White House Coronavirus Task Force provides update on battle against COVID-19

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJW/CNN) — President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force held their daily news briefing on Saturday.

At least 290,606 people in the United States have become infected and 7,826 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s running case count.

But as case tallies continue to rise, leaders in other states say they don’t have enough tests to get a clear picture of infections.

“Everything about the tests are very difficult to come by, and there’s no federal plan for this, so every state is on their own,” Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker said. “As I’ve said, it’s the Wild West out here.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the federal government must ramp up efforts for more personal protective equipment, or PPE, for health care workers, saying the state had received some but not all it had requested.

“We’re grateful for these supplies. But to be clear, we’ve gotten just 33% of what we’ve asked for, and they’ve told us not to expect more anytime soon,” he said.

“This pandemic is a war,” he said. “And we need the armor to fight it.”

President Donald Trump this week said theUS Strategic National Stockpile is nearly depleted.

“Governments at all levels, hospitals, law enforcement and others are competing against each other for a scarce amount of personal protective equipment,” Cooper said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said officials in his state have tried to boost hospital bed capacity and buy more personal protective equipment.

“We try to buy (PPE),” he said. “It’s really hard. The federal government buys most all of it.”

Beshear called on residents to donate equipment they may have, saying there’s a great need for gloves.

“We believe this is the next area where there’s going to be another big run in the United States,” he said in a statement.

LIVE UPDATES FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

  • President Trump is at the podium.
  • Says they are continuing to assist states with additional help at hospitals.
  • This will probably be the toughest week along with next week. There will be a lot of death, he says. 
  • He says they are going to be adding a “tremendous amount” of military to help supplement the states. They include, nurses, doctors and other medical professionals.
  • He says they’re “going into war, a battle they’ve never trained for.” 
  • They are working with hospitals and suppliers to make sure those with the greatest need are prioritized. 
  • He says fears of shortages are leading to inflated requests.
  • “Will move heaven and earth to safeguard our citizens,” said Trump.
  • He spoke with the commissioners of many of the sports leagues and they want to get back. He says we need to open up this country. 
  • 1,000 military personnel deploying to New York to assist, which is one of the major hotspots right now. 
  • “We have to vanquish the virus as quickly as we can,” said Trump.
  • “We have a great future. We have to get back to work,” he said.
  • As of today, state department has coordinated the safe return of 40,000 Americans stuck abroad in 75 different countries.
  • He wants to thank Americans for their selfless sacrifices. 
  • Dr. Fauci now at the podium.
  • Says they are playing close attention to mitigating efforts. 
  • He says the efforts here in the United States are working.
  • Made references about progress in certain states, like Washington.
  • Reporters asking President Trump questions.
  • Now asking him about his idea of creating a second task force to help get the country reopen. 
  • Asked about getting fans back in the arena as soon as August. He says he wants them back as soon as possible. Hopes it’s “sooner rather than later.” 
  • Someone mentioned contingency plans for the Republican National Convention. Trump says that’s still scheduled for August as planned.
  • Dr. Birx says  Spain and Italy are moving through this. Their numbers are dropping. The US is about 12 days behind them. 
  • Each metro cluster is on a different pathway. 

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