President Trump took center stage Thursday afternoon, praising Pennsylvanians for practicing great social distancing measures that curbed the spread of coronavirus — declaring the death toll would’ve topped 2 million — had those guidelines been ignored.
What’s more, the president reveals he lost five friends to the disease, shutting down all flu comparisons.
“We had the greatest year ever, and then we had to turn it off. Artificially induced. We had to turn it off,” President Trump said during a visit to Owens & Minor, Inc. Distribution Center
in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The visit was exclusive to staff and few invitees.
“Oh, that social distancing. Look at you people all spread out, six feet. That’s pretty impressive,” President Trump joked in all seriousness.
“But it’s good. And they’re good, and they’re doing a great job, frankly.”
Your Content was first to report on Mar. 23 that Gov. Wolf signed an Executive Order asking Pennsylvanians stay at home. The Order includes mandatory business closures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“And if we didn’t do that, we would have lost 2 million people instead of — whether it’s 95,000, 100,000, one is too many,” President Trump said.
“But we would have lost 2 million people, maybe more than that, maybe somewhat less.”
“It wouldn’t be sustainable. People would have said: ‘What’s going on over here?’” President Trump continued.
“Multiply it. As bad as you’ve seen it.”
The state dodged the first wave of the disease, making many uneasy and eager to return to work.
Now — both President Trump and Governor Wolf are working to ensure the state reopen while curbing the potential spread.
“We have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit,” said President Trump. “You have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected, and they have — they want to keep them closed. Can’t do that.”
Unbeknownst to the president, Gov. Wolf was in the midst of moving 13 additional counties into the ‘yellow phase’ of reopening the state.
Now, 37 of 67 counties have transitioned into the yellow phase and sources say the governor intends on announcing additional transitions later today.
“We are bending with the curve, we are having some success – and half the counties in Pennsylvania tomorrow will be open and there will be more coming,” Gov. Wolf said during a phone conference with reporters Thursday.
“We have a common enemy — the virus. I recognize that we can all have differences in opinion on how we do this, we are in uncharted territory here, but we all have the same goal: to stay safe and to defeat this virus,” Gov. Wolf continued.
“I really am honored to be with the extraordinary workers of Allentown,” President Trump said. “Every day you prove that American workers are truly the best in the world, and that’s what they are. And we’re showing that now.”
Trump, upbeat, alongside his entourage were led around by Owens and Minor staffers, who briefed the president on how the operation works.
With Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” playing, President Trump approached reporters and noted: ““Most of this equipment is made in the USA. That’s the way we like it.”
“It’s called ‘America First.’ We want America first. We love the world. We want America first.“
The president revealed a groundbreaking initiate to replenish and modernize the U.S. Strategic National Stock Pile.
“The cupboards were bare You’ve heard me say it a lot. When we came into this administration, those cupboards were bare.
“I’ve come to this major medical supply distribution hub because the workers here at Owens & Minor have a critical role in this national effort. And it’s a critical role that you’ve fulfilled incredibly well, or I wouldn’t be here. I would have found someplace else
“We’re starting to make more and more product in the United States.”
“But they’re talking about so much of the product now is made in the USA, whereas in the past, it wasn’t. It wasn’t. But they were talking about 90 percent — 80 to 90 percent is made — of what you distribute is now made in the USA, and that’s taken a long while for us to get it”
“You know, you can say what you want about the flu, but I’ve never lost anybody to the flu that I knew.” President Trump revealed.
“I’ve been I’ve had people — friends — they have the flu and they’re sick. They don’t feel good. And you call up: ‘How you doing?’”
“You know, three days, two days, a week later, they’re fine. Nobody ever said they died. But I’ve lost five people that I know.”
“Two people were very good friends of mine. And you call up two days later: ‘How are they doing? Sir, they’re in a coma.’”
“You know, three days, two days, a week later, they’re fine. Nobody ever said they died. But I’ve lost five people that I know.”
“I said: ‘They’re in a coma?’ Now, they were older. I wouldn’t say they were in the greatest of health. I wouldn’t say their weight was perfect. Not perfect. But they’re gone. So it’s just a terrible, terrible thing.” President Trump said.
“From the moment this terrible virus reached our shores, each of you has worked relentlessly to get the vital supplies to our healthcare warriors. And they are warriors, aren’t they?” President Trump said.
“When you see them going into those hospitals and they’re putting the stuff that you deliver. But they’re wrapping themselves, and the doors are opening, and they’re going through the doors, and they’re not even ready to go through those doors. They probably shouldn’t. But they can’t get there fast enough.”
