rather than asking a question like that, you should congratulate the people that have done this testing … We have built an incredible system to the fact, where we have now done more tests than any other country in the world. And now the technology is really booming. … Roche has been incredible in the testing job they've done. And they're ramping it up ... It's up, up, up, up. And you should be saying congratulations instead of asking a really snarky question, because I know exactly what you mean by that.

We're On A Highway To Hell

Living easy, living free
Season ticket on a one-way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride

Don't need reason, don't need rhyme
Ain't nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too

I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell

No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me around

Hey Satan, paid my dues
Playing in a rocking band
Hey mama, look at me
I'm on my way to the promised land

I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell

Don't stop me!

And I'm going down
All the way ...................

I'm on the highway to hell.

February 26: "Within a couple days, it [the number of cases] is going to be down close to zero."

March 30: "If we have ... 200,000 [deaths], we've all together done a very good job."

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Trump Thinks NYC Nurses May Be Making Extra Money In Some Black-Market Mask Conspiracy (Also: Man, He Really Can't Stand Being Held Accountable By Black Women)

Warning: These videos clips may be triggering (or blood boiling, or annoying as fuck).
Governors are picking on Trump in their spare time. Also: Ventilators are not generators.
When in doubt, blame a black man.
Or act like an asshole to black reporters. That works, too.

Trump attacking reporters for asking him to explain his comments and tweets.
Now this ...

I believe he never saw or heard about this. ... Why would he?

There Is Always A Tweet, Part 4,962

GM sold the Lordstown plant last year. Trump boasted about it on Twitter less than a year ago.
His ignorance knows no depth.

Ain't That Some Shit

Even During A Worldwide Pandemic, Trump Must Make Everything Around HIM!

Donald Trump complains about the media. That is not news, and it is certainly not fake news.

He insults reporters. He insults entire networks. He regularly accuses the media of picking on him, of ignoring his great accomplishments, of wanting him to fail, since the minute he announced he was running for president. (And well before.)

There has been two meltdowns this month that received a fair amount of attention, including his now infamous "I don't take responsibility at all". But Trump has been insulting the media nearly every day, condescending to reporters as if they are children or idiots (my irony meter just broke) or making sarcastic remarks about their questions, or ranting endlessly after a far-right reporter gives him an opening.

This is only one facet of Trump's narcissism, his overwhelming need to make everything be ABOUT HIM. We've all seen Trump stare down at the table with his arms folded across his chest when someone else has the media's attention. He's pouting, and he's unable to hide it even a little bit. It has been reported that the reason why Trump has been taking the lead in the press briefings about Covid-19 is because he was jealous of the attention given to Mike Pence. I see no reason to disbelieve that report. It aligns 100% with everything else we've known about Donald Trump since the 1980s.

(CNN, March 25, 2020)

I have been looking at White House transcripts for several days. And reading his inaccurate statements and evasive answers and stream-of-consciousness rambling has made me feel a little embarrassed for Trump. Even reading only his words (forget about watching him attempt to speak), it's clear he has no clue what is going on and he is not smart enough to cover up his ignorance. Plus he would need a mega-tarp to cover such a large field of ignorance. He just repeats phrases over and over, like a schoolkid filling out a last-minute book report. Anyway, here is an incomplete collection of Trump's inappropriate (considering the context in which they were made) comments about the media (and other insults) in the last month*:

*: This also reminds me of the Washington Post reporters who have been logging all of Trump's lies since he became president. How have they been doing this month? Has anyone heard from them? The Total Lies was at roughly 17,000. From what I have seen, Trump probably told that many lies in this month alone. It must be exhausting work, even though Trump has a regular lineup of lies which he trots out regularly. I hope those reporters are okay and still reasonable sane.

February 26, 2020
Congress is willing to give us much more than we're even asking for. That's nice for a change. But we are totally ready, willing, and able. It's a term that we use. It's "ready, willing, and able." … Well, just so you understand — you know, I'm the President of the United States. I'm not the President of other countries. … I really want to be responsible for this country …

Q: What is your response to Speaker Pelosi who said earlier today, "You don't know what you're talking about," about the coronavirus? I'm also wondering if you want to address critics who say you can't be trusted about what your administration is saying?

I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent. She lost the Congress once. I think she's going to lose it again. She lifted my poll numbers up 10 points. I never thought that I would see that so quickly and so easily. I'm leading everybody. We're doing great. … It's almost unfair if you think about it. But I think she's incompetent … I've been beating her routinely at everything … Instead, she wants to do that — same thing with Cryin' Chuck Schumer. … And Nancy Pelosi — I mean, she should go back to her district and clean it up … She's trying to create a panic, and there's no reason to panic because we have done so good. …


Q Your campaign today sued the New York Times for an opinion piece.


Q Is it your opinion or is it your contention that if people have an opinion contrary to yours, that they should be sued?

Well, when they get the opinion totally wrong, as the New York Times did — and, frankly, they've got a lot wrong over the last number of years. So we'll see how that — let that work its way through the courts.

Q But that's an opinion, right?

No, no. If you read it, you'll see it's beyond an opinion. That's not an opinion. That's something much more than an opinion. They did a bad thing. And there'll be more coming. There'll be more coming.


Had I not made a decision very early on not to take people from a certain area, we wouldn't be talking this way. We'd be talking about many more people would've been infected. I took a lot of heat. I mean, some people called me racist because I made a decision so early. And we had never done that as a country before, let alone early. So it was a, you know, bold decision. It turned out to be a good decision. But I was criticized by the Democrats. They called me a racist because I made that decision, if you can believe that one. …

[This is a complete lie. No one criticized his modest ban (made January 31) and no one called him racist (even though he is a racist). He brings this up several times every day. I wish someone would say: "Okay, you did that ban. That's great. But then you did nothing for weeks and weeks but minimize the danger of this virus and say the US would be fine, etc., etc." ... Why won't someone do that?]


No, we're going to have tremendously low unemployment. We're setting records on that one. In fact, the administration has the — as you know, the lowest average unemployment of any administration in history. … President Obama didn't have near the numbers. … And we started off at 16,000, and we'll be at 28,000 without. We were going to crack 30,000. We have had increases like nobody has seen before. …


Q First off, I would like to thank you for doing a briefing.

Thank you very much. I appreciate that. I don't know who said that, but I appreciate it.

Q That was me. …

Wait. I want to have — I loved — that was so nice of you to say "thank you very much."

Q Well, thank you, Mr. President.

Go ahead. Give me a nice question then. Don't ruin it. Don't ruin it with a bad question. Go ahead.

Q It's really nice to talk to you without the helicopter. I got to say that. But also, I want to talk to you about 2014. During the Ebola crisis, you said you wanted a "full travel ban." You said Obama was a "stubborn dope" not for doing it. You said, "Just stop the flights dummies!" You also said it was a "total joke" to appoint someone to lead the Ebola response with, quote, "zero experience in the medical field." Now you've appointed Mike Pence.

They listened to a lot of what I had to say. And they —

Q I did. So how does that square with what you're doing right now?

They listened to a lot. Well, because this is a much different problem than Ebola. Ebola, you disintegrated, especially at the beginning. They've made a lot of progress now on Ebola. But with Ebola — we were talking about it before — you disintegrated. If you got Ebola, that was it. This one is different. Much different. This is a flu. This is like a flu. And this is a much different situation than Ebola. But — and we're working on Ebola right now, by the way. We're working on certain areas of the Congo. The Congo has Ebola and caused largely by the fact that they have war and people can't get there. We can now treat Ebola. In that — at that time, it was infectious and you couldn't treat it. Nobody knew anything about it. Nobody had ever heard of anything like this. So it's a much different situation. …
February 29, 2020
Since the early stages of the foreign outbreak, my administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to confront the spread of this disease. We moved very early. That was one of the decisions we made that really turned out to be a lifesaver, in a sense. A big lifesaver. … Experts now agree that the decision to move so quickly, despite a lot of opposition on that decision, was a wise one. … We've taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus. They are the most aggressive taken by any country. …

And I'd like to just ask and caution that the media — we would respectfully ask the media and politicians and everybody else involved not do anything to incite panic because there's no reason to panic at all. …


Q You said the other day, in the Cabinet Room with African American leaders, you've got to get away from politics. You were down in Charleston last night, using the word "hoax" when talking about Democrats. Somebody now is dead from this. Do you regret that kind of talk?

