April 2. White House Coronavirus Task Force News Conference

Before we get to Trump’s news conference, lets start with some good news.  Despite 10 states still holding out from complete stay-at-home regimens, some 96% of Americans are now covered by such orders.  Florida has exempted religious gatherings, which only bodes ill for the unfortunate followers of leaders who would conduct such gatherings. 

In bad news, 6.65 million filed for unemployment last week, on top of the 3.3 million the week before, making 10 million.

I guess the key underground message of Trump’s news conference, is that Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci could not convince Trump to declare a National stay-at-home but were urging all Americans to do it.  Despite the national allowance of up to 10 at a meeting, Dr. Birx told them to use social distance, and don’t hold the likes of cocktail parties, but stay with your family only.  They also couldn’t convince Trump to order people to wear masks, but Trump did recommend home made masks or bandanas.

Skipping the now obligatory praises for the Dear Leader, the distribution system only started 13 days ago.  The strategy is to wait for need, and not trust projections, which they can’t possibly meet.  The ventilator manufacturer promises 100,000 ventilators by end of June.  That sounds like there will be some lead time until production is increased.

New York received 4,400 ventilators, New Jersey 850, Washington 500, Michigan 400, and Louisiana 150.

Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, Vice Director of Logistics Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now in charge.  They are expanding the industrial base, and have given them specs for masks, and use the Defense Production Act.

States are supposed to look at their own state for supplies and then the commercial system.

Several thousand ventilators are expected in April and May, ramping up to June.  Company usually makes 100,000 a year.

Peter Navarro pulled out all of the catch phrases, as if he invented them himself.  Nation is at war fighting the invisible virus.  Use the Defense Procurement Act.  

  1. Repurposing
  2. Allocation of resources. Seven tiers deep supply chain.
  3. Busting hoarding of critical materials.

GM order as fast as possible: in Trump Time

Ford vs. GM for ventilators.

Prioritize a Defense Operation rating to get the things for the supply chain.

3M stuff comes back here, still resolving

Atty. Gen. Barr, the sheriff in town.  Raided a warehouse?

Black market, bidding against each other.  Domestic sources being exported.  Order to crack down on it.

Got to stop making money. Call FEMA and give it to it at a fair price.

Navarro finished with his standard spiel:  we are dangerously over dependent on a global supply chain.  Over 50 countries have export restrictions now.  Buy American, secure borders, at least after the crises.  For essential medicines, deregulate, innovate.  Don’t compete abroad for cheap labor, and foreign subsidies,

Trump, we had let orders to Italy and Spain go.  If bidding between feds and states, we will drop out, or they will.  

Ventilators will come in a while, and later will be worth $5.  States should have been building stockpiles.  I think they will be next time, he said.  A state wouldn’t spend a billion for ventilators.  Trump continued to gripe that we were over ordering ventilators and will be stuck with them later.  He urged states to buy them afterwards and maintain their own stocks.  A complete shirking of any federal roll or responsibility.

(If it sounds like a massive confusion, it’s probably because it is.  First the VP was in charge, then Kushner, and now the Admiral.  Also the 50 States, then Health and Human Services, and now FEMA.  Then the heads of all industries.  Now airlifts to and from foreign governments.  Now make your own masks.  Chaos.)

Q.  Will Trump reopen Obamacare?  Cash payment instead.

Q.  About talking with Russia and Saudi’s over oil, which wasn’t at all explained.  About 10 million barrels.  Maybe as high as 15.  Ships now are storage tanks. (Sounds like they are getting Russia and Saudi’s to restrict production again, and drive the price above $50 a barrel, so that US fracking can become profitable again.)

American don’t have to worry about cost of Coronavirus testing and treatment for uninsured Americans.

Expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage.  Out of $100 billion to hospitals, will cover the patients.

Florida wants isolation centers.

If people want to wear masks or scarves, they can.  Recommendations coming out.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator:

Supply chain aligns with the need as it happens.

On Coronavirus testing:  not everyone reporting yet.  NY and NJ 35% positive.  Louisiana 26% positive.  Michigan … Connecticut 15%. CA, WA at 8%.

We have done 1.3 million tests.  Not getting all of the results reported to Washington. 

For tests, still prioritize hospitals, healthcare workers, and first responders.

Social distancing and washing hands are still the most important preventions.  They are worried about using masks, and people relaxing the social exposure.

With masks, touching things and touching the mask still an exposure.  An additive piece, not a substitute for the guidelines.

For virus testing, 18,000 of these testing machines already out there.  Loan out.

(California, Orange County, and New York are now recommending masks.

(I think that CNN and MSNBC are no longer falling for the entire hour and a half news conferences.  I had to watch it on C-SPAN.   Two of the questioners that Trump called nasty were not there.  Trump was still standing too close to people on stage, keeping himself in the picture.)

Today, the World passed one million Coronavirus cases, at 1,016,401.   The US almost made a quarter of a million cases, at 245,559.  US deaths passed six thousand at 6,057.  New York State led with 2,468, including New York City with 1,562 deaths.  California had 243 deaths, and Los Angeles 78.

Today’s Percent Increase table has columns for the Domain, for today’s cases, and for the Percent Increase today.

Domain Cases Percent Increase
US 245,559 13.3%
NY 92,743 10.3%
NJ 25,590 15.0%
CA 11,112 12.2%
MI 10,791 15.8%
LA 9,159 42.6%
FL 9,008 15.9%
MA 8,966 15.9%
IL 7,697 10.3%
PA 7,345 21.1%
WA 6,595 10.2%
GA 5,444 14.7%
TX 5,253 14.0%
CT 3,824 7.5%
CO 3,728 11.5%
IN 3,038 18.3%
OH 2,902 13.9%
TN 2,845 10.8%
MD 2,331 17.4%
NC 2,041
Canada 11,284 15.9%
Mexico 1,510 9.6%
Los Angeles County 4,045 15.0%
Orange County 656 8.3%

Louisiana has an incredible increase at 42.6%.  Yesterday, it was 22,7%, and before that 30.1%.  This is led by Orleans Parish containing New Orleans.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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