“They’re not even ready to go through those doors. They probably shouldn’t. But they can’t get there fast enough.”
“They’re running into death just like soldiers run into bullets, in a true sense.”
“I see that with the doctors and the nurses and so many of the people that go into those hospitals. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
“But I really call them ‘warriors.'”
“We’re all warriors; everyone in our country is a warrior. We have to be because of what happened. And it should have never happened.”
“It should have been stopped at the source.”
PRES. THANKS PA
“You’re driving forklifts, staging pallets, packing, picking, loading, and shipping all sorts of things all over these primarily three states. Since February, you have deployed an amazing 1.75 million N95 respirators — and you make them now yourselves — 3.4 million gowns, 80 million gloves, and much more,” said President Trump.
“And on behalf of our nation, I want to thank you because you’re making America proud. We really do — we thank you very much.”
“Now as our country begins a safe and gradual reopening, we’re launching a monumental effort to replenish and rebuild the Strategic National Stockpile.”
“We also did that, by the way, with fuel. When oil went down, we replenished our Strategic National Reserve.”
President Trump continued: “Our effort begins by dramatically increasing our reserves. Instead of one to three weeks’ worth of supplies, which we had less than that, the U.S. government will now stockpile three whole months, much of it made in the USA.”
“My goal is to produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world, and that includes medicines.”
— Full Transcript
2:56 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, that social distancing. Look at you people all spread out, six feet. That’s pretty impressive. But we like it the old way a little bit better, don’t we?
And we’ll be back. We’ll be back to that soon, I think. I really believe it. And we were received by thousands and thousands of people coming in. And they came in from all over and all the way from the airport to here. It was really something special. So it was really great.
Sit down. Let’s have a little fun, and we’ll talk, and then we’ll talk about the business and the great job that you’re doing. And we really appreciate you being here. Thank you very much. I’m honored.
In the heart of the Lehigh Valley — now, just so you know, I have brother who is a great brother. Passed away a long time ago. Fred. And he went to Lehigh University. I’ve been up here many times actually. And I gave a commencement address years ago at Lehigh University. It’s a great school. But whenever I think of this area, I think about my brother.
But I really am honored to be with the extraordinary workers of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Every day you prove that American workers are truly the best in the world, and that’s what they are. And we’re showing that now. We’re starting to make more and more product in the United States.
I was with some of your representatives. Associates, they call themselves. I don’t know — I assume if they’re associates, you’re all making the same money. I hope so. (Laughter.) They call themselves associates. Sounds nice, right? More and more I see that. But it’s good. And they’re good, and they’re doing a great job, frankly.
But they’re talking about so much of the product now is made in the USA, whereas in the past, it wasn’t. It wasn’t. But they were talking about 90 percent — 80 to 90 percent is made — of what you distribute is now made in the USA, and that’s taken a long while for us to get it.
I started that right from the beginning.
It’s probably one of the major reasons that I’m here.
It’s called “America First.” We want America first. We love the world. We want America first.
Today we’re announcing a groundbreaking initiative to replenish and modernize our Strategic National Stockpile. The cupboards were bare. You’ve heard me say it a lot. When we came into this administration, those cupboards were bare.
I’ve come to this major medical supply distribution hub because the workers here at Owens & Minor have a critical role in this national effort. And it’s a critical role that you’ve fulfilled incredibly well, or I wouldn’t be here. I would have found someplace else. (Laughter.)
And thank you for those beautiful hats. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Thank you very much.
From the moment this terrible virus reached our shores, each of you has worked relentlessly to get the vital supplies to our healthcare warriors.
And they are warriors, aren’t they?
When you see them going into those hospitals and they’re putting the stuff that you deliver.
But they’re wrapping themselves, and the doors are opening, and they’re going through the doors, and they’re not even ready to go through those doors.
They probably shouldn’t.
But they can’t get there fast enough.
And they’re running into death just like soldiers run into bullets, in a true sense.
I see that with the doctors and the nurses and so many of the people that go into those hospitals. It’s incredible to see. It’s a beautiful thing to see. But I really call them “warriors.”
We’re all warriors; everyone in our country is a warrior. We have to be because of what happened. And it should have never happened. It should have been stopped at the source.
But each of you has worked relentlessly to get those supplies to our healthcare warriors and all across the hospitals, and specifically for this plant, in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
As you know, the pandemic has inflicted profound hardship, especially in the areas that you serve. Within one heartbeat, America grieves for every life and every family, all of those that have been lost and all over the world. A hundred and eighty-six as of this morning — 186 countries.
