Thursday, July 30, 2020

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP IN PRESS BRIEFING

Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
IN PRESS BRIEFING

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

 
5:41 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.  Let me begin by expressing our sadness at the passing of a wonderful man and a dear friend of mine, Herman Cain.  He was a very special person.  I got to know him very well.  And unfortunately, he passed away from the thing called the China virus.  And we send our prayers to Herman's great wife, Gloria.  Wonderful family.

     And I have to say, America grieves for all of the 150,000 Americans who had their lives taken by this horrible, invisible enemy.  We mourn their loss, as a nation; we mourn their loss, as people -- as people that love one another.  And we're working very hard to not only contain this horrible event, this horrible plague -- it's what it is, is a plague -- but also to come up with therapeutics and vaccines.  And we're making a lot of strides.

     All over the world, they’re having tremendous problems.  A resurgence has taken place in many countries that people thought were doing well.  Despite a wide range of approaches to the pandemic between countries, this resurgence in cases is occurring throughout large portions of our planet -- in Japan, China, Australia, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Hong Kong -- places where they thought it was -- they had really done great.  It came back.  And in a couple of cases, it came back very strongly.

     The virus was said to be under control, but new cases have risen very significantly once again.  So when you think somebody is doing well, sometimes you have to hold your decision on that; you have to hold your statement.

     Since the beginning of June, daily new cases have increased by a factor of 14 times in Israel; 35 times -- that’s 35 times -- in Japan; and nearly 30 times in Australia, just to name a few.  These were countries that were doing incredibly well; leadership was being praised.  Latin America now leads the world in confirmed infections.  And with the scarcity of testing in Latin America, the true numbers -- you have no idea what they might be.  And I can say “scarcity of testing.”  Almost anywhere, except for our country.

     This disease is highly contagious and presents unique challenges to our border states.  Meanwhile, states like California, Washington State, Maryland, Virginia, Nevada, Illinois, Oregon, and many others -- they were thought to be doing well, and they had a big resurgence and were hit very hard.

     And governors that were extremely popular are not so popular anymore.  They were held up as models to follow, and then they got hit and -- now, I'm not even saying this is their fault.  It's probably not their fault.  It's just the way it is.  That's the way it is.  Highly infectious -- one of the most infectious diseases that anybody has ever seen.  Not since 1917, over 100 years ago, has anyone seen anything like what we're witnessing now.

     But these states have also seen the virus substantially rebound.  And, again, no one is immune.  No one is immune.  These facts illustrate the imposing determinant -- and it is a determinant -- that a blanket shutdown to achieve a temporary reduction in cases is certainly not a viable long-term strategy for any country.  People are starting to understand the disease now.  We certainly have understood a lot about the disease that we didn't have any idea.  We didn't -- nobody ever saw anything like this.

     The primary purpose of a shutdown was to flatten the curve, ensure sufficient hospital capacity, and develop effective treatments and therapies to reduce mortality.  And we've done that.  But it can come rearing back when you least suspect it.

     We did the right thing initially.  We saved millions of lives, what we did.  We did the right thing.  But a permanent shutdown would no longer be the answer at all.  A small shutdown of certain areas -- but we don't want to do that -- small shutdowns can be very helpful, but not for long periods of time.

     We understand what we're dealing with now, but it's a very complex situation.  And I can only say: Thank Heaven that we -- that we are so advanced in what we're doing, in terms of vaccines and therapies.

     We now know a great deal about the virus and how to treat it and who it targets.  Almost half of the deaths come from less than 1 percent of our population.  Think of it: Half of the deaths -- really, a tremendous number -- half of the deaths come from less than 1 percent of our population, those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  The average age of those who die from the illness is 78.

     We've announced very strong measures to protect those who are most vulnerable.  The scientific path forward is to protect those at highest risk, while allowing those at lower risk to carefully return to work and to school with appropriate precautions.

     I'm once again urging the American people to protect their dear family and friends and anybody who's elderly -- especially if somebody is elderly and they have heart problems, if they have certain illnesses.  Diabetes is a very bad one, having to do with what we're discussing.  But you want to protect the elderly and socially distance, wear a mask if you cannot socially distance, and practice vigorous hygiene.

     Everyone, even healthy young people, should be taking extraordinary care to avoid infecting those at the highest risk from this terrible disease.  The elderly and those with chronic health issues have to be protected.

     In the current hotspots across the Sun Belt, the data is showing very encouraging signs.  Arizona, in particular, has crossed an important threshold.  For every person with the virus, we're now seeing an average of less than one additional person infected.  And the numbers are coming down and coming down very substantially.  They're starting to come down in Florida.  Arizona is really leading the way.

     I was in Texas yesterday, and they're starting to come down significantly, we believe, in Texas.  Need another few days to figure that one out, but it looks like they're coming down very significantly.

     Earlier today, I visited the Red Cross headquarters to discuss plasma therapy -- which is a tremendous -- a tremendous thing that they're looking at, and they have a lot of experience with it -- potentially lifesaving treatments that infuse sick patients with powerful antibodies donated by those who have recovered successfully from this disease.

     More than 2 million Americans have recovered from the virus, and today we're asking them to visit Coronavirus.gov -- Coronavirus.gov -- and volunteer to donate plasma.  We need plasma.  It's something that's been very effective, and we need plasma from those that were infected and successfully recovered, as most people do.  Most people do.

     Plasma is one of the many promising treatments my administration is accelerating.  We've secured over 90 percent of the world's supply of remdesivir -- which is terrific -- an encouraging antiviral drug that can effectively block replication of the virus.

     We've also approved the use of the widely-available steroid -- which has been very successful -- dexamethasone, which has shown success, even in patients at more advanced stages of the disease.

     On July 17th, we announced a $450 million agreement with Regeneron to build manufacturing plants and hundreds of thousands of doses of its antibody treatment, which is currently in late-stage clinical trials -- moving along very rapidly.  That’s Regeneron.

     As a result of such significant strides in treatment, the mortality rate in those over the age of 18 is 85 percent lower than it was just in April.  So in a very short period of time.  Think of that: Just 18 -- 85 percent lower than it was in April.  It's a big statement.

