Trump Coronavirus Address

The most striking policy announced in the address was a thirty day travel ban from Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom.  Trump never thinks small.  In a time of hysteria leaders must act, and Trump has acted.  Sometimes the fact of acting is more important than the actual policies, as the main concern should be to stop the hysteria.  More as reaction starts coming in to the speech.

My fellow Americans: Tonight, I want to speak with you about our nation’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world.
Today, the World Health Organization officially announced that this is a global pandemic.
We have been in frequent contact with our allies, and we are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.
This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history. I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens, and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.
From the beginning of time, nations and people have faced unforeseen challenges, including large-scale and very dangerous health threats. This is the way it always was and always will be. It only matters how you respond, and we are responding with great speed and professionalism.
Our team is the best anywhere in the world. At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years. We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrible infection.
And taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.
The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.
After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans.
To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.
There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom.
At the same time, we are monitoring the situation in China and in South Korea. And, as their situation improves, we will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening.
Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.
We are cutting massive amounts of red tape to make antiviral therapies available in record time. These treatments will significantly reduce the impact and reach of the virus.
Additionally, last week, I signed into law an $8.3 billion funding bill to help CDC and other government agencies fight the virus and support vaccines, treatments, and distribution of medical supplies. Testing and testing capabilities are expanding rapidly, day by day. We are moving very quickly.
The vast majority of Americans: The risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus. The highest risk is for elderly population with underlying health conditions. The elderly population must be very, very careful.
In particular, we are strongly advising that nursing homes for the elderly suspend all medically unnecessary visits. In general, older Americans should also avoid nonessential travel in crowded areas.
My administration is coordinating directly with communities with the largest outbreaks, and we have issued guidance on school closures, social distancing, and reducing large gatherings.
Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow.
Every community faces different risks and it is critical for you to follow the guidelines of your local officials who are working closely with our federal health experts — and they are the best.
For all Americans, it is essential that everyone take extra precautions and practice good hygiene. Each of us has a role to play in defeating this virus. Wash your hands, clean often-used surfaces, cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough, and most of all, if you are sick or not feeling well, stay home.
To ensure that working Americans impacted by the virus can stay home without fear of financial hardship, I will soon be taking emergency action, which is unprecedented, to provide financial relief. This will be targeted for workers who are ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to coronavirus.
I will be asking Congress to take legislative action to extend this relief.
Because of the economic policies that we have put into place over the last three years, we have the greatest economy anywhere in the world, by far.
Our banks and financial institutions are fully capitalized and incredibly strong. Our unemployment is at a historic low. This vast economic prosperity gives us flexibility, reserves, and resources to handle any threat that comes our way.
This is not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.
However, to provide extra support for American workers, families, and businesses, tonight I am announcing the following additional actions: I am instructing the Small Business Administration to exercise available authority to provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus.
Effective immediately, the SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories. These low-interest loans will help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus. To this end, I am asking Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $50 billion.
Using emergency authority, I will be instructing the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted. This action will provide more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy.
Finally, I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief. Hopefully they will consider this very strongly.

We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus. We made a life-saving move with early action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe. We will not delay. I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people. I will always put the wellbeing of America first.
If we are vigilant — and we can reduce the chance of infection, which we will — we will significantly impede the transmission of the virus. The virus will not have a chance against us.
No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States. We have the best economy, the most advanced healthcare, and the most talented doctors, scientists, and researchers anywhere in the world.
We are all in this together. We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.
As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.
Our future remains brighter than anyone can imagine. Acting with compassion and love, we will heal the sick, care for those in need, help our fellow citizens, and emerge from this challenge stronger and more unified than ever before.
God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you.

 

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27 Comments

  1. The only way to stop the hysteria would be to deliberately infect enough members of what passes for the media so that all of the rest would have to self-quarantine for the duration.

