Trump administration announces deal to distribute millions of rapid tests for coronavirus
President Donald Trump provides an update on the coronavirus pandemic and the nation's response to it.
you gotta says we announce a massive and groundbreaking expansion in our testing capability of the for the China virus. And, as you know, it's already setting records records like nobody's ever seen before. Last week we crossed a historic milestone when the United States conducted our 100 millionth test far more than any other country and not even close. Actually, second seems to be India, with 1.5 billion people, and the numbers would be probably at least 50 million more tests by us. We've conducted more tests than the entire European Union and more than all of Latin America combined. We're thrilled to be joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Alex Hamza, Secretary of Education Betsy Divorce. Hi, Betsy, Administrator for the Centers for Medicine and Medicaid Services. Seema Verma, Seema and Admiral. You are who has done such an incredible job. Thank you, Admiral. We're also joined by Mississippi Governor Tate. Reeves had a tremendous victory, was so proud of you and as well by Abbott CEO Robert Ford. Robert, thank you very much. Great job today. I'm pleased to report that we're announcing our plan to distribute 150 million Abbott Rapid Point of care tests in the coming weeks. Very, very soon, this will be more than double the number of tests already performed. And here's our plan. 50 million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities, which we've always promised to dio, including 18 million for nursing homes, 15 million for assisted living facilities, 10 million for home health and hospice care, hospice care agencies and nearly one million for historically black colleges and universities and also tribal nation colleges. 100 million rapid point of care tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and fast assed they can. For example, the support my administration is providing would allow every state to, on a very regular basis, test every teacher who needs it. This continues are critical effort to use testing to protect high risk communities. Thes new Abbott Rapid point of care tests are easy to use and return results within just minutes. You'll have AH result at a maximum 15 minutes machine. No machine is required to process them. So in the old days when we just started this you remember would go out and would have to find these massive laboratories with tremendously expensive equipment. Now we're down to something that you'll see that is really from a different planet. I would like to ask Admiral Gerard to come up and demonstrate how thes tests to perform. He'll do this very nicely, I think. Good luck. Hope you don't test positive. Mhm me. So thank you, Mr President. Uh, as of today, the nation has performed over 111 million tests for the virus, causing cove it on 13 separate days. We have achieved test over one million per day and our average test numbers air now approximately 920,000 per day. We're now at an inflection point in testing. We now have available, on average, three million tests per day, not counting pool testing, which could multiply that number several fold. Nearly half of our current test. A rapid point of care, all of the actions of your administration, including aggressive use of multiple titles of the Deepa, hundreds of millions of dollars and HHS and D o d. Investments and regulatory flexibility, including over 200 FDA emergency use authorizations clear enforcement discretion and application of the prep pack have led us to this inflection point. Which brings us why we're here today. On August 27th, after months of planning and only after one day after the FDA authorization, the Trump Administration awarded a contract for $760 million toe Abbott for the delivery of 150 million of these Abbott Finance. Now rapid test, the Buinaksk now detects the presence of the Covidien. Again. It uses a specific nasal swab, and that looks. That swab comes with test, and it's made by purity. And the reason why Puritan swabs were here is because the administration used the Deepa in $120 million in investment to make these swabs able for use by Abbott. It does not require an instrument to determine the result. It's 15. It's in 15 minutes. The result. Testing may be performed by laboratories where the clear certificate of waiver this is not a home test. But during the health emergency. Seema, Verma and CMS permits laboratories to extend their certificate toe, operate in temporary sites like schools or churches are parking lots. So though we anticipate that the test will generally be performed by a trained individual on a patient. I will demonstrate a self swab for you to show you just exactly how easy the test is performed. So, um, literally, it almost could not be easier. It starts with six drops of liquid onto this piece of paper. One, 2345 six. And then there's a nasal swab. And again, this is. This is not the deep brain biopsy that we talk about. This will generally done by a health care provider, but it can be done. Supervised. It's this easy. 12345 12345 into the test, twisted. Three times The adhesive has pulled off and you wait 15 minutes, and that is the test. It really could not be easier than this. This is a very sophisticated little piece of cardboard with lots of antibodies, an incredible technology into that. We've already shipped 65,000 of these two disaster operations in California, Oregon, Texas and Louisiana, and we have already shipped 2.1 million tests to 7600 nursing homes. Over 900,000 tests to assisted living, 300,000 tested the Indian Health Service and 339 0 tests to historically black colleges in university. Today we start the shipment of 100 million tests to governors, beginning with a total of 6.5 million tests this week to be shipped this week. This is in addition to the continuing support to other priorities, like nursing homes. Allocation to states and territories is based strictly on their relative population. Governors have the flexibility to use thes test as they deem fit. But we strongly encourage governors to utilize them in settings that are uniquely in need of rapid, low tech point of care. Test like opening and keeping open our K through 12 schools supporting critical infrastructure and first responders responding toe outbreak specifically in certain demographics or locations and screening of surveillance and congregants settings. Mr. President, we just completed a briefing to the governors and their state health officials from the sit room, and we heard words like game changer for their states. Thank you, Mr President, for your leadership in support of all our efforts to defeat this virus much, Admiral. And let me ask you, Governor Reeves, do you do you agree would you like to say something? Thank you, President, for your leadership through this pandemic and through this crisis, this is It was