Friday, May 22, 2020


Resolute Reads
In Michigan Visit, Trump Calls for Americans to Get Back to Work, Expects 'Epic' Comeback
-Detroit Free Press
“Making his first visit to Michigan since the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S., President Donald Trump on Thursday praised the ingenuity and pluck of Ford Motor Co. and its employees for turning its Ypsilanti components plant into a ventilator factory,” Todd Spangler reports. Ford and GE are jointly producing 50,000 ventilators.

🎬 President Trump: Americans who want to work should be supported, not vilified
Susan Rice’s Mysterious Email
-The Wall Street Journal
“The larger truth here is now undeniable: The Obama Administration spied on the political competition, it continued that spying even after Mr. Trump was elected, and then it tried to cover up what it had done,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.
Trump is Right to Hold WHO Accountable
-Washington Examiner
“President Trump's effort to hold the World Health Organization accountable for its bungled handling of the coronavirus is well justified. It is outrageous to expect taxpayers to continue supporting an international body that acts as a lap dog for Beijing,” the Washington Examiner editorial board writes.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ See it here: President Trump’s letter to WHO Director-General
It’s Okay to Acknowledge Good COVID-19 News
-National Review
“The coronavirus has taken a heartbreaking toll on Americans, but the course of the virus is not the same as it was a few months ago. We are on the other side of the curve. There are encouraging signs all over the country, and no early indications of a reopening debacle,” Rich Lowry writes. “The question now is whether the media and political system can absorb good news on the virus, which is often ignored or buried under misleading storylines.”

MORE: “The Massive Trump Coronavirus Supply Effort that the Media Loves to Hate”
Public-Private Partnerships Will Lead Recovery
-The Detroit News
“It took nearly a decade for Michigan’s small businesses to fully recover from the Great Recession of 2008-09. I’m optimistic these vital businesses will bounce back much quicker this time, thanks in large part to the indisputable success of the Paycheck Protection Program,” Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza writes.


Office of the Press Secretary

Blue Room Balcony  

11:46 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you very much.  And we really -- you're my friends and you've been supporting me right from the beginning.  I appreciate that you're here.  And we're here for you.  And I told you, when you want to come back with your 600,000, we're ready to take you.  But you're going to give us a little display on those beautiful bikes.  And you're going to be -- I've never seen anyone do that actually.  You must have special privileges.  I've never seen anybody ride through here.

But I want to welcome you, and I want to welcome my friends.  You're the “Rolling to Remember.”  And that's what it is: "Rolling to Remember."  And we will be commemorating Memorial Day.  It's a big thing.

Together, our nation pays immortal tribute to the extraordinary courage, unflinching loyalty, and unselfish love, and supreme devotion of the American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.  And that’s what you're here for.  It's the ultimate sacrifice, and it is indeed.  They laid down their lives to ensure the survival of American freedom.  Their names are etched forever into the hearts of our people and the memory of our nation.  And some of you, it's been very close -- very, very close.  It's very close to your heart.  We'll cherish them and our Gold Star families for all time.  We take good care of them.  They're very special to us.  Just as we'll always remember the nearly 82,000 Americans missing in action.

We're joined today by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.  Where is Robert?  Hi, Robert.  Great job you're doing, Robert.  (Applause.)

You know, we got the Veterans Choice and Accountability.  Choice is when they wait for two months to see a doctor before.  They have to wait like a few hours.  They outside, they get themselves a good doctor, we pay the bill, and they get taken care of.  So, you know, the stories were legendary.  You don't hear bad things about the VA anymore.  You used turn on -- every night, you'd see a horror show.  So, I want to thank you.  You've done a fantastic job, Robert.  What a great job.

Accountability, also.  We got VA Accountability.  Sounds easy, but when you have civil service and you have unions and you have all of this -- for 40, 50 years, they've been trying to get rid of it.  That’s -- they don’t take care of our vets, we fire them.  Before, you couldn’t.  They were sadists.  They were thieves.  And I think you've let go of more than 8,000 people -- right? -- who were terrible.  They’ve been trying to fire them for years.  They didn’t take care of our vets.  Just the opposite: They were horrible.  Now they're gone.  We got them out.  So that’s a big thing.  So it's Robert Wilkie.  Thank you very much.

National Commander of AMVETS Jan Brown -- where's Jan?  Jan, thank you very much.  Good job.  Good job you've done here.  (Applause.)  You got this very special group.  They're going to be doing a very special ride.  I'm going to get to watch you, I hope.  Right?  Because I don’t know.  Sometimes I look at those bikes -- I don’t know, they're pretty tough, right?

And Actor Robert Patrick, who has been in many films and television shows.  I know that well.  Most notably as T-1000 in “Terminator 2.”  That’s not too bad, huh?  (Applause.)  You're looking good.  You're looking good, Robert.

I want to especially recognize the Legendary AMVETS Riders, who made “Rolling to Remember” possible.  For 32 years, Rolling Thunder -- my friends -- carried out a ride of remembrance.  And now we're going to continue that onward.  And the Rolling Thunder people were terrific -- Artie and everybody.  They really were.  We had a good relationship with them.  You know that, right?  Say -- you're going to say hello to my Artie.  And I heard they were giving him a hard time a couple of years ago, and I said, "Nope.  No hard time."  But people do get older, right?  (Laughs.)  They get a little bit -- he said, "I'm getting a little older."  So, but Artie is terrific, and the whole group is terrific.  And thank you for keeping this noble tradition alive and for preserving the memory of those who are missing, but never forgotten.  Never forgotten.

My administration will spare no effort or resource to support the men and the women who defend our nation.  We've secured over $2.1 trillion in funding to completely rebuild American military with two hun- -- and think of that: 2.1 trillion -- 2.1.  Not -- not billion.  You know, it used to be “million.”  And then, about 10 years ago, you started hearing “billion.”  And now you're starting to hear “trillion,” right?  So it's a -- I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's good when we’re spending $2.1 trillion in funding on our military.  Completely rebuild the milit- -- the military.

Our American military now has the greatest equipment, the finest equipment it's ever had.  It's been entirely rebuilt.  Some of the equipment is still coming -- all made in America, everything.  And when I came here -- and you people knew it better than anybody -- our military was depleted, just like the shelves were empty from medical equipment.

We didn't have ventilators.  We didn't have testing.  We didn't have anything.  And now we have great testing, the best in the world.  We have great ventilators.  We're making thousands and thousands of them.  And we're actually now so loaded with ventilators that we're helping other countries, and therefore saving lives also.

