Thursday, April 30, 2020

1600 Daily The White House • April 30, 2020 Behind President Trump’s Action to Protect America’s Food Supply

1600 Daily
The White House • April 30, 2020

Behind President Trump’s action to protect America’s food supply

President Trump is using the Defense Production Act to ensure that Americans have a reliable supply of beef, pork, and poultry during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Food supply is critical infrastructure, essential to the health and safety of every American citizen. Recent actions in some states have led to the complete closure of large processing facilities, which can quickly affect meat availability in all parts of the country.

🎬 Secretary Perdue: Americans can be confident there will be food on the table

The closure of a single plant can eliminate more than 80 percent of the supply of a particular meat—say, ground beef—for an entire grocery store chain. All told, the failure to keep facilities open could force millions of pounds of meat to disappear from the market, potentially causing long-term disruptions to America’s supply chain.

With President Trump’s executive order this week, the Department of Agriculture can ensure U.S. meat and poultry processors continue to operate uninterrupted to the maximum extent possible. To protect worker safety, processors will continue to follow the latest guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

“The United States of America is undergoing the fastest industrial mobilization since World War II,” White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro says. The President's use of “the Defense Production Act is a key part of that mobilization.”

🎬 Peter Navarro: Fastest industrial mobilization since WWII!

🎬 Secretary Perdue: Farmers know President Trump is looking out for them

WATCH: Help in ‘our darkest hour of need’

President Trump met with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in the Oval Office today, discussing the state’s Coronavirus response and its plans for a great economic comeback.

“I thank you for the enormous help in our darkest hour of need,” Gov. Murphy told the President.

“Ventilators, as you can see, PPE [personal protective equipment], testing sites—now I think we’re going to be in a very good place, thanks to you and your team.”

New Jersey has faced the second-largest number of Coronavirus cases in the country behind New York. President Trump praised Gov. Murphy for doing a “terrific job” handling the crisis in partnership with FEMA and others across the federal government.

“A big part of our ability to reopen as fast as we all want to is to rapidly expand testing and you all literally, in the here and now this week, are helping us in a big way,” Gov. Murphy said.

READ: Gov. Murphy Praises Trump’s Coronavirus Response During Oval Office Visit

Photo of the Day

President Trump meets with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy | April 30, 2020

Proclamation on Older Americans Month, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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     Older Americans are cherished and invaluable members of our society, deserving our utmost respect, gratitude, and admiration.  During Older Americans Month, we pause to draw upon the wisdom, spirit, and experience older adults bring to our families, our communities, and our Nation.  We also recognize that during this time of crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we can persevere and prevail by emulating the resolve, tenacity, and determination of America's more experienced individuals who have endured and overcome life's most challenging times.

     Older Americans have built our economy, defended our freedom, and shaped our Nation's character.  They have raised families and dedicated themselves to improving the quality of life for future generations.  They sacrificed in times of hardship and took pride in a job well done.  Many served honorably in our Armed Forces during some of the darkest times in the history of our Republic.  Older Americans have lived lives of service and sacrifice, bound by devotion to the sacred principles of our country.  Although no one could begrudge them rest and respite during their retirement years, having worked decades to support and grow their families and nurture their communities, many older Americans spend their time volunteering for those in need, mentoring young people, or learning new skills.  They pour love into their extended families, places of worship, and neighborhood centers, and offer profound perspective and insight gleaned from years of life lessons.

     My Administration remains committed to enacting policies that benefit our Nation's older adults.  In an effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs, the Food and Drug Administration has approved more generic drugs each year during my 3 years in office than any other year in the history of our country.  We have also developed a path to allow less expensive prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.  Additionally, I ended the terrible gag clauses that prevented pharmacists from telling patients when they could pay less out of pocket by not using their insurance.  I have also taken executive action to improve seniors' access to medical care and to bolster Medicare's fiscal sustainability by reducing regulatory burdens and eliminating unnecessary barriers.  This action puts older Americans first by strengthening the program and helping to ensure its success for years to come.

     Our Nation's older Americans are among the most susceptible to fraud and other financial schemes.  To help counter these vile crimes, I have instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prioritize protecting older Americans from financial exploitation and use every tool they have to disrupt and prosecute these criminals.  Over the last year, DOJ has taken unprecedented action against transnational fraud schemes that target seniors, the networks of "money mules" that move stolen funds from Americans' bank accounts to overseas fraudsters, and telephone companies that knowingly facilitate billions of fraudulent robocalls.  DOJ has also launched an Elder Fraud Hotline (1-833-FRAUD-11) so that America's seniors can more easily report fraud, find resources, and better protect themselves from this abhorrent criminal behavior.