said by Republicans and Democrats alike earlier. This is a game changer, Uh, in our state of Mississippi R k through 12 schools have been opened for nine weeks. Our institutions of higher learning have been open for about the same. But while we have testing available now at least once a week in every county of our state, what this allocation is going to allow for us is we will have testing available for our K through 12 teachers every single day going forward. And the thing that we know is that kids learned and secretary divorce knows this so well. Kids learn so much better when they're in the classroom than when they're doing distance learning or hybrid. And while we have 75 to 80% of our kids back in the classroom, we want to get 100% of our kids back in the classroom. It is also in critically important, Mr President, Your decision to allocate on the front end to the historically black colleges and universities means the world to Mississippi are larger institutions have. The financial resource is to provide testing. But in Mississippi, with Jackson State University and All corn universe, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University three of our eight institutions of higher learning, we'll get an allocation of these tests and it's gonna make a difference. And kids all across our state are gonna be better served because of it. And I want to personally thank you on behalf of the residents of Mississippi for doing this. Mr. President, thank you very much. Thank you, Ted. Great job. In a short period of time, my administration has built the most advanced testing system in the world. There's never been anything like this. When the pandemic struck, there were zero tests for the China virus. But we've marshaled all of America's resource is to achieve these unparalleled capabilities. We slashed red tape and approved emergency use authorizations for 243 type of tests. That's how Maney tests we have. I invoke the Defense Production Act and related authorities more than 100 times and distributed ah $171 million to expand testing production. We've done nearly twice as much testing per capita as France, Italy and Germany, and over six times more testing per capita than South Korea. We've done far more than any other country, usually times 2345 or six. We performed nearly 40 million more tests than India, and by the end of next month we will have over 100 million tests available in the market. More than half will be point of care. Test those air the quick ones and they're really the ones that have the best impact with the results in less than 15 minutes. We've also prioritized resource is for the votes most vulnerable, including nursing home residents. We delivered rapid testing devices to nearly 14,000 certified nursing homes. We opened over 1000 community testing sites in low income communities. Nobody could have done this. We invested an unprecedented $8 billion to help tribal communities have the tests and resource is they need to combat the virus and it's important to remember that is younger and healthier. People return to work and as we massively increased testing capacity, we will identify more cases and asymptomatic individuals in low risk populations. This should not cause undue alarm. The total number of cases is not the full metric of success. Hospitalization capacity and mortality rates are far more instructive metrics. As we do more tests, you're gonna have automatically more cases. We are relentlessly focused on protecting the vulnerable while enabling healthy Americans to go back to work. We could do both, as Florida and Arizona and other states have recently shown. Over the last eight weeks, hospitalizations have declined by 48% and they've just reached the lowest point since March. It's a long time ago. Due to advances in treatment. The fatality rate has fallen 85% since April. Our excess mortality has been considerably lower than comparable countries. Excess mortality compares total deaths during a pandemic to what we would be expected in a normal year. This is a critical measurement because it includes undetected China. Virus deaths, along with deaths resulting from lockdowns and lockdowns, can be very harmful. And we have too many states that are locked down. Right now, the governors are nobody so doing. Actually, Europe has experienced a 50% greater excess mortality rate during the virus than the U. S. And their economic contraction has been farm or severe under operation warp speed. My administration is on track to deliver a safe and effective vaccine in record time. We're doing very well with the vaccines. As most of you know, four vaccines air now in the final stage of trials, the day the vaccine is approved by the FDA will begin distributing it within 24 hours, with hundreds of millions of doses to follow very quickly. We're all set to go. We're already and logistically where we have the military lined up and some incredible people are just waiting toe have it Over 100 million doses will be available before the end of the year. We will defeat the virus and we will end the pandemic. And next year will be one of the greatest years in our history. And we think it's going to be a very exciting period of time. With that, I'd like to ask Mike to say a few words because you were just left a task force meeting. Vice President Mike Pence. Thank you, Mr President. This is a historic day and other than the day that I believe will come soon that America produces the first safe and effective vaccine what's announced today with the distribution of 150 million rapid point of care tests all across America. It's a testament to your leadership, Mr President. Testament to this great team that you have assembled from secretaries are Admiral Gerard and others. It's a testament to the partnership that we forge with governors like Governor Reeves all across America. And it's a testament to great companies like Abbott Laboratories and the thousands of employees who Mr President, I know, have literally worked around the clock since those early days in this pandemic, when you brought in the greatest research companies in America and said that we need medicines known as therapeutics. We need a vaccine for America. But you also challenge them to develop a rapid point of care tests that could be distributed all across America and enable us MAWR effectively slow the spread, flatten the curve, protect the vulnerable and save life. Mr. President, today's announcement is really emblematic of the public private partnership that you forged from the early days of this pandemic. As you said, we met today with the nation's governors. The White House Coronavirus Task Force completed our 38th conference call with America's governors. But all along the way from our very first meeting, you made it clear that we'd spare no expense of the federal government, the full resource of the federal government you made available to put the health of America first. But you also challenged