But our American military, with the 281 -- that's a lot of planes -- F-35 fighter jets, the best in the world; 453 Abrams tanks; 14,400 tactical combat vehicles; 2 aircraft carriers; 36 additional battleships, and much more.  All made in the USA.

So importantly, we're giving our service members the resources, tools, and equipment they need.  We’re even getting brand-new, beautiful uniforms.  Doesn't sound like much.  If I told you what it costs, it's a lot -- for the Army.  The Army has new uniforms and they are gorgeous.

We passed the largest reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the -- I think, in the history of the department, including VA Accountability and, I said, VA Choice.  We've removed 8,500 VA workers who weren't doing their job, who were taking advantage of our country and hurting our vets.

The percentage of veterans reporting they trust services -- think of that, they trust services; so they report, and they say they trust services -- has reached the highest in the history of the VA, Secretary.  That's a big statement.  So the percentage of veterans reporting that they trust the VA and the VA services is now the highest in the history of the service.  Satisfaction with the VA outpatient care has reached 89 percent, and we're not going to rest until we have it at 100 percent, Robert.

I also formed the PREVENTS -- it's called PREVENTS Task Force.  (Applause.)  Well, you guys -- how many of you -- how many are vets here.


THE PRESIDENT:  Big difference between now and the way it used to be, right?


THE PRESIDENT:  Big difference.  I also formed the PREVENTS.  I got to be careful when I ask that question.  Sometimes somebody could say, “Oh, we used to like it better.”  That would not be good, right?  (Laughter.)  You know that would go on the fake news immediately, right?  That's all they'd cover, so I have to be very careful.  But thank you.

I also formed the PREVENTS Task Force to fight the tragedy of veteran suicide, which is an unbelievable tragedy.  And we actually have medications that we're working on.  They have one from Johnson & Johnson, which is a inhaler, and it has been very effective.  We've ordered, I think, thousands of units of that -- thousands and thousands -- and we're using it.

When the invisible enemy struck our country, my administration quickly secured VA medical facilities.  We’re keeping the sacred covenant.  We’re protecting those who sacrificed so much to protect us.  I was very early.  In fact, out of many, many people, I was the only -- the one that wanted to do it.  I guess I was the only one that mattered.  But I kept China out of the United States.

I put a ban on China in January, and I took a lot of heat.  Joe Biden said, “Oh, he's xenophobic.”  Oh, that's right.  Yeah.  But a month later, he said I was right.

As you know, Dr. Fauci, a good guy, said, “You don't need to do that.”  And then later on, when he saw that I did it and when we kept thousands -- tens of thousands of people out, he said, “Donald Trump saved thousands of lives, tens of thousands of lives.”  And we did.

So we did it very early, and that was a very important -- the ban on Chinese people, people from China coming in.  Because I was seeing how badly infected the one area, Wuhan, was, so I put a ban on.

And everybody thought -- Nancy Pelosi, a month later, was in Chinatown in San Francisco.  She's dancing in the streets of Chinatown, trying to say, “It's okay to come to the United States.  It's fine.  It's wonderful.  Come on in.  Bring your infection with you.”  And then she said, “He should have done it earlier” -- about me.  And she's dancing a month later.  These people are sick.

Anyway, last year, I signed the National POW/MIA Flag Act, which requires that all federal buildings fly the POW/MIA flag, in addition to the American flag.  In the months -- (applause) -- right?  And you see them all over Washington now.  And they could be separate from the flag.  You can do a separate placement or you could put it under the flag.

In the months since, that righteous flag has proudly flown over the White House; you probably noticed it today.  But that reminder is the work left -- and we have work left.  But we have to get it.  We have to win the White House, otherwise a lot of the great things that we've done -- we're going to do great with our economy; we're going to see -- you already see it starting to happen.  We’re trying to get some governors -- they’re not opening up, but they'll be opening up pretty quickly.

Today, I just spoke to CDC.  We want our churches and our places of faith and worship; we want them to open.  And CDC is going to be -- I believe today they're going to be issuing a very strong recommendation.  And I'm going to be talking about that in a little while.  But they're going to be opening up very soon.  We want our churches open.  We want our places of faith, synagogues -- we want them open.  And that's going to start happening.  I consider them essential, and that's one of the things we're saying.  We're going to make that essential.

You know, they have places “essential” that aren't essential, and they open.  And yet the churches aren't allowed to open and the synagogues and -- again, places of faith -- mosques, places of faith.  So that's going to -- see that -- you're going to see that.

I just want to say you've been tremendous supporters of mine.  The bikers -- I call them “the bikers.”  They’re bikers -- for whatever reason, you liked me from the beginning and I liked you from the beginning.  And I remember, I went to Hilton Head and I went to other places, and there’d would be thousands of bikes outside, and they were all in support.

And they actually said, “No, we don't have to…” -- because there was no room.  There's always -- we've never had an empty seat, from the time I came down the escalator with our future First -- First Lady.  Who would have thought, right?

Remember they were saying, “What's he doing?”  And then -- but there were a lot of people that thought we'd win, and we won.  And we won pretty easily too: 306 to 223.  That's pretty easy.  And we went through a primary that was tough, and you were there with me.  We went through an election, and that tough, and you were there with me.  Always there, the bikers.  I think -- what do I have?  Ninety-eight percent?  Ninety-five?  We're trying to find who are the 3 percent or the 2 percent.  We're looking for them, right?  We're all looking for them.

But I'll never forget, I made a speech in a place.  It was packed.  You couldn't get in.  I said, “Fellas, I'll do a second one.”  They said, “No, no, we don't have to hear.  We know what you're about.  We know where you're coming from, sir.  We’re here to protect you.  We’re not here to listen; we’re here to protect you.”  I never forgot it.  I never felt so safe.  And there were a lot of rough guys in that little group of about 1,000 bikes, by the way.  Maybe more than that.  A lot of rough people.  But I tell you: To me, they were beautiful people.  But I never forgot that: “We’re not here to hear your speech, sir.  We’re here to protect you.”  And I thought it was an incredible thing.

So you’ve been my friends.  I want to thank you very much for it.  Get those engines started.  I want to see you guys drive around and drive as fast as you can, but don’t get hurt.  (Laughs.)

(The bikers complete a lap around South Lawn Drive.)

That was great.  And I want to say this to Robert and Jan and every one of you -- say hello to everybody.  November 3rd is a big day.  We don’t want to destroy this country.  We’re going to make it bigger, better, greater than ever before.  You’re going to see it happening very soon.  We’re coming into the third quarter.  That’s “transition to greatness.”  Third quarter: transition.

