James S. Brady Press Briefing Room Washington D.C. August 19 5:54 P.M. EDT
Well, thank you very much. Before I provide an update on our continued progress against the China virus, I'd like to discuss our latest actions against the Iranian regime.
Today, I'm directing the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to notify the U.N. Security Council that the United States intends to restore virtually all of the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran. It's a snapback; it's not uncommon.
Two years ago, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which was a product of the Obama-Biden foreign policy failure — a failure like few people have seen, in terms of the amount of money we paid for absolutely nothing and a short-term deal. This deal funneled tens of billions of dollars to Iran — $150 billion, to be exact — plus $1.8 billion in cash, which I don't know that the President have the authority to give. He gave $1.8 billion in cash. Just another great deal. That turned out to be a total disaster. It would have funded all of the chaos and the bloodshed and the terror in the region and all throughout the world.
And I won't say anything, because I don't like saying it, but Iran doesn't have so much money to give to the world anymore — to the terrorists, to give to al Qaeda and various other groups of people that they were funding. They have to keep their own regime together, and it's not easy for them.
And if and when I win the election, within the first month, Iran will come to us and they are going to be asking for a deal so quickly because they are doing very poorly.
But that deal was a disaster: 150 billion dollars; 1.8 billion dollars in cash. And we got nothing, except a short-term, little deal. A short-term, expiring. It's starting to expire already. It's terminated, but it would have, if we didn't terminate it, start to expire very shortly.
A good deal was the deal we made with UAE and Israel. And, by the way, other countries, I will tell you now, want to come into that deal. Countries that you wouldn't even believe want to come into that deal. And, all of a sudden, you're going to have peace in the Middle East, and you couldn't have done it with this ridiculous Iran nuclear deal, as they call it, that President Obama made along with Sleepy Joe Biden.
I imposed the toughest-ever sanctions on Iran, and this has caused great difficulty for them giving money to terrorist organizations. And if they do, they'll have hell to pay.
Earlier this year, I ordered the strike that took out the world's number one terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, in addition to previously terminating leader and founder of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the two leading terrorists by far in the world. The founder of ISIS. Nobody even talks about that. And we also defeated — we now have 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate in Syria. When I took over, it was a mess. It was a total mess. It was — they were all over the place.
My administration will not allow this Iran nuclear situation to go on. They will never have a nuclear weapon. Iran will never have — mark it down. Mark it down: Iran will never have a nuclear weapon. When the United States entered into the Iran deal, it was clear that the United States would always have the right to restore the U.N. sanctions that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We paid a fortune for a failed concept and a failed policy — a policy that would have made it impossible to have peace in the Middle East.
Here at home, through Operation LeGend, we are confronting the wave of crime in Democrat-run American cities. It's absolutely shocking. When you look at Portland or New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, sometimes Los Angeles — Democrat-run cities — they're a mess because they don't get it. Either they don't get it or there's something that nobody else understands.
We've deployed more than 1,000 additional federal agents to help these Democrat-run disasters. We just have done this. We have to give them a hand. And we can stop it immediately, like a Portland would be so easy to stop. We'd stop it immediately.
We only sent in some Homeland people — who are great, by the way — to save the courthouse, because it would have been blown up or burned down, and they did that very easily. But if we were called upon, we would send in, whether it's Homeland, whether it's FBI, whether it's just law enforcement — and we'd send them in quickly. We would eradicate it, just like happened in Minneapolis. As soon as they were called in — they should have been called in a lot sooner; you would've had far less damage.
Today, we announced that Operation LeGend has successfully resulted in nearly 1,500 arrests already. Bad ones. Bad ones. Really bad people. Prosecutions and prison sentences will follow. And they'll be a very long time in prison for what they've done to these cities. Most cities are well run; most of the nation is well run. And the areas that we're talking about are all — in all cases, run by Democrats, usually radi- — radical-left-leaning Democrats, like in New York or in Portland.
We've made arrests in Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, and Albuquerque for many violent crimes, including gun crimes, arson, and 91 murders.
We're also using the full power of the federal government to defeat, as you know, the China virus. New cases have declined in 80 percent of the jurisdictions in the past week. Eighty percent. New Zealand, by the way, had a big outbreak. And other countries that were held up to try and make us look not as good as we should look — because we've done an incredible job — but they're having a lot of outbreaks, but they'll be able to put them out and we put them out.
The hospitalization rate has fallen in our country 54 percent since its peak in April. Fifty-four percent. Older Americans are still the most vulnerable to the virus: 92 percent of deaths have occurred among those 55 and older. Only 2.7 percent of deaths have occurred among those 44 years — think of that — 44 years and younger. So 44 years old and younger: only 2.7 percent of deaths have occurred. And many of those people had preexisting conditions, they had problems — heart, diabetes, and other problems, but — many of those. So, think of that: only 2.7 percent under 44 years of age.
Excess mortality in Europe this year is 33 percent higher than the United States — evidence that the tragic cost of this virus is higher in other Western nations. South Korea — you've been reading about South Korea doing well. Well, they just had a very big breakout, but they'll be able to solve the problem.
We must all remain vigilant and continue to exercise extreme caution around those at highest risk, as we know. Multiple colleges and universities announced that they would suspend in-person teaching. We have learned one thing: There's nothing like campus, there's nothing like being with the teacher as opposed to being on a computer board. It's been proven a lot better. It's a lot better. The iPads are wonderful, but you're not going to learn the same way you do by being there. So, nevertheless, certain colleges and universities have announced that they would suspend the in-person teaching.
For older people and individuals with underlying conditions, the China virus is very dangerous, but for university students, the likelihood of severe illness is less than or equal to the risk of a seasonal few [sic] — a seasonal flu. And the seasonal flu happens and comes and it goes, and it can be very bad, but people don't talk about it in the same way, and they shouldn't. But if you look at that, the odds are less than or equal to.
Instead of saving lives, the decision to close universities could cost lives. It is significantly safer for students to live with other young people than to go home and spread the virus to older Americans. Makes sense.
And the shutdown thing is causing tremendous depression for those places that are still shut down. You look at certain areas that — in all cases, Democrat-run — still shut down, and the numbers there aren't even good. But causing tremendous depression, suicide, drugs, alcohol abuse. A lot of problems are being caused — probably far more, I would say, Scott, than is caused by the virus itself, now that we understand the virus.
Colleges should take reasonable precautions. Students who feel sick should not attend class and should limit social interaction, as they would for any other illness. And universities should implement measures to protect the high-risk students or professors and teachers.
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