What a horrible shame.
And we thank God for the courage of those on the frontlines. And you make it possible for them.
Just as the men and women of Allentown have done in every generation — I know it well — the workers at this facility have answered the call in America’s hour of need. Many of you are working long before dawn. You get up and you go to work, and long after midnight. I know your hours. I was talking to your people and your representatives. They say, “You wouldn’t even…” — I’m saying, “What are the hours?” They said, “You won’t even believe it.” I said, “But I work those hours too. We all work. We’re all working hard.”
You’re driving forklifts, staging pallets, packing, picking, loading, and shipping all sorts of things all over these primarily three states. Since February, you have deployed an amazing 1.75 million N95 respirators — and you make them now yourselves — 3.4 million gowns, 80 million gloves, and much more.
And on behalf of our nation, I want to thank you because you’re making America proud. We really do — we thank you very much. Thank you all. Thank you. (Applause.)
I’m grateful to Owens & Minor president Edward Pesicka, along with your chief operating officer Jeff Jochims.
We’re also joined by Secretary Alex Azar, doing a terrific job. And your statement to the press today was fantastic. He made a very impassioned, strong, powerful statement today.
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. Pete, thank you very much. Great job. Fantastic job. You’re dealing directly. And you and Admiral John Polowczyk. Where’s the Admiral? Admiral? Great job. Thank you very much. Are they doing a good job here, Admiral? Huh? Good. When the Admiral says “yes,” that means you’re doing a good job. (Laughter.)
And the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Adam Boehler. Thank you, Adam. Fantastic.
Every incredible worker here today is part of the greatest mobilization of American society since World War Two. You know that, right? We’ve done things with generators and ventilators and so many different things. We’re making products that nobody ever thought we’d ever need in any mass form.
Ventilators is the biggest thing. We made plenty of ventilators, which was very little in the country, because most hospitals didn’t need very many. And all of a sudden, they said, “We need hundreds of thousands of ventilators. We need the kinds of numbers that you wouldn’t believe.” And we were mobilized, and with Adam and with the Admiral and with all of these people, and Jared — somewhere, Jared is here.
What they did is incredible. We brought geniuses in from Silicon Valley. And all of a sudden, within a short period of time, we had 11 plants out making ventilators. And you wouldn’t believe what it is. And now we’re — we have so many. Every state has more than they need.
We filled up our stockpile. We have over 10,000 now. And we filled it up. We’re ready to go in case anything happens, but I don’t think anything will happen where you’re going to need any more. And we’re now helping other countries with ventilators because nobody can make — you know, you can’t make them. They’re very tough to make, very expensive. They’re — I say it’s tougher than making a car. And we make the best ventilator too.
So we — they’ve done a fantastic job. And two months ago, you couldn’t get a ventilator. We were left virtually none.
Over the past few months, the federal government has partnered with Owens & Minor and other distributors to launch the very successful and historic Project Air Bridge, which is really being thought of and spoken of in glowing terms. Nearly 150 flights have brought 95 million masks, 16 million gowns, and 921 million gloves to America. Can you believe that? Nine hundred and twenty-one million gloves. It’s not even conceivable.
Guided by our team, workers like you distributed over 1 billion pieces of protective gear to places in need. A truly remarkable accomplishment. After meeting the immediate demand, we’ll be transforming and transitioning from Project Air Bridge to Sealift, where we’re using big ships, giant ships. It’s less expensive, and they can carry a lot more. And we don’t need the speed anymore because we’re very stocked up.
Now as our country begins a safe and gradual reopening, we’re launching a monumental effort to replenish and rebuild the Strategic National Stockpile. We also did that, by the way, with fuel. When oil went down, we replenished our Strategic National Reserve.
And we got it for a great price. Would you believe what went on with fuel? But now it’s starting to go back, and we’re saving our energy industry, because people didn’t need too much gasoline when there were no cars on the road.
And I said to the governors — I said, “You know, there are no cars on the road. This is a good time to fix your highways. Fix your highways now.” Some did and some didn’t. Right? They didn’t. They were worried that two people working 35 feet away from each other or driving a tractor, or whatever they might be doing, they’ll catch the virus.
But the ones that did were really helped because you went from being these massive traffic jams to having no traffic. And I can tell you Florida was a state. Great governor. And Ron was — was — he told me he; he said, “I’m doing it.” I said, “That’s a good thing.” Not everybody did it. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Governor of Florida.