Get out there.  Work.  November 3rd -- November 3rd is the big day.  Get all those ‘cycles going there.

But we appreciate you being here.  Go have some fun.  And we love you all.  Thank you very much and thank you.  Thank you very much, Jan.  Thanks.  Thank you.

                        END                12:05 P.M. EDT

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AT FORD RAWSONVILLE COMPONENTS PLANT Ford Motor Company Rawsonville Components Plant Ypsilanti, Michigan

Office of the Press Secretary


Ford Motor Company
Rawsonville Components Plant

Ypsilanti, Michigan

4:44 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Well, thank you very much.  I like that dais very much, actually.  That’s very special.  Nice wood.  Beautiful like the dashboards on your cars, Bill.  Right?

MR. FORD:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  And I just heard you’re going to be having two more -- two thousand more jobs right down the road for the Bronco, which is a big winner.  That’s great.  Fantastic job.  Thank you very much, Bill.

MR. FORD:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  It’s right down the road.  (Applause.)  It’s an honor to have Bill with us.  Thank you very much.

And I'm thrilled to be back in Michigan.  We've done a lot of work in Michigan.  A lot of plants are opening.  A lot of plants stopped -- we stopped them from closing.  And we kept your workers here in Michigan and in the United States -- different places, as you know, all over the United States.  But it's an honor to do it.  It's one of the reasons I'm standing here.

In fact, years ago, I was honored.  Long before I ever thought of the presidential situation, I was honored in Michigan.  And I said, “How come you're losing so much of your car business to Mexico and other places?”  And I asked that question very innocently; it was probably 10 years ago.  The “Man of the Year” -- they named me “Man of the Year” in Michigan.  And I said, “What's going on in Michigan?”  And we've stopped it.

And thanks to a lot of great companies like Ford, a lot of things are happening here.  And it's why I'm so honored when -- when Bill mentioned the plant, that you're going to be doing 2,000.  And it's also a great success, the Bronco.  So that's really -- really big news.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And I'm honored to stand on a factory floor operated by the incredible workers of Ford Motor Company.  You really are tremendously talented people.  I know it.  I'm not sure everybody in the world knows it, but a lot of people do and they're all going to know it after this speech.  But you are really talented, great people.  Thank you very much for doing a great job.  (Applause.)  We know what it takes.  Few people have that ability.  Few.

In our nation's war against the invisible enemy, the hardworking patriots here today answered the call to serve.  You proved that the American worker is “Built Ford” and you're “Built Ford Tough.”  A great expression.  You still use that expression, I think, Bill.  Right?   That's a great expression.  And you’re -- let's see, can I use it for maybe myself?  “Built Trump Tough.”  I don’t know.  They may say that's a takeoff; that's no good.  You can't do that.

And you've made, really, America proud and you've made Ford proud.  And America is very proud of Ford.  Right here at the Rawsonville Component Plant, you're building a great medical arsenal to defeat the virus and cement America's place as the leading manufacturer and exporter of ventilators anywhere in the world.  We're now getting calls from other countries -- many other countries, both friend and foe, believe it or not.  We get calls from foe.  And we want to help them out, too.  And we're making thousands and thousands of ventilators.

And I think we really sort of started right over here.  We got a call very early on from Bill and the group.  And this is incredible -- what's happened and what you've done.

With your help, not a single American who has needed a ventilator has been denied a ventilator.  Not one.  And as you remember, we took over empty cupboards.  The cupboards were bare.  And we got into the business of ventilators and testing and all of these other things.

Now we've done 14 million tests.  The second country is at 3 million and less than 3 million -- Germany, South Korea.  And they've done a good job, but we're at 14 million tests, and the tests are the best of all.

But on behalf of our entire nation, I want to say thank you very much.  Thank you very much for doing a great job.

Driven by the love and sweat and devotion of everyone here today, we're saving lives, we're forging ahead, and, as of this week, the beating heart of the American auto industry is back open for business.  That started right away, didn't it?  And it starts right now.  And you have all those supply chains coming in; they're going to come through.  Because if they don't come through, just build the product right here, okay?  Because, you know, that can happen, too.  But we heard that.  It's a big story that -- we're starting with the cars now, and it's going to be a big success.

In addition to many wonderful UAW workers, we're joined by Secretary Ben Carson, who's done a fantastic job.  Where’s Ben?  Ben is here.  Thank you, Ben.  Where is he?  Oh, there he is.  Hi, Ben.  Thank you, Ben.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And a man who has done a fantastic job for Ford -- although I’ll ask Bill about this later.  I'll just find out.  I want to make sure for myself.  But I know -- based on results, I know.  CEO Jim Hackett.  Jim, thank you very much.  (Applause.)  The word is “yes,” Jim.  The word is “great job.”  Great job.

Plant manager Angela Weathers.  Angela, thank you very much.  (Applause.)  That's a big job.  That's a big job.  Do you enjoy it?  Yeah, great job.  Fantastic.  It's a big -- big deal.

And GE Healthcare U.S. and Canada president Everett Cunningham.  Thank you, Everett.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Everett.

Before going further, let us send our love to all of the families that have been displaced by the flooding near Midland.  I spoke to your governor this morning, and we've sent some tremendously talented people out here.  We have FEMA and we have the Army Corps of Engineers, and they can do things that, frankly, nobody else can do.  The Army Corps of Engineers, what they do -- so they're very good at rebuilding dams that are busted or blown up or, for whatever reason, bad things happen.

But Americans are praying for Central Michigan.  We're going to take care of your problem.  The governor and I had a great conversation this morning.  And at the appropriate time, I’ll go and see the area that we'll be fixing.  We're going to help you out.  We signed a emergency declaration very quickly -- very, very quickly.  And we're going to help you out very quickly also.

In recent months, this state and this country have faced great challenges.  Here in the Detroit area, you were hit hard by the virus -- very, very hard in this area.

As one people, we hold in our hearts the precious memory of every person that we have lost, and we've lost too many.  One is too many.  We lost too many.

It came in from China, and it should have been stopped in China.  They didn't stop it.  They should have stopped it.

And as one grateful nation, we proclaim, “God bless our healthcare workers.”  They've done an incredible job.  They're like warriors.  They're like warriors.  I want to thank all of the nurses and doctors.  (Applause.)

Because of the virus, Ford was forced to stop automobile production for the first time since World War Two.  That's something.  But you did not despair.  Your company leadership called up the White House and asked the most American of all questions: “How can we help?”  True.  I said, “That's nice.  That's very nice.”