No, no, no. "Hoax" referring to the action that they take to try and pin this on somebody, because we've done such a good job. The hoax is on them, not — I'm not talking about what's happening here; I'm talking what they're doing. That's the hoax. That's just a continuation of the hoax, whether it's the impeachment hoax or the "Russia, Russia, Russia" hoax. This is what I'm talking about. Certainly not referring to this. How could anybody refer to this? This is very serious stuff. But the way they refer to it — because these people have done such an incredible job, and I don't like it when they are criticizing these people. And that's the hoax. That's what I'm talking about. …

Q What responsibility do feel, as you're communicating about this, for the public to follow your directions and to take the prudent steps? And then when you did use the word "hoax," couldn't that cause some people to not take the precautionary steps because they are linking what you're saying, when you use the word "hoax," in the context of coronavirus?

Okay, so, again, the "hoax" was used with respect to Democrats and what they were saying. It was a hoax, what they were saying. And that was very clear, if you'd read the words. And I think you know that too.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. And I'm just going to ask you directly about this with regard to the flow of information. From the very beginning, you received a lot of criticism regarding that, in particular about Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is world-renowned in contagious diseases, and there were reports out there that he was being muzzled. Can you tell us that this widely respected expert, Dr. Fauci, will have every opportunity to tell us the truth —

Well, that's a very dishonest —

Q — and the facts?

— a very dishonest question, because he has —

Q Why is that dishonest?

Because he has had that ability to do virtually whatever he's wanted to do. And, in fact —

Q So he's not being muzzled —

In fact —

Q — in any way?

He was never muzzled.

Q Okay.

I think I can speak — you can speak. Why don't you speak to that?

Q Because there have been a lot of reports out there.

A very dishonest question, but that's okay.

Q No, it's not dishonest. I want to clarify, Mr. President.

It is dishonest.

Q I want to clarify.

DR. FAUCI: So let me clarify. I have never been muzzled ever, and I've been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan. I'm not being muzzled by this administration. What happened — which was misinterpreted — is that we were set up to go on some shows, and when the Vice President took over ... I had to just stand down on a couple of shows ... I have not been muzzled at all. That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.
Guardian, March 28, 2020: "Highly respected career civil servants, with impeccable scientific credentials, have struggled to get out in front of the president. Dr Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert who has become a rare trusted face in the administration amid the coronavirus scourge, has expressed his frustration. This week Fauci was asked by a Science magazine writer, Jon Cohen, how he could stand beside Trump at daily press briefings and listen to him misleading the American people with comments such as that the China travel ban had been a great success in blocking entry of the virus. Fauci replied: "I know, but what do you want me to do? I mean, seriously Jon, let's get real, what do you want me to do?"
March 4, 2020
We've all done a very good job — all of us. And I think the news has been and the — for the most part, the media has — has really treated us very fairly, which I appreciate. I think it's very important.

So, Elizabeth Warren was the single biggest factor in that election last night. It would've been a very different thing, and not in a positive way for her — in a very selfish way for her. She was very selfish from that point of view. Now, do I care? No … I see Mini Mike just got out, and he's going to, you know, try and save face by putting some money into Biden's campaign. … One thing this whole thing has shown is that you can't buy an election. It's a beautiful thing. Steyer put in 250, 300 hundred million dollars. And now who knows where he is. He's home, probably licking his wounds. And Bloomberg put in, probably, a billion dollars. And, you know, sometimes you just don't have what it takes. And I said to him, "It's not easy doing what I did, is it?" … To think that this would've changed so much — because if you go before Saturday, before South Carolina, I mean, he had — Joe had absolutely no chance, according to you people. But they used to say that about me too. Not as much though. I think — I always felt I had a very good chance. … But, again, had Elizabeth Warren endorsed Bernie, you're talking about a whole different subject. And that's not even a question. You're talking about a whole — because he would've gotten 80, 90, almost — I mean, he would've gotten most of those votes. So you're talking about a much different thing. … If you look at those people, they're worse than Bernie, in terms of being radical left. I mean, some of Joe's handlers — and that's what they are, is handlers. I want to be nice, but they are handlers. Some of Joe's handlers are further left than Bernie. That's pretty scary. [Do you think Bloomberg's money will be more powerful without Bloomberg himself in the race? I mean, he said he's going to continue to spend.] Well, it couldn't be less powerful because look what a billion dollars did. He won nothing. I mean, he got so few delegates. It's incredible. [And now he says he's going to be spending it against you rather than for himself] I would say, probably — well, I know. Now he's doing that because, you know, he's spiteful and he's a spiteful guy. I know him well. He's a very spiteful guy. He's very upset. He made a fool out of himself, to be honest with you. And it's — he's not too happy about that. I think the first thing he should do is fire his political consultants because I could've told — I know him. I could've told him very easily, "You can't win. You can put $2 billion in; you can't win."
March 6, 2020
The most powerful man in all of the media. Come on over here, please. He has a little something to do with the Wall Street Journal. I don't know if you know. This is real power. Right? (Laughter.) You used to do what they did. … It's good to have you. It's good to have you. They treat me very nicely — the media. Right? Except for the Wall Street Journal, but that's okay.


Q So looking at the Super Tuesday results, are you worried the Democratic Party is unifying around Joe Biden and that will take away your argument about Democrats being too left wing and too socialist?

Well, he's left wing and he's got all people that are left wing. And in many ways, he's worse than Bernie. Look at what he did with guns; he put Beto in charge of guns. Beto wants to get rid of guns, right? So that's a bad — that's a bad stance. And he's got a lot of people that are left wing, and they'll be running the government. He's not going to be running anything. If he ever got in, they'll be running the government. They've got people further left wing than what Bernie has. So, not — not going to be good. Wouldn't be good for Wall Street, I can tell you that. Plus, if you look at his taxes, he's going to raise taxes incredibly. He's going to raise taxes more than Bernie. I looked at — and he's open about it. Bernie doesn't like to — doesn't like to talk about it. I mean, Joe Biden, his tax increases are — they're staggering. It's ridiculous. He'll destroy everything that's been built. [Do you think sexism was a factor in Elizabeth Warren pulling out? And do you believe you will see a female President in your lifetime?] No, I think lack of talent was her problem. She had a tremendous lack of talent. She was a good debater. She destroyed Mike Bloomberg very quickly, like it was nothing. That was easy for her. But people don't like her. She's a very mean person, and people don't like her. People don't want that. They like a person like me, that's not mean.
March 7, 2020
I said, "I'd like to walk the press down the hall to see how professional this is." It's incredible. If you people would like, we would do that. Are they able to do that, Doctor? Can they do that? Yes. Yes. (Laughter.) Why don't you tell them a little bit about what you're doing and how it's going? And here they are, right over there. They're actually very nice people. But they're told not be [inaudible] by the editors.


As of the time I left the plane with you, we had 240 cases. That's at least what was on a very fine network known as Fox News. And you love it. But that's what I happened to be watching. And how was the show last night? Did it get good ratings, by the way? [I — I don't, sir.] Oh, really? I heard it broke all ratings records, but maybe that's wrong. That's what they told me. I don't know. I can't imagine that. But what happened is, if you look at the number at the time we left, it was 240 cases, Peter, and 11 deaths. That's what it has been.


And you're smiling when I say that. Who are you from, by the way?

Q I'm — I'm from CNN.

You are? I don't watch CNN. That's why I don't recognize you.

Q Oh, okay. Well, nice to meet you.

I really don't — I don't watch it. I don't watch CNN because CNN is fake news.


NIH, what they've done — I spent time over there — and I like this stuff. You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT. He taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, "How do you know so much about this?" Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for President.


Q The Vice President went to the Seattle area yesterday —

He did.

Q — with Governor Inslee.


Q He was very complimentary of Washington's response. The governor was a little less complimentary of your response.

So I told Mike not to be complimentary to the governor because that governor is a snake. Okay? Inslee. And I said, "If you're nice to him, he's — he will take advantage." And I would have said "no." Let me just tell you, we have a lot of problems with the governor and — the governor of Washington. That's where you have many of your problems. Okay? So Mike may be happy with him, but I'm not. Okay? And he would say that naturally. And as I said last night at the town hall, if we came up with a cure today, and tomorrow everything is gone, and you went up to this governor — who is a, you know, not a good governor, by the way — if you went up to this governor, and you said to him, "How did Trump do?" –he'd say, "He did a terrible job." It makes no difference. If we came up with it right now, and tomorrow everything ended, at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning — everything ended — he would say, "Trump did a horrible job." Okay? And I told Mike that would happen. I said, "No matter how nice you are, he's no good." That's the way I feel. Goodbye. Good luck to CNN.
March 10, 2020
Q Are you planning to fire anyone —

For what?