But some did, and they’ve saved tremendous amounts of money. And, in rush hour, they’re building and they hardly had to close a lane. So, you know, there are a lot of good things you can do. But some — some people decided not to do that.
Under the previous administration, the Stockpile was depleted and never fully refilled. Most of the N95 masks were distributed during the N1H1. Now, you know who says that, right? “N1H1.” Who says that? Sleepy Joe Biden. (Laughter.)
Remember? He said the “N1H1.” I said, “Isn’t it the other way around?” They said, “Yes, sir.” But he said it, so it doesn’t make any difference. (Laughter.)
But during the H1N1 — and that’s the swine flu — and it was a pandemic in ’09 that was not well handled at all. It got very poor marks.
Never again will another President inherit empty shelves or expired products. At least — hopefully, in five years you’re talking about. It may be 9 years, it may be 13 years. But you’ll never have to deal with empty shelves, and you’ll never have to deal with a depleted military. The military that we took over was depleted and in horrible shape. We’ve now spent $1.5 trillion rebuilding our military. We have the strongest military we’ve ever had, by far. And this is a good time to have it too. And all of the product was built in the USA.
But I’m determined that America will be fully prepared for any of the future outbreaks, of which we hope there’s going to be none. Who would have thought? 1917. It could have been up to 100 million people were killed, and that was the Spanish flu. In 1917, who would have thought this was going to happen? That’s over 100 years ago.
Our effort begins by dramatically increasing our reserves. Instead of one to three weeks’ worth of supplies, which we had less than that, the U.S. government will now stockpile three whole months, much of it made in the USA.
My administration has already awarded contracts for approximately 200,000 ventilators, which we’re building ourselves. And now that we’re restocking, all of those great things are happening with ventilators.
My administration has also ordered 800 million N95 respirators and face masks. Face masks also we’re making here. I was — last week, I was at Honeywell — a great company, high-tech company — and they’re making masks. And they’re making face masks. They’re making a lot of different things that three months ago they never even thought about. They’ve geared up.
It’s incredible what some of the companies have been able to do. You’ve seen that. What Honeywell has done — incredible job they’ve done. But many of them are manufactured by Owens & Minor. Many of the things that we’re doing and delivering happily to places that were not able to get it, done by Owens & Minor.
Thanks to a major investment in Del Rio, Texas, your company plans to produce an astounding 20 million N95 masks per month. That’s more than you do here. I don’t know, are you going to take that? I don’t think so. That won’t last long, right? But think of that: Twenty million N95 masks per month. And that’s going to be very shortly.
Next, my administration is taking action to modernize the stockpiles during this crisis. Admiral Polowczyk and his team built a cutting-edge system that allows the federal government to integrate seamlessly with our nation’s largest distributors to procure, produce, and deliver astonishing quantities of supplies where they’re needed the most. We have an incredible system. Hope we’re not going to need it, but it’s there, right? It’s there. It’s there like nobody would even believe.
And the press doesn’t ever talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it. There they are, right there. They don’t want to talk about it. They are a disaster. (Laughter.) But that’s okay. The people understand, and that’s all that really matters, when you get right down to it.
Going forward, we’ll build on this system to create a stockpile that is not only the best resourced in the world, but also evolves, to meet all of the new threats that can happen — things that you’re not even thinking about right now.
We’ll continue to partner with American industry and distributors, like you, to help manage and rotate our vastly expanded inventory. The final step in rebuilding the stockpile is to bring critical manufacturing permanently back to America. Wouldn’t that be nice? Right? We’re doing it, and we’ve been doing it.
My goal is to produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world, and that includes medicines. It’s very important. Too reliant on other countries. And I’ve been saying that for a long time, long before I became elected President, right? He knows. He’s been hearing it.
To this end, earlier today I signed an executive order — just signed it — invoking the Defense Production Act to grant new authority to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Just a little while, on the plane. This federal agency normally invests in economic development projects in other countries. I said, “How about investing in our country?” We invest in other countries.
Globalists. You know what a globalist is? They want the globe to do well, but they don’t care about us. Now we want everybody to do well. But we have to take care of America first. It’s got to be America first. And you know what? Other countries say their country first. Why wouldn’t they do that? But we didn’t do that. We had a bunch of globalists; they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.
But under my order, it will now also invest in our country, helping to bring vital factories, pharmaceutical producers, and most importantly, jobs back home, where they belong. Now, we had the greatest economy in the world. We had the best job numbers we’ve ever had. We had almost 160 million people working. And we were never even close to that. The best unemployment numbers we’ve ever had. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American had the best job numbers in history — in the history of our country. They never did so well.