     Older Americans are among those most vulnerable to the ravages of the coronavirus.  As they continue to adhere to the special guidance put in place to protect them, we must acknowledge that far too many are facing hardships of loneliness and social isolation.  Many families are unable to visit elderly parents and grandparents, and many men and women in retirement and nursing homes have been cut off from personal contact and meaningful social connections.  During this precarious and stressful time, we must remember our treasured older adults and recommit to doing what we can to support and care for them.  I urge all Americans to reach out to loved ones, neighbors, and strangers to extend love, compassion, and encouragement.  By delivering food and supplies to the homebound, mailing greeting cards, or using technology to stay connected, we can support our seniors as we defeat the virus.  Older Americans know how to overcome.  They have done it their whole lives.  With the country rallying behind them we can ensure that they can continue to live lives of dignity, joy, and purpose long after the threat of the virus has faded.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2020 as Older Americans Month.  I call upon all Americans to honor our elders, acknowledge their contributions, care for those in need, and reaffirm our country's commitment to older Americans this month and throughout the year.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                              DONALD J. TRUMP


Office of the Press Secretary


“We’re taking very special care of our nursing homes and our seniors.”  – President Donald J. Trump

PROTECTING OUR OLDER PEOPLE: President Donald J. Trump is ensuring the safety and well-being of America’s seniors during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • President Trump is making sure our senior citizens remain safe and have access to the healthcare resources they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In addition to the supplies we have already distributed, FEMA will send supplemental shipments of personal protective equipment to all 15,400 Medicaid and Medicare-certified nursing homes in America.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing States with $81 million from the CARES Act to increase their inspections of nursing homes at this crucial time.
  • This week, we will be finalizing a new rule requiring information about COVID-19 cases in nursing homes to be reported directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and testing data to be posted online.
    • The rule requires nursing homes report cases to residents and their family members.
  • The Administration is also establishing the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes.
    • The commission will be composed of leading industry experts, doctors and scientists, resident and patient advocates, family members, infection and prevention control specialists, and State and local authorities.
DELIVERING CRUCIAL ASSISTANCE: The President and his Administration are prioritizing seniors and delivering vital assistance to them during this critical time.
  • The President released his “Opening Up America Again” guidelines, instructing States to take additional measures to protect the safety of senior citizens and other vulnerable populations.
  • President Trump signed historic legislation that provides funding and flexibility for emergency nutritional aid for vulnerable Americans, including senior citizens.
  • At the President’s direction, the Administration dramatically expanded Medicare telehealth coverage, allowing beneficiaries to receive healthcare services from the safety of their homes.
  • To protect senior citizens, the President directed CMS to prioritize enforcement of infectious disease standards at nursing homes across America.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced nearly $1 billion in grants to assist older adults and people with disabilities, providing services such as home delivered meals and in-home care services.
PROVIDING THE HIGHEST QUALITY CARE: These actions build on President Trump’s longstanding commitment to give seniors the best healthcare anywhere in the world.
  • President Trump’s goal is to ensure older Americans receive the best quality healthcare at the lowest price.
  • Last year, the President signed an Executive Order to improve older Americans’ healthcare and improve the fiscal sustainability of Medicare.
    • This order empowers older Americans with choice and access, streamlines approval processes, reduces regulatory burdens, and combats waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • For the third year in a row, the average basic premium for Medicare Part D prescription drug prices has declined, saving beneficiaries $1.9 billion in premiums over time.

Proclamation on National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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    During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we encourage all Americans to maintain more physically active and healthy lifestyles, which can help improve our overall well-being.  We also recognize the important role that sports play in American society and the ways sports help unite us.  Through friendly competition, the development of lifelong skills and character traits, and memorable times spent with family and friends, sports help bring communities together, entertain us, and improve our health.

    As our Nation continues to practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, regular physical activity at home can be an effective way to improve and maintain physical fitness.  Even during this difficult time, Americans should strive to engage in the recommended amounts of physical activity -- at least 60 minutes a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for youth ages 6-17, including aerobic activities and activities that strengthen muscles and bones, and at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity, plus two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities, for adults.  In addition, adults 65 years and older should do multicomponent physical activities that include balance training, such as standing on one foot.  Even as we social distance, we can do jumping jacks or push-ups, household chores, tend our lawns and gardens, and engage in numerous other activities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  The United States Department of Health and Human Services' Move Your Way campaign has tools and resources to help Americans of all ages and abilities live healthier lives through increased physical activity.

