President Donald Trump says he will continue televised coronavirus White House briefings very soon.
Trump told reporters on Monday morning that the task force briefings might resume as early as Tuesday afternoon.
“Frankly, a lot of the country is doing well,” the president said. “A lot of the people don’t say it, as you understand. But we’ve have had this big flare-up in Florida, Texas, a couple of other places.
“And so I think what we’re going to do is I’ll get involved and we’ll start doing briefings, whether it’s this afternoon or tomorrow — probably tomorrow — and I’ll do briefings. … It’s a great way to get information out to the public as to where we are with the vaccines, with the therapeutics, and, generally speaking, where we are.
“And so I think we’ll start that probably starting tomorrow. I’ll do it at 5 o’clock, like we were doing. We had a good slot.”
He said there has been “tremendous progress on vaccines and therapeutics. We’re getting reports. We’re studying the reports very closely. I think people are going to be very pleasantly surprised with what’s going on on the vaccine front and the therapeutic front.”
One example of the latter is the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
During an event in May, Trump stunned the reporters in attendance when he announced he had been taking the drug as a preventive measure.
“A lot of good things have come out” about hydroxychloroquine, the president said. “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.
“I happen to be taking it. I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
He later told reporters he was “just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this, when I announced this. But I’ve taken it for about a week and a half now, and I’m still here.”
While many Democrats and establishment media figures harshly criticized Trump for his stance on the drug, a study published earlier this month showed hydroxychloroquine helped patients survive COVID-19 while in the hospital.
Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan studied a group of 2,541 hospitalized patients and found 13 percent of those treated with just hydroxychloroquine died compared with 26.4 percent not treated with the drug.
Among the coronavirus vaccines showing promise is one developed by Moderna that researchers said induced immune responses in all clinical trial participants without any major side effects.
The results of the Phase 1 trial conducted in conjunction with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases were published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
As of Tuesday morning, 24 coronavirus vaccine candidates were in clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.
The president’s renewed task force briefings also arrive at a time when many teachers unions are fighting efforts to reopen schools in the fall.
The Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit Monday against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state leaders to “stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses,” the organization said.
— Florida Education Association (@FloridaEA) July 20, 2020
The president’s stance on the issue remains strong:
SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from public schools that refrain from reopening:
In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2020
The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that the data favors reopening schools.
“Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2,” the AAP said in guidelines issued last month.
“Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
It emphasized that “children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home.”
As the growing anxieties surrounding coronavirus impact the nation, the president and his task force soon will return to television to address Americans’ concerns.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.