Best income numbers. Best stock market numbers. 401(k) numbers. The good part is the stock market is — because they know — we know what we’re doing, the stock market is ready to move. Never went down like a lot of people said: “Wow, it’s at 23-, 24,000.” It was 29,000. It never went down like people would have assumed, because they know what’s happening. They know smart people — a lot of smart people, they know what’s going to happen. We’re going to have an amazing next year. One of our best.
But we had the greatest year ever, and then we had to turn it off. Artificially induced. We had to turn it off. And if we didn’t do that, we would have lost 2 million people instead of — whether it’s 95,000, 100,000, one is too many. But we would have lost 2 million people, maybe more than that, maybe somewhat less. But think of it: Even if it was a little less, multiply what we have by 20 or by 15. It wouldn’t be acceptable. It wouldn’t be sustainable. People would have said, “What’s going on over here?” Multiply it. As bad as you’ve seen it.
And, you know, you can say what you want about the flu, but I’ve never lost anybody to the flu that I knew. I’ve been I’ve had people — friends — they have the flu and they’re sick. They don’t feel good. And you call up, “How you doing?” You know, three days, two days, a week later, they’re fine. Nobody ever said they died. But I’ve lost five people that I know. Two people were very good friends of mine. And you call up two days later: “How are they doing?” “Sir, they’re in a coma.” I said, “They’re in a coma?” Now, they were older. I wouldn’t say they were in the greatest of health. I wouldn’t say their weight was perfect. Not perfect. But they’re gone. So it’s just a terrible, terrible thing.
In my administration, we believe in two beautiful rules: Buy American and hire American. This afternoon, I also have great news on testing. You know, we’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody has ever done it before. We cannot get any, and we cannot get the press to write about it or write fairly about it. And nobody has ever done. We’ve done double what anyone else — if you add up all of the countries in the world, we’ve done more testing than all of the countries in the world added up together. Nobody has ever done anything like that. And we have the best tests.
We have tests that, two months ago, didn’t even exist. Our great companies came up with things — Abbott Laboratories and so many others. They came up with things that — Roche — they came up with things that nobody even believes. So we have the best testing in the world. It could be that testing is, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is overrated. But whatever they start yelling, “We want more. We want more.” You know, they always say, “We want more. We want more” — because they don’t want to give you credit. Then we do more and they say, “We want more.”
But we have the greatest testing in the world. But what we want is we want to get rid of this thing. That’s what we want. We want to get rid of this thing.
This afternoon, I also have great news on that testing. America has now conducted its 10 millionth test. That’s as of yesterday afternoon. Ten million tests we gave. Ten million. And CVS has just committed to establish up to 1,000 new coronavirus testing sites by the end of this month. And the 10 millionth will go up very, very rapidly.
And don’t forget: We have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense. So we test much more many, many times.
South Korea you hear about. I spoke with the President of South Korea. I spoke with many different presidents, prime ministers. They can’t believe what we’ve been able to do on testing. They can’t believe what we’ve been able to do on ventilators. We’re sending them ventilators — other countries — Italy, Spain. Other countries. France is having tremendous problems. Tremendous problems. We’re helping them with ventilators. They can’t believe the job we’re doing.
And it’s not me; it’s the people — all of these people. But it’s the people that are doing it, and they have to be given the proper credit for what they’ve done, because what they did is a miracle. No other country in the world has done what we’ve done. And they feel very free now to call us because they need help, especially with the ventilators, because that’s hard. That’s not a cotton swab. That’s a very hard thing. A very, very hard thing to produce.
Joining us today are a few of the workers who have kept our hospitals supplied through this crisis and take part in a great, great rebuilding that’s going forward. I say it’s the “transition to greatness.” The transition is the third quarter. The fourth quarter is going to do very well. And next year is going to be through the roof. We have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit. You have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected, and they have — they want to keep them closed. Can’t do that.
Dennis DiCarlo is a Marine Corps veteran who served our country in the Gulf War and Somalia. Now he continues that spirit of service as an operations supervisor.
And, Dennis, please come up and say a few words. Come. Thank you. (Applause.) Thanks, Dennis.
MR. DICARLO: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to first start by saying thank you to all my teammates out there. We’ve — we’ve had a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. And I want to say thank you to you guys. You guys are the ones who did this, so thank you. (Applause.)