     Now I want to provide an update on our efforts to ensure a strong economic comeback, including our negotiations on Capitol Hill.  Throughout this crisis, my administration has taken the most aggressive action in history to rescue American workers.  We love our American workers.  And we've set records on job creation -- records -- two months in a row.

     We enacted a $3 trillion economic relief package.  The Paycheck Protection Program alone saved over 50 million jobs.  We delivered $300 billion to direct cash payments to Americans.  We approved $500 billion for our hardest-hit industries -- $500 billion.

     We allowed struggling homeowners to reduce or defer their mortgage payments, and we put a nationwide moratorium on evictions from federally backed properties.  It was a big thing, a very big thing.

     We also suspended student loan payments for six months, and we're looking to do that additionally and for additional periods of time.

     As a result of these extraordinary steps by the administration, we added a record 7 million jobs in the two months past alone.

     To ensure this comeback continues, which we think it will -- we had a great foundation to build on.  We were the strongest country in the world; nobody close.  We were outdoing everybody from China.  If you remember, for many years, you heard that in 2019, China would surpass the United States.  Well, it didn't.  We gained on them very significantly.  We took it to a level that nobody has ever seen -- 2019, and we'll be back there very shortly.  It won't take very long, based on everything that we're seeing.  It's not going to take very long.  I think next year is going to be an excellent year -- maybe one of our best years ever, from an economic standpoint.

     We can never, ever forget the people that have been lost, and we never will.  We’ll never forget them; never forget what happened.  This could have been stopped in China.  They should have stopped it, and they didn't.

     But I'm asking Congress to pass additional legislation to support Americans in need.  First, we want a temporary extension of expanded unemployment benefits.  This will provide a critical bridge for Americans who lost their jobs to the pandemic through no fault of their own.  This was not anybody's fault.  From the standpoint of jobs, it happened -- a terrible thing happened.  Could’ve been stopped.  It happened.

     I want to thank Senate Republicans for fighting to extend unemployment benefits today -- in the face of very strong Democrat obstruction, which I'm surprised at -- because this is great for our country and it's great for our workers, and it wasn't our workers’ fault. 

     Second, we’re asking Democrats to work with us to find a solution that will temporarily stop evictions.  We do not want people who have lost their jobs due to the virus to be evicted from their homes or apartments.  We don't want that to happen.

     Third, we need Democrats to join us to pass additional economic relief payments for American citizens, like the payments sent directly to 160 million Americans earlier this year, which was a tremendously successful program.  This money will help millions of hardworking families get by.

     My administration is also asking Democrats to work with us to pass $105 billion to help schools safely reopen.  Children are not [sic] at the lowest risk.  If you look at what's going on: the younger, the better.  Amazing -- the immune system.  For children, the lower they are in age, the lower the risk, in terms of the age group itself.

     I tell the story that, in New Jersey, with thousands and thousands of people dying -- sadly, dying -- the governor was telling me that only one -- Phil Murphy -- only one died under the age of 18.  That's incredible.  Where thousands of people that died in the state of New Jersey, one made an impact; one died under the age of 18.

     Children are at the lowest risk of any age group from the virus.  Indefinite school closures will inflict lasting harm to our nation's children.  We must follow the science and get students safely back to school, while protecting children, teachers, staff, and family.  We have to remember that there's another side to this: Keeping them out of school and keeping work closed is causing death also.  Economic harm, but it’s causing death for different reasons.  But death -- probably more death.

     If governors do not want to open the public schools, the money should go to parents so they can send their children to the school of their choice.  So we say if a school doesn't want to open or if a governor doesn't want to open -- maybe for a political reason and maybe not, but there is some of that going on -- the money should go to the parents so they can send their children to the school of their choice.

     If schools stay closed, the money should follow the students so families are in control of decisions about their sons and daughters -- about their children.

     But to pass a bill, Democrats must reject the extreme, partisan voices in their party.  They have tremendous voices.  They're looking at November 3rd.  And probably a day later, they'll say, “Let's open up the country.”

     But the Democrats have to reject the extreme, partisan voices in their party so that we can get our country going even quicker than it's going right now.  We have a lot opening, and we have a lot of states that you thought were doing pretty poorly, from the standpoint of the virus, and they’re actually coming back very strong.

     This pandemic has underscored the importance of economic policies that put American families and workers first.  I got elected on the fact that I put America first.

     For many, many decades, in my opinion, we put America last.  If you look at the crazy, horrible, disgraceful trade deals that we've watched for many years destroy our country -- NAFTA, we terminated it.  We have USMCA now, which is a great deal, and our farmers are doing really well despite the pandemic.  But we put America first, America's families first, and America's workers first.

     But that means bringing jobs and factories back to our shores, reducing unnecessary regulations, and creating new training opportunities for jobs and for the future.  We've cut regulations at a level that no President has ever cut regulations.  And we've cut taxes more than any President in the history of our country.

     Americans always rise to the challenge, and we will emerge more resilient, more self-reliant, more independent, and more prosperous than ever before.

     So I just want to thank you all.  And if you'd like, we'll take a few questions.

     Steve, please.

     Q    Are we going to launch an effort to try to delay the election?  Or was that just a trial balloon this morning?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, what I want to explain to people, but it doesn't need much explanation -- I mean, you look at article after article: “New York's Mail-Vote Disaster,” “Tens of thousands of mail ballots have been tossed out in this year's primaries.  What will happen in November?”  It's a mess.  This is done by Washington Post.  Can you believe it?  The Washington Post, of all papers.  Fake news, but in this case, it's not fake, it's true.

     This is done by the Wall Street Journal.  Here's another one, “Vote-by-mail experiment reveals potential problems within postal voting system ahead [in the] November election.”  And you see what's happening with so many different places.  They're doing even trial runs; they’re a disaster.

     And I don't want to see an election -- you know, so many years, I've been watching elections.  And they say the “projected winner” or the “winner of the election” -- I don't want to see that take place in a week after November 3rd or a month or, frankly, with litigation and everything else that can happen, years.  Years.  Or you never even know who won the election.

     You're sending out hundreds of millions of universal, mail-in ballots -- hundreds of millions.  Where are they going?  Who are they being sent to?  It's common sense; you don't have to know anything about politics.  And the Democrats know this.  The Democrats know this, Steve.

