101°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Trump extends 15-day anti-virus campaign

Updated March 31, 2020 - 8:25 pm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday extended his “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign by another 30 days, as the president somberly warned about a spike in expected deaths ahead.

Trump acknowledged “we’re going to go through a very tough two weeks,” but added, “we’re going to start seeing real light at the end of the tunnel.”

Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, the president’s point person on the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force’s lead coordinator, during a briefing that lasted more than two hours, Trump acknowledged, “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks,” but at the end he hoped,”we’re going to start seeing real light at the end of the tunnel.”

Birx stood before charts that showed the likely death toll without preventive measures — 1.5 million to 2.2 million people — could be reduced to 100,000 to 240,000 deaths with mitigation measures, and could taper off in June.

0331 Briefing- BIRX Final by Tony Garcia on Scribd

Task force members stressed that they hoped to see a number below 100,000. A lower number might be attainable if states follow the example of California and Washington, Birx explained, and avoid the experience of the nation’s worst hot spot, the New York metropolitan area.

According to a task force chart, Nevada would rank 14th among the states in terms of per capita spread of the virus.

Like the original “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign, the 30-day effort announced Tuesday urged nonessential workers to work from home, avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and practice good hygiene.

Asked if the administration supported a national shelter-in-place strategy, Trump stood by his support for voluntary measures with the ability for governors to impose harsher measures in their states.

But Trump seemed to warm to the idea of a more robust federal role in procuring ventilators — an effort that Trump had rejected earlier when he said of the federal government, “we are not shipping clerks.”

During his Tuesday briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke of a system in which states drive up the cost of ventilators as they “end up bidding against each other.” Cuomo likened the situation to “being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator” and suggested that the federal government should procure ventilators rather than making states compete with each other.

“They shouldn’t be doing that,” Trump responded. “If that happens, they should be calling us.” And added, “If they do need them, we will have them there before they need them.”

Pressed as to whether Trump was signaling a change in policy, Trump said he didn’t want governors competing and driving up the price of ventilators. “They should be calling us,” and the federal government could ship the ventilators directly to points of need.

As for Cuomo, Trump offered, “the problem is with some people, no matter what you give … it’s never enough.”

Last week Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told National Public Radio that Nevada had received “zero” test kits from the federal government and not enough medical gear.

Asked about the claim, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told the Review-Journal on background, “As part of the U.S. government’s COVID-19 response, a lab diagnostic task force has been established to help facilitate coordination across the U.S. government, as well as among diverse stakeholders in public health, manufacturing, and logistics. The goal is to better leverage the nation’s testing capacity and help to more strategically address supply chain issues as they emerge.”

As for ventilators and personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns, the official responded, “For the domestic response to COVID-19, HHS is deploying personal protective equipment and ventilators from the (national stockpile) to areas in need in the most equitable way for a nationwide response.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Nevada gyms, bars that do not serve food can reopen Friday - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday evening said Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery will begin on Friday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Rep. Horsford admits to having affair - VIDEO
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford admitted to having an affair with Gabriela Linder, a former intern for Sen. Harry Reid. Linder detailed her account of the affair in a podcast she called, "Mistress for Congress." (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak says businesses will begin reopening under phase 1 - VIDEO
The first phase of reopening Nevada’s businesses will begin Saturday, May 9, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden denies Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation - VIDEO
The former senate aide claims Biden assaulted her in 1993 when he was a senator. Biden first denied the accusations via a public post on Medium. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
RJ interview with Sisolak on the reopening plan for Nevada - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Review-Journal interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on the plan for reopening Nevada during the coronavirus pandemic. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak reacts to Goodman CNN interview- VIDEO
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman repeated her call to immediately reopen businesses during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, leading to a reaction from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak praises Nevadans for staying at home, saving lives - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday it’s still too early to know when the state’s COVID-19 shutdown orders could be lifted or when businesses could start to reopen their doors. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump gives governors 3-phase approach to open US - VIDEO
President Donald Trump declared victory in America’s war against the “invisible enemy” as the president’s Coronavirus Task Force released “Opening up America Again” guidelines. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump names Jacky Rosen to task force on reopening economy - VIDEO
President Donald Trump named Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., to be a member of his Opening Up America Again Congressional Group Thursday to advise him on coronavirus policy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president - VIDEO
On April 13, former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders announced his official endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders drops out of 2020 Democratic race for president - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont officially announced an end to his 2020 presidential bid on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic National Convention postponed - VIDEO
The Democratic National Convention was set to take place over four days in the middle of July. Democratic officials have now confirmed the convention will take place the week of Aug. 17. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson allows immediate sale of alcohol with curbside pickup - VIDEO
The city of Henderson decided Thursday evening to allow alcohol to be sold by restaurants as part of their curbside pickup service during the COVID-19 crisis. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak signs order banning any gathering of 10 or more people - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday signed a new order banning any gathering of 10 or more people in Nevada in another step the state has taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Takeaways from the president's daily briefing on coronavirus - VIDEO
RJ Washington correspondent Debra Saunders talks about today's daily White House news conference regarding the coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 20, 2020. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judicial Department 5 Debate - Video
The Las Vegas Review-Journal hosts a debate between the 3 candidates running for Department 5 in Clark County District Court. Participating are Veronica M. Barisich, Terry A. Coffing and Blair Cowan Parker.
Trump cancels Las Vegas trip because of ‘coronavirus outbreak’ - VIDEO
President Donald Trump canceled planned travel to Las Vegas ‘out of an abundance of caution’ amid virus outbreak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump signs $8.3 billion coronavirus package - VIDEO
President Trump signed a bill providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreaK, Friday, March 6, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sen. Cortez Masto shows support for Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto shows her support for senior state District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench in Nevada. (Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto)
Sen. Rosen supports Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Jacky Rosen shows her support for Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench. (Sen. Jacky Rosen)
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews resigns following series of controversies - VIDEO
The "Hardball" host announced his departure Monday night, March 2, 2020, effective immediately. The anchor recently came under fire for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucasus to the Nazi conquest of France in 1940. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Nearly 26K nursing home COVID-19 deaths reported to feds

Federal health authorities have received reports of nearly 26,000 nursing home residents dying from COVID-19, according to materials prepared for the nation’s governors. That number is partial and likely to go higher.

Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged

Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.

Longtime cancer doctor takes the helm at FDA

New to Washington after a storied career in medicine, FDA chief Stephen Hahn talks about the coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine and his role in President Donald’ Trump’s coronavirus task force.

Trump praises Secret Service, says ‘vicious dogs’ were ready

President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed that many Secret Service agents were “just waiting for action” and ready to unleash “the most vicious dogs, and the most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” if protesters angered by his response to George Floyd’s death had crossed the White House’s security fence.