Trump Increasingly Optimistic about COVID-19 Vaccine

“MAIL-IN” VOTING LAWSUIT ALSO ON THE HORIZON

by Sharon Rondeau

Bao_5, Pixabay, License

(Aug. 3, 2020) — At President Trump’s Monday coronavirus press conference, he provided an update on Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaias, which he said did not impact Florida as heavily as expected.  The storm is now centered over South Carolina and headed north, he said.

Regarding the coronavirus, he said that the rate of “positive” test results last week dropped from two weeks ago in Arizona, Texas, and Florida after those states experienced spikes beginning in June.  New cases have also increased in Tennessee and several other states, he rcommented.

States where he said the “virus is under control” are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Wyoming, and several others.  Trump reminded Americans to wash hands frequently and wear a mask when in close proximity to other people to reduce the chance of its spread.

He said a long-term “lockdown” is “not a viable path forward and would ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent.”  He said “lockdowns” are designed to “buy time” so that necessary hospitalizations can be accommodated and ill people treated.

“Significant flareups include Japan, Australia, France and Spain,” he said.  Trump again stressed that he would like to see schools open in the fall.

“The vaccines are coming along incredibly well,” he said.

Trump said that “telehealth” appointments are taking place at unprecedented numbers and that his administration has improved care for veterans, including by means of telehealth.  “When the invisible enemy struck our shores,” he said, his administration promoted telehealth and intends to see that it is “here to stay.”

He said his administration is amending regulations to allow Medicare to cover up to 135 services not currently covered, including “substance abuse.”  He said as a component of the CARES Act passed in March, telehealth was expanded, which he sees as a positive development.

Some medical appointments for seniors have taken place via telephone rather than by video link, Trump said.  During the month of April, 43% of Medicare-funded appointments were held electronically, he reported, compared to .1% before the pandemic.

Earlier today, Trump said, he signed an executive order aimed at making access to telehealth “easier.”  Rural hospitals, he said, will achieve a more stable income from the payment structure envisioned.  $165 million from the CARES Act has been allocated to rural hospitals, he said, and that licensing requirements were relaxed to “allow more medical personnel to serve their wonderful patients.”

He said more than 15,000 nursing homes across the country have received personal protective equipment (PPE) from the federal government and over 100,000,000 respirators have been sent to where they were needed.

Vaccines and other treatments for the virus are progressing well under “Operation Warp Speed,” his administration’s effort to combat the virus quickly.

Steroids have been used with success in “late-stage illness,” Trump said hospitals have reported.  The call for survivors to donate plasma “makes people better,” he said, and urged more survivors to “donate plasma today” “because we’re low.”  The time required is about an hour, he said.  “You have something very special,” he said to survivors of the virus.

Sanofi and GSX will produce 100 million doses of vaccines currently in “final stages of testing,” he said.  “We’re balancing speed and safety” in developing vaccines, he said, which he stated may be available prior to year’s end.  As he said last week, he reported the U.S. military will assist in distributing approved vaccines.

“We’re doing really well on therapeutics and really well on vaccines,” he ended the presser before opening it to reporters’ questions.

In response to a reporter’s question regarding mail-in voting, Trump said the administration will be “suing” the State of Nevada for passing a bill Sunday allowing universal mail-in voting for the November 3 general election.  Trump has long held that a national mail-in voting process could be easily corrupted and that the results might not be known for weeks or months after the election.

 

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