     So, I want to see -- I want an election and a result much, much more than you.  I think we're doing very well.  We have the same pho- -- fake polls, but we have real polls.  We're doing very well.

     I just left Texas.  And Biden came out against fracking.  Well, that means Texas is going to be one of the most unemployed states in our country.  That means Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico are going to be a disaster.  Ohio, Pennsylvania -- disaster.  No fracking.

     I want to have the result of the election.  I don't want to be waiting around for weeks and months.  And, literally, potentially -- if you really did it right -- years, because you'll never know.

     These ballots are missing.  You saw Paterson, New Jersey.  You saw many other instances.  There's tremendous litigation on that right now.

     And that doesn't include absentee.  Absentee is different.  Absentee -- you have to work and you have to send in for applications.  You have to go through a whole procedure.

     Like, for instance, I'm an absentee voter because I can't be in Florida because I'm in Washington; I'm at the White House.  So, I'll be an absentee voter.  We have a lot of absentee voters, and it works.  So we're in favor of absentee, but it's much different than millions of people.

     In California, they're going to send out tens of millions of voting forms.  Well, where are they going to go?  You read where postmen are in big trouble now.  You read where city councils are in big trouble now.  Voter fraud, all over the -- the ballots.

     So, no, I want to get -- I want to be standing, hopefully, hand held high, big victory, because we're doing things with our country that I think nobody else could have done.  Our country is -- despite this pandemic, which is devastating the rest of the world, by the way -- devastating.

     One of the articles that came out was, “The World's Covid Resurgence.”  This is the Wall Street Journal editorial -- the main editorial yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.  I don't always agree with them.  But they have “The World's Covid Resurgence.”  “Countries hailed as models [to] see…” -- and then they go, the virus returns at a level it's never -- they haven't even seen.

     We've been giving praise to certain countries, and the virus has now come to them like -- like the first time.  But it's a very interesting -- and it talks about many countries where everybody was holding them up and saying what a great job they did.  Well, it's just one of those things.  Didn't work out so well.

     So we want to have an election.  I'd love to see voter ID, but this is the opposite of voter ID.  The Democrats love it; the Republicans hate it.  We all agree that absentee voting is good.  Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud.

     You know, we talk about “Russia, Russia, Russia” for two and a half years, and then they found nothing, and there was nothing.  But they talk “Russia, Russia, Russia.”  They talk China.  They talk all of these countries.  They say they get involved in our elections.  This is easy.  You can forge ballots.  This is much easier for foreign countries.

     Go ahead, Steve.

     Q    But -- but delaying the election is probably a nonstarter.  I mean, wouldn't you agree with that?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I -- I just feel -- I don't want a delay.  I want to have the election.  But I also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything.  That's what's going to happen, Steve.  That's common sense, and everyone knows it.  Smart people know it.  Stupid people may not know it.  And some people don't want to talk about it, but they know it.

     And, no, we want to have an election where people actually go in and -- “What's your name?”  “My name is so-and-so.”  Boom, you sign the book, like I've been doing for years.

     It's very, very unfair to our country.  If they do this, our country will be a laughingstock all over the world because everyone knows it doesn't work.

     How many ballots is he sending in California, as an example?  Twenty-eight million or some massive number?  Other states are sending out millions and millions of ballots.  Well, they've done it.  They had experiments.  They had news organizations experimenting.

     And, look, read the story in the Washington Post about mail-in voting; it's a disaster.  I'm very surprised to see that story, frankly, from them.  The story is a disaster.  So we're asking for a lot of trouble.

     And, no, do I want to see a date change?  No.  But I don't want to see a crooked election.  This election will be the most rigged election in history.

     John.

     Q    So, Mr. President, you said that you don't want to see a delay in the election, but then it looks like the process of these mail-in ballots is going to continue to November the 3rd.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we have many court cases, John.  We have one that's been filed for a while now in western Pennsylvania, as an example, on mail-in ballots.

     Q    So, I’m just wondering, is --

     THE PRESIDENT:  And, by the way, John, we give tremendous examples -- numbers of examples of all the fraud and all of the things that have taken place with respect to mail-in ballots.

     Q    I’m just wondering, is the net effect of what you tweeted this morning and what you're talking about now to cast doubt on the results of the November 3rd election?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it’s had an interesting impact.  I didn't know it was going to be the impact it had.  What people are now looking at is: Am I right?  But not me.  Are all these stories right about the fact that these elections will be fraudulent, they'll be fixed, they'll be rigged?  And everyone is looking at it, and a lot of people are saying, “You know. that probably will happen.”

     Please, Jennifer.

     Q    Mr. President, to break the logjam in Congress and to prevent that unemployment insurance from lapsing, what do you plan to put on the table tonight?  What are you --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it's a great question.  I can't tell you, though, because that wouldn't be very smart from a negotiating standpoint.  But we'll be putting certain things on the table.

     Q    Do you have a plan to put on the table?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We want to get money to people.  It wasn't their fault.  And we want to get money to people, and it has to be substantial.  It's not their fault what happened.

     The fact is, people don't like saying it -- they know it's true: It's China's fault.  Okay?  It's not their fault.  It's not the worker who lost his job; it's China's fault.  And that's the way it is.

     OAN, please.

     Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Yesterday, DHS came to an agreement with the governor of Oregon to remove federal officers, and Oregon state troopers took over.  Mayor Ted Wheeler was noticeably absent from that agreement.  Are you confident, sir, that the state of Oregon will be able to quell the protests in Portland?  And if the violence does continue, would you consider redeploying federal troops?

     THE PRESIDENT:  So our people have done -- Homeland Security have done a fantastic job.  They went to Oregon a little more than a week ago.  The place was a mess.  The city, Portland, was just a disaster.  You see it, and a lot of people weren't reporting it right.  They tried to pretend it was a protest, as opposed to anarchists and agitators.  You understand what I'm saying.  It's a mess.

     They went there a short while ago, and they saved a federal courthouse that costs hundreds of millions of dollars.  And they put a ring around the courthouse and they saved it.  But the group that's there is basically meant to save buildings, and they were very strong, very powerful.  And they didn't come out too often out of this cocoon that they built in order to save these very expensive, valuable, and psychologically important buildings -- right? -- like courthouses.