I know we’re in a crisis situation with our country. And, you know, people have asked me how it’s changed. For us, it’s almost, with little modifications, it’s day-to-day business for us as dealing with the medical supplies. But I feel the one emphasis is on the seriousness. And whenever you’re dealing with the medical field, it’s — it’s a serious thing. But there’s — it’s exponentially grown with what we’re dealing with now. And if we make a mistake, it’s amplified. So, yeah.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you’ve done a fantastic job. They all like you. Do you like him? Huh? (Laughter and applause.) Fantastic.
MR. DICARLO: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Hey, Dennis, thank you. Good job. Good man. Give him a hand. Come on. (Applause.) I could see they like you, Dennis. They were told to be very low key. When you walked up, they said, “We don’t care. We’re clapping for Dennis.” Thank you. (Laughter.) I saw what went on there.
Eric Yost is a distribution teammate who’s now in his 26th year with Owens & Minor. And he says he has never been prouder of your work right here in Allentown. We love Allentown. I love Allentown. Eric, please come up. (Applause.)
MR. YOST: Wow, wait a minute. I’m, like, short. (Laughter.) Okay. Sorry about that.
Yes, I want to thank you also. If it wouldn’t be for this great team of Owens & Minors all over the nations, we wouldn’t be here today. I want to thank you all. Thank you again. (Applause.)
The 26 years that I’ve been here, we started off kind of small, back when Stuart was transitioning over to Owens & Minors. To make a long story short, we started with little stickers. And modern technology today revolved to where we have RFs, and we’re better to equip the hospitals a lot quicker and pick it, receive it real fast.
And then when this coronavirus came into place, we had to really react. And we did a great job on that. I mean, think about all them numbers that the President threw out there. I mean, that’s a phenomenal job. We brought it into this building. We got it in. We got it out. We got it to the hospitals that were in dire need of all this.
And my hat definitely goes off to all you guys. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. That’s great. Thank you very much.
Carol Timm is a safety and training coordinator who has taken on extra duties during the emergency.
Carol, please come up. Thank you, Carol. (Applause.)
MS. TIMM: It’s an honor to share the stage with you.
THE PRESIDENT: My honor.
MS. TIMM: It really is. And I think everybody knows I’ve been so excited about your visit. (Laughs.) I’m the safety training coordinator, and my job is to make sure everybody goes home at the end of the day, which is very important to everyone’s family. It’s important to America because it’s important for these people to show up the next day, because these are the unsung heroes that save lives every day, and they do it humbly. (Applause.)
Mr. President, I wish you could have been here when we get the order to start transporting the masks and the gowns and everything that needs to go out to these hospitals. When that order came in, teammates from all different shifts just stopped without hesitation and they flowed like magic in this facility. It was amazing to be able to see that, and they did phenomenal. (Applause.
And you mentioned about their hours. They don’t stop working until the job is done because everything they do today saves a life tomorrow. So they’re awesome, awesome Americans. So, thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you, Carol. Great job, too.
And you’re really blessed in this state with some tremendous congressmen who’ve really worked hard and been really incredible teammates.
Sean Parnell is going to be fantastic, too. I hope that all works out. But he’s going to be — he’s an outstanding person. But they really work very hard. And I could say that some don’t and some do. In this state, you have a lot of hard workers, so you’re very well represented.
But I want to thank you all, because for generations, American greatness was made, forged, and won in places like Bethlehem and Easton. It’s the home of Larry Holmes, right? Larry Holmes. Is he still in Easton?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah!
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, good. Well, say hello. He was some fighter, huh? He used to talk about Easton. That’s great. Say hello to Larry. In Allentown, your ancestors in this region are the patriots who mined the coal, loaded the rail cars, and poured the steel that built our biggest cities and raised our tallest towers. I built some of them. It’s — this is the place. This is where it starts.
In the 20th century, Pennsylvania workers helped put America on top of the world. Now we’re reclaiming our heritage as a nation of manufacturers. You saw how good those numbers were — going up, up, up. We’re going to have an interruption, but you watch what happens, starting in the fourth quarter — probably starting in the third quarter a little bit, the transition quarter. But you’ll be — we’re going to be bigger and better than ever. We’ve learned a lot. We’ve also learned not to rely on others so much. Let’s do it ourselves. Let’s build it ourselves. Let’s make it ourselves.
But you’re going to be a nation of manufacturers, and Pennsylvania workers will once again — you’re going to lead the way. With your help, we will vanquish the virus. We’re going to vanquish the plague. I call it the “plague” because that’s what it is.
