“IT’S VERY, VERY PAINFUL DEALING WITH THE DEMOCRATS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 26, 2020) — At 9:20 p.m. EDT, President Trump was brought on by phone to the “Hannity” show, when he said he rescheduled his 9:00 p.m. call with China’s President Xi to 10:30.
Hannity asked Trump about his January 31 decision to stop flights from China to the U.S. after the first domestic coronavirus case was detected on January 21. “I made a decision we can’t have it; some of my people thought it was tough,” Trump said. He recounted that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called him “racist” and “xenophobic” at the time. Trump maintained that “thousands and thousands” more people would have “serious trouble right now” had he not implemented the ban.
The media and World Health Organization (WHO) were particularly critical of the move.
Hannity enumerated some of the Trump administration’s accomplishments while combating the coronavirus threat. “I think the FDA has been incredible,” Trump said, complimenting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn. Of medications which may prove effective, Trump said, “we’re going to find out soon.” He also said he received “24-hour approvals” for the administering of the medications, which are currently prescribed for other conditions, to hospitalized patients in New York City who wish to try it. “People have been taking it now for a day and a half…maybe it won’t work, but we’re going to give it a good shot,” Trump said. “We have reason to believe…we have to see whether or not it works…In addition to that, Gilead and others are making some incredible things…The vaccine is going really well,” he said, but that “a year of testing” is required for its efficacy to be proved.
After Hannity mentioned hydroxychloroquine, an experimental drug for coronavirus already prescribed for arthritis and malaria, Trump again expressed optimism that it will prove helpful to coronavirus sufferers.
Comparing the current crisis to the 2009 swine flu outbreak, Trump said that “17,000 people died, and most people don’t remember anything happening.”
“Worldwide, it was almost 600,000,” Hannity said.
“They acted very, very late; they were incredibly late,” Trump replied, and faulted the media for failing to “criticize anybody” during the swine flu epidemic.
Hannity asked if the U.S. will see a “precipitous” drop as what he said occurred in South Korea and China earlier in the pandemic. Trump recounted his travel bans from the EU, the UK, Italy, Iran and other countries. “That was very early. By that time, I felt very confident we were doing the right thing,” he said.
“We inherited a broken system form previous administrations” which “wasn’t meant for millions of people,” Trump said of the CDC’s testing capability for infectious diseases prior to his establishing a “public-private partnership” to implement the current coronavirus testing paradigm.
As for the Defense Production Act (DPA) invoked last week, Trump explained that “an incredible esprit de corps” has precluded the need for him to compel companies to manufacture medical equipment and supplies in light of the pandemic. Referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for 30,000 ventilators, Trump said that “the first line of attack is supposed to be the local government, health departments and the states.” He criticized the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, for failing to do more. “She is a new governor and it’s not been pleasant,” he said.
“Most governors have been fantastic,” Trump said, while criticizing Whitmer and Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, who he described as a “failed presidential candidate.” He said he does not believe Cuomo will need the number of ventilators he said he needs for his state.
“It was a broken chain, and we’re filling it up,” Trump said of supplying the states with the equipment they need. He complimented Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana for his efforts; Trump recently designated Louisiana a “major disaster area” based on its growing number of coronavirus cases.
Of the $2.2 trillion relief bill passed by the Senate and set to be reviewed by the House on Friday, Trump said, “It’s a wonderful thing,” although unprecedented. “It’s very, very painful dealing with the Democrats,” he added. “A lot of this money is going to save Boeing” and the airlines, Trump said. “It’s a very difficult thing with the Democrats.” He acknowledged “giving things we don’t want to give” in regard to the $25 million allocated to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Democrats as opposed to the $35 million Democrats first requested.
The Senate vote was 96-0. Four U.S. Senators are quarantined from coronavirus exposure and were unable to vote, Trump reminded Hannity.
On the unemployment numbers issued Thursday indicating 3,283,000 new claims resulting from the coronavirus crisis, Trump said he is “looking forward to that day when it levels out” and then begins to drop. He said he was first told the country would have to be shut down for “3-4 months.” “I think we’re going to have a bounce like maybe you’ve never seen…There is a possibility I’ll do this in quadrants,” he said of returning people to work. “Some of these great states, like Iowa; you take a look at Idaho…a big portion, they all have a little bit…and they have it under control. They’re incredible governors and incredible senators;…they put the people in quarantine, so you do that.”
“It’s a very bad situation; we haven’t seen anything like it;…” Trump said, but that perhaps the “Farm Belt” could be lifted from the national quarantine first.
On-screen, Hannity reviewed actions the Trump administration has taken to help New York State day by day. Trump said that had he not enacted the travel bans, there would have been “death all over the place.”
Trump said that because of expanded testing, “there are hundreds of thousands of people, millions, and they don’t go to a doctor because it’s not that bad.” Compared to the number of fatalities occurring, he said he believes the actual death rate is “under 1%.” “We lose thousands of people to the flu,” he said, with a fatality rate significantly below 1%.
Trump said that he expects the Republican National Convention set for late August will occur on schedule. The DNC is scheduled to have its convention earlier this summer in Milwaukee, although Trump said he is not sure it will take place.
Regarding his upcoming call with Xi, Hannity asked Trump if he would ask Xi “why did they lie to us” about the coronavirus. “It’s better to have a good relationship,” Trump said, citing his new trade deal with China. “Now we’ll start Phase 2, and we’re taking in billions and billions of dollars a year.” He stated a desire to “get along with China” and Russia.
Trump said that the U.S. has offered to assist Iran and North Korea with the virus and that he believes Iran would like to engage.
As for NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Trump said he “gets along” with him and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator. “I’m getting along, actually, very well with Gov. Cuomo,” Trump said.
Trump praised his wife Melania for her “fantastic job,” and Hannity thanked the president for his time. “It’s an honor,” Trump said before disconnecting.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.