Every one of the workers in this project volunteered to take part in the greatest industrialization and mobilization project that our society has done, the American people have done in our lifetimes.

The company founded by a man named Henry Ford -- good bloodlines, good bloodlines, if you believe in that stuff.  You got good blood.  (Laughs.)  They teamed up with the company founded by Thomas Edison -- that's General Electric.  It's good stuff.  That's good stuff.  And you put it all together.  They’re all looking down right now and they'd be very proud of what they see.

You began the production of 50,000 lifesaving ventilators, a number that, if you go back just two months, I would say --most people would say it would be impossible to believe.  The media is back there and they would have said, a couple of months ago, the creation of that many ventilators would have been not a possible thing.

Every single one of these ventilators is made in the USA, with American heart, American hands, and American pride.  Just as your great grandparents produced more than one Model T every minute, just as your grandmothers and grandfathers produced a B- -- B-24.  You did the B-24 bombers.  I saw pictures in the back.  That was quite a weapon.  That was quite an incredible weapon -- B-24 bomber.

And just as a Ford F-150 normally drives off the line every 52 seconds, you quickly mastered this complex new machine.  A ventilator is a very complicated, delicate, big, expensive machine.  One month ago, Ford had never built a single ventilator.  And now you're a world leader.  That's not bad.  You adopted the designs of a company that was building just 10 a week, but a very high-quality ventilator.  And very soon you'll be producing one new ventilator every single minute.

It's an absolute amazing achievement and you're really helping now, beyond the country; you’re helping other countries throughout the world.  We have 188 countries that are fighting this terrible enemy.  And ventilators are something they could never -- you can do cotton swabs, you can do all of the things.  You can even do testing.  But ventilators are a whole different lot.  It's very tough.  Great job.

Thanks to you, we’ll stockpile over 100,000 new ventilators in the next few months.  And I've offered over 14,000 to friends and allies all around the world, and they desperately need them.  Just this week, I spoke to five countries.  They call me -- is it possible to get ventilators to them.  And I'm sending them over.

I want to recognize just a few of the exceptional Americans who made this historic feat possible.  Keith Pastorino is an electrician here in Rawsonville.  Keith, please tell us what you've done, how you like it.  Come on up.  Let's see, Keith.  Oh, look at Keith.  (Applause.)

Thank you, Keith.  I would love to grab him and shake his hand, but I guess we can’t do that, can we?

MR. PASTORINO:  (Laughs.)  Well, on behalf of Ford and the UAW, welcome, Mr. President.

I’m Keith Pastorino.  I’m an electrician.  When I first heard the news that my plant was going to be building ventilators, it only took me a minute to get a hold of my UAW.  And then I decided that this was my opportunity to serve my country.

So, on the first day as a volunteer, we went full speed, seven days a week, 12 hours a shift.  I would go home sore, bruised, had blisters, was bleeding, had trouble sleeping just -- just because of the pains of that day.  But I kept coming back because this is a great nation.

And I couldn't say that I'd be more proud of my coworkers for their efforts and their sacrifices to build these fine Ford ventilators, respirators, face masks and face shields.

Thank you.  This has been an absolute honor and a blessing.  And God bless you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Keith.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Great job.  Great people.

We're also joined by Gary Brabant, a quality technician.  Gary -- come on up, Gary.  (Applause.)  Thanks, Gary.

MR. BRABANT:  Good afternoon.  Thank you, President Trump, for the honor to tell my story.  My name is Gary Brabant, and I'm a fourth-generation Ford Motor Company employee.

My grandfathers worked for Ford Motor Company during World War Two.  And my father retired from Rawsonville after 41 years.  I always knew growing up I wanted to work for Ford.

I am very, very proud of the part -- of the part -- of the ventilator project and the amazing job done by Ford and the UAW team here.

I had anxiety when I received the call to volunteer.  I didn't want to get sick or take it home to my family.  However, upon arriving here on the first day, I felt safe due to the new policies and procedures put forth by our UAW health and safety team.

It's a great feeling to know everything we are doing here and each assembly we make is saving somebody's life.

Thank you, Mr. President, and God bless America.  (Applause.) 

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Gary.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Gary, very much.

With us, as well, is Adrian Price, who has helped lead this effort as one of Ford’s top engineers -- highly respected.  Come on up.  Please, Adrian.  (Applause.)

MR. PRICE:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

MR. PRICE:  Really, thank you for the opportunity to represent my friends and colleagues who've been involved in project Apollo.

I'm honored to be part of a team that, over the last few weeks, has been able to produce more than 17 million of these face shields, 13 million surgical masks, 32,000 pressurized air purifying respirators, and here at the Rawson facili- -- the Rawsonville facility, produce a ventilator every 60 seconds.

These feats are a testament to the skills and capabilities of the men and women at Ford Motor Company, and our UAW and other partners who have come together to do what we could do to support the battle against COVID-19.  Ford Motor Company and its employees are always prepared to step up and do the right thing to support those in need, but most particularly in times of significant national crisis.

I believe these acts are part of the DNA of our company and are inspired by both the Ford family and our continuing history of service.  Personally, I'm proud to be playing a part in supporting the brave men and women who are on the frontline every day putting themselves at risk to help others.

And as I stand here today, surrounded by these awesome American-made cars, SUVs, and beautiful trucks, I'm so pleased that our facilities and dealerships are safely in operation and serving the needs of our current, and maybe future, Ford and Lincoln customers.

Thank you, Mr. President.  (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I bought plenty of them.  I bought plenty of them.  Thank you, Adrian.  Yep, I have a lot of those Lincolns.  That's great.  Thank you very much.

The global pandemic has proven once and for all that to be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation.  We're bringing it back.  Six hundred thousand jobs.  The previous administration said, “Manufacturing, we're not doing that.  It's gone from this country.”  They were wrong.  Six hundred thousand jobs -- until we had to turn it off.  And now we're going to turn it back on like never before.  You’ll see numbers that you didn't even see the last time; we're going to rebuild it quickly.  It's going to happen very quickly.

We're already seeing indications of that.  Larry Kudlow gave some numbers that were really inspiring this morning, based on what we're hearing and seeing.

True national independence requires economic independence.  From day one, I've been fighting to bring back our jobs from China and many other countries.  Today, I'm declaring a simple but vital national goal: The United States will be the world's premier pharmacy, drugstore, and medical manufacturer.  We’re bringing our medicines back -- (applause) -- and many other things, too.

We must produce critical equipment, supplies pharmaceuticals, technologies for ourselves.  We cannot rely on foreign nations to take care of us, especially in times of difficulty.