  2. The hysteria will pass, as all things do.
    There is a quote – don’t remember who it is from – that some men are born great, some earn greatness and other men have greatness thrust upon them.
    I’m not calling the Trump Presidency the greatest, or even great, but the man does not back down from a challenge. He actually wants to tackle the difficult and critics be damned. I consider this an admirable quality.
    At first, I was hopeful that Trump would rise to the occasion. Boris Yeltsin was a drunk and a corrupt apparatchik who Rose to the occasion and stood with the Russian people tired of Communism when the old Communists sent ranks into the Moscow streets. Trump has far exceeded that.
    He has raised good kids, too.

  3. Boris Johnson is doing a victory jig. The UK will get business from us the EU won’t and Trump’s action affirms his own immigrant restrictions to the UK (and gives a reason to continue them).
    Q: what about the Republic of Ireland? They have had free movement to and from Britain since the Treaty of 1922, but are part of the EU zone now. How will Trump’s measure treat travel from there? I’m sure Dublin was on the horn before this speech ended.

  4. Frankly, since the numbers coming out of Britain are in the same order of magnitude as France and Germany, the exemption for Britain is questionable.

    Hysteria? Aside from a handful of crazies there is little evidence of that. Most of the irrational thinking is on the other side. Even the hoarders are acting correctly if they can restrain themselves from compulsively adding to their hoards. None of us can prevent ourselves from getting sick – that is ultimately in God’s hands – but we do have it in our power to collectively slow the rate of transmission, and that will save lives.

  5. If ‘common sense’ means this is going to be no worse than seasonal flu and this is going to blow over ‘real soon now’ then common sense is delusional. Yes, full understanding of what is going on requires a statistical mindset, and most people are not capable of that (if they were we would not have STDs or gambling). I would submit that the optimists who are flat out wrong about what is happening are seeing hysteria where this is none (other than the handful of crazies, of course).

  6. Here is one mountain of evidence that cuts the other way. It has a funny cartoon in the middle. The main takeaway is that the ‘inflection point’ at which the infection rate will begin to decline is still in the future and we have little idea as to when we will see it, other than the fact that warm weather will stop it until the autumn.

  7. Don, computer modeling (yes, GIGO must be kept in the back of our minds) is that the ‘most likely’ outcome is going to be 20 times worse than the seasonal flu and 4 times worse that the last bad flu pandemics in 1957 and 1968. The ‘worst case’, far less likely outcome is the death toll will reach 75% of the 1918 flu epidemic. Unfortunately the Reddit COVID-19 site has rolled this article off and I didn’t bookmark it, and in any case it lacked enough info to critique it, but we should still take this as a indicator of what is likely to happen.

  8. You are going to be surprised Don, baring a miracle (which I concede is possible). It’s time to pray, and it’s time to do what is necessary to slow the transmission rate.

    Look at this. French MP Bruno Bonnell tweeted “Believing that stopping flights from Europe coming into your country will stop a virus is absolutely ridiculous”. Of course it is, it’s too late to contain this, and it was probably not possible anyway. (So we see another European fool in action) The point in stopping flights is to slow the transmission rate, which will ‘flatten the curve’ so that critical hospital assets are not overrun and (based on some scientific evidence) might even force the virus to evolve into a less lethal form.

  9. Don, we have a population of 43 million aged 75 or older. We have seen a high infection rate just under that of the Spanish flu (30%?) and a mortality rate in China of 15% for that age cohort (and reportedly even higher in Italy). Crunch those numbers and you get almost 2 million dead. We have to take this seriously.

    Another way to look at it: I hate to write this, but we have about a 5% chance that we will have a President Pence by summer.

  10. Don, we have a population of 43 million aged 75 or older. We have seen a high infection rate just under that of the Spanish flu (30%?) and a mortality rate in China of 15% for that age cohort (and reportedly even higher in Italy).

    And we didn’t have anti-biotics during the Spanish flu. Medicine was in the Stone Age then in comparison to where we are now.

  11. Climate Change going to kill you!

    Guns going to kill you!

    Banning abortion going to kill you!

    Wuhan Death Virus going to kill you!

    See a pattern here? Plus, the common solution is more government control over your lives and more billions for crony capitalists, crooked politicians, donors, lobbyists, et al.