     The governor and the mayor, we've been dealing with them, and we think they don't know what they're doing, because this should not have been going on for 60 days.  It's not our job unless, in case of emergency -- which I consider now to be an emergency -- it's not our job to go in and clean out the cities.  That's supposed to be done by local law enforcement.

     Yesterday, the governor worked a deal where they'll do it; we’ll stand by, they'll do it -- and that's good.  That was very good, but she didn't report it that way.  What she reported was totally different.  She said, “I think Trump wants to take over the country.”  It's crazy.

     So what happened is our people are staying there to see whether or not they can do it today and tomorrow.  And if they don't do it, we will send in the National Guard and we'll take care of it.  And we’re telling, right now, these protesters -- and many should be arrested because these are professional agitators, these are professional anarchists; these are people that hate our country.  We're telling them, right now, that we're coming in very soon -- the National Guard.  A lot of people.  A lot of very tough people.  And these are not people that just have to guard the courthouse and save it.  These are people that are allowed to go forward and do what they have to do.  And I think that makes the governor's job and the mayor's job a lot easier.

     So they're working today and probably tomorrow to clean out this beehive of -- of terrorists.  And if they do it, I'm going to be very happy.  And then, slowly, we can start to leave the city.  If they don't do it, we'll be sending in the National Guard.

     Please.

     Q    Mr. Trump, given what's happening with Major League Baseball and now, today, the Rutgers football team is quarantined, how can you assure people that schools will be safely reopened?

     THE PRESIDENT:  So, can you assure anybody of anything?  I do say, again: Young people are almost immune to this disease.  The younger, the better, I guess.  They're stronger.  They're stronger.  They have a stronger immune system.  It's an incredible thing.  Nobody has ever seen this before.  Various types of flu will hurt young people more than older people.

     But young people are almost immune.  If you look at the percentage, it's a tiny percent of 1 percent.  It's a tiny percent of 1 percent.  So we have to have our schools open.  We have to protect our teachers.  We have to protect our elderly.  But we do have to have our schools open.

     Yeah, please.  Go ahead.

     Q    Mr. President, a week ago, you said: “We are in the process of developing a strategy that's going to be very, [very] powerful,” involving the coronavirus.  Where is that strategy?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think you're seeing it, and I think you will see it.  And one of the things that we've done that we're getting -- and it hasn't been utilized fully yet -- but we're all set to march when it comes to the vaccine.

     We have great therapeutics that are testing very well, and we have great vaccines from incredible companies -- Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and Merck --

     Q    But (inaudible) actually slowing the spread of the virus?

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- and all of these great companies, and they're doing very well.

     And the delivery system is all set, logistically.  We have a general that -- that's all he does, is deliver things, whether it's soldiers or other items.  And I think you're going to see something that's going to be spectacular.

     The FDA has approved things at a rate that's a tiny fraction of what it would cost -- what it would take during a -- another administration, let's say.

     We are way ahead on vaccines, way ahead on therapeutics.  And when we have it, we're all set up with our platforms to deliver them very, very quickly.  The vaccines are doing well, the therapeutics are doing well, and we're all set to deliver them as soon as we have them, and that's going to be very soon.
 

     Thank you very much.  Thank you.

                        END                6:12 P.M. EDT

President Trump to recovered Coronavirus patients: Your Plasma Could Save Lives

1600 Daily
The White House • July 30, 2020

President Trump to recovered Coronavirus patients: Your plasma could save lives


President Trump just visited the American Red Cross Headquarters, where he joined public health experts from across the government to discuss a promising new development in the fight against Coronavirus.

New research shows that the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients could help those who are currently battling the disease. The Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers together will receive up to $270 million from the Administration for the collection of up to 360,000 units of plasma for this purpose.

🎬 President Trump: “Donate as soon as you can!”

“We have already treated nearly 50,000 patients with plasma,” President Trump said. “Roughly 2,000,000 Americans have fully recovered from the virus.”

If you had a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19—and are now symptom-free and fully recovered—consider donating plasma to help save American lives.

These plasma treatments may work by delivering antibodies to current Coronavirus patients, helping them to fight off the virus more effectively. Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership launched by President Trump, continues to explore therapeutics while American innovators work to discover and manufacture a vaccine.

Such therapeutic supplies are being delivered by the Trump Administration to hotspots across the country. With a focus on vulnerable cities and populations, the Federal Government continues to work with state and local officials, collection centers, and hospitals to monitor at-risk areas and expand capacity as needed.

🎬 Secretary Azar: To the thousands who have donated—thank you!

“As of this week, independent community blood centers have distributed more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 convalescent plasma to patients in need,” said Kate Fry, CEO of America’s Blood Centers. She added that they are projecting to double that number by the end of August.

President Trump is making sure that bureaucratic red tape doesn’t get in the way of finding safe, effective treatments. A large Mayo Clinic study found that the use of plasma for COVID-19 is safe and could possibly result in lower mortality rates. The FDA is increasing access to plasma while studies into its effectiveness continue.

Plasma donations could mark another important step toward defeating this virus. President Trump is using every tool at his disposal during this pandemic to keep our country safe, healthy, and strong.

Learn more about donating plasma here.

MOREPlasma donations can help defeat the Coronavirus

Photo of the Day

President Trump participates in a tour of the Red Cross National Headquarters | July 30, 2020

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS PROMOTING SAFE PLASMA DONATIONS TO PROTECT AMERICANS AND DEFEAT COVID-19

Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS PROMOTING SAFE PLASMA DONATIONS TO PROTECT AMERICANS AND DEFEAT COVID-19
 
“Through the genius of our scientists, the devotion of our doctors, the skill of our workers, and the dedication of our people, we will achieve victory over the virus and emerge stronger than ever before.” – President Donald J. Trump
 