    As our country defeats the coronavirus, sports will once again help unite us as a Nation.  Participation in sports instills values such as teamwork, discipline, and leadership that transcend the field or court and help everyone, especially our youth, flourish in life.  Last September, we launched the National Youth Sports Strategy, which awarded $6.7 million in grants to help increase youth sports participation.  This bold initiative is the first Federal roadmap designed to unify the American youth sports culture around a shared vision that one day all youth will have the opportunity to play sports -- regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, ability, or zip code.  I have also appointed more than 20 youth sports advocates to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.  These individuals have been encouraging families to stay active even while they are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.  Once sports programming resumes, this Council will continue to ensure that children and youth have access to safe places to play sports, encouraging healthier lifestyles.  By providing a solid foundation for participation in safe, fun, inclusive, and accessible sporting opportunities, our children and youth will be better suited to thrive.

    This month, I urge all Americans to invest in the health of our great Nation by incorporating physical activity into their daily lives and by promoting the positive effects of sports on youth development.  Through regular physical activity, we can achieve our shared goal of living healthier lives.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2020 as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to make physical activity and sports participation a priority in their lives.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                        DONALD J. TRUMP

Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with Governor Murphy of New Jersey

Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office

11:30 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, thank you very much.  It’s an honor to be with Governor Phil Murphy of a wonderful state known as New Jersey.  I spent a lot of time in New Jersey.  It’s a beautiful state.  People don’t realize how dense it is, right?

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT:  They keep saying, I guess, you’re number two?  And I’ve even heard number, right?

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Yeah, I think number one.

THE PRESIDENT:  Nobody would think that about New Jersey.  But it’s a great place and a great state.  And they have a wonderful man that’s running it, who’s -- he runs it with heart and with brains, and he -- he’s done a terrific job.  We are together.  We are working closely.  I think we -- somebody said we got you more ventilators maybe than any other state, which surprised me also.


THE PRESIDENT:  But you’ve used them well.


THE PRESIDENT:  And your numbers are headed in the right direction.  And I just want to thank the Governor and his very capable people.  The relationship has been a very good one.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’re working very hard with New Jersey.  We’re working hard with everybody.  But we’re working hard with this governor.  He’s one of the governors that’s really done a job.  He’s stepped up to the plate, and he has -- and he swung, and he’s just -- you’re going to see the results very soon.

So, with that, I’d like to ask -- Phil, perhaps you’d like to say a few words.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  First of all, Mr. President, to you and your team, we’re incredibly honored to be here.  I thank you for the enormous help in our darkest hour of need: ventilators; as you could see, PPE; testing sites.  Now, I think, we’re going to be in a very good place thanks to you and your team as it relates to expanding testing dramatically so that we’ll be able to begin to take those steps to reopen.

We’ve been crushed as a state.  As you know, it’s a state you know very well.  We have 6,770 fatalities.  But the curves, thank God, are beginning to show promise.  And we’re beginning to take some baby steps on that road to reopen.  In fact, we’ve announced that, as of this weekend, our state and county parks, golf, under certain protocols, as of Saturday morning will be able to be open again.


GOVERNOR MURPHY:  And that’s a step on that road.  And again, we couldn’t be making the progress we’re making without you and your administration.

And so to you and to your incredibly talented team with a very heavy dose of New Jersey blood on your team, including yourself -- (laughter) --

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  -- who knows that state extremely well, we thank you for everything.

And again, financially, that’s another topic we’ll -- you know, we’ve been crushed, and I appreciate your consideration on the financial side going forward as well.

So thank you for everything.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And we have been helping on the hospitals.  And your hospitals have been really under stress, to put it mildly, right?


THE PRESIDENT:  You know, you have some hospitals where you don’t have such a big COVID problem, and they -- they do what they do.  In fact, they really could do a lot more because they weren’t allowed to use the elective.


THE PRESIDENT:  And by not having the elective, all of a sudden they had such a different situation from you --

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  No question.

THE PRESIDENT:  -- because you had to use it for COVID, and it was a tremendous strain.


THE PRESIDENT:  So we’re going to work with you on that.  We have been, but we’re going to be working with you on that.


THE PRESIDENT:  I just want to thank you for the great job you’ve done.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And likewise, thank you for your partnership and leadership on this.  It’s meant an enormous amount on our state.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And, you know, I have to speak as President but I also speak as somebody that is in New Jersey a lot.  It’s a great place.  It’s a beautiful state.  People don’t understand New Jersey quite.  But it’s a beautiful -- it’s a beautiful state.  And it’s great to have you as the governor.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  An honor to be with you.  And this is a big deal for us.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And, by the way, he’s a Democrat, so I’m getting myself in trouble, but that’s okay.  (Laughter.)  I have to tell the truth.  He’s -- he’s something.

