James S. Brady Press Briefing Room Washington D.C. August 13 5:27 P.M. EDT
Hello, everyone. Thank you very much. It was just announced by Attorney General Barr that they've caught the killer of LeGend Taliferro — horribly shot — a young man, wonderful young man. And we have just — this just came out two minutes ago. So, Attorney General Barr just announced.
As you know, we named Operation LeGend after LeGend Taliferro, where we're going to be helping out, and are in the process of helping out, cities throughout our country that have difficulty with crime — in particular, certain types of crime. So that's really good news. They caught the killer of LeGend.
Today, we saw Joe Biden continue to politicize a pandemic and to show his appalling lack of respect for the American people. That's what it is. At every turn, Biden has been wrong about the virus, ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence.
Sleepy Joe opposed both the China and the Europe travel bans. You know that. He opposed the China travel ban that I instituted very early and the Europe travel ban that I instituted quite early.
If he had followed — if we went after — I listened to his advice, hundreds of thousands more people would have died. This is according to many people. I believe that Dr. Fauci agreed with that. He said that President Trump made a great decision when he put the ban on China.
Joe Biden wants to fling open American borders, allowing the pandemic to infiltrate every U.S. community based on his policies. He wants to have ridiculous open borders. I've been saying from the first day I started campaigning for this great office that if you have open borders, you don't have a country. You don't have a country, with open borders. So he wants open borders. The Democrats want open borders.
And if you take a look at our southern border, we would have criminals pouring through. The wall is getting close to 290 miles long, and it's having a huge impact. So we disagree with him on that. That's one of the many different — many things that we disagree with.
But while Joe Biden would allow rioters and looters and criminals and millions of illegal aliens to roam free in our country, he wants the federal government to issue a sweeping new mandate to law-abiding citizens.
He wants the President of the United States, with the mere stroke of a pen, to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months — I guess this just happened; he thinks it's good politics, I guess — no matter where they live and no matter their surroundings. Because different states are much different, both in terms of the atmosphere itself and also in terms of the corona problem.
He does not identify what authority the President has to issue such a mandate or how federal law enforcement could possibly enforce it or why we would be stepping on governors throughout our country, many of whom have done a very good job and they know what is needed.
Also, many of our 50 states are doing the job at a level that frankly, people are really surprised, including foreign governments that are calling us constantly and asking for advice. So I want to just say our governors have worked very hard. They've worked with Vice President Pence and myself and everybody else that's been going.
We have Scott now involved. And so, Scott, congratulations. You'll be working with a lot of governors; you've already started. And Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.
If the President has the unilateral power to order every single citizen to cover their face in nearly all instances, what other powers does he have? That's why he refused — Biden — to take questions. He couldn't answer any of them. Couldn't answer the questions. He refuses to take questions. He never takes questions. I take questions; he never takes questions. And you sort of wonder what's going on, because they're not that difficult. Some can be nasty, but they're not that difficult. But he never takes questions. So he just, I guess, left. I didn't see it, but I guess he just left the podium. Put it in your minds.
My administration has a different approach: We have urged Americans to wear masks. And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they're great and maybe they're just good. Maybe they're not so good. But frankly, what do you have to lose? You have nothing to lose. So we do, and we've been saying wear them when it's appropriate, especially in terms of social distancing, if you can't distance enough. And what do you have to lose?
But again, it's up to the governors. And we want to have a certain freedom. We want to have a certain freedom. That's what we're about.
At the same time, we also understand that each state is different and is facing unique circumstances. You have very, very different states facing very unique differences and circumstances.
We've entrusted the governors of each state, elected by the people, to develop and enforce their own mask policies and other policies, following guidance from the federal government and CDC. We're working with each state to implement a plan based on the facts and science. We will continue to urge Americans to wear masks when they cannot socially distance, but we do not need to bring the full weight of the federal government down on law-abiding Americans to accomplish this goal.
Americans must have their freedoms. And I trust the American people and their governors very much. I trust the American people. And the governors want to do the right thing to make the smart decisions, and Joe doesn't. Joe doesn't. Joe doesn't know too much.
Unlike the Biden approach, our approach is guided by science. That's why we're focused on protecting the high-risk Americans. That is why we're delivering effective medical treatments to dramatically reduce the fatality rate. And that is why we're developing a vaccine and therapeutics in record time. You'll see that, I think, very soon.
Sleepy Joe rejects the scientific approach in favor of locking all Americans in their basements for months on end, which I think is something that Scott would be very opposed to. I think I can speak for you. We've been dealing pretty strongly over the last number of weeks. But he wants them in the basement for months on end.
And you have governors that have been very, very strict on keeping people in their houses, keeping people in their — wherever they may be — apartments. And frankly, I don't think the results are necessarily better than other results. But he wants to shut down our economy, close our schools, and grind society to a halt. And he wants it done by a federal decree. This would lead to a crippling long — long-lasting depression. This would be a crippling long-lasting depression.
And yesterday, I showed you the numbers about how well we're doing coming back with auto sales and auto manufacturing and used car sales and housing sales at numbers that nobody would have believed. And we're back and very strong. It's a very strong "V." It's almost a straight-up "V." We'll be discussing that over the next couple of days.
But the economy is coming back, and the employment numbers over the last three months are a record in history of our country. And we'll be back next year. I think we'll be maybe even stronger than the previous years, where we set every record in the book: unemployment and stock market.
By the way, our stock market numbers are very close to record. And NASDAQ is actually a record over the last 14 days. Fourteen — for 14 times now, it's been record. And that's during what we hope will be the more final stages of the pandemic.
So if we did what Biden wanted to do, it would shut down our healthcare system and lead to a massive increase in mortality, including suicide, overdose, heart disease, and countless other physical and mental harms. It is very, very bad on the other side of the equation, when you do something like that. Those shutdowns are very punitive. Very punitive. They hurt a lot of people in a lot of different ways through depression, through suicide, through so many other things — alcohol, drugs.
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