ADVANCING PLASMA DONATIONS: President Donald J. Trump is working to expand access to and encourage blood plasma donations to fight against COVID-19.
  • Under the leadership of President Trump, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked tirelessly to study the effectiveness of and increase access to plasma.
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program to quickly develop treatments, including investigational studies of the use of plasma.
  • The Trump Administration and a public-private coalition have launched websites and campaigns to raise awareness of the possible benefits of plasma and to encourage donations.
  • The Administration has also coordinated with State and local officials, as well as community leaders and celebrities, to get the message out on plasma donation.
  • The Trump Administration has also coordinated with collection centers and hospitals across the public and private sector to monitor and expand capacity and prioritize hotspots.
    • More than 14 healthcare organizations are joining the campaign, including the American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, and the American Medical Association.
HIGHLIGHTING CRITICAL TREATMENT: Plasma-based treatments have the potential to deliver antibodies to patients fighting COVID-19, a potentially game changing treatment.
  • Plasma donations are important for many Americans, including those with immunodeficiencies.
  • Donors can give plasma multiple times – providing a supply of useful antibody treatments.
  • As the race to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics continues, convalescent plasma is the first widely available antibody-based therapy for this virus.
  • While HHS continues to clinically evaluate efficacy data, a large Mayo Clinic study found that the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 is safe, and preliminary results suggest a lower mortality rate for COVID-19 patients when plasma is administered early in the disease course.
    • Convalescent plasma can also be used to make hyperimmune globulin, a potential therapeutic currently undergoing clinical trials.
SECURING EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS: This action expands on President Trump’s historic efforts to accelerate the development of vaccines and therapeutics, while ensuring their safety, effectiveness, and quality.
  • President Trump is using every resource at his disposal to develop safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics in record time.
  • Through Operation Warp Speed, President Trump is coordinating the best minds of the United States Government and private industry to quickly deliver vaccines and therapeutics to the American people.
  • Thanks to President Trump, the United States has secured 650,000 courses of the drug remdesivir, which has been shown to decrease mortality and speed up recovery time.
  • Additionally, President Trump has invested in the rapid development and manufacturing of other therapeutics – including Regeneron’s double antibody cocktail.

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP IN A MEETING WITH THE FAMILY OF VANESSA GUILLÉN

Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
IN A MEETING WITH THE FAMILY OF VANESSA GUILLÉN

Oval Office

 
1:20 P.M. EDT

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you for having us.  Thanks you for receiving us.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (As interpreted.)  It’s an honor to be here.

     (Speaks in Spanish.)

     INTERPRETER ON BEHALF OF MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  She wants your help to bring justice for what happened to her daughter and (inaudible) for her daughter.  She wants to know who’s really responsible and who was responsible for what happened to her daughter and why didn’t people act on it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.

     INTERPRETER ON BEHALF OF MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  And her daughter died.  Her daughter died in service of the country from the hand of people who are in the military.  She just wants your help to get at the truth, to get at justice -- the truth.  And this is from her heart, and she knows it’s of your heart.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I saw this on one of the shows recently, and I was just looking, and it hit me very hard.  I saw what happened to your daughter, Vanessa, who was a spectacular person, and respected and loved by everybody, including in the military.  And I invited you to the White House.

     As you know, the FBI and the DOJ are now involved.  We got them involved.  And the people at Ford Hood, where it took place, are very much involved.  We didn’t want to have this swept under the rug, which could happen.

     And so I’d like you maybe, just if you’d like for the media, to explain exactly what happened as we all understand it, but they don’t perhaps.

     MS. KHAWAM:  So, President Trump, first of all, thank you very much for hosting this family.  It’s a beautiful family that I represent.  I’m Attorney Natalie Khawam.  I’m going this case pro bono because I believe in it, and I believe in our military and I believe in justice.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.

     MS. KHAWAM:  And like you, you love the military, you love our veterans, and you have proven that today by just bringing us into your home to begin with.

     Secondly, we have formed together to figure out what happened and how it happened.  And just to give background, Vanessa was having issues internally with some of the sergeants and such hitting on her, sexually harassing her.  We don’t know how far it went because a lot of women don’t always speak up.  They just are afraid.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Other people other than the one in question, right?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Correct.  And it’s a systemic problem there.  You know, you have young kids -- boys, girls -- 18, 20, 21.  But there isn't enough protections in place because they get nervous about retaliation.

     And I learned -- I knew about the problem, but I didn’t know how severe it was.  Like I said, I thought I was picking a scab, and here I saw it is septic.  It’s terrible.  The hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen, if you go to that, you will read all these stories of these young women that serve our country, how broken they are; like, when they report it, what happens in the chain of command.  And then they get retaliated against, and they got to clean toilets and stuff like that.

     So I understand why Vanessa wouldn’t want to go report it -- formally report it.  So she did tell her family.  She told her friends.  She told some of the soldiers with her how they were -- this guy -- especially guy Aaron.

     THE PRESIDENT:  In particular him, right?  In particular.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Aaron Robinson.  Yeah, that’s correct.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Others also?

     MS. KHAWAM:  That’s correct.  So I understand that she was in a locker room, the girls’ locker room, taking a shower, and he walked in and sat there and stared at her showering -- like, just creepy.

     And, unfortunately, we believe that she was going to report him because he was with her in the room that day.  Her day off, they asked her to come in.  It makes no sense, right?  We’re not getting all the answers, by the way.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.

     MS. KHAWAM:  And he supposedly took a hammer and killed her in the room, bludgeoned her to death.  He’d go into this room -- the room is probably, like, a quarter of the size of this room.  And it’s open, so people can hear and see things.  So how no one heard her screaming, how no one saw the blood, those are, like, questions we still have.

     But when he did that to her, he carried her body out and he buried it in the river nearby.  He used a machete.

     THE PRESIDENT:  And nobody saw this?  Nobody saw it?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Nobody saw this.  Right.

     And he used a machete to cut her up with his girlfriend, and he tried to burn her body, went and -- burn.  I mean, this -- the horribleness.  I said it reminded me of, like, ISIS, what they do to our soldiers.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Yeah.  That’s right.

     MS. KHAWAM:  And we -- when I heard about this story, you know, they contacted me and said, “Can you help us?”  And I said, “Absolutely, can I help you.”  You know, these are immigrants.  You know, my family is immigrants.  You know, you come to this country, you want to serve it, you want to do the best you can.  And I didn’t want them getting railroaded.

     I know that the -- it’s hard to navigate through the military.  I know it’s hard to navigate through Congress.  And I knew that we needed to do something.  We needed a congressional investigation because there’s so many “how does that happen?”, “how did this happen?”  A lot of cover-ups.