Q — because of the spread of the virus in the United States. The numbers have changed —

No, I think the people are doing a fantastic job. In fact, just today … there's an article that just came out; I had it inside and I showed it to the senators, and I showed them other articles too — where governors — Democrat governors are saying we've done a fantastic job. … But it was a very positive statement. Many Democrat governors have said that the task force and the federal government, what we've done, has been terrific.
March 11, 2020
Q Mr. President, what do you say to Americans who are concerned that you're not taking this seriously enough and that some of your statements don't match what your health experts are saying?

That's CNN. Fake news.
March 13, 2020
Q Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, "a failing." Do you take responsibility for that? And when can you guarantee that every single American who needs a test will be able to have a test? What's the date of that?

No, I don't take responsibility at all


Q And, Mr. President, with respect, you've been —

And, interestingly, if you go back — please — if you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didn't do testing like this. And actually, they lost approximately 14,000 people. And they didn't do the testing. They started thinking about testing when it was far too late. What we've done — and one of the reasons I think people are respecting what we've done: We've done it very early. We've gotten it very early. And we've also kept a lot of people out.

Q Mr. President —

Yes, please. Go ahead. Please.

Q Mr. President, the last administration said that they had tested a million people at this point. You've been —

Well, ask them how they —

Q — President for three years.

— did with the swine flu. It was a disaster.

Q But with respect, you've been President for three years —

Next, please. Next, please.

Q — and Wuhan was suffering —

They had a very big failure with swine flu. A very big failure.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. Yamiche Alcindor from PBS NewsHour. My first question is: You said that you don't take responsibility, but you did disband the White House pandemic office, and the officials that were working in that office left this administration abruptly. So what responsibility do you take to that? And the officials that worked in that office said that you — that the White House lost valuable time because that office was disbanded. What do you make of that?

Well, I just think it's a nasty question because what we've done is ... And when you say "me," I didn't do it. We have a group of people I could —

Q It's your administration.

I could ask perhaps — my administration — but I could perhaps ask Tony about that because I don't know anything about it. I mean, you say — you say we did that. I don't know anything about it.

Q You don't know about the —

We're spending — I don't know. It's the —

Q — about the reorganization that happened at the National Security Council?

It's the — it's the administration. Perhaps they do that. You know, people let people go. You used to be with a different newspaper than you are now. You know, things like that happen.
March 14, 2020
I think the press has been really — over the last 24 hours, I think the representation has really been very fair. For the most part, been very fair. … It's something that nobody expected. It came out of China, and it's one of those things that happened. It's nobody's fault. …


Q Sir, you've been sending mixed messages —

Only because the press is going crazy.


Q Mr. President, respectfully, you've been sending mixed messages. We watched as you shook hands with people yesterday. You have talked about 5 million tests being available; probably won't need that many. Has your own sense of urgency evolved? And are you changing what you're doing?

No, I've been urgent. This is urgent for me, right from the beginning. You know that because I closed up our country to China. ...

Q But is it a mixed message, sir?

Just wait a minute. Wait a minute. Just take it nice and easy, okay? Just relax. People come up to me, they shake hands, they put their hand out. It's sort of a natural reflex, and we're all getting out of it. All of us have that problem. Somebody comes up to you, they put their hand out — you probably tend to just shake it. And we're all getting out of that. Shaking hands is not a great thing to be doing right now, I agree. But people put their hand out. Sometimes I'll put the hand out. You don't think about it. People are thinking about it more and more. We have to think about it; it's important. Somebody said yesterday I touched the microphone. I was touching it because we have different height people and I'm trying to make it easy for them because they're going to have to touch, because they wouldn't be able to reach the mic; they wouldn't be able to speak in the mic. So I'll move the mic down. And they said, "Oh, he touched the microphone." Well, if I don't touch it, they're going to have to touch it. Somebody is going to have to, so I might as well be the one to do it. But, no, we all have to get away from — I mean, getting away from shaking hands is a good thing, and possibly that's something that comes out of this. Maybe people shouldn't be shaking hands for the long term because it does transmit flu and other things. … But as of this moment, we've lost 50 — possibly a little bit less than 50 — but probably 50 people.
March 15, 2020
I want to thank the people at Google and Google Communications because, as you know, they substantiated what I said on Friday. The head of Google, who's a great gentleman, said — called us and he apologized. I don't know where the press got their fake news, but they got it someplace. But as you know — this is from Google — they put out a release. And you guys can figure it out yourselves. And how that got out — and I'm sure you'll apologize. But it would be great if we could really give the news correctly. It would be so, so wonderful.
March 16, 2020
Q Mr. President, the other day, you said that you were not responsible for the testing shortfall. A very simple question: Does the buck stop with you? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your response to this crisis?

I'd rate it a 10. I think we've done a great job. … I would rate it a very, very — I would rate ourselves and the professionals — I think the professionals have done a fantastic job. … [W]e're doing something that's never been done in this country. And I think that we are doing very well.


Q Does the buck stop with you, Mr. President? Does the Buck stop with you?
Yeah, normally. But …
March 17, 2020
Q Mr. President, I want to bring up what you referred to just a short while ago about politics. In your address to the nation, you said we have to put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together. But this morning, you criticized the Democratic Governor of Michigan. Yesterday, it was the Democratic Governor of New York. You've attacked Obama. You've talked — you attacked Biden. In fact, every day except one since that address, you've lashed out at a Democratic leader. Are you going to set the example on this?

I only do that when I have to respond. I watched her on television. She said something that was false and therefore I did do that. And I will continue to do that if they're not going to play fair. Because, you know, they have the media on their side; I don't. I just have me. And if they're not going to play fair, I'm going to do that. If they are going to play fair, there's going to be nobody —

Q Obama never criticized you, sir.

There's going to be nobody better than Donald Trump, in terms of bipartisanship. But if they're going to say things that are false, like the story that was written yesterday. A lot of people — I don't know — somebody — I think I know who — but they taped the conference call that I had with the governors. It was a good call. It was fine. I assumed somebody is going to tape it. They handed it to various people, and one of them was the New York Times and the New York Times chose to write totally inaccurately about it. It was a disgraceful thing. It was bad journalism, but, you know, they do a lot of bad journalism. But we respond to that and, actually, people get it. People get it. No, I want it to be bipartisan and nobody's going to be better than me. But when they attack me ... I'm not going to let them get away with that. I can't do that.


Q Could you just respond to something, Mr. President, before you leave, on what Jon was saying? You've — you've called for people to leave politics out of this. Joe Biden said, "The World Health Organization offered testing kits that they had available to the United States and to give it to us now. We refused it. We didn't want to buy them." PolitiFact says the WHO never made that offer. Can you tell us what actually happened?

Well, that's what I heard. And I'm going to let — I'm going to let Tony answer that question. Or some- — whoever is best at answering that. But I do have to say, when you talk about politics — I watched the debate. Not too exciting. But what they said about me — and we've done a great job. When you talk about not — not being bipartisan — what they said about me. And if you look at swine flu — the whole thing in, I guess it was 2009, and what they did and the mistakes they've made, they were terrible. They were horrific mistakes. … And I'll be honest, they shouldn't be criticizing because we've done a fantastic job. The only thing we haven't done well is to get good press. We've done a fantastic job, but it hasn't been appreciated. Even the — the closing down of the borders, which had never been done — and not only did we close them, but we closed them early — the press doesn't like writing about it. So we've done a poor job on press relationships and, you know, I guess, I don't know who to blame for that. I don't know, maybe I can blame — maybe I can blame ourselves for that. I will blame ourselves. But I think we've done a great job. I think we've done a poor job, in terms of press relationship. But let me have somebody answer your question.
March 18, 2020
Q And a second question for you, sir. You tweeted this morning about your approval rating amongst Republicans. You have said that you give yourself a 10 in terms of handling this crisis. How do you reassure Americans at home who don't trust you to handle a crisis of this magnitude?

Well, I think we're doing a really good job. … But, yeah, 95 percent within the Republican Party, and over 50 percent. And I also have — we have very great approval numbers. I mean, people like the job that we're doing. And when you compare this to other epidemics, or if you want to use a different term, you can, but within this country — and you look at what's happened over the years, this is being handled very, very professionally. We have the greatest professionals in the world. We're doing a good job. Nobody has ever been swamped like this in — nothing has been so contagious — the level of contagion has been incredible, actually. Nobody has seen anything quite like this.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. In talking about China, you've been very clear about who you think is to blame or where the origins of blame for this virus is.