us, and you challenged American industry to being the full power and innovation of the American economy to bear on this moment, whether it be PPE where we forged a partnership to see to the delivery and the manufacturer of hundreds of million's of personal protective equipment, whether it be how we started with 15,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile and today in partnership with G Healthcare, Ford and General Motors, we have over 150 0 ventilators in the strategic national stockpile, whether it be the extraordinary progress on therapeutics remedy, severe convalescent plasma, that air literally saving lives or whether it be is you reflected Mr President on our steady progress toward achieving a safe and effective vaccine before the end of this year, it's been that public private partnership that you've led that's made these advances a possible and on testing the American people really deserve to know that when we began, as you said, Mr President was literally a standing start. We didn't have information on the coding of the coronavirus until mid February, but America's CDC labs in public health labs did their level best by the end of February. We've done less than 10,000 coronavirus tests that as as you just announced a few moments ago last week we cleared 100 million tests all across the country. It's extraordinary we have the capacity to do three million tests today. It's a testament to American innovation and the leadership that you have provided. Also, Mr President, we've delivered to nearly 14,000 nursing homes in America. Point of care tests already that are making it possible for us to really keep focus on the most vulnerable. As you know, on Lee, 8% of those who have contract ID the coronavirus are in nursing homes. But 40% of those that have lost their lives have been in nursing homes, and so we've surged those resource is and surged them to vulnerable populations. But with the announcement today this Abbott Laboratories by next now test, we began a process first, announcing 50 million tests to go toe are vulnerable communities to go to minority communities toe Indian health services. But as we told all the nation's governors today, we begin the process this week of distributing 100 million tests to each state and territory in the country free of charge so they could begin to deploy those tests on the priorities that the state has said. But Mr President, given the extraordinary capacity that we have in testing today, we way expressed a hope toe all the governors today that they would particularly use thes Abbott by next test toe open up America schools and to keep them open. And we heard about the enthusiasm of, uh, governors from both sides of the aisle about what this test will mean and helping to process helping to process. Uh, the testing that we'll get our kids into school can keep our kids in school. Mr. President, let me just close by saying, This is, uh, we've passed through a challenging time in the life of this nation in 2020 and our hearts I know your heart is with all the families that have suffered loss. But as you said, cases are declining hospitalizations have been declining, declining dramatically, particularly in the Sun Belt in Louisiana, where not long ago 50 parishes had more than 10% positivity. Right now, only three parishes are testing positive, over 10%. Arizona was testing 20% positivity. Right now, now it's less than 4% consistently, but with cases and positivity rising in 10 states in the Midwest and the near West, and with this historic advance in testing that's being distributed didn't 50 strong around the country, Mr. President, the American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead. Um, but as we uh as we more readily identify those who've contract ID the coronavirus, the American people could be confident because of this extraordinary and historic public and private partnership that you forge because of this whole of government approach. We're ready, as we proved through the outbreak in the Sun Belt this summer will make sure that any community, any state that's impacted with rising cases, any school that's impacted will have. The PP will have the supplies, will have the medicines. And as you said, Mr President, we will continue at your direction our relentless drive toward achieving the first safe and effective vaccine so we can achieve the day that we once and for all put this coronavirus in the past. So, Mr President, with thanks to our industry partners, thanks to this team. But thanks to you for your strong leadership, I hope for that day and the American people can be confident we will not rest. We will not relent until we put this coronavirus in the past. Thank you very much. Mike Scott Atlas, Would you say a few words, please, as to how we're doing and where you see is going, please. Okay. Thank you, Mr President. And I also want to echo the congratulations to the team, the task force admirals, or OIR in particular, who's worked very hard on the testing. This is a remarkable day because we have state of the art testing. This is not the typical point of care testing. And this is new. This is does not require any kind of machine. It's very rapid. And this is not one of those deep swab things that people are reluctant to use. So I think we're we're really making an advance here to do what testing is supposed to do, and that's to save lives, a ZA vice president mentioned. We know that there are areas of the country that have mawr cases. This is to be expected with MAWR social mingling and the testing. But particularly protecting the vulnerable is the key here. We have not seen hospital overcrowding. We're doubling down now with testing to protect vulnerable people not just inside nursing homes but in residential settings and senior daycare centers. This'll is a remarkable advance, and I anticipate that as as this virus, a zoo we get toward the end of this pandemic on the vaccine is being developed as quickly as it has been. Uh, America will be in a different position, and there really should be. As I've said many times, the fear is not the issue here. We really have a handle on what's going on. We know what to anticipate, and there's remarkable advances being made, as we see today, Thank you very much. Well, thank you very much. Tremendous progress is being made and I say it. I'll say it all the time. We're rounding the corner and very importantly, vaccines air coming. But we're rounding the corner regardless. But vaccines are coming and they're coming fast. We have four great companies already, and it's gonna be added to very rapidly. They're in final stages of testing. And from what we're hearing, the results are going to be very extraordinary. So thank you very much. I appreciate it and thank you very much. Great job by Abbott, right from the beginning. Great job by Abbott. Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. What? Angelus, do you, Admiral? What's your test results?