We’ll get our nation back to work, and we will build our glorious future with American hands and American grit and American pride, your heart. I want thank you to everyone at Owens & Minor. I want to thank you for this great area of the world. As I told you, I think of Fred. Fred — my brother Fred.
God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 3:25 P.M. EDT
The yellow phase orders were amended to include 13 counties moving to the yellow phase at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, May 15.
Those counties include:
- Allegheny County
- Armstrong County
- Bedford County
- Blair County
- Cambria County
- Fayette County
- Fulton County
- Greene County
- Indiana County
- Somerset County
- Washington County
- Westmoreland County
The 13 counties join 24 counties that moved into the yellow phase on May 8:
- Bradford County
- Cameron County
- Centre County
- Clarion County
- Clearfield County
- Clinton County
- Crawford County
- Elk County
- Erie County
- Forest County
- Mercer County
- Montour County
- Northumberland County
- Potter County
- Snyder County
- Sullivan County
- Tioga County
- Union County
- Venango County
- Warren County
An announcement on additional counties is anticipated tomorrow, May 15.
We broke the story … the Wolf Administration revealed a ‘Recovery Crisis Program’ to ease utility costs for Pennsylvanians.
Utility terminations are prohibited for the duration of the Governor’s disaster declaration, but past due balances can be submitted as proof of Recovery Crisis eligibility if the utility company confirms that the balance would result in a termination if the moratorium was not in place
“Pennsylvanians have done a wonderful job at limiting the impact of this virus — as frustrating and hard for our economy — we still lost over 4,000 lives. We have somewhere around 60,000 people infected that we know of with this disease.”
“We need to do everything we can to stay safe. Anything we do other than that distracts us and reduces our efforts.”
On May 14, the Wolf Administration urged restaurants to continue practicing social distancing guidelines.
“It’s important that Pennsylvania’s restaurants don’t stray from the course now, we’ve come too far, sacrificed too much to change our path,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Restaurants are encouraged to continue only offering their services for carry-out or delivery. I, along with all of Pennsylvania, am grateful for your dedication to maintaining these life-saving measures.”
COVID9 is caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus, named SARS-CoV-2.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States. Most international destinations now have ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, as does the United States. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed. Learn more about the spread of this coronavirus that is causing COVID-19.
For the latest and most accurate information pertaining to COVID-19, visit cdc.gov and follow guidance issued by local, state and federal authorities.
About COVID-19 via Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global health threat and CDC is committed to stopping the global spread. CDC has a long history of improving public health capacity throughout the world to contain outbreaks at their source and minimize their impact.
CDC’s technical support to ministries of health and other local and international partners is delivered in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, other U.S. government agencies, and other stakeholders including multilateral organizations.
CDC works globally to limit human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, minimize the impact of COVID-19 in vulnerable countries with limited preparedness capacity, and reduce threats that pose current and future risk to the United States. Globally, CDC works to:
- Strengthen capacity to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to local COVID-19
- Mitigate COVID-19 transmission in the community, across borders, and in healthcare facilities
- Support governments, nongovernmental organizations, and healthcare facilities to rapidly identify, triage, and diagnose potential cases to improve patient care and minimize disruptions to essential health services
- Address crucial unknowns regarding clinical severity, extent of transmission and infection with support for special investigations and other forms of cooperation between CDC and country partners
- Ensure readiness to implement vaccines and therapeutics when available
Since 2015, CDC has been a key implementing partner of the USG Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). GHSA investments have helped countries build national capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. These investments and partnerships have laid foundations to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging threats, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons learned from addressing HIV, influenza, Ebola, dengue, Zika, and many other viruses are being applied to the COVID-19 response.
Outbreaks can be stressful
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations
How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Take care of yourself and your community
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Ways to cope with stress
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Know the facts to help reduce stress
Sharing the facts about COVID-19. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them.
Take care of your mental health
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Preparednessexternal icon page.
Risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people
Some coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to humans and then spread between people, but this is rare. This is what happened with the virus that caused the current outbreak of COVID-19. However, we do not know the exact source of this virus. Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of COVID-19. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking. Recent studies show that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
Risk of people spreading COVID-19 to animals
We are still learning about this virus, but we know it is primarily spreading from person-to-person and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.
The first case in the United States of an animal testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City. Samples from this tiger were collected and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed signs of respiratory illness. Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. This investigation is ongoing.