     When I tried to work with CID, I said, “What subpoenas have you issued?  Because I’ll issue some subpoenas with you, like, to help you out,” like -- so, you know.  They wouldn’t tell me what subpoenas they issued.  They wouldn’t tell me anything.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.

     MS. KHAWAM:  So I found that it was very difficult to communicate.  There was no transparency.

So what we can do collectively is -- to get justice for Vanessa is we need reform.  We need a bill.  And, you know, I drafted a bill that -- #IAmVanessaGuillen.  Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.  Good guy.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Great guy.  Love him.  He intro- -- well, he -- it’s right now leg counsel.  But what it does is it says, “The way we have the EEOC, which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, how someone can report something -- go to the EEOC -- we’re looking for something that’s going to allow our military, our soldiers to have the same rights and protections so, that way, they’re not going to their chain of command or internally.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Right.

     MS. KHAWAM:  What they’re doing is they’re going outside the command and reporting something.  So suppose this kind of situation would have been in place, if we had this kind of bill in place, Vanessa could have reported this and they would have said, “Wait a second, this guy, Aaron Robinson, has a few of these problems.  Like, look at this guy’s…” --

     THE PRESIDENT:  So did she report anything at all?

     MS. KHAWAM:  She reported it to her family and friends and some of the soldiers.  She didn’t do a formal report.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Not to the fort, not to the people.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Right.  Not to the command, her bosses, who are also above her, who she’s saying that were sexually harassing her.

     So it’s hard to go to the boss that’s giving you problems, to report him.  You know, it’s like the fox over the henhouse.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  (Inaudible.)  Well, I want to thank you.  It’s a great explanation.

     Would you like to say something?  Please.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  I respect our military; that not all people are bad.  But the way they treat Vanessa, they treated us.  No transparency, no respect.  They did not respect our pleading.  They did not respect our pleading of my mother.  And they did not respect my sister.  Because I believe that the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen -- and we have a whole nation behind us -- that the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen would help our man and woman in the armed forces, because they are ones putting their life at risk.

     They say, “Protect our protectors.”  They deserve to be respected, to be heard, and to be honored, just like Vanessa.  Because it’s -- it’s a disgrace that when you get sexually harassed, you have to report it on to your line of command, but 80 percent of the time, the line of command is actually sexually harassing you, so you wouldn’t have the confidence nor the trust to report it.  That’s why Vanessa did not report it, because she was afraid of retaliation or afraid of judgment because she was ashamed of herself, even though the shame was the aggressor.

     And we need a change, and we need a positive change because our troops need to feel safe and need to feel respected because they're the ones putting their life at risk.  But yet, my sister was truly, deeply in love.  She said, “If I have to go station in Iraq, if I have to go to combat, I’ll die proudly because I’m a patriot and I'm serving the country.  I am protecting my own family…” --

     THE PRESIDENT:  She was in love with the country is what you're saying.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  -- “…I was serving my family.  I was protecting my family.”  But yet, she died on base.  How can this happen on a military base, where you think everything is safe, but yet the soldiers are not safe?

     So we need a congressional investigation because it's impossible that no one saw, no one heard anything.  Yet, there are people -- my sister was not supposed to go to work, yet someone sent her to work.  So if it was a day off, where were all the soldiers?  It’s -- it’s a humongous base.

     Someone had to hear, someone had to saw what was going on in that arms room, and we want to find the truth because the truth will come out.  And --

     THE PRESIDENT:  And now, as you know, the DOJ and the FBI are there and they're doing a very strong investigation, as is the Army.  So they're doing a very strong investigation, as you know.  We just started that.  It’s an incredible story.  It’s a terrible story.

     Would you like to say something?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Sure.  First, I want to thank you for taking the time, taking us in.  It's an honor to be able to meet you, and I know you're going to help us.  And, you know, honoring our sister, passing the bill.  And, of course, I want to point out how is it that her chain of command failed drastically.

     It's -- you know, the first day I arrived, I was received by Robinson himself and a couple of other males.  And I felt that they were trying --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, really?  Wow.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  -- to intimidate me, but they -- they didn't get it, and that's why we're here today.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So he took his life when?  When after this horrible event?  When did he take his life?  When was it?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Probably 17 days --

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Right before they were about to arrest him.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, I see.  So that was -- oh, I see.  So they found out, et cetera.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  He was under watch, and he just went off, and they --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Did they know right away?  Did you know right away?  Did everybody know it was him?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  I felt it.

     MS. KHAWAM:  She knew right away.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  She felt --

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  The day I went, I felt it.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  But, I mean, he was a truly coward if he killed himself.  He couldn't attempt the consequences.  I mean, think over your actions before you do something.  But he was a true coward.  But I want her leadership to be questioned.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So we’re going to look into it very powerfully, and we already have started, as you know.  And we'll get to the bottom of it, and maybe things can come out that will help other people in a situation like Vanessa.  We’ll be -- we’ll be in touch with you constantly.  We’ll be in touch with you too.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Thank you

     THE PRESIDENT:  Natalie, thank you very much.  That was great.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, please.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     INTERPRETER ON BEHALF OF GLORIA GUILLÉN:  Her daughter’s story is the story of the whole nation.  It’s (inaudible.)

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  She just said that my sister Vanessa GuillĂ©n, she's making history, whole nation, almost international, and she wants you to be a part of it because we hope to have your support.  And she said my sister, she had her whole life ahead of her, and her life was taken away in the most disgusting way anyone could take a human's life.  She wanted to be a mother.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  And everyone has a family, so everyone could feel the small pain.  And she's -- she just dreams of her and how she wants to save children.  But everyone has heart, so we expect people's compassion, we expect people to help us, and we hope to have your support in this bill.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  You will be making history within Vanessa, because we need a change, and the change is now.  And we need something positive so the soldiers feel safe to be recruited, feel safe while serving their nation, feel honored to serve their nation, but to feel respected and safe, and that's how the bill will help them.  Because not only women -- it's also men.  I have heard many stories.  And hopefully we have your support.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Because this bill will mark a whole lifetime, and that you will be in it, and you will be making history within Vanessa, and people will be so thankful and blessed for having your support.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you have our support, and we're working on it already, as you know, and we won't stop.  And hopefully something very positive will come out in honor of your sister.  Okay?  And your daughter.

