Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with Supply Chain Distributors on COVID-19 | Beaufort County Now | Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with Supply Chain Distributors on COVID-19 | president, donald trump, dnlds wht hs, remarks, meeting, supply chain distributors, coronavirus, covid-19, march 30, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with Supply Chain Distributors on COVID-19

Press Release:

Cabinet Room  •  Washington D.C.  •  March 29  •  4:06 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. First of all, I'd like to congratulate the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA and everybody else in the federal government, working with state government, but on the incredible job that the Army Corps and FEMA did on building the hospital in New York at the Javits Center. Two thousand nine hundred beds. They built them ahead of schedule. They did it in four days. And these are mobile hospitals that are very complex and very good. Highest level.

    I want to thank, in particular, General Semonite, who many of you know, and Admiral Polowczyk, who's right here; he's with us. Admiral, that's a fantastic job that you're doing, just generally. And what you're doing here is unbelievable. So we really appreciate it. And I'm going to have you say a couple of words in a minute. But we really do, Admiral. The whole military - the way they've stepped up is just great.

    So we did a 2,900-bedroom hospital. We're also doing something in New Jersey. We're going something in Louisiana. We're going - we're actually now occupying all 50 states. Some of them need little work, but some of them need a lot of work - more work than anybody would have ever dreamed of. Nobody could have imagined a thing like this - a tragedy like this would have happened: the invisible enemy.

    We will open - they'll be opening the hospital tomorrow, in New York. And I just wanted to - tonight, when they go to bed, if they go to bed - they probably won't bother because they're not sleeping at all, but they're going out to build a lot of additional mobile hospitals. And to get hospitals built in three days and four days - top-of-the-line facilities too. When you look at them, they're really incredible.

    So, thank you very much, General Semonite. And, Admiral, thank you for the work you're doing over here.

    Today, we're glad to be joined by leaders of America's medical supply and shipping companies. They're big people. I know their names very well, from watching business and studying business all my life. We're waging a war against the invisible enemy. We are grateful for your tremendous partnership - it's been incredible - and the work you've done so far. And I know you've not only - so far, you're geared up. I know that for a fact.

    And we thank you for the amazing job you're doing and your amazing workers and truckers for delivering record amounts of lifesaving equipment. We've set every record you can set.

    The federal government has done something that nobody has done anything like this other than perhaps wartime. And that's what we're in: We're in a war.

    My administration has mobilized our entire nation to vanquish the virus. We're working across government and private sectors to get our heroic doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and - medical supplies they need. We're getting them tremendous amounts of supplies.

    We do have a problem of hoarding. We have some healthcare workers, some hospitals, frankly - individual hospitals and hospital chains - we have them hoarding equipment, including ventilators. We have to release those ventilators, especially hospitals that are never going to use them. They have to release them. You know, it's no different than people going into grocery stores and hoarding certain products. We have to release the ventilators.

    I spoke to a couple of people today, and I don't want to mention their names, but there is hoarding going along. And it's not really something that you wouldn't understand. They don't want to lose their ventilators in case they need them. But these are areas, in some cases, that probably will not need them, and in some cases, even if they do, they have too many. So they have to release ventilators, if they have them. They have to release certain medical supplies and equipment.

    My administration has done a job on really working across government and with the private sector, and it's been incredible. It's a beautiful thing to watch, I have to say. Unfortunately, the end result of the group we're fighting - which are hundreds of billions and trillions of germs, or whatever you want to call them - they are bad news. This virus is bad news and it moves quickly, and it spreads as easily as anything anyone has ever seen.


    FEMA and HHS have shipped or delivered - delivered 11.6 million N95 respirators, 26 million surgical masks, 52 million face shields, 43 million surgical gowns, 22 million gloves, and 8,100 ventilators just over the last very short period. We've shipped many ventilators. We shipped many to New York. We just shipped some new ones to New York City, for the mayor. We've just shipped a lot of - a lot of ventilators to Louisiana, New Jersey. We're shipping a lot of ventilators. We're grabbing them and getting them, and we're doing it any way we have to, whether we use the Act or we just use the Act as a threat.

    Yesterday, I visited Naval Station Norfolk to see off the USNS Comfort, which will arrive in New York on Monday. It's very exciting. I think the governor will meet it, greet it. It's stocked with equipment and goods and all sorts of - anything medical, they've got. And, as you know, they're not going to be using that for COVID. They're going to be using that for other people so that room is made for COVID. So we're not going to have COVID patients - COVID-19 patients. We're going to have people that will unoccupy hospitals on land, and then those hospitals are going to be filled up with COVID-19 patients.

    So I just want to thank all the people. As you know, the USNS Mercy is now in Los Angeles, and the governor has been very terrific to us. Governor Gavin Newsom, he's been very nice. And we're working together really well on this. Very important. But the Mercy arrived, and the Comfort will be arriving on Monday. And it will be hopefully greeted with great fanfare, because it's three weeks ahead of schedule.

    As you know, we formed a historic partnership with your companies to bring massive amounts of medical supplies from other countries to the United States. And you bring in big amounts. This morning, our first project - and we call it "Airbridge." It's "Airbridge." That's the name. And it was a flight that landed at JFK and contains nearly 2 million masks and gowns, over 10 million gloves, and over 70,000 thermometers.

    This is the first of 50 flights. We're going to have a total of 51 flights. And that will probably increase substantially. But at this moment, it looks like about 51 flights. And these are big, great planes, and they are bringing a lot of equipment into our country. And also, inter-country things too, but these are the 51 from outside.

    In the next 100 days, America will make or acquire three times more ventilators than we normally do in an entire year - and far more than that, depending on what happens with the Defense Production Act. And some of the companies where we're using it or threatening to use it have been really responsible and stepped up.

    But I want to thank General Motors. As you know, we called General Motors for the Defense Production Act deeds, and they really seem to be working very, very hard. I think I'm getting very good reports about General Motors. And they're carrying out contracts to build ventilators, and they've started already; they've opened a big plant.

    Boeing, Ford, Honeywell, Hanes also, and many others are repurposing factories to produce respirators and protective masks and face shields. Plus, we have many other people. Even - even Mike, the "Pillow Man," right? (Laughter.) Mike is great. He's great. He's amazing. He's doing a good job. He closed one of his buildings, and he's doing face masks.

    We are testing nearly 100,000 people a day, which is more than any other country in the world. And the reason we have more cases than anybody is because we're finding more people because we're testing much more. So when the fake news goes and says, "Well, we have more," the fact is that if you look at other countries - you have countries with 1.5 billion people - those countries, if they tested everybody, you know, it'd be a whole different story. But we're fine with it. We're testing tremendous numbers of people.

    And, as you know, we have a test coming out on Monday or Tuesday that we just - a company came up with the idea. I'm going to let somebody talk about it in a second. But that's a fantastic thing. You'll be able to get almost instantaneous results instead of waiting for a day, two days, three days to get it from labs and hospitals.

    I look forward to hearing directly from you about what you're doing, what you're experiencing, how well we're doing, and if any country is causing you problems.


    Read the full transcript HERE.

You can visit a collection of all White House posts by clicking here.


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