In previous decades, politicians shipped away our jobs, outsourced our supply chains, and offshored our industries.  They sent them abroad and we’re bringing them back.  And we've been doing that long before this crisis.  We’re bringing them back.  That's why we have so many plants being built all over the United States that make a beautiful product called cars.  Bringing them back.  You see it.

I told Prime Minister Abe of Japan, I said, “You got to -- Shinzo, you got to get them back.  Got to…”  We have many Japanese companies now building car companies here.  I said, “You got to bring them back.”  We've had deficits with all of these countries for years and years and years.  They were ripping us left and right.  We had no idea.  We had no leader that understood what the hell was happening, but now you do.  I said, “You got to bring them back.”

We made a great deal with South Korea.  We made a great deal.  Japan -- it’ll be $40 billion Japan is putting into the United States, not to mention all of the plants that they're building.  The South Korea deal was a terrible deal and we made it good.  Hillary Clinton actually made that deal.  She said, “It's going to produce 250,000 jobs.”  And she was right; it produced 250,000 jobs for South Korea, not for us.  Wasn't too good, was it?

But we are bringing it all back to our country, and it started long before this happened.  And maybe that's one of the reasons this happened.  Maybe people weren't so thrilled with what was going on.  But we had the greatest year in the history of our country.  We’re going to have it again very soon.

In this administration, we know that it matters where someone and something -- where someone works on something or where something is made.  As we've seen today, companies like your great Ford and workers like you are a national treasure.  I consider Ford to be a national treasure.  I consider you to be a national treasure -- the talent -- because that talent and culture and commitment to winning are irreplaceable.

Your patriotism cannot be outsourced.  Your 117 years of incredible manufacturing heritage cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.  The talent -- I see the talent.  I know what talent is.  I understand your world, and I understand your business.  That's why in my administration we live by two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.  (Applause.)

And we have another rule that you may have heard on occasion. It's called “America First.”  We didn't have America first; we had America last under previous presidents.  They were more concerned with the world than they were concerned with their own country.

My first week in office, I withdrew from the job-wrecking Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have destroyed the auto industry.

I don't know, I didn't -- I never asked you about that, Bill.  I mean, I think you agree.  Oh, you do?  Would you please stand up and just nod that you agree?  That's -- (laughter) -- your industry, Bill, would have been destroyed had that deal gone through.  And not only yours, by the way.  But other countries would have been very happy.  So I don't know.  I don't know how the hell these unions aren't endorsing Trump instead of the standard Democrat -- a Democrat that doesn't even know where he is.

We renegotiated the catastrophic deal with South Korea to preserve the protective tariff on foreign-made pickup trucks.  You know, the “chicken tax,” they call it.  Right?  You know what the chicken tax is?  The most profitable thing you have.  You know why?  Because of the chicken tax.  That was expiring a year ago, and I got it extended.  Because of that tax, it's one of the most profitable products.  You live for that product, right?

I kept my promise to replace the NAFTA disaster with the brand-new USMCA, which is a fantastic deal for our country.  Tough new requirements under the USMCA ensure more cars to be built at American plants by American labor -- and even labor endorsed it.  But, you know, the big thing is: You were losing all of your car indus- -- you weren't going to have a car industry left.  Now people aren't going to be moving back to Mexico, they're not going to be moving back, and you're going to have it the other way.

At the same time, we preserve our relationship.  Mexico has actually been very nice.  Our border is the strongest it's ever been.  We're up to over 200 miles of brand-new, beautiful border wall.  And that 200 miles is pristine.  Nobody comes through.  This is a serious wall.  It's a serious wall.  And it's incredible what we've done there, too.  We had the best -- among the best months we've ever had.  And now, when somebody comes across, we bring them back.  We don't go through five years of litigation.

In the other days -- or the older days -- not so long ago, if they stepped a foot into our country, they ended up -- you had to be Perry Mason.  You’d end up in a court case.  And it took years.  You'd release them into the country, by law, and then you’d say, "Come back in five years for your trial."  And only the very stupid people came back.  About 2 percent.  They didn't come back.  Why should they come back?  They were released into our country.  We don't do that.  We don't do that.  And we want people coming into our country, but we want them to come in through merit, and we want them to come in legally.  That's very important.

I'll continue to fight for U.S. autoworkers as we rebuild our economic strength.  Our strategy for a phased and responsible reopening protects those lives -- those American lives, those high-risk American lives -- from the virus, while allowing those at lower risk, such as young, healthy people -- where they just have a much, much lower risk -- we've learned a lot.  If you're a certain age, you have a problem with diabetes or you have a problem with your heart, you're a prime suspect for this horrible disease.  It's a -- it's a terrible thing.

So we've learned that young people do very well.  Very well. Incredibly well.  Older people -- especially older people that have problems, they don't do well at all.  So we have to protect those people.  And we want to get everybody now safely back to work.  And we're going to do that.

I spoke today about our churches.  Our churches are closed. And I said to CDC -- I had a great conversation.  I said, "Our people want to go back to church on Sundays."  And our churches want to take care of their parishioners, their people that go to worship.  And you're going to see something come out very soon about opening up our churches.

A permanent lockdown is not a strategy for a healthy state or a healthy country.  Our country wasn't meant to be shut down.  We did the right thing, but now it's time to open it up.  A never-ending lockdown would invite a public health calamity.  To protect the health of our people, we must have a functioning economy.  And as I said, and I'll say it 100 times, we're going to have an incredible year next year, right at the beginning.  Even our fourth quarter is going to be very good.  There's a tremendous pent-up demand, and that includes for your cars.

Americans who need and want to return to work should not be vilified; they should be supported.  Unlike many politicians and journalists, for those who earn a living with their own two hands, working remotely is just not an option.  You don't have the option of doing that.  Our plan emphasizes safety and protection for returning employees.

I want to commend Ford, along with General Motors, General Electric, Fiat Chrysler, and so many other companies -- a lot of them in this area -- for blazing a trail to safely restart America's economic engines.  You are demonstrating that we can open our country while taking precautions like social distancing, daily medical screenings, strict hygiene.  You can get tremendous numbers of very quick temperature checks.  Who ever heard?  They aim a camera right there, and two seconds later they tell you your temperature more accurately than the old days, where you put it under your tongue for two and a half minutes.  This is a little better.  But you get temperature checks.

And I want to thank you all for leading America back to work.  You look at states like Florida, Georgia, and many others, where the numbers have actually gone down.  They're open, but their numbers are going down and very substantially down.  With your help and our policies, this country is poised for an epic comeback.  This is going to be an incredible comeback.  Watch. It's already happening.