    Seen elsewhere:

    Democrats At Prayer, “Please! Make the corona virus become a pandemic with widespread panic, tanking the economy and allowing us to pin it all on Trump before the election . . . O Please; O Please, O Please, . . . “

  12. And we didn’t have anti-biotics during the Spanish flu. Medicine was in the Stone Age then in comparison to where we are now.

    True, but you must be thinking ‘antiviral’ not ‘antibiotic’. Antibiotics will only help with secondary infections. But, this will be expensive: I’m seeing numbers such as $5,000 per patient.

    Again, Don we have to think statistically. I see 2 million dead in that age cohort as an upper limit. That 30% (which is really maximum exposure) is the real wild card. It could be lower, and it is entirely possible that we can act to lower it. Another factor is that we don’t know how long it is going to run. Some experts are saying it is now endemic and so we will have seasonal coronavirus just as we have had and will continue to have seasonal flu.

  13. BTW, I have the utmost respect for Dennis Prager, but he was wrong to label the stock market fluctuations as hysteria. I see them as rational responses to the huge degree of uncertainty, not just with the virus but with the total economic impact.

  14. 1918 Flu: “Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients. However the 1918 flu (Spanish Flu) in the US predominantly killed healthy young adults, e.g. soldiers amassed at military training centers for deployment overseas. Individuals between the ages of 20-40 accounted for nearly half of the fatalities. This abnormal result is believed to have been caused due to ‘cytokine storm’ in which the immune system over responds to the threat of infection. Thus the strong immune system of young adults ravaged their bodies while the population with a weaker immune system was able to recover.”
    Source: 10 Facts about the Spanish Flu and the book Influenza.

  15. Rod Dreher has done his usual Trump bashing at The American Conservative (the only thing Conservative about that site is it’s name – it should be The American Crybaby).
    The apostate Dreher tore into Trump’s address, blamed Trump for gutting the CDC and generally pandered to his echo chamber combox participants. I had no idea that I am so stupid and so badly educated due to my gereral support of Trump’s job performance until I read Dreher’s combox.

  16. That infection chart is, at best, clickbait garbage; it’s possibly flat out fear mongering, and I’m not going to give them the revenue of watching to find out which.

    You know why?

    Short reason, Washington state had two reported cases, one a death and one a just fine. It jumped to five overnight…because they decided that two people who’d die over a week before were probably infected.

    They also have regular spikes of infections when they switch from testing people who are sick to testing people who are associated with people who are sick, and keep finding totally asymptomatic cases.

    These are basic sampling errors when you’re trying to identify the rate of growth on something. You have to have a baseline, and you have to have a consistent method of testing, or the resulting chart is plain old garbage.

  17. Dreher’s cultural commentary is generally interesting, sometimes even insightful. You have to have a generous nature and allow for a good deal of forthcoming-book pimping/self promotion though.

    He’s too driven by emotion for his political commentary to be worth considering.

    I mean the guy has practically admitted Trump is all that’s standing between Christians and the anti-Christian mob, and yet there’s no anti-Trump dogpile into the middle of which he won’t eagerly jump.

    On the Wuhan virus stuff he’s been especially bad.

    Like Shea level bad.

  18. Have you ever noticed that the people who fear the Coronovirus the most are anti-God liberals? They have no Faith and however subconsciously they know exactly what they deserve. Sadly this is an old, old story.

    Revelation 9:20

    The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot either see or hear or walk; nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts.

  19. Right you are LQC. Given some of my health issues I’d be happy (but fearful, of course) to be called to Judgement. When it comes to any epidemic I fear more for others than myself, and I’m writing for their benefit.

  20. Didn’t the earliest phases of the current coronavirus outbreak overlap the impeachment mania/hysteria? Wasn’t the media pretty much wall to wall impeachment coverage during this time?

  21. You are correct.

    But then the media has been wall to wall anti-Trump since he beat Hillary. The Chinese supercold is just the latest fit to be pitched.

  22. If nothing else the panic is real and devastating. Don’t sell it short. As Catholics I think we should view this as a wake-up call from God. It is a sobering moment.

