President Trump’s Remarks in White House Press Briefing on COVID-19

President Donald Trump

  • Today, My Administration has taken a momentous step toward achieving American pharmaceutical independence — a very, very big, big step — a focus of our campaign to bring America’s critical supply chains and medical manufacturing back to the USA. We’ve been working on this for a long time.
  • This is a core of our strategy to protect our people from the horrible China virus. It should have never happened. It should have never been here. They should have stopped it.
  • In the decades before I took office, foreign nations were allowed to freely plunder our factories and loot our industries, take our business out of the United States. Millions of jobs were vacuumed out. Our politicians let that happen. Our communities were stripped and shipped, in many cases, to China and all over the world.
  • Nearly four years ago, we launched a bold effort to revitalize American manufacturing, enact fair trade deals, and bring our industries back home where they belong. When the China virus landed on our shores, it became clearer than ever before that restoring American manufacturing is a core matter of national security.
  • We must never be reliant on a foreign nation for America’s medical or other needs, and that includes many other needs.
  • I just want to say that Pfizer just announced, a little while ago, that they’re combining phase two and phase three trials, and the vaccine looks like it’s really heading in a very rapid direction, in a very positive direction. First time that’s happened. They’re many months ahead of any other trial. There’s never been anything like it. It’s the fastest ever, and to me, it’s very exciting.
  • I’m proud to announce one of the most important deals in the history of U.S. pharmaceutical industries. My Administration has reached a historic agreement with a great American company — you remember this company from the good, old camera age, the old days — to begin producing critical pharmaceutical ingredients. It’s called Kodak. It’s going to be right here in America.
  • I want to congratulate the people in Kodak. They’ve been working very hard. Members of my Administration are present in Rochester right now a good place. They’re trying to finalize this groundbreaking deal, and they will be announcing this deal.
  • I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and his representatives. We’ve worked really well together on this deal. It’s a big deal. It’s going to be a great deal and a great deal for New York and a great deal for Kodak.
  • Ninety percent of all prescriptions written in the United States are for generic drugs. We have approved more generic drugs than any other administration, by far. Generic drugs can be just as good as the brand names but cost much less.
  • Yet, in less than 10 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to make these drugs. They’re currently manufactured in America, more than 50 percent, however, are made in India and China. You’ll be seeing a lot of things happening. It’s been happening, but it’s happening at a more rapid pace right now.
  • With this new agreement, my administration is using the Defense Production Act to provide a $765 million loan to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals. It’s a great name, when you think of it. Such a great name. It was one of the great brands in the world. Then people went digital, and Kodak didn’t follow.
  • Under very extraordinary leadership, they are following and they’re doing something that’s a different field, and it’s a field that they’ve really hired some of the best people in the world to be taking care of that company and watching that company watching over it. It’s a breakthrough in bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.
  • Under this contract, our 33rd use of the Defense Production Act remember when you were saying I didn’t use it enough, I didn’t use it enough? Now you heard it’s the 33rd use. We don’t talk about it all the time; we used it, and we used it as a little bit of a threat, frankly, with certain companies that weren’t doing as we were asking them to do, and it came through as both a threat and a usage. But this is our 33rd use of the Defense Production Act.
  • Kodak will now produce generic active pharmaceutical ingredients, which is a big deal. Using advanced manufacturing techniques, Kodak will also make the key starting materials that are the building blocks for many drugs in a manner that is both cost-competitive and environmentally safe. We’ll be competitive with almost all countries, and soon with all countries.
  • Once this new division is fully operational, in addition to all of the other plants that we’ve opened with other companies throughout the United States recently, it will produce as much as 25 percent of all active ingredients needed to make generic drugs in the USA. That’s a big number: 25 percent.
  • This agreement will directly create 360 new jobs at Kodak’s factory in Rochester; that’s just in the initial phase. In Minneapolis, a place I have gotten to know very well and it’s a great place. I’m very happy that we’re able to help them with the problems that they’ve had recently. I want to thank the National Guard, both state and beyond. I want to thank them for the incredible job. They went in and they did some beautiful job. They cleaned it up. You didn’t hear about the problems anymore.
  • We created thousands more jobs all across our pharmaceutical supply chains. We have now been building a very big pharmaceutical supply chain not only coming out of China, coming out of other countries also. I want to thank Peter Navarro, Adam Boehler, and Admiral Polowczyk for their tremendous work to make this deal possible.
  • Today’s action is our latest step to build the greatest medical arsenal in history. We’ll be able to do that.
  • Through the Defense Production Act and other authorities, we have invested more than $3 billion in our nation’s industrial base. We’ve contracted with companies such as Ford, General Motors, Philips, and General Electric to produce more than 200,000 ventilators by the end of this year, nearly seven times more than we would ever do in a typical year.
  • We’ve contracted with Honeywell, 3M, O&M, Halyard, Moldex, and Lidl to increase U.S. production of N95 masks. We’ve brought it from less than 40 million a month to over 100 million a month by August, and we’ll have 160 million in a very short while — 160 million a month. That’s many times what we used to do. If you go back two years ago, it’s many, many times.
  • We’re increasing domestic production of gloves by 1,000 percent. It’s 1,000 percent. We will be manufacturing 450 million gloves annually by next year.