So, any questions?  Jim?
Q    Mr. President, your economic advisor, Kevin Hassett, said this morning that the unemployment rate could be around 19 percent -- numbers we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.  What is you plan to get the country out of this ditch?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think we’re going to have a great third quarter.  That’s going to be a transition.  So when I say “great,” I think the transition is going to be really terrific.  And we’re going to take it into the fourth, and I think we’re going to have, potentially, a great fourth quarter.

There’s tremendous pent-up demand.  I don't know if Kevin said that or Larry Kudlow.  But they’re telling -- they see it.  But I feel it.  I feel it.  I think sometimes what I feel is better than what I think, unfortunately or fortunately, Phil.

But I tell you what: I feel it.  And I will say that I think next year is going to be a spectacular year in terms of growth, in terms of bringing our country back.  I think we’re going to have a really good year.  We want to be where we were.  And I think we can actually surpass where we were.  And we were the strongest anywhere in the world.  We were the best that we ever were, but we were the strongest anywhere in the world.

But I view what we have now as obviously a period of -- here we are; it is what it is.  We just got hit by a vicious virus that should have never been allowed to escape China.  They should have stopped it at the source.  They didn’t do that.  A hundred and eighty-four countries have been devastated by it, including China, by the way.  Because I looked at their numbers, and their numbers are terrible.  And it’s just a very tough situation for the people of our country.  All the loss, the death, it’s a terrible thing.

But I think we’re going to make a very strong comeback.  It’ll start with the third quarter.  I think you’re going to see some -- some pretty good numbers.  I think you’re going to see really good transition numbers.  But the fourth quarter is going to be -- I really believe it’s going to be terrific.  And I think that next year is going to be a great year.

Q    Is it fair for the voters to take into consideration your handling of the pandemic when they assess whether to reelect you in the fall?

THE PRESIDENT:  Sure, I think they do.  I think they have to do a number of things.  They do have to do that.  And maybe Phil could speak to that because I think I’ve handled it -- and not me; I think our whole group has been spectacular.  We had ventilators; we didn’t have any.  We built them.  We have thousands -- tens of thousands are right now under construction.  And we’ve given -- as Phil said, you got, I think, more ventilators than anybody in the United States.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  I believe that’s correct.

THE PRESIDENT:  New Jersey needed them very badly.


THE PRESIDENT:  And there was never a person that needed a ventilator that didn’t get one in any state.  Not one person that needed a ventilator.  So we didn’t say, “He didn’t get a ventilator and somebody passed away.  Somebody didn’t make it.”

Now we had a mask problem.  Now we have so many masks, we don’t know what to do with them.  We had a big problem.

And you have to understand: When we took over, the cupboards were bare.  And the thing that -- frankly, it’s not as tough as the ventilator situation.  We’re the king of ventilators.  But what we have done is -- on testing, we’re doing numbers the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.

And I told you, the President of South Korea, President Moon, called me to congratulate me on testing.  And we did more tests than any other country anywhere in the world.  And I think they told me yesterday a number -- if you add up the rest of the world, we’ve done more testing.  And it’s a higher quality test.

So I think we’ve done a -- I think the whole team, federal government -- we built hospitals for you and others.


THE PRESIDENT:  We built medical centers.  And I’m talking about thousands and thousands of beds.  Many, many medical centers.  We had -- as you know, we had the governor of Florida and the governor of Louisiana over the last two days.  They could not have been -- and one was a Democrat, and this gentleman happens to be a proud Democrat.  They could not have been more supportive of the effort of the federal government.

And I’ll tell you, Jim --

Q    But aren’t you seeing massive lines for food?

THE PRESIDENT:  Let me just tell you, we have -- we started off with empty cupboards.  The last administration left us nothing.  We started off with bad, broken tests and obsolete tests.

What we’ve come up with, between the Abbott Laboratories, where you have the five-minute test.  Did they test you today?

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  They did test me.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Now I feel better.  (Laughter.)

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I’m negative.

THE PRESIDENT:  You did the five-minute -- the Abbott test.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  I did the quick turnaround.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s so great.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  I feel like a new man.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s a brand -- you know what?  That’s a brand-new test.  That didn’t exist eight weeks ago, and now it’s like the rage.  Everybody wants that test.

No, I think we’ve done -- I think we’ve done a really great job.

Q    But the Obama administration -- people from the Obama administration would disagree on your assessment that the cupboards were bare.  They said that there was equipment in --

THE PRESIDENT:  Well -- well -- I know, Jim.

Q    -- the National Stockpile.