  23. What a surreal discussion. I stand with TOMD. I just flew in and returned to our farm in Philippines from Sacramento, CA, one of the cluster sites for the coronavirus and I’ve been reading and studying everything I can get my hands on for about 3 hours a day since I heard the Chinese were engaged in an emergency effort to build medical facilities to respond to the Wuhan coronavirus (as the media called it then). For those who doubt the exponential character of this virus, read about what is happening in Italy. From a few cases and “don’t worry the threat is low” a few weeks ago to emergency rooms overwhelmed, desperate triage occurring, and people dying in the hallways – and they supposedly had a good medical system. But, what the heck, that isn’t here so I guess it doesn’t matter. It struck me, TOMD, that we just had a reading about Lazarus and the rich man, where even if someone came back from the dead to warn them, the rich man’s family wouldn’t listen. Strange that the TAC family won’t listen. Some, despite you providing links to info, won’t even bother to look at it and dismissed the notion that this might be serious right out of hand. Again, a strange attitude for this group. For what it is worth, and I sadly expect not much given the heat TOMD has received, I look for info from outside the US, in the places getting hit ahead of the US. One English doctor (Dr Campbell; look him up on YouTube) who isn’t looking for “clickbait” as some dismissively contend, has been a doctor for several decades and said this is the worse thing he’s ever seen. An interview on TV Channel 4 in the UK which I happened to catch, was with a doctor who was part of the teams working on Ebola, MERS, and SARS. He said this is more dangerous than those diseases (despite their higher Case Fatality Rate – CFR) because of its unique combination of infectivity and lethality. But, wait, I forgot. He also is part of a team which works on developing vaccines. My bad – he must be looking for money instead of offering his considered opinion. Regardless, his opinion was we haven’t seen anything like this since 1918-1920. His estimate is backed up by Dr. Steven Hatfill, a noted US virologist expert in infectious diseases. I worked a little bit with him in an earlier part of my life. Oops, I’m sorry, you don’t know him or me so vouching for him won’t work either on this topic. But, what the heck, I forgot we have huge numbers of world experts in biology and tons of immunologists in the TAC group. Yet, as another surprise given the historical bent of the TAC clan, someone once wrote (I don’t know who) something along the lines that we often don’t recognize history being made when we are in the midst of it. This virus is just a supercold? Poppycock and utter rubbish – go tell that to the Dutch, French, Iranians, Italians, and others struggling to cope with the dead and dying. They don’t give a hoot about our politics – they are paying attention to this virus. Just like the flu? It is similar which is what throws some off, in that the basic transmission process seems the same as the flu and the need for stringent hygiene is also a useful defense, but after that the differences are stark. R0 rate is higher (if you don’t know what “R0” stands for you need to study more before criticizing those trying to raise awareness); CFR seems higher than the flu; age brackets of who die at higher rates are different from the flu; there is no vaccine like we (kinda sorta) have for the flu; there are no useful therapeutics; there is no “herd immunity” for this new virus (it takes around an 80% infection quota before the population has enough antibodies to fend off a virus and avoid huge medical issues – but, sorry, I am a history major and don’t understand anything at all); etc., etc. I could name multiple sites (MedCram on YouTube, for example) which have agendas to try to get good info out and not sell anything. But, weirdly, again, I sense some lemming behavior in play for some reason. Don, and the others who think this is blown out of proportion for political reasons, that factor is at play (we all see it) but that isn’t the main issue coming at us – the virus is barreling our way and it doesn’t care if you are a woman, a man, rich, poor, Republican, Independent, or Democrat; Red Stater or from a Blue State; a coastie or inland dweller; stupid or smart – it is just looking for food…it is sinking its teeth deep into Europe and seemingly Iran right now (hard to tell from Iran’s reporting but the cases in other countries such as Canada which came from Iran are stark). I don’t think it will stop there…but please forgive TOMD and I from trying to engage our team in a discussion. Got to run now and go sweep some facts under the rug…(Yep, I’m tired and angry and jet lagged but I’ve done a ton of reading on this and I see a big problem coming and I’m extremely frustrated by those who nonchalantly dismiss this as a political ploy and some mad theater made up by someone. I only wish it were so…God bless everyone. You have been an important group helping me get right with God and His church. I thank you for that. I just feel pretty bummed out right now after readying this train of comments.)

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