Coronavirus Task Force: California, Other States Should Purchase Medical Supplies On The Open Market
President Donald Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing to share updates on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key takeaways from the remarks:
STATES, COUNTIES AND CITIES SHOULDN'T RELY ON FEDERAL OFFICIALS FOR SUPPLIES
- President Trump said that if California Gov. Gavin Newsom or other governors can order masks, gowns, or other supplies faster than the federal government, they should do so. He also noted that medical ships were going to be sent to some areas, as well as cruise liners likely being sent to both California and New York.
- Local governments should try to purchase medical supplies on the open market before turning to FEMA, according to FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor. President Trump said that, when the federal government finds that it's competing in a bid for coronavirus supplies with states, it drops out of the bidding to allow the states to purchase those supplies directly.
- More than 195,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted so far, Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said. That number also doesn't include those conducted at hospital labs.
- Members of the task force emphasized that people who aren't showing symptoms should not be tested. The task force's Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that getting tested unnecessarily can use up needed medical supplies like masks and gowns. He added that people should put off elective procedures to help preserve the availability of medical equipment like ventilators.
THE HEALTH OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
- Vice President Pence said the member of his staff who has COVID-19 is doing well and that this person had no direct contact with him or the president. However, Pence said that he and his wife will be tested later Saturday out of an abundance of caution.
- The president said that he just took a second coronavirus test, but that he is feeling well.
- Vice President Pence said that encouraging news about the availability of ventilators will be announced Monday.
- Trump praised a major liquor maker for turning to manufacturing hand sanitizer in some Southern states. [Note: Local distilleries in Southern California are doing the same.]
SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19
We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.
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