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Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:10 AM

Trump's Remarks in Press Briefing; July 22, 2020


Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing

Issued on: July 22, 2020

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Today, my administration reached a historic agreement with Pfizer to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their vaccine immediately following its approval. Hopefully, the approval process will go very quickly. And we think we have a winner there. We also think we have other companies right behind that are doing very well on the vaccines — long ahead of schedule.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, this agreement will also ensure that we receive an additional 500 million doses shortly thereafter. This is another crucial step in our effort to develop, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine in record-breaking time — really a very small fraction of the time, based on previous schedules. I want to thank the FDA. I want to thank everybody involved. It’s been an incredible process.

As discussed yesterday, the China virus poses the greatest threat to our senior citizens, as we all know. The median age for those who die from the virus is 78 years old, and nearly half of the deaths have occurred among those living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. That’s really something.

In other words, approximately half of the fatalities have occurred among less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. So think of that: less than 1 percent, half of the fatalities. So we know what to look for.


So, with that, I’ll take a few questions, please. Yeah, please.

Q Mr. President, I just wanted to ask you a question about the surge of federal agents to various cities.


Q The mayor of Chicago just said, moments ago, that you’re doing this to divert attention from your failures on coronavirus. You are only targeting cities —

THE PRESIDENT: But we haven’t had that failure. And —

Q You are only targeting cities, though, run by Democrats. Is this just a political stunt?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, the cities, unfortunately, that are in trouble are all run by Democrats. You have radical-left Democrats running cities like Chicago and so many others that we just had a news conference. And, unfortunately, that’s the way it is. I mean, that’s the facts.

When you look at Chicago and you look at the job — Mayor Lightfoot sent me a letter yesterday, and I think, in their own way, they want us to go in. There’ll be a time when they’re going to want us to go in full blast, but right now we’re sending extra people to help. We’re arresting a lot of people that have been very bad.

As far as the coronavirus, as you say, I think we’ve done some amazing things, and I think you’ll probably see that if you compare our statistics to other countries. And if you look at death rates, et cetera, you’re going to see — and especially into the future, with what’s happening — you’re going to see some very, very impressive numbers for the United States.



Q Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. These two questions are with Andrew Feinberg and J.C. Bua. One is: Today you said you’re sending federal law enforcement officers to run cities run by “extreme politicians” — that’s the word you used — which — who happen to be all Democrats who have supported Black Lives Matter protests.

THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t say I that. I didn’t say who supported —

Q Millions of Americans voted for these people —

THE PRESIDENT: No. I said Democrat politicians, and these are the cities where you have the problem. If you look at Chicago, if you look at Detroit, if you look — I mean, look around any of these cities where we have the problems.

And we’re sending them help, but we’re really waiting for them to call for the big help, for the big numbers, for the large numbers of people that we have ready, willing, and able.

You look at Chicago, where 14 people were shot yesterday; where, over the weekend, many people died and many people were shot; and, over the last month, they’re setting record numbers.

We are waiting for the mayor, respectfully, and other mayors and governors to call us. We are ready, willing, and able to go in there with great force.

Now, we also have people that are going in and arresting drug dealers, arresting some of the shooters that are doing the shooting. We know who they are. We’re working with police forces. And even though, in some cases, they’re told, “Don’t work with the federal government,” the police forces have great respect for the federal government — what we do.

But we’re ready, willing, and able to go into these cities that are just being decimated with shooting. And we’re going to help.


Q I have a question on crime. But first, I don’t think we really got an explanation yesterday on why the health experts are no longer joining you at these briefings. Can — can you explain why?

THE PRESIDENT: Because they are briefing me. I’m meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci. Dr. Birx is right outside. And they giving me all of — everything they know, as of — as of this point in time. And I’m giving the information to you, and I think it’s probably a very concise way of doing it. It seems to be working out very well.

Q Okay. So, on crime —

THE PRESIDENT: But they’re very much — they’re very much involved. They’re very much — the relationships are all very good. All very good. The relationships that we have with the doctors, with everybody working on the virus has been, I think, extraordinary.

Kayleigh is here, and I think you would say the same thing. You work with them all the time.

Yeah, go ahead. Please.

Q So, on crime: In 2016, you said it was President Obama’s fault that homicides were up in Chicago. So why was it the President’s fault then, but it’s not your fault now?

THE PRESIDENT: Chicago is a disaster. The mayor is saying, “Don’t come in.” The mayor is telling us not to come in. At some point, we can void that if we have to, but we — and we may have to, at some — because it’s out of control. I assume she’s saying that for political reasons. I think it’s negative political reasons.

She’s a — she’s a Democrat. I’m going to be nice. She’s a Democrat. She’s making a big mistake. People are dying in Chicago and other cities, and we can solve the problem. They have to ask us, but —

Q Right, but —

THE PRESIDENT: — we can solve the problem.

Q — why was it President Obama’s fault in 2016? You credited it as him being in office.

THE PRESIDENT: Because President Obama was invited in, and he did a poor job. President Obama could have gone into Chicago. He could have solved the problem, and he didn’t. In our case, they don’t want us in. We can solve the problem very easily. We’re equipped with the best equipment, the best people.

And you see what we’re doing. I mean, Portland was coming down; it was busting at the seams. And we went in and protected all the federal buildings. Those federal buildings are totally protected. But — and we had to do that. And Portland is a very different place than Chicago.

But Chicago should be calling us — and so should Philadelphia and Detroit and others — to go in and really help them. Because when you’re losing many people a weekend — many, many people; you see the same numbers as I do — when you’re losing these people, they should call us, and they should say, “Come on in.” And it’s incredible to me, but they’re not doing it.

At some point, they will. At some point, we may have no other choice but to go in.


Q Yes, thank you. Would you like to respond to Joe Biden, who, today, described you — you might have heard that — as the first racist to be elected President. Those are his — that was his words.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, it’s interesting because we did criminal justice reform. We passed criminal justice reform, something that Obama and Biden were unable to do. We did opportunity cities. We did the greatest — if you look at what we’ve done with Opportunity Zones, nobody has ever even thought of a plan like that.

Prior to the China plague coming in, floating in, coming into our country, and really doing terrible things all over the world — doing terrible things — we had the best African American, Hispanic American, Asian American — almost every group was the best for unemployment. The unemployment numbers were the best.

You look at — so you look at employment; you look at Opportunity Zones; and maybe most importantly of all, you look at criminal justice reform; you look at prison reform. I’ve done things that nobody else — and I’ve said this, and I say it openly, and not a lot of people dispute it: I’ve done more for black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Nobody has even been close.

Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.

END 6:12 P.M. EDT

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