Not "think." No, no. I don't "think." I know who — where it came from.


Q Thank you, sir. We've seen the Chinese government kick out reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post. What is your message to the Chinese when it comes to transparency at a moment where you still have reporters asking you questions here at the White House?

Right. Yeah, I'm not happy to see it. I don't — you know, I have my own disputes with all three of those media groups. I think you know that very well. But I don't like seeing that at all. I'm not happy about that at all. Yes, please.

Q But you didn't correct the language, so I wonder if you agree with it. Do you believe that China is inflicting this upon our country?

No, I don't believe they're inflicting it. I think they could have given us a lot earlier notice, absolutely. Please. Go ahead, please.

Q Yeah. Mr. President, your credibility ratings are very low. There was a recent NPR poll —

Who are you asking with that question?

Q I'm asking —

Because I see that they're very high. You know, if you look, I'm 95 percent in the Republican Party.

Q Credibility, sir —

We just had a poll that was done by a very reputable group. We're — I'm beating Sleepy Joe Biden by a lot in Florida — in the state of Florida and in other states. You know, so I don't really know who you're talking about.


Q And then the — my second question is, there are some — at least one White House official who used the term "Kung flu," referring to the fact that this virus started in China. Is that acceptable? Is it wrong? Are you worried that that having this virus be talked about as a "Chinese virus," that that might help —

I wonder who said that.

Q That might —

Do you know who said that?

Q That — I'm not sure the person's name, but would you condemn the fact —

He used —

Q — the "Kung flu" —

Say the term again.

Q The — a person at the White House used the —

No, just the term.

Q — term "Kung flu." My question is —

"Kung flu"?

Q — do you think that's wrong? "Kung flu." And do you think using the term "Chinese virus" — that puts Asian Americans at risk, that people might target them?

No, not at all. No, not at all. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent. It comes from China. There's nothing not to agree on.
March 19, 2020
I have to say, I think with social distancing that the media has been much nicer. I don't know what it is — all these empty — these in-between chairs. We probably shouldn't have anybody sitting behind you either. You know, you should probably go back. But I love it. It's so much nicer. But I shouldn't say that because you'll get me now.


Q You did say a few days ago, though, you did have a sense that this was a pandemic, that it was coming. So why was the United States not prepared with more testing and supplies?

We were very prepared. The only thing we weren't prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly. I'll tell you how prepared I was: I called for a ban from people coming in from China long before anybody thought it was — in fact, it was your network — I believe they called me a racist because I did that. It was — many of the people in the room, they called me racist and other words because I did that, because I went so early. So when you say we weren't prepared, had I let these tens of thousands of people come in from China a day, we would have had something right now that would have been — you wouldn't have even recognized it compared to where we are. … So when you say that I wasn't prepared, I was the first one to do the ban. Now other countries are following what I did. But the media doesn't acknowledge that. They know it's true

Q Well, what I'm asking is about the lack of testing.

They know it's true, but they don't want to write about it.


Q Members of Congress are now being tested positive for — members of Congress are now being tested positive for coronavirus. And you have almost two dozen who are self-quarantining. Do you have any guidance for Congress? Should they —

I know all of them. And I don't know if they're sitting like you people are sitting — you're actually sitting too close. You should — really, we should probably get rid of about another 75, 80 percent of you. I'll just have two or three that I like in this room. I think that's a great way of doing it. We just figured a new way of doing it. But you're actually much too close. You know, you two, you should leave immediately.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. One for you and potentially, as well, one for either Dr. Birx or Dr. Adams. Right now, the economy is essentially ground to a halt.

Thanks for telling us. We appreciate it.

Q Stores have closed. Travel has slowed down.

Go ahead. What's the rest of your question? We know that. Everybody in the room knows that.


I will say that the American public has been incredible, for the most part — not in all cases, but for the most part. …


Q Mr. President, thank you. Mr. President, thank you. I have two questions. Do you consider the term, "Chinese food" —

OAN. [One America News. Extremely far-right. As you will soon see.]

Q Yes, sir. Thank you.

Very good. Thank you very much. They treat me very nicely. Go ahead.

Q I have two questions. Do you consider the term "Chinese food" racist?


Q Because it's food that originates in China or it has Chinese origins.

No, I don't think it's racist.

Q And on that note —

I don't think it's racist at all.

Q On that note, major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives and they're claiming you are racist for making these claims about the Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here, at the White House, with direct access to you and your team?

It amazes me when I read the things that I read. It amazes me when I read the Wall Street Journal, which is always so negative. It amazes me when I read the New York Times. It's not even — I don't — I barely read it. You know, we don't distribute it in the White House anymore, and the same thing with the Washington Post. Because, you see, I know the truth. And people out there in the world, they really don't know the truth. They don't know what it is. They use different slogans and different concepts for me almost every week, trying to catch something. Last week, it was all chaos. You see me. There's no chaos. I have no chaos. I'm the one telling everybody to be calm. There's no chaos at the White House. We have unbelievable professionals. It's really — I mean, I think I came up with the term — I hope I came up with the term — but it is fake news. It's more than fake news; it's corrupt news. They write stories without calling anybody. They write a story — today, I had a couple of stories where they — they never call me ever, that I know of. At least nobody tells me. They'll write a story about me without even asking my opinion on something. It's totally fake. I've never seen — I mean, there is a story in the Wall Street Journal today about — you know, about how we've done. We've done a phenomenal job on this. The governors are even — even Gavin Newsom, who you know I'm usually fighting with over the fires and — "I think you should do a different kind of a job at the — in the forests," and lots of things. We argue a lot. But Gavin Newsom has been very, very generous — generous. Andrew Cuomo has been, really, very generous. I mean, they're saying we're doing a great job, and everybody saying. But then you read this phony story in the Wall Street Journal or — the Washington Post is going wild lately. I don't know what happened to them. I guess, something happened like we don't call them back or whatever. But the Washington Post — these are very dishonest media sources. They're very dishonest. And you know what? Someday, hopefully in five years, I won't be here and that'll be fine. I will have done, I think, a great job, because I don't think anyone has done as much in three and a half years as I've done, I don't think — and the administration. This administration has done a great job. But the press is very dishonest.

Q But more than dishonest, they're siding with state propaganda overseas.

Well, I think they do. I mean — I mean, they are siding with — they are siding with China. They are doing things that they shouldn't be doing. They're siding with many others, China's the least of it. So why — why they're doing this, you'll have to ask them. But if we had an honest media in this country, our country would be an even greater place. So, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.
March 19, 2020
Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. It's been an honor to be with you. We'll do this probably often until this gets solved. Feel free to call me, the Vice President, anybody at the table, anybody in the room — except for the media. Don't call the media. … Thank you.
March 20, 2020
Q Is it possible — it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of —

No, I don't think so.

Q — hope, and misrepresenting the preparedness right now?

No. No, I don't think so. I think that — I think it's gotten —

Q The ship is not yet ready to sail. The not-yet-approved drug

Such a lovely question. Look, it may work and it may not work. And I agree with the doctor, what he said: It may work, it may not work. I feel good about it. That's all it is. Just a feeling. You know, I'm a smart guy. I feel good about it. And we're going to see. You're going to see soon enough. ... It's not like a brand-new drug that's been just created that may have an unbelievable monumental effect, like kill you. We're going know very soon. ... I have a feeling you may — and I'm not being overly optimistic or pessimistic. I sure as hell think we ought to give it a try. I mean, there's been some interesting things happened and some good — very good things. Let's see what happens. [Trump is now gritting his teeth and speaking loudly, with anger] We have nothing to lose. You know the expression: What the hell do you have to lose? Okay?

Q So what to do you say to — the units that were ordered — the units that were ordered.

Jon, go ahead.

Q I'll just follow up. Nearly 200 dead. What do you say to Americans who are scared, though? I guess, nearly 200 dead; 14,000 who are sick; millions, as you witness, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?

I say that you're a terrible reporter. That's what I say. Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, the units that were just declared —

I think it's a very nasty question, and I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC and "Con-cast." I don't call it — I don't call it "Comcast," I call it "Con-cast." Let me just — for who you work — let me just tell you something: That's really bad reporting, and you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows. I've been right a lot. Let's see what happens. John?