THE PRESIDENT:  Let me just tell you -- I -- that’s fine.

Q    And as for, you say, broken tests, it’s a new virus.  So how could the test be broken when you needed a new test?

THE PRESIDENT:  We had a broken -- Jim, we had broken tests.  We had tests that were obsolete.  We had tests that didn’t take care of people.

But here’s what’s very important: If you take a look at the swine flu, H1N1 -- or, as Joe Biden would say, N1H1, but it’s actually wrong.  He didn’t even know the name, okay?  H1N1, the swine flu -- the Obama administration was a disaster.  And they did polling on how did they do, and their polls were so negative, so bad.  They did a very poor job.

And they did a poor job on a lot of things.  They did a poor job on our military.  They did a poor job on our ammunition.  When I got here, we had no ammunition.  Just like we had no ammunition, we had very little medical, too.

So I think, when you ask how did we do -- and I have to say it because the news is so fake and so corrupt -- I think we did a spectacular job.  I’m not even referring to me.  I’m referring to all of these people, including your people who have been working with my people so closely.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  You bet.  You bet.

THE PRESIDENT:  But the federal government has done a spectacular job, to a point where we’re building, now -- we’re going to have thousands and thousands of ventilators, and we’re helping other countries.  Because Phil doesn’t need ventilators.  You needed them very badly at the beginning.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  We did.  We did.

THE PRESIDENT:  And maybe you could say something to Jim’s question.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Yeah, I don’t know -- I don’t have a view on the history, but I will say this: In our hour of need, whether it was ventilators, the Army Corps building out capacity, FEMA with our testing sites, and a big part of our ability to reopen as fast as we all want to is to rapidly expand testing.


GOVERNOR MURPHY:  And you all -- literally, in the here and now, this week -- are helping us in a big way to at least -- I would expect by the end of May, thanks to you and your team’s help, we’ll be able to at least double, and I hope more than double, our testing capabilities.  And because of that, that will allow us to much more aggressively and responsibly do the reopening that we all need to do.

THE PRESIDENT:  And, Phil, how did we do on ventilators, as an example, where you were really in --


THE PRESIDENT:  -- you needed them badly?

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Yeah.  We got them.  I mean, there’s just no other way to put it.  And I’m told that we were the number one state recipient of ventilators.

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ve heard that.  Yes.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  And this was -- you know, we were at the edge, and this is life-or-death stuff.  And we got them, and we are forever thankful for that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Phil.

Q    Mr. President, on operation -- on this vaccine operation, “Warp Speed,” who’s in charge of that?  And are you overpromising when you say you’re going to have 300 million doses of vaccine in eight months?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I'm not over-promising.  I don’t know who said it, but whatever the maximum is, whatever you can humanly do, we're going to have.  And we hope we're going to come up with a good vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson and Oxford and lots of different great companies, representatives of our country in some time- -- in some ways.  NIH is working very hard and doing a terrific job.  No, I hope we're going to have a vaccine, and we're going to fast-track it like you've never seen before, if we come up with a vaccine.  I think they probably will.

Q    And who is in charge of that Operation Warp Speed?

THE PRESIDENT:  We have -- you know who is in charge of it?  Honestly?  I am.  I'll tell you, I'm really in charge of it.  I could say somebody else.  I will say, we're dealing with, as you know, the General and the Admiral.  They're very much in charge.  But I think probably, more than anything, I'm in charge.  And I'm the one that gets blamed.  And I get blamed anyway.

Don't forget, if we come up with a vaccine in record time, they'll say I should have done it faster.  But we have a lot of good -- a lot of good possibilities.  Like the Gilead yesterday, that was a big thing.  That was a big thing.  And as explained -- and I think very importantly, that was a step.  You know, that was a big step: 31 percent step.  But the step means, I guess, Deborah -- what Tony, yesterday, was explaining -- the step means you now take another step, another.  All of a sudden, you're up to 50, 60, 70.  But that was a very positive -- that was a big step, as I understand it.

Okay?  Thank you.

Q    Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Go ahead, please.  

Q    Thank you --

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, Jeff go.

Q    Thank you, sir.  The intelligence agencies today said that they agree with the scientific community, that the virus did originate in China but was not manmade and was not genetically modified.  Do you agree with that assessment?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I haven't seen the report yet, but I will tell you, if you speak to the head of intelligence right now, you speak to the head, they did say that I was given a briefing when I said I was given it, not before.  And they also said that it wasn't specific and it was not a panic briefing.  It wasn't like, "Oh, we're going to be invaded."  It was in January, later January --

Q    You were getting a briefing in January?

