How US is fighting the spread of coronavirus, comforting the nation

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Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19, Feb. 21.

While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in recent weeks, such repatriation flights do not reflect our standard practice and should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.  We urge U.S. citizens to evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and to take all appropriate proactive measures.

I want to update you on the status of the repatriation efforts.  Yesterday, nearly all of the remaining people who returned from Wuhan, China, via state department chartered flights, who have been quarantined at four department of defense installations across the U.S.  have completed their 14-day quarantine.  We are truly thankful to those released from quarantine for their cooperation and patience and wish them well as they return to home, work, and school.

We are taking and will continue to take aggressive action to reduce the impact of this virus, that it will have on the communities in the U.S.  we are working with state, local, and territorial health departments to ready our public health work force to respond to local cases and the possibility this outbreak could become a pandemic.  We are working closely with health care systems across the country to reinforce infection control principles and plans for surges of people seeking and requiring care.  We’re collaborating with supply chain partners to understand what medical supplies are needed and available.

I guess what i would say in general is that if you look at global data, the focus still of most of the cases is in china and, specifically, in wuhan.  That is why the layered approach that the U.S. government has put in place has focused on those places at higher risk.  We continue to reevaluate this.

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure, Feb 23.

Q    Are you concerned for that virus expansion in Japan?

President Donald Trump:  Well, it’s a big — it’s a big situation going on throughout the world.  And I can say, the United States, we’ve very much closed our doors in certain areas, in about certain areas, through certain areas.  And we’ll see what happens.  But we have the greatest doctors in the world.  We have it very much under control.

We accepted a few people — a small number of people.  They’re very well confined and they should be getting better fairly soon.  Very interestingly, we’ve had no deaths.  We have a — I mean, you know, we’ve had a great practice.

We had 12, at one point.  And now they’ve gotten very much better.  Many of them are fully recovered.

Q    Do you think President Xi should be doing something different?

President Donald Trump:  No, I think President Xi is working very, very hard.  I spoke to him.  He’s working very hard.  I think he’s doing a very good job.  It’s a big problem.  But President Xi loves his country.  He’s working very hard to solve the problem and he will solve the problem.  Okay?

Peter Navarro, Director, White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, with Fox “Sunday Morning Futures”, Feb. 23.

Maria BARTIROMO: What kind of an economic impact are you expecting from this coronavirus?

And I want to ask you about what the U.S. is relying on from China, because I know that there were plenty of ships that were supposed to be carrying medical equipment, medical supplies, parts, components, which now the U.S. is not getting because China is holding onto those things, or they can’t even produce them.

NAVARRO: Yes.

Maria, my job at the White House during this crisis is to review the supply chains we need to treat corona. There’s over 30 different elements just for that alone.

And what I have learned so far, and not surprisingly, is that we have offshored far too much of our supply chain, not just for corona, but also for the essential medicines we need, same reasons we offshored a lot of our other stuff. It’s cheap labor environment, lax environment, and, most of all, unfair trade practices.

A lot of it’s in China. Some of it’s in India. Some of it’s in Europe. But we got to get that back onshore.

In terms of the immediate issue, face masks, the N95 face masks, China put export restrictions on those masks, and then nationalized an American factory that produces them there.

So , we’re dealing with that in Trump time. This week, we’re going to be sending out an RFP to make sure we got plenty of those. We have to look across four different elements.

It’s the protective gear, like the face masks. It’s the treatment drugs, like remdesivir, that we’re trying to get into clinical trials quickly. It’s the vaccine development which we’re moving in Trump time. We’re going to be able to get — possibly get a vaccine in half the time it usually takes.

And there’s also these point-of-care diagnostics, so that we can accurately determine whether a patient has corona and doesn’t have to come to the hospital.

So, bottom line, Maria, is that this administration is moving as rapidly as possible. And my — my part of the portfolio is to make sure our supply chains are secure and we have what we need.

With respect to the economic impacts, Maria, I think what we have learned, with President Trump’s tough stand on China, is that the American economy is extremely strong and not particularly vulnerable to what happens in China.

Hedge Fund Manager Kyle Bass: CCP shaming with chinese characteristics. Surely this will help stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. It’s amazing how the rest of the world sits idle and watches crimes against humanity happen in China.

Senator Marco Rubio: No reason to believe the #coronavirus is “contained” in #China. The numbers they are releasing are fake. Their primary goal isn’t addressing the virus,it’s their global image. We have no idea what the true numbers are but they are without a doubt higher than what they admit to.

Edited by staff

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