     MR. GUILLÉN:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We will -- yes.  Absolutely.

     MS. KHAWAM:  And, you know, President Trump, the saddest part of this all is her funeral is around the corner.  And she won’t -- they won't have her body in the casket.  Sometimes people need closure when they see someone's face or body in a casket, and there's no body.   I mean, that's what's -- it’s horrific.

     THE PRESIDENT:  When you say “around the corner,” you mean there is -- there has not been a funeral yet?

     MS. KHAWAM:  No, not yet.

     THE PRESIDENT:  How come?

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  We're planning on it.  We're planning to have --

     MS. KHAWAM:  Did you get any of the (inaudible)?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  I was in touch with the Texas Rangers and FBI, and they told me that because the investigation was still open, they would call me as soon as I would be able to receive.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they have to do that.  I mean, it’s --

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Right.  And I feel like we should be able to --

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s no good.  We got to take care of that.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Right.  If you could -- thank you

     THE PRESIDENT:  You mean, you -- you haven't had a funeral? Because this is quite a while now.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yeah.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Right.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Because I even saw it quite a while ago.

     MS. KHAWAM: Correct.

     THE PRESIDENT:  And -- because you don't have the body yet?

     MS. KHAWAM:  No remains.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  No.  That’s all we’re --

     THE PRESIDENT:  But they have the body.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Yes.

     MS. KHAWAM:  The remains.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  That’s just a disgrace.  And how can someone be capable of doing that?  It’s just --

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, it’s a terrible thing.  When would you like to have the funeral?  When?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  As soon as possible.

     THE PRESIDENT:  As soon as possible.  I agree.  As soon as possible with the funeral.  We'll make sure -- we'll make sure that happens.  Okay, please?

     Where will you have the funeral?  Do you know?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Houston.

     THE PRESIDENT:  In Houston?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Yeah.

     THE PRESIDENT:  And if I can help you out with the funeral, I’ll help -- I’ll help you with that.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll help you out.  Financially, I’ll help you.

     MS. KHAWAM:  I think the military will be paying -- taking care of it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  They’ll do a military.  That’s good.   If you need help, I'll help you out.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Thank you, President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay?  If they need something, I'll -- we’ll take care -- we’ll make sure she is very respected.

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT: Because I -- I've seen statements about her from other people, as you know, and you don't get better statements about a person.  I see many statements about many people; I don't see statements like that.  So she was very extraordinary.  And thank you, Natalie.  Very good job.  You’re doing good.  So we’ll coordinate.

     John, do you have any questions of the family, please?  We’re going to keep this to Vanessa, right now, if we could.

     Q    I’m just wondering -- Mr. President, you’ve got the FBI, the DOJ, the DOD involved.  The family is asking for legislation in the military, similar to the EEOC in civilian life.  What can you, as President, do to try to push that process forward?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re doing that right now and we’re working, and actually, we’ve been working on it since I heard about it originally.  And we’re going to see if we can do something, representing the family, but also helping other people that are in the same position because they’re -- this is not -- you know, probably, sadly, it’s probably not that unique.  There are other people in trouble too.

     MS. KHAWAM:  That’s right.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So we’re going to look into that very strongly, John.

     Q    Is there a -- is there a culture in the military that you’re worried about?  Or what needs to happen here?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it would seem to me -- what would you think about that?  Is there a culture?  Is this a culture in the military?

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Sexually harassing a person shouldn’t be daily.  Murdering a person on a military base shouldn’t be monthly.  Like, all those bodies found in Ft. Hood.  It needs to change, and the change is now.  There needs to be transparency, and for the truth to come out -- what is happening on Ft. Hood -- and to have an investigation because, I mean, it’s impossible that no one saw, no one heard Vanessa, that saw Vanessa.  It’s impossible.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Certainly unusual.  This was, Steve, a very horrific situation.  Well, I don’t know if you -- if you read about it or saw it, but it impacted me.  I saw it and it was terrible.  And so we’re going to get to the bottom of it.  And how could it have happened where nobody knew about it at all?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Right.

     THE PRESIDENT:  They must have known.

     MS. KHAWAM:  I think there was a lot of cover-ups.  Like, for example, that guy, Aaron Robinson -- I don’t really want to call him a “guy” -- an animal.  I think that what happened, what transpired, with so many eyes and ears there, I really feel like they don’t want to think it was him.  It was like confirmatory bias.  They wanted to keep looking the other way.  And it just -- not sure why they were protecting him.

     THE PRESIDENT:  But they -- remember, they ultimately got him, and that’s when he -- he committed suicide, I guess.  But they ultimately got him, so that was -- frankly, somebody did that.  Who did that?  Who was -- who was in charge?  They didn’t let him get away with it, is what I’m saying.  And they probably wouldn’t have.

     MS. KHAWAM:  So, they issued a BOLO, which is “be on the lookout” for him, and he escaped somehow, on foot.  And I’m not sure if they gave him a hint, because how did they let the one guard who was watching him, how did he miss him?  And a second guard as much, then guards out front watching him.  Did they tell him?  Did they let him in?

     Because when they tried to issue -- you know, to detain him, for some reason, the senior attorney at the base would not allow for them to do a -- for them to -- a subpoena.  They basically couldn’t detain him because they say there was not enough facts and evidence, even though they had him -- believe it or not, they pinged his phone or something, and they knew he was at that river from one to four in the morning.  Who goes fishing at one in the morning?

     So there was a lot of, like, why would they -- why would they keep on turning a blind eye?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, look, the good thing is that he’s gone --

     MS. KHAWAM:  Right.  He’s a goner.  Right.

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- okay?  As far as I’m concerned.  The good thing: He’s gone.  Now we’re going to go in to see what happened.  Also, can we have this go on to other people to help other people --

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yes.

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- like your sister.  Right?

     Q    Last year, a soldier named Gregory Wedel-Morales disappeared from Fort Hood.  It was believed by the military that he had gone AWOL.  They didn’t launch an investigation into his whereabouts.  His remains were found not far from where Vanessa GuillĂ©n’s remains were found, and in about the same time period.  Is there a problem with the culture at that particular base, do you think, that is allowing this to happen?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me ask you, do you know about that --

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yes.