Within the next year, we are going to be exceeding any expectation.  And I’ve had a good gut feeling about a lot of things, including running for President.  I said, "I think I could win."  And I guess I was right.

Everyone here today -- and, by the way, I think we're going to do better the second time.  And it's very important that we win the second time or everything that we've done, including manufacturing, jobs, all of this -- it’s going to be not in a very good position.

Everyone here today is the heir to a majestic and noble tradition.  You walk in the footsteps of those who built the Motor City in the 1920s and ‘30s, who stocked the arsenal of democracy in the 1940s, and who set the standard for automotive safety and style in the 1950s and ‘60s and beyond, and even today.  Bill was showing me some of those cars.  It's incredible.  I wanted to buy one, and then I heard the price.  I said, "Forget it."  I said, "I'll use one on occasion."  Right?  But what a -- what a car that is, huh?  What a car.

Our friends and allies marveled at these triumphs of American industry, and our enemies learned that nothing can stop the strength and power and grit of the American worker.  Nothing.  Just like generations of Michigan manufacturers before you, each of you has done your best for America in its time of need.  You love your country.  You love your country so much.

Now you have a critical role to play in forging a new legacy of American greatness that will inspire and endure for generations to come.  It's a very important time in our country's history, in our country's life.

Because of you, the Ford name will forever stand as a symbol of American excellence, innovation, quality, and craftsmanship.  And because of you, America will be strong and healthy and prosperous and free for many, many decades to come.

I want to say very powerfully, very strongly: God bless you all.  God bless America.  I'm proud to be here.  I'm proud to be with Ford.  Bill, thank you very much.  Everyone, thank you very much.  We'll be back.  We'll see you a lot.  Good luck.  John James, thank you for being here.  We're going to have a great senator.  John James.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

                                       END                 5:12 P.M. EDT

Proclamation on National Maritime Day, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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     Since the founding of our great Nation, we have relied on merchant mariners to deliver goods to market and strengthen our national security.  On National Maritime Day, we recognize the United States Merchant Marine for all it does to facilitate our commerce and protect our interests at sea.

     Our Nation's merchant mariners enable peaceful trade with countries around the world and provide vital sealift support to our Armed Forces.  Whether on the ocean or our inland waterways, merchant mariners support our economy by transporting billions of dollars of imported and exported goods.  These men and women also sail bravely into combat zones to deliver supplies and weapons to our military men and women, playing a critical role in the success of their mission.

     This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we pay tribute to the United States merchant mariners who served as the "Fourth Arm of Defense" for our Nation during the war.  Earlier this year, I was proud to sign into law long-overdue legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the valiant civilian merchant mariners who maintained critical supply lines to our overseas troops and allies during the Second World War.  Many of these mariners endured brutal attacks from German U-boats, and more than 6,000 of them perished at sea or were held as prisoners of war.  This number includes 142 students of the United States Merchant Marine Academy -- distinguishing it as the only one of the five service academies authorized to carry a battle standard.

     As we remember the tremendous sacrifices of the World War II merchant mariners, we also continue to honor the present‑day citizen mariners who make up our Nation's world‑class Merchant Marine.  Today, we pay tribute to their expertise, patriotism, and dedication to serving our country and ensuring our national security.

     The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day" to commemorate the first transoceanic voyage by a steamship in 1819 by the S.S. Savannah.  By this resolution, the Congress has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2020, as National Maritime Day.  I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance and to display the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities.  I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of May, 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

Ford Motor Company
Rawsonville Components Plant

Ypsilanti, Michigan

4:12 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Hi.

Q    Mr. President, so my question to you is this: Thanks to all of the work of manufacturers like Ford and other --

THE PRESIDENT:  Who are you with?

Q    I'm Carol Cain with CBS in Detroit and Detroit Free Press.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Good.  Very good.

Q    Welcome to Detroit.  My question to you is this: Because of all of the ventilators being made here at Ford and the heroic effort of all the manufacturers there doing the same sort of thing, we now know we have enough manufacturing going on for the time being, as far ventilators go.  You've said you think we have enough; in fact, we can share with other countries.

My question to you, sir, is: Looking six months from now, a year from now, how many more -- how much do we need to keep back in our stockpile to keep us safe?

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, we were just talking about it.  We have a very big stockpile right now.  And we're building it bigger and we're helping a lot of other countries.  Nigeria -- we just sent a thousand.  We have various -- various countries: France, Spain.  We have a lot going to Italy.  We have a lot going to a different -- probably 15, 18 countries.  They're calling us.  We had the capacity to do this; nobody else did.

So every state now has more than they need, and our stockpile is totally full.  We have a tremendous amount.  So now we're really helping other countries where they're, you know, losing a lot of people because they don’t have ventilators.  A ventilator is hard to do.

And I want to say that Ford and General Electric have done an incredible job working together, and also the companies that worked with you.  They really did -- they did a great job.  They do a great car and they do -- they really did a great job on the ventilators.  And I hear the quality of the ventilator has been really top of the line.

MR. FORD:  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  We really appreciate it, fellas.

MR. FORD:  Thank you, sir.

Q    Mr. President, there was a lot of interest about whether you would end up wearing a mask today.  Could you just take us through your thought process of why you decided not to wear a mask?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I did wear -- I had one on before.  I wore one in this back area, but I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.  But, no, where I had it, in the back area, I did put a mask on.

Q    Did you have the goggles on too, as well, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  I did.  I had goggles.  Goggles and a mask.  Right back there.

Q    But why would you not --

THE PRESIDENT:  And here's another one.  Here.

(The President hands a member of the press a face shield.)

Q    Why would you not be wearing it here?

THE PRESIDENT:  Because in this area -- you take it.

Q    Why would you not be wearing it here, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  Not necessary here.  Everybody has been tested and I've been tested.  In fact, I was tested this morning, so it's not necessary.

Q    But the executives are wearing them.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s their choice.  I was given -- I was given a choice.  And I had one in an area where they preferred it, so I put it on and it was very nice.  It looked very nice.  But they said: Not necessary here.

Yeah, please.

Q    What about the example that it would set for other Americans to see you wearing a mask?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think it sets an example.  I think it sets an example both ways.  And, as they say, I did have it on.  Thank you.

Yeah, please.

Q    Mr. President, (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT:  I just liked your question so much.

Q    I know.  (Laughs.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You know what?  It was such a nice question.

Q    No, it was a great question.  Here's a question for you.

THE PRESIDENT:  See?  I'll take an extra question.  Go ahead.