  • We’re finalizing contracts with our textile industry to make gowns in America with American fabric, which makes a lot of our businesses happy that produce the fabric. We have 13 million reusable gowns in the Stockpile, and we’ll continue to grow that number to 72 million this fall, which is a rapid escalation indeed.
  • We made major investments in new rapid point-of-care tests. There’s nothing like the rapid point, where you get your answer in 5 minutes to 15 minutes to maybe 20, 25 minutes at the max. And we’re already at about a 50 percent level, and we’re bringing it up very substantially from there.
  • We’re growing domestic production from less than 250,000 test kits per month in May to 8 million test kits per month. There is nothing like this that has ever taken place anywhere in the world or close.
  • Through our partnership with Puritan Manufacturing and the state of Maine, we’ve increased production of test swabs from 30 million per month in June to 56 million per month now. As you remember, I went to Maine; I went to the plant where they do this. It was incredible. It was a great experience. We’ll produce over 100 million swabs per month by January.
  • We’ve dramatically ramped up production of materials needed for a vaccine and are on track to rapidly produce 100 million doses as soon as a vaccine is approved, which could be very, very soon, and 500 million doses shortly thereafter. We’ll have 500 million doses. 
  • Logistically, we’re using our military, our great military — a group of people; their whole life is based around logistics and bringing things to and from locations and they’ll be able to take care of this locationally and bringing it where it has to go very, very quickly. They’re all mobilized. It’s been fully set up.
  • A very, very talented general is in charge. When we have that vaccine, it will be discharged and taken care of. It’ll be a very rapid process all over the country. Perhaps we’ll be supplying a lot of the vaccine to other parts of the world, like we do with ventilators and other things that we, all of a sudden, have become very good at making.
  • When the China virus struck our nation, we mobilized the entire government and the private sector to acquire, source, and deliver lifesaving supplies.
  • HHS, FEMA, and the private sector combined have coordinated the delivery of more than 196 million N95 respirators, 815 million surgical masks, 20 million gloves, 34 million face shields, and 354 million gowns. That’s a lot of gowns.
  • Last week, FEMA completed a second shipment of personal protective equipment to over 15,000 nursing homes in the United States. Our big focus has been on nursing homes and senior citizens. As you know, that’s where we want to take care — we have to take care of the most vulnerable, especially if they have a medical difficulty, a medical problem — in particular, heart or diabetes. Which provided a total of 1.2 million pairs of protective eyewear, 14 million masks, 66 million pairs of gloves, and 13 million gowns.
  • We have replenished the long-neglected National Stockpile. In January, the Stockpile had 17.9 million N95 masks. Today, the stockpile has over 50 million N95 masks, and we’ll be doubling that in a very short period of time and then doubling that number.
  • We’ve shipped more than 14,000 ventilators to areas of need across the country, and we have more than 75,000 available to deploy. Not a single American who has needed a ventilator has been denied a ventilator. I you remember, early on when we were first hit with the virus, ventilators were very hard to come by, and now we’re the largest maker anywhere in the world, by far. Not only are we fully supplied and stocked, but we’re helping other nations, because ventilators are hard to build and hard to get.
  • This is just the beginning. In the coming months, we will continue the largest onshoring campaign in American history. We will bring back our jobs, and we will make America the world’s premier medical manufacturer and supplier. That’s what’s happening already. It’s been happening now for quite some time.
  • We’re seeing improvements across the major metro areas and most hotspots. You can look at large portions of our country; it’s — it’s corona-free. But we are watching very carefully California, Arizona, Texas, and most of Florida. It’s starting to head down in the right direction, and I think you’ll see it rapidly head down very soon. But if you look, California, Arizona, Texas, and, for the most part, most of Florida, it’s starting to head down.
  • In the wake of the recent mass gatherings Americans have witnessed in the streets of Portland and Seattle, we are also tracking a significant rise in cases in both metropolitan areas because of what’s been going on.
  • We, as you know, have done a excellent job of watching over Portland and watching our courthouse where they wanted to burn it down. They’re anarchists. Nothing short of anarchists, agitators. We have protected it very powerfully. And if we didn’t go there, I will tell you, you wouldn’t have a courthouse. You’d have a — you’d have a billion-dollar burned-out building.
  • We’re also working aggressively to combat the virus and Native American and Alaska Native communities. Under the CARES Act, we provided $8 billion to address the coronavirus in tribal communities, and we’ve worked very hard with tribal communities. They’re very vulnerable to this horrible plague. It’s the largest investment in Indian Country in U.S. history. There’s never been an investment that big in Indian Country.
  • We need every American to help protect our fellow citizens and prevent the spread of the disease. It’s critical that younger Americans remember that even though they are at lower risk, in fact some are in age groups are at an extraordinary low risk themselves, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others who are at higher risk.
  • I ask all Americans, regardless of background or age, to practice social distancing — which people have gotten very used to, but we have to keep doing it; remain vigilant about hygiene; avoid indoor gatherings and large gatherings, but especially indoor, especially where you have crowded bars; and that you wear a mask whenever appropriate.
  • 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.
  • We’re looking at a very powerful year next year, economically. The job numbers are looking outstanding, to put it mildly; set records. The numbers on retail sales came in two weeks ago at the highest number in the history of our country. We look like we’re heading to some very, very good economic times; that means jobs, that means stock market.
  • The stock market is already doing very well. It’s getting to a point very close to where it was when we hit with the plague. I just want to thank everybody for being here.

Topics covered in the answer and question portion of the briefing can be found here: July 28 Briefing

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