Q Can I get back to science and the logistics here?

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.


Q Are you concerned about members of Congress that may have used information they learned on updates to sell stocks and profit off of this?

I'm not aware of it. I saw some names. I'm not — I know all of them. I know everyone mentioned — Dianne Feinstein, I guess, and a couple of others. I don't know too much about what it's about. But I find them to all be very honorable people. That's all I know. And they — and they said they did nothing wrong. I find them — the whole group — very honorable people. Yeah, please.

Q Can I follow-up, Mr. President? So the whole group would include Richard Burr, the head of the Intelligence Committee, and it also would include Kelly Loeffler. And so the question is whether or not they should be investigated for that behavior.

Well, it also includes Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat. You didn't mention her name. Why didn't you mention her name? And I think she's a very honorable person, by the way, so I'm not saying — but, you know, it's interesting that

Q So, any senator. Any senator —

— you mentioned two people but you don't mention one that happens to be a Democrat.


Q You said the other day you compare yourself — you see yourself as a wartime President right now, leading the country through this pandemic that we're experiencing. Do you really think, you know, going off on Peter or going off on a network is appropriate when the country is going through something like this?

I do, because I think Peter is — you know, I've dealt with Peter for a long time. And I think Peter is not a good journalist when it comes to fairness.

Q But he's asking for your message to the country, and then you went off on Peter.

Oh, I think it's a good message because I think the country has to understand that there is indeed, whether we like it or not — and some of the people in this room won't like it — there's a lot of really great news and great journalism, and there's a lot of fake news out there. And I hear it all and I see it all, and I understand it all because I'm in the midst of it. So when somebody writes a story or does a story on television and I know it's false, I know it's fake, and when they say they have, "15 sources have said" and I know there's no sources. There's no sources; they're just making it up. I know that and I call Peter — I call Peter out but I call other people out too. And, you know, this is a time to come together, but coming together is much harder when we have dishonest journalists. It's a very important profession that you're in. It's a profession that I think is incredible. I cherish it. But when people are dishonest, they truly do hurt our country. Yeah, in the back. Please, go ahead.


Q You're saying you want the American people to be coming to trusted sources of information. Does it undermine you at all when the President stands up here and he attacks news outlets, calling us untrustworthy?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Does somebody else have a question?

Q Mr. Secretary, the Peace Corps volunteers have all —

Q Is that not a legitimate question?

Q Sir, the Peace Corps volunteers —

Please. You're another one.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. I have a question about testing. When will every American who needs a test get a test and be able to get a test? And why not have medical equipment being shipped right now to hospitals who need it, to —
Well, you're hearing very positive things about testing. And just so you understand, we don't want every American to go out and get a test.

Q We're talking about the people who need a test.

Three hundred and fifty million people — we don't want that. We want people that are sys- — that have a problem, that have a problem with — they're sneezing, they're sniffling, they don't feel good, they have a temperature. There are a lot of different things. You know them — you know them better than I do. So, ready? We don't need that. ... Now we have a system that you can see because — look, we're well into this and nobody is even talking about it, except for you which doesn't surprise me. Which doesn't surprise me.

Q There are Americans though who say that they have symptoms and they can't get tests.

Yeah. Well, okay —

Q What do you say to the Americans who are scared that they have symptoms and can't get a test?

Yeah. Well, okay. I'm not — I'm not hearing it.
March 21, 2020
Q Mr. President, I just want to read you some of what some of the doctors on the frontlines of this crisis are saying. Doctor —

You mean the ones that are saying good things or bad things?

Q These are doctors who are talking about the shortage of medical supplies that they are facing. Dr. Faezah A. Bux, in Kentucky, says, "There's absolutely no way to protect myself." A surgeon in Fresno, California, says, "We are at war with no ammo." Dr. Mell, in Illinois, says, "If this is a wartime situation, then now is the time to act." I know you're talking now about increasing production at so many of these facilities to get the masks out. But given that this is one of the wealthiest, most powerful countries in the world, should this even be happening? Shouldn't this have been resolved weeks ago?

Well, I'll tell you the way I look at it. So many administrations preceded me. For the most part, they did very little, in terms of what you're talking about. This is unprecedented. … This is unprecedented or just about unprecedented. As time goes by, we're seeing it's really at a level that nobody would've believed. Nobody would've thought possible that this could happen. And we are making much of this stuff now. And much of it's being delivered now. We've also gotten tremendous reviews from a lot of people that can't believe how fast it's coming. I mean, when I hear they have an order of 55 million masks — and that's just one order; that's one order out of many — and that there are many millions of masks beyond that that are ready — and I keep saying, "How is it possible to use so much?" But that's the way it is. … The fact is that we are doing a tremendous amount. We started with very few masks. We had some, but nothing for an event like this. And now we're making tens of millions of masks and other things. And I think it's unprecedented what we've done and what we're doing. And many doctors — and I've read many, many doctors, they can't believe the great job that we've done.


Q Mr. President, it's been more than — it's been nearly three months since your administration learned about this — about this virus.

Well, if you remember —

Q Why not sooner?

— I was the one that closed the country down. I was the one that closed the — you don't write that or you don't say it too much, certainly on CNN. But I just read an article yesterday —I just read an article yesterday that, by closing the country down so early — we were very early — we saved tens of thousands — and much more than that — lives. So you know, you might want to report that, too.


Q Jenn Pellegrino, with OAN. Thank you. This morning, the Washington Post ran a story suggesting that you delayed taking action on a virus in January and February. ... What do you say to the Washington Post?

Well, I love whoever you're with. That's — because I think that's such a nice — it's such a nice question. No, I think the Washington Post covers us very inaccurately, covers me very inaccurately. I saw the story. I think it's a disgrace. But it's the Washington Post and I guess we have to live with it. It's a very —

Q Were you briefed in January or February, sir?

It's a very inaccurate — quiet, quiet. It's a very inaccurate story. From many people, I get a lot of credit for having closed our country very early to a very heavily infected country: China. Unfortunately, China. I wish China would have told us more about what was going on in China, long prior to us reading about it, even though the news isn't exactly disseminated. As you know, China kicked the Washington Post out of China and they kicked the New York Times out of China and I guess the Wall Street Journal. That's okay. I mean, that's what they do and I think it's a terrible thing they did. But I also think it's terrible when people write inaccurately about you. And they write inaccurately about me every single day, every single hour. And, by the way, your group really — I really think — and I just say "fair," not "good" or "bad" — I think you write very fairly and do very fair reports about the great job that all of us are doing that this group behind me is doing. It's so insulting when they write phony stories that they know are fake news. Because they're not insulting me; they're insulting everybody — these incredible people that have worked so hard, so long, that are thinking about nothing other than this invisible enemy. ...


... as few lives lost as possible. It's a tough enemy. It's a tough killer. Far bigger, far more vicious than ever before. But I appreciate you saying it because the fact that we closed so early to China — and most people — hey, look, I was called "xenophobic" by Sleepy Joe Biden. I was called a "racist" by Democrats. A racist. I was a racist because I decided that I didn't want to have people that could hurt our country come in. And I was pretty much in a very small group of people — I will tell you, it was a tiny little group — most people, even that worked in the White House, disagreed with me very strongly. ... [T]hat was the ultimate act. That was the biggest act ... I took a lot of heat for that too, but that was a good thing. Now they're doing similar things that we're doing. So, I didn't act late; I acted early. I acted far before anybody thought I should be. I took tremendous criticism from the various papers, from many of the papers. So I —
I very much appreciate the question. It might have been — it might have been more of a statement than a question. But whatever it may have been, I appreciate it very much.


Q Admiral, we're using your numbers, trying to find out for the public, if the things you've promised are happening.

ADMIRAL GIROIR: Yes, they are happening. They are abs- — we promised 1 or 4 million. There's 10 million tests in the market now.

Q And are the masks that are in the strategic reserve being deployed, Mr. Vice President?

ADMIRAL GIROIR: Yes, the masks in the Strategic National Stockpile —

Q So, it's not 13,000 anymore; it would be a lower number. Would that be fair to say?


Q No, the ventilators. The — I'm sorry, the respirators. … We're trying to understand if the things we have been told, sitting through these briefings for many days, are happening and getting into the hands of the healthcare providers.

You understand it. You understand it.

Q We're trying to understand, sir.

