President Donald Trump held a press conference on Friday March 13, 2020 to inform the American public on the steps the Administration has taken to help identify, care for and curb the citizens who have contracted COVID-19.
Trump said Europe has been designated as the hot spot right now. In response on Wednesday the United States suspended entry to foreign nationals who have been to Europe in the last 14 days. U.S. Citizens will be subject to health screening and self isolation for 14 days.
The president has declared a National Emergency.
Trump said the country was working under emergency plans that did not fit the new circumstances brought on by this new virus. So in response the administration has made several changes and brought the private sector and government together to work through this crisis.
On March 13 the president announced he is declaring a National Emergency which will free up over 50 billion dollars to benefit U.S. States and Territories to be used in the fight against the spread of the Corona Virus.
Trump is urging all states to set up emergency operations centers and asking all hospitals to implement their emergency preparedness plans so they can meet the needs of Americans through out this epidemic.
“The emergency orders I am issuing today will also confer broad new authority to the secretary of health and human services. The secretary of HHS will be able to immediately wave provisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers, maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients”
This includes the ability to implement Tele-health which allows patients to be seen through electronic means.
This will also wave regulations and allow hospitals to bring additional physicians from other states to help in areas with the greatest need and give healthcare facilities the ability to wave rules that reduce the ability to care for patients.
“No resource will be spared.” Trump said.
The administration has brought together private sector health professionals to help accelerate tests for COVID19 but citizens are discouraged from testing if they present No symptoms.
Google has 1,700 engineers working on a site to help citizens determine if they have symptoms of the virus and if they need to be tested.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the corona virus or COVID19 response coordinator in the White House, discussed the process for the website Google is working on. Birx said the Current approach was inadequate so the administration called on the private sector to build a program to address the issue.
Birx said she was part of the HIV response team which taught healthcare providers a lot. However a new approach to testing needed to be found.
The new approach to testing will start in a screening website facilitated by Google.
Clients and patients will fill out a screening questionnaire to determine if they could have the virus. If the answer is yes they will move down to answer questions regarding their symptoms and risk factors.
If these are present the patient would move down the interactive chart and be given the nearest location for drive through test clinics and be given the option to utilize one of these facilities.
Once a sample is given the labs will then move through the high-through-put automated machines to be able to provide test results in 24 to 48 hours.
Birx said, “That is the intent of this approach, we have seen it work just in our own United States and we want to bring this across the continent.”
The administration anticipates half a million tests to be available by the end of the weekend, 1.4 million by the end of next week and 5 million in a month.
Many CEO’s of large companies came forward to talk about steps they’re taking to help aid in the detection and treatment of the virus as well as keep their stores stocked with necessary items.
Vice President Mike Pence complimented President Trump for bringing the government and private sector together to combat the COVID19 Pandemic.
“This day should be an inspiration to every American.” Pence began. “Thanks to your leadership from early on, not only are we bringing a whole-of-government approach to confronting the Corona Virus, we’re bringing an all-of-America approach.”
Pence commended Trump for taking what he called decisive action to suspend all travel from Europe at midnight tonight, March 13.
“You put the health of America first, but you brought the best of America to address it!”
Pence joined Trump in thanking all the business representative for coming together to work with the government during this outbreak.
Some other measures discussed in the president’s press conference included suspending nursing home visits to protect elderly except in end-of-life cases and rethinking various boarder restrictions to different countries because numbers of COVID19 cases are raising quickly in some countries and dropping in others.
The CDC’s website has been flooded with visitors and the CDC is continuing to bring new information about the spread of the virus and the progress of test kits, vaccines and treatment.
“All Americans have a roll to play in defeating this virus.” Trump said the goal is to slow the spread and limit the impact of COVID19.