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think -- I think what you'll do is you'll speak to them.  In fact, I'll ask Mark to make a report to you because the -- the news was totally -- you know, as usual, fake and corrupt.

So intelligence is doing a report, and the report turned out to be exactly as I said.

Q    So, Mr. President, so you're saying that you got a briefing in January about the --

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m not saying it.  No, no.  I’m not.

Q    -- about the coronavirus.

THE PRESIDENT:  You didn't hear me.  I said intelligence are saying it.  And they're going to give a report --

Q    Okay.

THE PRESIDENT:  -- and it will make you very unhappy because it makes you so wrong.

Q    Well --

THE PRESIDENT:  You, in particular.

All right.  Go ahead.  Behind you, please. 

Q    Governor, states received $150 billion in the first CARES Act.  What are -- what are you going to need now to get back on your feet?  What have you told the President on that front?  And how do you address Republican complaints that the federal government should not be bailing out states who were badly managed prior to the pandemic?

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Yeah.  So, I've been in office two -- going on two and a half years, and I got elected to, sort of, fix the economy.  And we made a lot of progress on what I would call the "legacy issues": record pension payments; stabilizing indebtedness; record surpluses.  And as Mike Tyson says, "Everyone's got a plan until you get punched in the face."

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  And we -- and we did.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  And we did.  So we -- we've made -- we've got a plan, and we're comfortable with the progress that -- it's going to take a while, all the legacy stuff.

The financial assistance we need -- and we need a significant amount; this is a big hit and this is somewhere, in New Jersey alone, could be 20 to 30 billion dollars.  But this is to allow us to keep firefighters, teachers, police, EMS on the payroll, serving the communities in their hour of need.  And that's something that we feel strongly about.

We don't see it as a bailout.  We see this as a partnership, doing the right thing in what is the worst healthcare crisis in the history of our nation.  And I want to again thank the President for an extraordinary spirit of partnership across the whole spectrum of our needs.  And I want to reiterate that.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I will say, that's a tough question because you're talking about the states, and whether you call it a bailout or a lot of money, and it's -- a lot of it's for years, long before you were there.  You can't have a better representative than this man.  That, I can tell you.  Plus, he's an old Goldman Sachs guy.  (Laughter.)  And what they don't know about him -- he's done a great job, but he went through a big operation just before this happened, and that's a hell of a thing.

GOVERNOR MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, that was a -- that was a big deal.

Q    Mr. President -- Mr. President, are you worried about the food supply chain breakdown --

THE PRESIDENT:  No, not at all.  No.  We solved that problem --

Q    -- especially in the meat market?

THE PRESIDENT:  We solved that problem yesterday.  I expect to see the supply chain as strong as ever -- maybe stronger, for certain reasons.

We did something.  We got -- we had a roadblock, though.  It was a legal roadblock more than anything else.  It was a foolish thing that nobody ever took care of for a long time, and we took care of it.

No, I expect things to go very smoothly.

Q    So the American people shouldn’t worry about any shortage in the market at all?

THE PRESIDENT:  Not even a little bit.  There’s a lot of supply too.  But now they’re going to get it.  And that was solved yesterday very late in the evening.  Okay?

Q    Mr. President, at what point do people need another check if unemployment is at 20 percent?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we're talking about that.  I know a lot of people are talking about it.  But we've given a lot of stimulus.  And again, we think now it's so great.  I'm so happy that you're opening up parks and things because that's a big step for New Jersey because they were hit very hard.

I think that -- I think you're going to see something that's going to surprise maybe the world.  And, you know, we're the leader of the world.  We're really the leader.  In this case, the leader of the world.  And we've done better.  If you look at our deaths, if you look at mortality rates, if you look at the things, we're -- in fact, I'm going to get a chart, because it's maybe the most impressive thing -- right? -- how we've done.  And that’s a tribute to the governors, and it's a tribute to the federal government and all of us working together.

But I would love you to get that, if you could.  Because we're right at the top -- meaning top, in a positive way, of those charts.

I think you're going to see economic numbers that are going to be fantastic.  I believe it very strongly.  And you're going to start to see it with the transition period, which is number three.  And quarter four, you're going to have tremendous numbers.  Tremendous numbers.

Q    Would you --

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think next year you're going to really have tremendous numbers.

Q    Mr. President, can we ask you about General Flynn?


Q    Are you going to pardon him?  This is what you tweeted back in December of 2017: "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI."


Q    Do you still believe that he lied to the Vice President and the FBI?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, well, I'll tell you --

Q    Shouldn’t he be punished for that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Sure.  When I looked at what they did to him, they tormented him.  Dirty cops tormented General Flynn.  General Flynn is a fine man.  Thirty-five years or so in the military.  You don’t get to be where he is by being bad -- that, I can tell you.