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- particular case?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yes.

     THE PRESIDENT:  What’s -- what -- what about that case?

     MS. KHAWAM:  So they found his remains while they were looking for Vanessa’s.

     THE PRESIDENT:  No kidding.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yeah.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Wow.

     MS. KHAWAM:  So he starts -- starts becoming suspect.  And so, unfortunately, you know, the family did not get any information or (inaudible) --

     THE PRESIDENT:  But are they putting that together?  Because it’s --

     MS. KHAWAM:  Now -- well, now it looks -- it all looks --

     THE PRESIDENT:  With the same guy.  He was there and then they find the other remains?

     MS. KHAWAM:  So, you know, we'll find out.  Hopefully, with the FBI -- thanks for asking them to join this case and the DOJ.  Hopefully, they'll see whether there's any kind of connection.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s a good question, John.

     Q    We interviewed the mother a couple of weeks back.

     THE PRESIDENT:  It’s an interesting question.  That you'd even know that is very interesting.  It’s impressive, actually.

     Q    Mr. President --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah?

     Q    Mr. President, you offered to help pay some of the funeral costs.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.

     Q    Have you offered to do that for other families before?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I have.  I have.

     Q    Have you -- and you’ve actually  --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Personally.  I have to do it personally.  I can't do it through government.

     Q    So you’ve written checks to help for other families before this?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I have.  I have, because some families need help.  They need help.

     I don't even know if you need help.  Maybe you don't need help, from a financial standpoint.  I have no idea what -- I just think it's a horrific thing that happened.  And if you did need help, I'm going to -- I’ll be there to help you.

     Are you using the military for the funeral though?  Or is it -- is it going to be --

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  We actually declined because my mom didn't want a military casket and stuff like that.  Vanessa is very unique, so we wanted something unique for her.  So far, a lot of people have been helping us, but it has been a rough three months.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, well, you let us know.

     MS. KHAWAM:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay?  You let us know.  That's fine.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  “It’s very painful,” is what she just said.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, there is a lot of pain here.  This is just a horrible thing.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Another horrible thing just happened.

     THE PRESIDENT:  What -- what did your mother say?

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  That CID is not a -- you cannot have confidence in them because they lied to us the first day, seeing my mom in pain.  But yet, there’s another story that CID tried to just throw it under the rug.  There was a baby that was murdered, and they threw him.  It’s just hard to say.  An innocent life -- a child -- was thrown from the bedroom, all the way from the top of the building to the floor.  And it happened on a military base.  And an innocent child died.  Why?  Why is that happening?  They have to be investigated.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So was this at Fort Hood also?

     MS. MAYRA GUILLÉN:  I believe Fort Hood, yes.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  Like, this particular person, he is stationed on Fort Hood.  He told my mother, because this is a pure example: He was -- he’s afraid to speak up.  He’s afraid to tell others because they feel that they’re going to endanger his own family.  He’s going to be -- he’s going to be in danger every day because -- why are they afraid to speak up?  Why?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We're going to find out.  Right?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Yeah.  And I would love to work with whoever --

     THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to find out.

     MS. KHAWAM:  -- it is, because I know all the stories and I know what’s happening.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll look at that too.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (Speaks in Spanish.)

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  She wants justice for Vanessa GuillĂ©n and for all those soldiers that have been found dead and being killed on a military base, and for those soldiers have been sexually harassed and don't have the opportunity to go and have confidence to report their sexual harassment.

     Because a pure example that people are too afraid to report their sexual harassment and sexual assault, and it goes far to rape, is -- and a pure example you can find articles: 2015 prostitution ring was led by a sergeant on Fort Hood, but yet, that same sergeant was leading the SHARP classes, which -- that same SHARP classes are supposed to prevent sexual harassment to happen throughout higher-rank soldiers, sergeants.  But yet, how is that possible that someone is trying to protect soldiers from sexual harassment and rape and abuse and assault, but yet you're conducting a prostitution ring?

     So the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill would have our man and woman have the confidence --

     THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

     MS. GUADALUPE GUILLÉN:  -- into reporting the sexual harassment.

     THE PRESIDENT:  So we'll look into that too, Natalie.  Okay?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Thank you, President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We're going to look into that.

     I want to thank you all for being here.  It’s a lot of courage actually.  It takes a lot of courage.  And your daughter is very respected.  And she's respected by me, and you're in the Oval Office.  Your daughter would be very proud of you right now.  She's looking down.  She'll be very proud of you.  So -- and your sister.  So we will get to the bottom of a lot of this, and maybe all of it.  Okay?

     MS. KHAWAM:  Thank you so much, President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

     MR. GUILLÉN:  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

     MRS. GLORIA GUILLÉN:  (As interpreted.) Justice for Vanessa.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Justice.  Yep.  Absolutely.  For Vanessa.  Thank you.  Thank you very much. 

                                   END            1:47 P.M. EDT

West Wing Reads First Lady: ‘Be Best’ is Advocating that Every Child Find a Loving, Safe and Forever Family

West Wing Reads

First Lady: ‘Be Best’ is Advocating that Every Child Find a Loving, Safe and Forever Family


“America’s kids need us now more than ever,” First Lady Melania Trump writes.

“The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a serious impact on America’s children and those who care for them, from parents and teachers to child welfare workers and foster families . . . We are doing all we can to establish commonsense solutions that best serve our children in the welfare system.”

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“Millions of people will continue to have access to affordable short-term health plans . . . [after a] three-judge panel of the court upheld by a 2-1 margin a Trump administration rule extending the maximum duration of a short-term plan to just under a year,” healthcare expert Sally Pipes writes in the Washington Examiner.
“The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built—a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers—blasted off for the red planet Thursday . . .
The mission will yield lessons that could pave the way for the arrival of astronauts as early as the 2030s,” Marcia Dunn reports for The Associated Press.
“While other countries talk about improving environmental indicators, the United States is doing it. In fact, we have done more to help the environment and economy during the first three and a half years of the Trump administration than the Obama administration did in eight years,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler writes in Newsweek.