CDC is working with human and animal health partners to monitor this situation and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
For more information, visit CDC’s If You Have Pets and Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
Running Essential Errands
As communities across the United States take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact, people are facing new challenges and questions about how to meet basic household needs, such as buying groceries and medicine, and completing banking activities. The following information provides advice about how to meet these household needs in a safe and healthy manner.
Find additional information for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Shopping for food and other household essentials
- Avoid shopping if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Order online or use curbside pickup.
- Order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible).
- Only visit the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.
Protect yourself while shopping
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
- When you do have to visit in person, go during hours when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late night).
- If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
- Disinfect the shopping cart, use disinfecting wipes if available.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad). If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying.
- After leaving the store, use hand sanitizer.
- When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Follow food safety guidelines: clean, separate, cook, chill. There is no evidence that food or food packaging has been linked to getting sick from COVID-19.
Accepting deliveries and takeout orders
- Pay online or on the phone when you order (if possible).
- Accept deliveries without in-person contact whenever possible. Ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house (such as your front porch or lobby), with no person-to-person interaction. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet away from the delivery person.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail
- After receiving your delivery or bringing home your takeout food, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- After collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- If you must visit the bank, use the drive-through ATM if one is available. Clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe before you use it.
- When you are done, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
- Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them (if available).
- After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home or somewhere with soap and water.
Going to the doctor or getting medicine
- Use telemedicine, if available, or communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or e-mail.
- Talk to your doctor about rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.
If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others
- If you think you have COVID-19, let the office know and follow guidance.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Use disinfecting wipes on frequently touched surfaces such as handles, knobs, touchpads (if available).
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
- When paying, use touchless payment methods if possible. If you cannot use touchless payment, sanitize your hands after paying with card, cash, or check. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy
- Plan to order and pick up all your prescriptions at the same time.
- If possible, call prescription orders in ahead of time. Use drive-thru windows, curbside services (wait in your car until the prescription is ready), mail-order, or other delivery services. Do the same for pet medicine.
- Check with your doctor and pharmacist to see if you can get a larger supply of your medicines so you do not have to visit the pharmacy as often.
- If you or a member of your household has signs of COVID-19, call your doctor first, instead of going to the office or the emergency department.
Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. In many areas, people can visit parks, trails, and open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active, and safely connect with others.
Visit parks that are close to your home
- Traveling long distances to visit a park may contribute to the spread of COVID-19 as:
- Most travel requires you to stop along the way or be in close contact with others.
- Travel may also expose you to surfaces contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Prepare before you visit
State or Local Parks: State and local authorities will decide whether parks and other recreational facilities will open. Check with the park in advance to be sure you know which areas or services are open, such as bathroom facilities and concessions, and bring what you need with you.
National Parks: The National Park Service will decide on a park-by-park basis whether a national park will be open. Please check with individual parks for specific details since, in many cases, visitor centers, concessions, and bathroom facilities might be closed.
Beaches or Other Swimming Areas: State and local authorities will decide whether natural bodies of water and beaches or swim areas will be open. Please check with individual beaches or swim areas for specific details.
Stay 6 feet away from others and take other steps to prevent COVID-19
If a park, beach, or recreational facility is open for public use, visiting is okay as long as you practice social distancing and everyday steps such as washing hands often and covering coughs and sneezes. Follow these actions when visiting a park, beach, or recreational facility:
- Stay at least six feet from others at all times. This might make some open areas, trails, and paths better to use. Do not go into a crowded area.
- Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
Play it safe around and in swimming pools, and keep space between yourself and others
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (with chlorine or bromine) of pools should kill COVID-19.
Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity needed for a healthy life. If you are not sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it is safe to use swimming pools as long as steps are taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet (two meters) from others.
- Avoid large gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Keep your hands clean by washing hands with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Swimming does carry some health risks. Visit CDC’s Healthy Swimming website for information to help you prevent illness and drowning, while having fun and enjoying the health benefits of swimming.
Testing for COVID-19
Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.
- A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
- An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection
An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.
Who should be tested
To learn if you have a current infection, viral tests are used. But not everyone needs this test.
- Most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care and may not need to be tested.
- CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments or healthcare providers.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.
- You can also visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.
- Although supplies of tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find a place to get tested.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 by a viral test, know what protective steps to take if you are sick or caring for someone.
- If you test negative for COVID-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.
If you test positive or negative for COVID-19, no matter the type of test, you still should take preventive measures to protect yourself and others.
If you or a member of your household has signs of COVID-19, call your doctor first, instead of going to the office or the emergency department.
Call 911 if you believe it is an emergency. See also: What to do if you are sick.
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