You're an intelligent woman, Kelly. You understand exactly what he's saying. … And when you hear the number of tests that we'll be providing –and are now — it's incredible.
March 22, 2020
Q On top of Senator Paul, now four senators are in isolation. And the rules say that, in order to vote, they have to be there.

Who are they, please? Who are they?

Q Mitt Romney, Senator Lee —

Q Senator Gardner and Senator Rick Scott.

Q Senator Gardner and Senator Rick Scott also. Two of them were in contact with Rand.

Well, I guess Rick is coming out.

Q With the critical stimulus package vote expected soon —

Romney is in isolation?

Q Yes.

Gee, that's too bad. Go ahead.

Q Did I detect sarcasm there, sir?

No. No. None whatsoever.


Q Mr. President, when it comes to the Defense Production Act, we know that governors across the country all day today were pleading with you to utilize the DPA, saying that they need it specifically for that allocation piece that you mentioned, Mr. Navarro. Why not use is now if that would answer their pleas for help?

Well, we are using it now. … The governors have to go out, do their things. And you have a lot of governors — they've done a fantastic job. You have some that haven't. Usually, it's the ones that complain that have the problems.


Q Something I've just been curious about. Previous crises, like the tsunami, Katrina — past presidents, they've called up predecessors and said, "Hey, I need you step in," do something like that. Do you can any interest in reaching out to Presidents Bush, Obama, Clinton, Carter, or talking to them? I'm just curious if that's being considered or not.

Look, I have the best people in the world. I think we're doing an extraordinary job. If you look at — if you look in, let's say, the H1N1 — you look at that whole — that was a disaster. That was a tough period of time for our country. You look at so many other things that weren't handled very well, whether it's Katrina or something else. ... I think we're doing an incredible job. So I don't want to disturb them, bother them. I don't think I'm going to learn much. And, you know, I guess you could say that there's probably a natural inclination not to call. Now, if I felt that if I called, I'd learn something and that would say one life — it would save one life, okay? — I would make the call in two minutes. But I don't see that happening.


Q Mr. President, the bill that is being contemplated by the Senate right now has a fund that has hundreds of billions of dollars for the Treasury Department to use to bail out states and localities, as well as specific industries, such as cruises and hotels. Will you commit publicly that none of that taxpayer money will go towards your own personal properties?

Well, you know, every time I do it — like, for instance, I committed publicly that I wouldn't take the $450,000 salary. It's a lot of money. Whether you're rich or not, it's a lot of money. And I did it and nobody cared. Nobody — nobody said, "Thank you." Nobody said, "Thank you very much." Now, I didn't commit legally. I just said, "I don't want it. I don't want my salary. I work for zero. I don't want my salary." Nobody said, "Oh, thank you very much." But I guarantee you, if I ever took it, you would go out after me — you, in particular, would go out after me like crazy. So I have no idea what they're talking about with regard to the one element. … I have no idea. But every time I commit to do something — I've committed to do my — look, I ran and everybody knew I was a rich person. I built a great company and people knew that. But I agreed to do things I didn't have to. I still don't have to. But my company — I told the kids, who are running it — I'm not running it. But I told them, "Don't deal with foreign companies. Don't deal…" I didn't have to do that. I could have just ran and I have — I didn't have to do that at all. And instead of being thanked for, again, not agreeing to do, but just not doing it, I get excoriated all the time.


Q Did you sell stocks Mr. President? Did you or your family sell stocks in advance of this epidemic?

No, I don't have stock. I own things that —

Q Did you make any alternates to investments in advance of this pandemic?

No. I didn't even think about it. You know, it's very interesting that you ask a question like that — you know, a nasty question. And yet, it deserves to asked, I guess. What I've done, by deciding to run — and I knew this. I knew this the first day. I said, "If I win, it's going to going to cost a lot of money." It cost me billions of dollars to become President — to be President of the United States — in things that would normally be run at a certain thing, even people that don't like me because they think I'm too tough on the border. Now, some people love me for it; other people don't like me at all. You know, it's very funny. My wife — we were at a charity event in New York City. I had just announced that I was running. And we were at the Robin Hood Foundation at the Convention Center — which now we're going to be converting to hospitals for Governor Cuomo, right? And I was walking in and there was a smattering of boos and a smattering of cheers; I was getting both. And our very popular First Lady — she's turned out to be very popular –people have great respect for her. But our very popular First Lady said to me, "Huh, that's strange. I've never heard anybody booing you." That was very early on — because I think I called for strong borders or I called for something that other people don't like, you know. And I knew this would happen. I knew it was going to happen. But the fact that I ran — and I knew as soon as I announced. When I ran, I said, "It's going to cost me a fortune." Not only in terms of actual costs — look at my legal costs. You people, everybody — everybody is suing me. I'm being sued by people that I never even heard of. I'm being sued all over the place — and doing very well, but it's unfair. But I'll say this: In terms of running for President — and I don't think rich people — Michael Bloomberg spent now, it was determined, almost a billion dollars and look what happened. I think it's very hard for rich people to run for office. It's — it's far more costly. It's just a — it's a very tough thing. Now, with all of that being said, I'm so glad I've done it. Because, you know, there are a lot rich people around. I've got a lot of rich friends, but they can't help and they can't do what I've done, in terms of helping this country. We are — we are doing things. We got sidetracked by the invisible enemy. ... [W]ith this horrible thing, if this would have happened before, you would have had nothing left. This was all cushion. But I will say that it cost me billions of dollars to be President, and especially with all the money I could have made for the last three, four years — and I didn't because I was being President. I have no interest in it. I'm allowed to. You know, I don't know if you know it — George Washington, they say he was a rich man, supposedly. Relatively rich. And he ran the presidency and he also ran his business. They say he had two desks. Nobody complained until I came along. I got elected as a rich person, but nobody complained until I came along. So it cost me billions of dollars to be President and I am so happy I did it. Because who cares? Who cares? I'm really happy with the job we're doing. And I'm glad that this team and me are here for this horrible thing. I mean, it's — a number of people have said it, but — and I feel it, actually: I'm a wartime president. This is a war. This is a war. A different kind of war than we've ever had. And when you look at the economics of the war — in the past, we used to stimulate to get people jobs. Now we're stimulating to protect people because we don't want them to work, because we want them to stay away from each other. We don't want them to gather. Social — social gathering. So we're paying billions of dollars more than that so that they don't gather, they don't — because we have to defeat this virus. And we will. But it cost me billions and billions of dollars to be President and I am so happy I did it.
March 23, 2020
I have a question for you [Dr. Brix]. So we have a lot of very angry media all around this room, and they want one of these seats, but because of social distancing, we are keeping them empty. And they are keeping them empty. Will there ever be a time when all of those really angry, angry people — who don't like me to start off with, but now they really don't like me — will there ever be a time when these seats are full, like full to the brim like it used to be, where people are almost sitting on each other's lap? And this whole row over here is packed, and now they're outside wanting to get in, and they're very jealous of all of these reporters. Will we ever have that again, or is that something that will be — you know, it'll look like this forever?


And the other thing: You know, I'm standing here — in this case, with our Vice President — trying to let you ask anything you want having to do with this subject ... I don't want to stand here for two hours and do this. But I think it's important that — you know, I call — I call it, "Get it out of your system." Give us any question about it, because I think it's important for the public to know. So we don't want to answer two questions and leave. We want to answer your questions. That's why we're doing this for so long. … This has been an unbelievable process, but we're all gaining. So I want to, you know, stay here. Sometimes we're here for two hours and we're answering questions. At least you will say that I'm very transparent. I think you're going to have a hard time saying he is not transparent. But we take a lot of questions from you. Unfortunately, some of them are repetitive
March 24, 2020 (Fox News Town Hall)
I started seeing and reading about China, and seeing what was going on in China — Wuhan, specifically. It seemed to come mostly out of there — that area, the province. … I saw the kind of death they were, you know, talking about on television, in the papers, and I started reading a lot about it. … It was instinct. … I made a decision to close off to China. That was weeks early. And, honestly, I took a lot of heat. … Thousands and thousands of more people — probably tens of thousands would be dead right now if I didn't make that decision. … I took a lot of heatI took a lot of heat from a lot of people. … When you say I took a lot of heat for that essentially, I really didn't.


Q One last question then we'll get back to our viewers here, too. A month ago, the CDC had an initial test that failed. At that moment in late February, you said, "It's perfect." And it wasn't perfect. So what happened there in the early stages in late February?

