President Trump’s Remarks in Press Briefing

President Trump in a navy blue suit, white button up shirt, and a white hat that says "Make America Great Again."

President Donald Trump

  • Provide a brief update on the China virus, as well as our economic recovery, which is going really very well, as you probably have been hearing.
  • Nearly 85 percent of jurisdictions all across our country are reporting a very steep decline in cases, and that’s despite the fact that we have the number one testing program anywhere in the world. We’re up to almost 70 million tests, far beyond any other country. This week, cases nationwide have declined by 6 percent; the test positivity rate has fallen to just 6.5 percent, a 71 percent reduction from April and a 15 percent reduction from mid-July. That’s a big reduction. The hospitalization rate for the virus has been reduced by half since April.
  • I urge everyone to apply commonsense mitigation. We know that. And we are all doing that, and I want to thank the American people for really doing such a great job. 
  • The United States has now administered over 70 million tests, more than all of the European Union combined. If you combine all of Europe, it’s less than what we do. Millions of point-of-care tests are processed in less than 24 hours and many in under 15 minutes. Nearly 80 percent of all commercial lab test results are now returned within three days. So we’ve gotten that number down from about eight days to three days, and that’s only in the longer-term lab cases. But we have many 15- minute tests; we have some 5-minute tests. The turnaround time for federal surge testing sites is just two days. So when you send them out, despite the fact that you have a delivery time, which you can’t do anything about, it’s all the way down to two days. That’s a very substantial reduction. Great job by the people that do it.
  • We are focused on aggressively shielding the highest-risk individuals. Those living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are less than 1 percent of the U.S. population but account for nearly half of all fatalities. That’s an incredible thing. So it’s 1 percent of the U.S. population but they account for nearly half of the fatalities from the China virus. That’s why we have rushed nursing home funding, protective gear, and rapid testing equipment. And we will announce additional measures to protect nursing home residents.
  • In the coming days, we’ve worked very hard with nursing home companies and also with the governors — 50 Governors all around the United States — and we have developed a very good relationship with most of the governors. I think, for the most part, they’re doing a really good job. They’re focused very heavily on nursing homes. And when they need equipment that they can’t get — remember, they’re supposed to get it, but when they can’t get, we have tremendous amounts of equipment in stock.
  • Thanks to my Administration’s decisive action to save American jobs, we’re currently witnessing the fastest economic recovery in American history. And that’s because the foundation that we set previously, before the virus came and hit our shore — the foundation was so strong; we had such a strong foundation that we’re recovering much faster than anybody anticipated. It turns out that it will be a very, very strong “V,” and you’ll see that in just a second.
  • Retail spending has fully recovered and is now at an all-time high. That’s not all time for this month or last month; that’s at an all-time high, and you see that with the chart. This was previous to the — the plague, I call it — the plague coming into our land, and really affected 188 — dealing with 188 countries. 
  • If you see, we’ve not only recovered but we’re at a much higher level than we were even then. That’s an incredible number that nobody thought would even be possible. So we’re currently witnessing the fastest economic recovery in American history. That’s an amazing statement. 
  • Retail spending is great, and now, if they would put up, auto production has surged 28 percent, and that’s your auto production, which is right there. (A chart is displayed.) So you’ll see that that’s now about even to where it was, and that was at an all-time record high, and we’re already even. 
  • If you had a chart for used cars, you’d see that used car sales are setting a record, and that’s great for production because when the used cars are practically not available — they’re very, very tight — that means you’re going to make a lot of new cars. So that number is going to go up even beyond what it is right now, but that’s a fantastic number. That’s a number that’s the equivalent of where it was, and that was a record.
  • You see what’s happening with respect to the economy and the recovery. And the stock market is almost at an all-time high. In fact, NASDAQ is at an all-time high. It’s had 14 days where we broke the record already over the last two months. So a lot of great things are happening.
  • Through the historic relief package that I signed into law, we saved over 50 million American jobs — 50 million American jobs — and the unemployment rate is rapidly going down. You see that. You’ve seen that. And I think you’ll see it over the next two months, and you’ll have a good report even prior to the election. You’re going to have a very good report. I think you’re going to have an incredible GDP. You’re going to have a tremendous report on business, and a lot of it’s going to be released — which is very fortunate — prior to the election. 
  • I think the Democrats are going out of their way to try and do whatever they can to stop these kind of numbers. They don’t like these kind of numbers because they think it’ll hurt them in the election. I think we all have to pull together and we have to do the right job, and we have to do what’s — what’s good for the American people.
  • We were unfairly treated by China because they could have stopped it. With that being said, China has purchased the most amount of corn in history. They — last week, they purchased the two largest days in the history of corn purchase and a massive amount of soybeans. Also cattle. 
