Here is a summary of President Donald Trump’s daily White House briefing on the coronavirus response.
Trump said his decision Sunday to extend social distancing guidelines to the end of April is based on modeling showing the peak for fatalities to arrive in another two weeks. Following the guidelines can save more than 1 million American lives.
“Our fate is in our own hands. This is a very vital 30 days.”
The sooner Americans dedicate themselves to the fight, the sooner the nation will reach the end of the crisis.
More than 1 million Americans have been tested, which he said outpaces other countries.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar:
The nation is testing nearly 100,000 samples a day. Private businesses have created over 20 test options. The FDA is responding in about 24 hours to requests for new test options.
The administration obtained 31 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine from two manufacturers, which are potential drugs to treat COVID-19. They approved a request by Battelle Memorial Institute to sterilize thousands of used protective N95 masks per day.
Trump said hydroxychloroquine is being tested on 1,100 people in New York thanks to rapid FDA approval.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA:
Point of care testing has been approved and will help on testing, especially by Abbott Laboratories. This provides results at the place where a patient is receiving care, from a hospital to a doctor’s office to a drive-by test site, within minutes, allowing for a plan of treatment to be given.
“This is truly a patient-centered approach.”
The test will be scaled up within the coming month.
Creating and approving such a test normally nine to 12 months, but took weeks.
Trump said Teva Pharmaceuticals is donating 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to hospitals.
Each Battelle sterilization machine can disinfect 120,000 N95 masks per day. Each mask can go through this process 20 times.
Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday asked American hospitals to start reporting vital data daily: total bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, ventilator capacity, vital medical supply levels.
A 2,900-bed hospital was built in about three days in New York City. The Navy ship Comfort arrived in New York. Other sites are being readied for medical care. Sixty ambulances were sent to New York. FEMA awarded $1.3 billion to New York state.
The government continues to send out personal protective equipment to the states, and Ford Motor Co. announced it was working with GE to build ventilators, among other companies. Extra equipment will be sent to European countries.