What I said was perfect was my conversation with the head of the Ukraine. That's what I really said is perfect, okay? That was another whole scandal, nonsense — a total, you know, witch hunt. But this one is a much different thing. We had other administrations — not just the last one — they built up a platform. They built up a test. But the test was no good. ...

Q So then, did the CDC screw up or did you screw up? Or —

No, I — we did not screw up —


Harris, one thing I might add that, to me, is so important … I didn't even know — I just heard the number for the first time from Deborah — that in a short period of time, we've done more testing than South Korea. Now, you're not going to read that in the newspapers because they don't like to write things like that.


DR. BIRX: Right now, New York, the case attack rate — what we're talking about, the number of people who are getting infected — is four to five times any other place in the country.

Q Why is that? Density of population?

DR. BIRX: I think part of it is density; part of it is the spread that may have happened on metal surfaces, like in the subway and people that were in the subway. Part of it may be a large number of people came back after Christmas, from Asia, that didn't get caught up in the closure.

Do you blame the governor for that?


Our country wants to be back at work. That was not a controversial thing I said the other day. Our country wants to go back to work. And, again, the cure — it's like this cure is worse than the problem. Again, people — many people — in my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue. [Trump believes social isolation will kill more people than the virus.] We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work.

Q But you have said consistently is, the first order of business is to kill the virus.

We want to start up as soon as we can because we're going to have a very quick comeback if we do that. If we delay this thing out, you're going to lose more people than you're losing with the — with the situation as we know it. So I think it's very important for our country to go back. And I've had many, many people — you know, when you said it was a little bit controversial, not to most people. Most people think I'm right about it. Now, whether we're locked in a room, or whether we're in our office and practicing all of the things that we're supposed to be practicing — staying away from each other, you know, et cetera, not shaking hands, washing your hands all of the time. But our country has to get back to work. Otherwise — otherwise, it's going to be very hard to start it up again. We can't lose the advantage that we have.
March 25, 2020
Q Mr. President, you had tweeted earlier, linking the closing of the country to your election success in November. Is this Easter timeline based on your political interests? Because —

What do you mean by my election success? No.

Q You tweeted. You said that the media wants the country to remain closed to hurt your odds of being reelected.

No, no. I think the media — yeah. No, the media would like to see me do poorly in the election. And I think — I think —

Q Sir, lawmakers and economists on both sides of the aisle have said that reopening the country by Easter is not a good idea. What is that plan based on?

Just so you understand — are you ready? I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly. I think there are certain people that would like it to do financially poorly because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls. And I don't know if that's so, but I do think it's so that a lot of — that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen.

Q But your own medical experts did not endorse that plan yesterday.

I think it's very clear — I think it's very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do. She does. There are people in your profession that write fake news. They would love to see me, for whatever reason — because we've done one hell of a job. Nobody has done the job that we've done. And it's lucky that you have this group here, right now, for this problem, or you wouldn't even have a country left, okay? Go ahead, in the back, please.

Q Mr. President, two questions. The first one: Once you sign the 2-trillion-dollar package, how soon or how rapidly do you expect to see economic growth?

Who are you with? Who are you with?


Q And if not — and if not, how many deaths are acceptable?

Yeah. How many? None. Okay? How many deaths are acceptable to me? None. Okay? None, if that's your question. … We have tested, by far, more than anybody. We're testing more than anybody right now. There's nobody even close. And our tests are the best tests. They're the most accurate tests. … We tested far more than anybody else. We are — we have the ability to test — … We have now tested, with the best test, far more than anybody else. And when I say "anybody else," I'm talking about other countries. No country is even close. … And we're getting, I said before, exponentially better. Every day, it's going up substantially. We have an incredible apparatus built now.

March 26, 2020
Somebody in the fake news said that one of the governors said, "Oh, we need Tom Brady." I said, "Yeah." He meant that in a positive way. He said, "We need Tom Brady. We're going to do great." And he meant it very positively, but they took it differently. "They think Tom Brady should be leading the effort." That's only fake news. And I like Tom Brady. Spoke to him the other day. He's a great guy. But I wish the news could be — could be real. I wish it could be honest. I wish it weren't corrupt, but so much of it is. It's so sad to see. Just so sad to see.

[Jesus. Trump has NO IDEA what happened. This is what happened: Trump said that the states had to do all the work to get essential supplies. Trump said the federal government was merely the "backup". Washignton Governor Inslee said: "I don't want you to be the backup quarterback, we need you to be Tom Brady here." Meaning: We need a leader, you need to act like a leader. Trump thought Inslee meant it in a positive way (No!) and that he wanted Brady to lead the effort (God, No!). All of it went right over Trump's head. Of course he spoke to Brady during a pandemic (that's probably a lie, but he did call A-Rod, too, so ...]


We had a great meeting. I tell you what: I'm sure you have tapes of the meeting. I'm sure that you were able to get tapes very easily. So you had 50 governors-plus. And if you had tapes, you'd see it was really — I mean, there was no contention. I would say virtually none. I would say maybe one person that was a little tiny bit of a raising of a voice, a little wise guy, a little bit. But he's usually a big wise guy. Not so much anymore. We saw to it that he wouldn't be so much anymore.


Q I have two questions for you.

Yeah. I didn't call you, I called this gentleman.

Q Mr. President, thank you. Thanks a lot. On Monday —

Who are you with?

Q — did you speak with —

Who are you with?

Q I'm with Bloomberg.

Yeah. Bloomberg News.

Q Mario Parker.

How's Michael doing? Good?

March 28, 2020
It's been a brutal pandemic for over 150 countries all over the world. We've had great success over the last month. We've — as you know, the millions and millions of pieces of equipment have been delivered successfully by us — purchased and delivered. And we've made it available to the states. And the governors have been very gracious for the most part, I would say. There are a couple that aren't appreciative of the incredible job. They have to do a better job themselves; that's part of the problem.


Don't forget, we sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know they got them. Then we sent thousands of ventilators to New York — they have a warehouse, a New York warehouse in Edison, New Jersey, which is an interesting thing. And we sent them to Edison, New Jersey. They were in the warehouse, ready to go, and New York never took them. So they knew they were there. So we have to get people lined up, but we've given them — And I'm not blaming New York. … But I'll tell you what: The federal government has done a hell of a job. So we sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know about it at the time. They were complaining. Thousands. We had 2,000, and then 2,000, and then 4,000, and they were going there in large numbers. And then before that, we sent many thousands.


Q But you also — you also said that some of the governors are not appreciative of what the federal government has done. And you've suggested that some of these governors are not doing everything they need to do, like that these governors are at fault. Can you be specific? What more, in this time of a national emergency, should these governors be doing?

Well, I think we've done a great job for the state of Washington. And I think the governor, who's a failed presidential candidate, as you know — he — he leveled out at zero in the polls. He's constantly chirping and — I guess "complaining" would be a nice way of saying it. … We've done a great job for the state of Washington. Michigan, all she does is — she has no idea what's going on. And all she does is say, "Oh, it's the federal government's fault." And we've taken such great care of Michigan. … Governor Cuomo has been appreciative. But, you know, a couple of people aren't. We have done a hell of a job; the federal government has really stepped up.

Q So what I'm asking is: What more, specifically, do you want the governor of Washington and the governor of Michigan to be doing?

All I want them to do — very simple — I want them to be appreciative. I don't want them to say things that aren't true. I want them to be appreciative. We've done a great job. And I'm not talking about me. .. There's no country in the world that could have done what the Army Corps of Engineers has done and is doing. … We have the Army Corps of Engineers so teed up and so stocked up, and they're really psyched and they're incredible. And there's no games with these people. They're in there screaming, "Get it done. Get it done." There's not like sitting around, taking it easy. These are workers. These are incredible people. … [W]hen somebody, for political reasons, wants to blame, I view that as blaming these incredible people. … There's another — we have this incredible hospital boat. … We were able to stock it up to the, you know, top. … I think things — even the media — I think the media and governors should appreciate it. And I have to say, the media has been pretty good and the governors have been really good, except for a couple. And with them, it's just political: "How's Trump doing?" "Oh well, I don't know, you know. Let's blame…" … Because we have done — we have done a job, the likes of which nobody has seen. … I think they should be appreciative ... It's not right. These people are incredible. They're working 24 hours a day. Mike Pence — I mean, Mike Pence, I don't think he sleeps anymore. … He calls all the governors. I tell him — I mean, I'm a different type of person — I say, "Mike, don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan." All — it doesn't make any difference what happens —

Q You don't want him to call the governor of Washington?

