President Donald Trump held the latest coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Below is the full text.
President Donald Trump:
Well, thank you very much and good afternoon.
Today, I want to provide an update on our response to the China virus and what my administration is doing to get the outbreak in the Sun Belt under control, seems largely in Sun Belt, but could be spreading.
My team is also working night and day with Capitol Hill to advance the next economic relief package. We’re working very hard on it. We’re making a lot of progress.
I also know that both sides want to get it done. We’ll call it Phase Four. I think we’re going to get it done. We’ll protect our workers, our schools, and our families, and protect them very strongly.
As one family, we mourn every precious life that’s been lost. I pledge in their honor that we will develop a vaccine and we will defeat the virus. We’re doing very well with vaccine development and therapeutic development.
But I want to thank our brave doctors and nurses and frontline responders. The job they do is incredible and they are truly brave.
My administration will stop at nothing to save lives and shield the vulnerable, which is so important. We’ve learned so much about this disease and we know who the vulnerable are and we are going to indeed shield them.
And again, the vaccines are coming and they’re coming a lot sooner than anyone thought possible, by years. If you look at the old system and look at the new system, I think by years.
The China virus is a vicious and dangerous illness, but we’ve learned a great deal about it and who it targets. We are in the process of developing a strategy that’s going to be very, very powerful. We’ve developed as we go along.
Some areas of our country are doing very well. Others are doing less well. It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better. Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is. It’s what we have.
You look over the world. It’s all over the world. And it tends to do that.
The governors are working very, very hard and we are supporting them 100%. Everything they need they get, and we are taking good care. We have tremendous supplies and a great supply chain, whether it’s ventilators or gowns or just about anything they need. So that’s a big difference from inheriting very, very empty cupboards.
The median age of those who succumb to the China virus is 78 years old. Roughly half of all deaths have been individuals in nursing homes who are long term care.
In one study, 90% of those hospitalized had underlying medical conditions, whether it’s heart or diabetes, but usually it’s some kind of a condition. It seems that people have that and if they do, it’s a problem, no question about it.
Young adults may often have mild or even no symptoms. They won’t even know they’re sick. They won’t have any idea that they have a virus. They won’t have any idea at all.
America’s youth will act responsibly. And we’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask. Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get.
Data shows children have the lowest fatality risk. 99.96% of all virus fatalities are in adults. Think of that. So that’s much, much, much less than 1% for children, young people.
By understanding these risk profiles and learning how to treat the disease, we’ve been able to greatly reduce mortality in the United States. In fact, we’ll show you a chart and how well we do, compared to the rest of the world. We have several treatments already available that significantly reduce the severity and duration of the disease, including Remdesivir, which has been very successful, and a widely available steroid treatment.
And we have many more happening and coming out. We’ve learned best practices for treatment of the virus at every stage and have shared these findings with medical providers, and we’ve shared them all over the world, that the relationship with other countries has been very strong.
We’re all working together. This includes ensuring all hospitals are aware of the importance of different approaches to oxygen treatment including high flow oxygen, the importance of steroid treatment for those on ventilators.
And when you’re on a ventilator, we’ve learned a tremendous about the use of the ventilator. And at the beginning, people never had an experience like this, where we needed so many ventilators so fast, and even the use of the ventilators. But the doctors… and nurses and helpers have become incredibly good at the use of a ventilator, which is actually a very complicated procedure.
And allocating Remdesivir to hospitals based on new admission since it works best early in hospitalization. And that’s something that they’ve really started. They’re using it much earlier.
Fatalities nationwide have fallen 75% since mid-April. That’s a great number. As cases and fatalities rise in certain hard-hit states, which you’re looking at right now, we’re surging personnel, supplies and therapeutics. We again have tremendous amounts of supplies. We are in very good shape and we can move them quickly.
Our case fatality rate has continued to decline and is lower than the European union and almost everywhere else in the world. If you watch American television, you’d think that the United States was the only country involved with and suffering from the China virus.
Well, the world is suffering very badly, but the fact is that many countries are suffering very, very, very badly, and they’ve been suffering from this virus for a long time. We’ve done much better than most.
And with the fatality rate at a lower rate than most, it’s something that we can talk about, but we’re working again with them because we’re helping a lot of countries that people don’t even know about.
I get calls all the time asking for help, especially as it pertains to the ventilators. They need help with ventilators. They have to get them. They’re very hard to get. We’re making thousands now a month, thousands of ventilators a month. It’s been quite amazing.
We keep doing the good job and things will get better and better. We’ll be putting up charts behind me showing different statistics and different rates of success. And I guess you could say also things that we can do better on, but you’ll see them. They’ll be put up as we go.
In April, the average age of individuals who tested positive for the virus was over 50 years old. Today, the average age is significantly younger. Hospital lengths of stay are almost half of what they were in April. So the stays are about half.
The rate of cases requiring hospitalization has been reduced. And mortality among those admitted to the hospital is nearly one half of what it was in April.
We’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned a lot about this disease, how to handle it. The doctors have learned a lot, not only in the use of the ventilators, but in many other things and things are happening, too, like the Remdesivir and other elements, steroids, etc.
But these trends could change without our continued and relentless focus and that’s what we have. We have a relentless focus and it’s been that way from the beginning, but we’ve learned so much.
As you know, in recent weeks, we’ve seen a concerning rise in the cases in many parts of our south. If you look at south, southwest and west, this growth in cases first began to appear in mid-June, primarily among 18 to 35 year olds, many of whom were asymptomatic.