Q    We've seen the manufacturers here -- Ford, GM, FCA, others, small businesses -- turning things overnight and making PPE materials.  As someone who is the President of the United States, in terms of our manufacturing might, how do you see what's taken place in these last few months?

THE PRESIDENT:  This is the biggest mobilization since the World War -- since World War Two.  And these people were in charge of it.  They did it.  They did a fantastic job.  They did a really fantastic job, and we appreciate it.

All of these companies, they came together.  And they used to make cars here.  They used to make other things here.  And now they're -- not only ventilators, we were just saying -- the masks and all of the other product.  What other product do you make?  This is the head of Ford, by the way.  Not bad.  Not a bad position.

MR. FORD:  (Laughs.)  Well, thank you.  So we’ve got --

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, she's a very nice woman.

MR. FORD:  I know.  Hi, Carol.  How are you?

Q    Hi, Bill.  How you doing?

MR. FORD:  Well, you know what we're making.  We've got the pressure respirators.  We've -- obviously, the ventilators, the masks, the gowns.  You know, we've -- really, anything that anybody needs.  We responded quickly, and we're very proud of our workforce.  They've been amazing.

THE PRESIDENT:  Is he doing a good job?

Q    He is.  In fact, Bill, you have been through so many crises through your years as chairman and CEO of the company here.  How does this crisis -- dealing with this pandemic, making PPE materials -- compare?

MR. FORD:  Well, every one is different.  I mean, you know, I won't take you through all of them going all the way back to, you know, maybe the oil shocks and then the -- you know, the dotcom meltdowns and all those.  Every crisis is different, but what's amazing is how our people respond.

And, in this one, they didn’t want to be asked to do something.  They said, "Here's an opportunity, and let's go."  What I love about our culture is: They didn’t ask for permission.  They just went.  And that’s something that we've done throughout our 117-year history, and I hope we'll always do.

Q    Mr. Ford, can we ask another question?

THE PRESIDENT:  And, by the way, here is my -- here is my mask, right here.  And I like it very much.  I actually -- honestly, I think I looked better in the mask.  I really did.  I look better in the mask.  But I'm making a -- but I'm making a speech, so I won't have it now.  But I did have it on right here, and I think some of you might've gotten a shot.

Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. Ford, can you confirm that the President was told it's okay not to wear one in this area?

MR. FORD:  It’s up to him.

(The President resumes the tour.)                  

THE PRESIDENT:  So, folks, it’s 6,000 ventilators a week -- think of that -- from a running start, which wasn’t much of a run, actually.  So we had very few in this country, almost none.  We were not in that business.  And now they're making thousands a week.  It’s a great thing.  And what about this?

PARTICIPANT:  Thank you.  So we built 32,000 of these already.


PARTICIPANT:  So we have the ability to build 12,000 a week.

THE PRESIDENT:  Is that foolproof, would you say?

PARTICIPANT:  So basically, this is the maximum protection for (inaudible).


PARTICIPANT:  Maximum.  It basically blows filtered air -- it filters out the virus -- over (inaudible), over the occupant’s face.  So if they’re in a large ICU ward or if they’re in one of these makeshift ICU wards where there’s a lot of the virus that could be in the air, this would give them maximum protection.

THE PRESIDENT:  We got to get back to the rallies.  Do you agree with that, John?

Q    One question, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  We got to have the rallies.


Q    One question.  The Secretary of the Treasury said there is a strong likelihood that we’ll need another fiscal stimulus.  To your thinking, what shape would that take?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think we will.  I think we’re going to be helping people out.  We’re going to be getting some money for them during the artificial -- because it really is, it’s an artificial closure.  And now we’re going to be able to open it up.

This isn’t like for long-term problems and it takes years and years to have it come back.  The Depression took 12 years -- more -- 14, 15 years.  We're going to be back next year, maybe even in the fourth quarter.  In a few months, we're going to be back, because we’re going to -- we closed it and now we open it.

But I would say there could be one more nice shot.  One more nice dose.

Q    And what do you think should be in it?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’d let you know.  And I have exactly -- I know exactly, but I'd rather do it at the appropriate time.

Q    We know a payroll tax cut --

THE PRESIDENT:  Today, we’re here celebrating these great companies doing ventilators and other equipment.

But we have a very, very specific plan, and it’ll be great for the American people.  And our economy is going to be back soon, and Ford and General Electric and these great companies that helped us so much in a time of need, they're going to be very happy.  They're going to be -- and you're already gearing up.  I know -- I know you're gearing up.  Your lines are starting to roll, making cars again.  So a lot of things that are happening.

By the way, on our southern border, it's never been so secure.  We're up to almost 200 miles of wall.  And we have never had -- that whole area is -- nobody comes through that area.  The area where the wall goes up, that's the end of that.

Q    And so you're having this speech here this afternoon.  What are you thinking about in terms of the campaign rallies?  When will you be able to get back to big rallies?

THE PRESIDENT:  So as soon as you're able to have people get in -- you know, we've never had an empty seat.  Since the day I came down the escalator with our future First Lady, we've never had an empty seat.  You know that.  And we’d have thousands of people we sent away.

And I think the demand now, from what we see, is greater than ever before.  We're going to have to go to certain states where we're able to -- look, I don't want to have a stadium where you're supposed to have a person and then seven empty seats, and then another person.  So we might do some outdoor big ones.  And we may also just wait until the stadiums can open up.  I think it's going to be soon.  We'll go to a place like Florida.  We'll go to a place like maybe Georgia or some other place where they're going to be opening up.  Whoever opens up first.

The demand has been incredible to get going with the rallies.  I just hear the music in the background.  I'm saying, we've had rallies like nobody has ever had, and we would love to get back to that.  I think it's going to be sooner rather than later.

Q    And I know you were asked about this briefly this morning: This new AstraZeneca vaccine --


Q    -- from Oxford that --


Q    -- that HHS is investing $1 billion in, how much promise do you think that holds for an early vaccination (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think it holds tremendous promise.  But we have many other companies who are just about as far along.  We have many companies.  We have the greatest pharmaceutical companies in the world.  They’re equally -- you know, I mean, they’re really in a position.  And I’m only -- I’m not only talking about vaccine, I’m talking about cures and therapeutics.  Therapeutically, we have some things coming out which we think are going to be great.  But they have to be tested quickly, and we’re doing it very quickly.

Q    Who would get the vaccine first?  First responders?  Elderly people?