No, no. You know what I say? If they don't treat you right, I don't call. He's a different type of person. He'll call quietly anyway.


Q Mr. President, on the stockpile of supplies for a pandemic: Yesterday, from the podium, you blamed your predecessor, saying that when you arrived as President, you said, quote, "We took over an empty shelf." You've been President now for more than three years. Why didn't you and your administration fill that shelf?

Yeah, I did. We did fill it twice. We filled it twice and we've been distributing that for — for literally a year. We've been —

Q So why are we in this position, I guess Americans are asking?

— filling out — we've been — nice question, Peter. Thank you very much. We've been filling it out and we've been filling that stockpile many, many times. It's been filled many, many times. And now what we're doing is something different because I think it's better. We'd fill it so it comes from wherever the point of manufacture or whatever is — we fill it and then we go — now it's full — now we take it and we distribute it around. Now, what we're doing is, we have an emergency — we're saying, "Go direct. Go direct. Go direct." We fill it only where necessary. But now we're trying to go direct. So they drop it off in New York or they drop it off in Michigan, they drop it off in Virginia, wherever it may be — Florida. Well, Florida is getting a lot — a lot of things. And we're finding it's a much better system. But we've filled and we've stockpiled many, many times. Yeah, we ended up with an empty shelf.


We have brilliant people. We have a tremendous amount of money. And we have brilliant people that I'm taking from Wall Street with Secretary Mnuchin, who's done an incredible job. A brilliant guy. I'm taking from Wall Street people that I've known, that you all know. The top people in the world. They don't want money, they don't want — I mean, will they get something? Yes, maybe they'll get — who knows? Peanuts, what they want — compared to what they would normally get. I'm taking the smartest, the most brilliant people in the world in finance, and they're going to be dealing. I'm not going to hire — I'm not going to hire somebody that's never done it, that's a political person or anything else. We're getting the most brilliant financial minds in the world. I know all of them, and you know all of them. I mean, you read about all of them. I guess, some you don't read about, and they're probably the smartest of them all.


The media — I'll tell you what: The media, generally — I mean, I — I'm impressed. A lot of the media has been fair. I'm not used to fair treatment in the media. And, I don't know, I don't know how to handle it. But the media has really been — overall, I think the media has been pretty fair. Some not. I mean, I could tell you who, but what's the point? But the media has really been fair. I mean, they view this as we're all in a problem together and we're going to win. We're going to win.


Q Well, I was going to say on the issue of hospital capacity and beds and being able to treat people and have them die because they can't have a hos- — they don't have a hospital bed.

Yeah, well — I mean, look, we just started this. You know, we were just notified. And some of the governors have asked us to build hospitals through extensions, through portable hospitals, through things. And, you know, normally, this — in all fairness, this is done normally through local government. We don't go into cities and expand a hospital that's existing. But we're doing it now because we really are equipped to do it. We have incredible people. And we're expanding hospitals. We're building many portable hospitals, not only Javits Center. We have four — plus, you have four medical centers. But we're doing it in New Jersey — Governor Murphy. We're doing it in other states. We're doing it in California. We're doing some in the State of Washington, despite the fact that I — I'm not appreciative of the way the governor speaks. We're doing it in a lot of different locations. And we're doing a lot of expansions.

Q Mr. President, on this question of ventilators, I understand you have a question whether or not New York needs as much as they want. Governor Cuomo is saying 21 days from now —

Here's what we're going to have. Are you ready? We're going to have more than — we're manufacturing a lot of them now. We're accumulating a lot. We're taking a lot, through the act. We're taking a lot. We're actually taking them. And we're going to have, in a very short period of time — and Peter is doing it, along with some very talented people. Some really talented people. It's very impressive actually. But we're actually taking a lot. We're going to have plenty. And if for some reason —

Q So, that's my point —

Jon, if for some reason you're going to need even more, we're going to be prepared. As an example, we now — we've given out thousands and thousands, which I think you'll know. We accumulated thousands; we give them out. But we — right now, I think in the stockpile we have over 10,000. The reason we don't want to distribute that is for exactly what you're saying. If there's a mad rush in New York or maybe in Louisiana or maybe someplace else, we don't want to have given out all of those units — the ventilators — and then in those sections, we give them to Iowa, but they didn't have a problem in Iowa, or we give them to Idaho, we give them to lots of different places. And now we have to try and get them back, which is never easy to do.

Q But here's my question —

No, no, Jon, what I'm saying is this: We are prepared for things that nobody has any idea that we'd be prepared. And you know what? When I took this over, it was an empty box. We didn't have testing. We didn't have anything. We had a broken system there. We had a broken system with stockpiling. We had a lot of broken systems. And I'm not just blaming President Obama. You go long before that. But in all fairness to all of the former Presidents, none of them ever thought a thing like this could happen. But we have, right now, 10,000 ventilators in stockpile. We are ready to go with those ventilators. What we don't want is where we distribute the ventilators, like we did in New York and they didn't need them, or they didn't know, or they didn't use them. If we need them in New York, we're going to have plenty. Now, we're getting a lot of ventilators in the next short period of time. A lot of ventilators are coming in the next short period of time. We're manufacturing. We went to all of the companies; I read their names. We went to all of those companies. They are going to go, I would say, round the clock, Peter. Is that right? They're going around the clock. …

Q Just, the question I was building up to is: Are you able to guarantee, to assure these states, these hospitals that everybody who needs a ventilator will get a ventilator?

So here's what I'll tell you: I think we're in really good shape. This is a pandemic the likes of which nobody has seen before. I think we're in great shape. I think that, number one, we've distributed — a ventilator is a big deal. We've distributed vast numbers of ventilators, and we're prepared to do vast numbers. I think we're in great shape. I hope that's the case. I hope that we're going to have leftovers so we can help other people, other countries.

Q And everybody who needs one will be able to get a ventilator?

Look — look, don't be a cutie pie. Okay?

Q No, I'm — it's a fundamental question.

You know, everyone who needs one. Nobody has ever done what we've done. Nobody has done anything like we've been able to do. And everything I took over was a mess. It was a broken country in so many ways. In so many ways other than this. We had a bad testing system. We had a bad stockpile system. We had nothing in the stockpile system. So I wouldn't tell me what you're telling — you know, like being a wise guy.


Q Thank you. Both the World Health Organization, as recently as today, and your own health officials have said that any treatments that we use for coronavirus should be scientifically demonstrated to be effective. But at the same time, you've said that chloroquine, as an example, could be used as a cure very soon. So is the WHO and your health officials wrong on this point? Are they —

So, hydroxychloroquine, which is supposed to be the better of the two, seems to have some good backing. We're going to see. ... It's a malaria drug. It's also a drug for arthritis. But — and it's phenomenal for those two things, as you probably know, especially for malaria. But we're going to find out soon. I hope it works. It's — there are signs that it could be doing well. They are testing 10,000 units. That's a lot. ... There's reason to believe that it could be successful here. Now, the reason I disagree with you — and I think Tony would disagree with me — but the reason I disagree with you is that we have a pandemic. We have people dying now. ... If it works, we've done a great thing. If it doesn't work, you know, we tried. But this is not something that's going to kill people. [Not true. A man in Arizona heard Trump hype this drug, so he took it and died.]  ...

Q Could I ask you —

John, for 44 years or more, they couldn't get it approved. We have the best labs, the best doctors. They couldn't get it. I got it approved. Now, if somebody is terminally ill, and if we think we have something that's going to work, we can actually use it; they can use it. And I'll tell you what: You ought to do — when this is over, you got to do a story on that because we have had some tremendous results.

Q Just before you go, could I ask you something that just popped on Wall Street Journal? It says, headline: "The Trump administration plans to suspend the collection of import tariffs for three months according to administration officials." True or not true?

It's not even talked to me about. It's just more fake news, John. Look, not even talked to me. They're talking about — the only one I've heard that from — like, as an example, China pays 25 percent interest on $250 billion worth of product that they send in. That's a lot. Everybody keeps saying, "Oh, are you going to suspend the tariffs?" Well, the answer is no. But President Xi never even brought it up last night. It wasn't even discussed. It's fake news. Tell the Wall Street Journal. You know, the Wall Street Journal does a lot of fake news too. It's pretty amazing.
March 28, 2020
Q But what do you think about Democrats criticizing you that you're overriding this congressional oversight?

Well, they couldn't be criticizing me because we got a unanimous vote. How can they possibly criticize me?