And then, he -- right at the beginning of the administration the dirty cops came in.  And you see the notes, Jim.  I mean, whether you're on our side, that side, whatever.  I mean, I assume, let's all talk about fairness.  What they did to General Flynn -- and, by the way, to Roger Stone and to others -- was a disaster and disgrace.  And it should never be allowed to happen in this country again.

And what I really hope -- because CNN tormented him, in all fairness -- I really hope to see, because they haven’t been doing it, and I appreciate your question -- I hope to see that CNN will not even apologize, which they should, but just cover it fairly, because he’s in the process of being exonerated.  If you look at those notes from yesterday, that was total exoneration.  These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI.  And you know the names better than I do, and they were dishonest people.

Now we have to see what's going to happen.  But General Flynn was treated like nobody should -- and I'm not talking about generals; I'm saying like nobody in this country should be treated.

Q    So were you wrong to fire him at the time?

THE PRESIDENT:  And they did it right at the beginning.

Q    Why did you fire him at the time?

THE PRESIDENT:  They did it right -- Jim, they did it right -- well, look at what they did to the guy.  I mean, he couldn’t haven’t known too much what was happening.  They came at him with 15 buses and he's standing in the middle of a highway.

What they did to this man -- they tormented him; they destroyed him.  But he's going to come back -- like I say, he's going to come back bigger and better.  But what they did to him, and I hear there's a lot of other stuff coming out if I believe everything I'm reading.  Because I like to stay out of it.  I don’t have to stay out of it at all.  But I like to stay out of it. 

And, Jim, what they did to him is terrible.  And I hope that CNN is going to give him a fair shake and cover it, because I think it's very important.


Q    But, sir, just to follow up on was it a mistake to fire him, would you bring him back on to the administration?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, what I wish I had was all the information where they were out to get him.  They wanted him -- they were trying to force him to lie.  You see the written statements where they were trying to force him into a position where we can get him on a lie or can we get him this way or that way.  This is terrible.

This is like what happened in -- and I'm not going to name the countries, because we deal with these countries, okay?  But what would happen in other countries, not the USA.  What they did to General Flynn and others -- and others -- is a disgrace.  And I hope -- really, I hope your networks are going to cover it. 

Because, you know, I've seen where it's the biggest story in the world a year ago and a year and a half -- "Flynn.  Flynn.  Flynn."  And then he's essentially exonerated.  Now, that’s not official yet.  But when you read the notes, how could you do anything else?

Q    In his letter of resignation, though, he admitted to --

THE PRESIDENT:  And I hear there's -- I hear there’s much -- Jim, I hear there's much more coming out.

Q    -- giving bad information to the Vice President.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think it would be so good for CNN, if you covered it honestly and if you’d report it honestly.  It would be so good for the network.

Q    Of course, we have.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, with that, thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Jim.

                        END                11:52 A.M. EDT

Proclamation on Loyalty Day, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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     The United States has been a strong Nation for more than two centuries not only because of the ideals that we share as a people, but also because of the love we have for our home and the loyalty we have for each other.  From the beginning of our history and through trials of war and peace, Americans have always been filled with a devotion to freedom, a fierce spirit of independence, a courageous dedication to the cause of self-government, and a sacred commitment to our shared and glorious destiny.  Together, we honor the wisdom of our Founders.  We revere the words of our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.  We celebrate the heroes of our history and treasure the majesty of America's natural beauty.  We marvel at the achievements of American artists, scientists, engineers, inventors, business leaders, and pioneers.  And we cherish the nobility of the American way of life.

     For all of these reasons and more, the United States is the most just and virtuous nation in the history of the world -- and the American people are exceptional citizens of an exceptional republic.  Americans rightly take pride in our country -- and we take pride in the unique culture of freedom that has been forged over nearly 250 years.  Our national character is defined by the values of faith and family, liberty and fairness, and hard work and personal responsibility.  Generations of Americans have poured out sweat, blood, soul, and tears to defend these values -- and on this day, we rededicate ourselves to protecting them in our own time, and for unborn generations to come.

     Americans have always been loyal to their Nation -- and they deserve a government that is always loyal to them in return.

     As we confront the global pandemic that is now afflicting our country, we draw strength from the bonds of duty, love, and loyalty that have always sustained our Nation through trying times.  An army of doctors, nurses, truckers, clerks, scientists, service workers, researchers, and first responders are doing everything in their power to heal the sick, find a cure, and care for the needs of every American -- often at grave risk to themselves.  All across our country, Americans are courageously fighting a daily battle against an invisible enemy.  In light of the extraordinary heroism and dedication we have witnessed, each of us will go forward from this challenging time stronger and even more certain that when duty calls, we will answer it.  On this Loyalty Day, we recognize that as long as we take pride in our country, defend our great inheritance, and love our Nation, America will rise to every occasion and achieve a magnificent future.