THE PRESIDENT:  Right now, what we’re doing is we’re setting -- logistically, with our military, our military is in gear so that we can give 150, 200 million shots quickly.  The military is in gear.  You know, we can move a couple of hundred thousand soldiers immediately in time of emergency.  So this is not nearly as big a deal as that.  It’s equally as important perhaps, but it’s not -- it’s not as tough logistically.

Q    But how would you prioritize it?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll sit down with a lot of people and we’ll figure it out.  We’re going to sit down with the military.  And we hope to be in that position fairly soon.

So rather than having the vaccine, doing the test, and then starting to gear up, we’re taking a risk because, you know, it could be that if something happened, but I don’t think that’s going to be.  But in addition to that company, we have other companies that are very far advanced.  And also, don’t forget therapeutics and cure.  We’re talking about a vaccine in this case.  Therapeutics and cure.  And, frankly, that’s my first choice because that would take care of people that are in trouble right now.


Q    Mr. President, on the issue of testing, there’s been questions about whether you’re satisfied or not with what the CDC is doing, the work they’re doing, particularly the director, Dr. Redfield.  Can you address that?  Are you satisfied with the work the CDC is doing?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think they’re doing a good job -- a really good job in a very complex situation.  You know, we started off -- nobody knew what the virus was.  It came in from China, and nobody knew what it was.  And, frankly, I think they’ve done a really good job.  I’m very happy about it.  A lot of other people think they’ve done a lot of, you know, great work.

We’re now up to -- and this is beyond even CDC, because we’ve done it -- between Jared Kushner and a lot of geniuses coming in from Silicon Valley, and a lot of people -- these companies, where they can make ventilators and all --

Look, what we did with ventilators is incredible because we geared up, in a short period of time, through General Electric, Ford -- they’re represented here at the top level -- through other companies -- we were at Honeywell the other day; they make masks.  Who would think Honeywell is making a mask?  But that’s what they’re making now, is a mask.  It’s a very high-tech company.  You know, they make the -- the dashboards to an airplane and lots of other things.  And now they’re making masks.

Our companies geared up so quickly, so fast.  Honeywell opened a plant in three weeks, from literally zero to open, making masks in three weeks.  That’s -- it’s been an incredible achievement.  There’s never been anything done like this since the end of World War Two.

Q    You said -- you said a number of weeks ago, “We can’t let the cure become worse than the disease.”

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.

Q    Where are -- where are we in that calculus?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think I was the first one to say it.  I don’t know, would you say that I was the first one?  But you can’t let the cure become worse than the problem itself.

Q    And where -- where are we?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think we have to -- I think the governors have to start opening up.  We now know the disease.  We know the weaknesses and the strengths.  We know that older people are affected gravely and younger people are not affected gravely, frankly.  If you look at the statistics, it’s incredible.  And we know that we have to protect some people much more so.  I think a lot of the governors have done a very, very poor job on nursing homes, but they’ve done a good job on other things.

I know every governor.  I can give you -- I can grade every governor.  But we’ve made a lot of hero governors.  We’ve done a great job for the governors.  And my relationship with them, in almost all cases, is very good.

And remember this -- one of the beauties we were just talking about: Not one person who needed a ventilator didn’t get a ventilator.

Q    But with another 2.4 million people claiming first-time unemployment insurance benefits today --


Q    -- how close are we to the cure being worse than the disease?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think that a lot of these states are going to -- the ones that are, sort of, sticking to a certain, very rigid pattern, I think they’re going to stop.  I don’t think the people are going to stand for it.  This is a country that’s meant to be open, not closed.

And we did the right thing, John.  We saved millions of lives.  Millions and millions of lives.  You would have had anywhere from a million-five to two million-five, three million lives.  Think of it: So if we were at 100,000, instead of 100,000, multiply that times 15, 20, or 25.  It wouldn’t have been acceptable.  It wouldn’t have been sustainable.  You couldn’t have done it.

So we’ve called it right.  And now I want it open, and we’re going to open.  And if there’s a fire, an ember, a flame someplace, we put it out.  But the people have done a great job.  And General Electric, Ford, and all the other people that work with them have done fantastic work.

And Honeywell -- again, I was there last week -- but Honeywell, they’ve done fantastically well, also.  Okay?

Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. President, you mentioned the embers.  Are you concerned these smaller fires, these pockets of the virus popping up, are you concerned about a potential second wave of this virus?

THE PRESIDENT:  People say that’s a very distinct possibility.  It’s standard.  And we’re going to put out the fires.  We’re not going to close the country; we’re going to put out the fires.  There could be -- whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’re going to put it out.  But we’re not closing our country.

Thank you very much.

Q    Are you looking to replace Dr. Redfield?  Or is --


(The President resumes the tour.)                  

                                        END                 4:28 P.M. EDT

Proclamation on Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2020

Office of the Press Secretary

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     Since the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War, Americans have answered the call to duty and given their lives in service to our Nation and its sacred founding ideals.  As we pay tribute to the lives and legacies of these patriots on Memorial Day, we also remember that they sacrificed to create a better, more peaceful future for our Nation and the world.  We recommit to realizing that vision, honoring the service of so many who have placed love of country above all else.

     As Americans, we will always defend our freedom and our liberty.  When those principles are threatened, we will respond with uncompromising force and unparalleled vigor.  Generation after generation, our country's finest have defended our Republic with honor and distinction.  Memorials, monuments, and rows of white crosses and stars in places close to home like Arlington, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as far-flung battlefields in places like Flanders Field in Belgium and Busan in Korea, will forever memorialize their heroic actions, standing as solemn testaments to the price of freedom.  We will never take for granted the blood shed by these gallant men and women, as we are forever indebted to them and their families.

     This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied victories over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II.  As we commemorate these seminal events, we also remember the tremendous cost at which these victories came.  More than 400,000 souls of the Greatest Generation perished during this titanic struggle to liberate the world from tyranny.  In his address to the Nation on Japan's surrender, President Truman's words remind us all of our enduring obligation to these patriots for their sacrifice:  "It is our responsibility -- ours the living -- to see to it that this victory shall be a monument worthy of the dead who died to win it."  As we pause to recall the lives lost from the ranks of our Armed Forces, we remain eternally grateful for the path they paved toward a world made freer from oppression.

     Our fallen warriors gave their last breath for our country and our freedom.  Today, let us pause in quiet reverence to reflect on the incredible dedication of these valiant men and women and their families, invoking divine Providence as we continue pursuing our noble goal of lasting peace for the world.

     In honor and recognition of all of our fallen heroes, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.  The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.

     I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

     I also request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that, on Memorial Day, the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.  I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-first day of May, 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