  • China has been buying a lot of — a lot of things, and they’re doing that to keep me happy, but they’re dreaming about Joe Biden. They would love to have that happen, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. They are dreaming about him and so is Iran — dreaming about Joe — and so are numerous other countries. They dream about it because if that happens, they’ll own the United States. And China, I can tell you, specifically, will own the United States. Can’t let that happen.
  • If you remember, China had the worst — the worst year they’ve had in 67 years prior to the plague coming to our shores. And we are now starting to do really well. We’re going to have a very good third quarter, maybe a great third quarter. And we’re going to have an incredible next year, unless somebody comes up and quadruples taxes, which is what they’re talking about doing. 
  • And also, regulations we’ve set — we’ve done more in terms of cutting regulations than any administration in history by far, whether it was four years or eight years or, in one case, more than eight years. We have, in less than four years, done more regulation cutting by far. And we’re doing more as we — as we go. Some of it is statutory; you can only do it at a certain pace. You have to wait 90 days, you have to wait 120 days before you can take the next step. We have tremendous regulation cutting coming. With that being said, we’re going to have certain regulations to protect the environment and also safety.
  • Small business optimism has come surging back. In June, it was higher than any month under the previous administration. Think of that. So small business optimism was higher than any month under the previous administration. And that is while we’re going through a pandemic, a worldwide pandemic, you have a number like that. And when you see the numbers that we quoted just now as to what’s happening with cases and all of the other hospitalization rates, a lot of tremendous things are happening. 
  • Industrial production is increasing at the fastest rate ever recorded. I mean, think of these numbers. I mean, how does that happen? Industrial production is increasing at the fastest rate on record, which is “ever recorded.” 
  • Consumer spending is expected to grow at an astronomical rate this quarter. So we don’t have the number yet, but it looks like it’s going to be at an astronomical rate. 
  • I want to say that I want college football to come back. These are strong, healthy, incredible people. These are people that want to play football very badly. A great, great talent quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, called me two days ago. I spoke to him a couple of times. And he said, “Sir, I want to just tell you we want it back, we want to play.” And he’s an incredible quarterback, as you know, from an incredible school, Clemson. And he’s going to have a very good future in the NFL. He’s got everything. He’s got height, accuracy, a strong arm, and he’s fast. Other than that, I guess he’s got some problems. (Laughter.) But he’s got — he’s got the whole package. I watched him last year running. He was faster than — faster than the backs that were guarding. I think he’s going to be great. 
  • He’s just a great young man. I talked to him actually for a long time. They want to play football. And he made the statement that he feels he’s safer on the field. He’s safer on the field than he is out — you know, outside of the field. He feels very safe. 
  • And if you look, the SEC, the Big 12, and the ACC are back. They want to come back, and I think they’re coming back. The Big 10 and the Pac 12 are not, and I wish they would come back. 
  • You know, I just want to say — it’s sort of sad because I’d been fighting for football to come back. We’re trying to help the NFL, as long as they stand for our National Anthem, as long as they honor our flag and our country. If they start kneeling, I’m not going to be helping them much. They might come back, but I won’t be watching. Neither will a lot of other people.
  • I think what the NBA did was atrocious. I thought it was disgraceful the way they kneeled. And their ratings are reflective of that. But I think football has to get smart. That’s the NFL; let’s see what happens. But if they do it — they learned their lesson, I thought, two years ago when people started not watching and when people really weren’t going to the game so much. A lot of empty seats all of a sudden. So they’re going to learn that lesson again if they don’t wise up.
  • I just want to say — so, Trevor Lawrence, great. And some of the great people — SEC, Big 12, ACC — I want to thank them and I want to congratulate them for coming back. 
  • I want to also mention that CNN had a story that, “Will they blame Trump for football in the swing states?” What a dishonest story that is. Will they blame me? I’m the one that’s pushing them to come back. So they want to try and blame me. So them and, I guess, the New York Times reported one person — it was one person in the story — one person said maybe it’s Trump’s fault. And I’m the one pushing them back.
  • I’d like to see college football come back. I’d like to see them come back proud and strong. I was very impressed by Trevor. I was very impressed by other people that called me. Players called me, coaches called me — Coach O. If you want a coach who’s central casting for a movie — if you’re doing a movie, you have to put Coach O as the head because this guy is central casting. 
  • When you have guys like Nick Saban and others calling for it to come back — they want it to come back. And these are great athletes. These are not people that seem to be at all susceptible to this horrible disease. And they want to play football. And we have great testing, so you’ll be able to test.
  • When CNN and the New York Times — the New York Times quoted one person — one person. And I’m the one pushing. So we’ll get it straight: I’m the one pushing for football to come back. I think if I wasn’t pushing, you wouldn’t have anything happening.
  • So, with that, we’ll take — we’ll take a few questions.

Topics covered in the answer and question portion of the briefing can be found here: August 15 Briefing

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