     In order to reaffirm our loyalty to our country, to our freedoms, and to each other, the Congress, by Public Law 85‑529, as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day," and has requested the President issue a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate activities.  On this day, we honor the United States of America and its values, as well as those who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2020, as Loyalty Day.  I call on all Americans to observe this day by learning more about the proud history of our Nation.  I urge all Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings and grounds on that day.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                              DONALD J. TRUMP

Proclamation on National Foster Care Month, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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     Families are the foundation of our communities and our country.  All children deserve a stable, supportive, and loving home in which to grow, thrive, and realize their full potential.  During National Foster Care Month, we honor the selfless men and women who open their homes to nurture at-risk children and promote healing, unification, and family-based empowerment.

     Foster care plays a critical role in providing young people who have had to be removed from their homes a critical place of refuge.  It is an invaluable resource for keeping children safe in temporary circumstances and providing stability, direction, and comfort to our Nation's most vulnerable sons and daughters.  The dedicated individuals, families, professionals, and faith‑based and community organizations who support children in foster care help maintain essential parent-child relationships and support parents working to regain custody of their children.

     A focus of my Administration has been to keep families together by working to prevent the situations that necessitate children being removed from their homes.  In 2018, I enacted the Family First Prevention Services Act to enhance the ability of American families to keep their children safe at home whenever possible.  It provides funding for community-based treatment and intervention services that have been proven to curtail abuse and neglect and to help families address the issues that might require separation.  These services include access to skills‑based parenting classes, family counseling, mental health therapy, and treatment for substance abuse and addiction.  In addition, this legislation encourages States to place children with families rather than in group homes, which can minimize the risk of additional trauma.  Last year, I signed into law legislation to encourage States to fully implement the Family First Prevention Services Act as quickly as feasible in order to connect families with appropriate resources and transition to a more proactive and prevention-based system.

     In cases where intervention becomes necessary, it is important to place children in the best position to maintain their family, school, and other social connections.  It is also critical that older youth in foster care establish permanent bonds with a family member or caring adult before they exit the system and enter adulthood.  For these reasons, my Administration is funding programs to provide in-family caregivers with the services and support they need to succeed.  In partnership with the States, we are promoting more family‑friendly options that reduce additional trauma to the children who must enter foster care.

     This month, we encourage all Americans to invest in the lives of children and to provide them with unconditional love, support, guidance, and every available resource to ensure their health and well-being.  We acknowledge with gratitude the selfless citizens who open their hearts and homes to children in need and the organizations that tirelessly support foster and kinship caregivers.  Together, they are giving hope and the promise of a better tomorrow to countless children and families.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2020 as National Foster Care Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month by taking time to help children and youth in foster care, and to recognize the commitment of those who touch their lives, particularly celebrating their foster parents and other caregivers.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                              DONALD J. TRUMP

West Wing Reads Sealing Borders Saves Lives During Coronavirus Pandemic

West Wing Reads

Sealing Borders Saves Lives During Coronavirus Pandemic

“It’s the mantra of the World Health Organization and globalists everywhere: The corona­virus does not respect borders,” Miranda Devine writes in the New York Post.

“But this makes no sense. It is ideology, not science. Closing a country’s borders is the ultimate in social distancing.” The island nations of Australia and New Zealand took their cue from President Trump, who ignored the WHO’s open-borders advice. So far, both countries have experienced fewer than 4 deaths per 1 million people.

Click here to read more.
“The administration’s dedication to small businesses during this pandemic is not just a fight for brick-and-mortar businesses—it’s a fight for the blood, sweat, and tears of 47% of the domestic workforce. Blue-collar businesses and small businesses alike are the bread and butter of our communities,” Corina Morga writes in the Washington Examiner.
“The Left’s rhetoric regarding President Donald J. Trump’s COVID-19 response grows sharper, even as this virus’ hospitalization and death curves grow flatter . . . These partisan bitter- enders can’t handle the truth: Trump’s leadership mobilized sufficient resources to avoid the far-graver destruction the Left foresaw,” Deroy Murdock writes for Fox News.
President Trump will visit a Honeywell facility in Arizona next week to highlight critical medical equipment production along with the addition of 500 manufacturing jobs. “Honeywell expects to produce more than six million N95 masks for Arizona over the next year to combat the coronavirus outbreak,” KTAR News reports.