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  • and joining us now to discuss the Trump administration's response to this crisis.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Aid are a czar who was with the president at the CDC today.

  • Thanks so much for joining us.

  • Great to be with you, Lindsay.

  • So we're monitoring a developing situation in Boston.

  • As you know, authorities shut down the street to bring people from a hotel to a hospital for testing.

  • Are you concerned about Seymour incidents like this in major cities, where large groups they're told to go to the hospital to be tested for Corona virus?

  • Well, the local public health authorities in those situations have to be, of course, very careful to make sure that the collecting of individuals doesn't itself lead to spreading of disease.

  • I'm sure the folks in Boston know what they're doing and are falling appropriate protocols on that situation.

  • We've now seen two large festival shut down ultra in Miami and south by Southwest in Austin Is the Trump administration considering halting large scale events like March Madness, for example, Well, Lindsay, it's really important that we that we think about the broad spectrum.

  • We've got a couple 100 cases here in the United States, where a very large country and so what we're doing now is really pursuing what you call a blend of containment where we work to stop this, the introduction of the disease further into the United States or its spread in the United States.

  • But then measures like that, which would be containment mitigate would be mitigation measures in individual communities where you have outbreaks, so measures around mitigation would make sense and areas, for instance, like Seattle or in Santa Clara, California Um, and the local authorities work with CDC on those steps.

  • But at this point, we aren't seeing anything like that that you would call for those measures across the entire United States.

  • But we're gonna will keep open and be surveilling toe and advising if if we ever get to that point.

  • And how is the federal government helping hospitals across the country to prepare for this?

  • Especially since there's a testing kit shortage on the federal level.

  • First, there is no testing kit shortage, nor has there ever been.

  • There is, in fact, today with the president.

  • Dr.

  • Steve Monroe, who runs the labs and testing here at CDC, made it clear that throughout this this entire, this entire disease, there has never been a time where a public health lab has needed to test an individual.

  • That was, is that they wanted to test, and capacity here at CDC has not been available.

  • We will have, by the end of this weekend over 1.2 million tests around American public health labs as well as in private and commercial labs, and that is scaling up by the millions ramping up rapidly.

  • So that's that's what's going on on the testing front.

  • Secretary is just today, Vice president Pence said that there is a testing shortage.

  • No, he didn't.

  • What the vice president said quite clearly was, we do not at the moment have out there the number of tests that we would need in the future.

  • Because, of course, we're ramping that up.

  • We have.

  • We will have 1.2 million tests available by the end of this weekend out in the country, and we will have probably up to four million available by the end of next week, so it's ramping up quite rapidly.

  • Washington or Washington, California.

  • They have all the tests that they've asked for.

  • So then there's never been a shortage of inability to test an individual that public health officials have felt has needed to be tested.

  • So he was saying just the point of clarification here, that we have a shortage potentially for our future needs.

  • He was saying, We have to build up capacity because our future needs air going to be greater than what we're already out there.

  • But literally this week we've solved that issue by getting to 1.2 million tests being out there in communities, the commercial labs, America's great companies like like Quest and Lab core Roshan Abbot there in the middle of validating their own commercial tests that will be coming out probably as soon as next week if they pass their validation on top of the great work that CDC is done to get what will be by the end of next week, probably close to four million tests out there in the United States For a country that has a couple 100 individuals infected right now, Okay, so when you say a couple of 100 let's take a step back here for a second.

  • What's your current assessment of the situation in the United States.

  • So, like I said, we're in a blend of containment and mitigation.

  • We're still working aggressively to stop the spread of the disease and introduction of it.

  • But then, where we've seen limited instances of community spread, for instance, in Seattle area or in Santa Clara County were involved in what we call mitigation steps, which is, we work to bring down the spread of that disease and hopefully stop it by appropriate social distancing measures by appropriate infection control.

  • So we're in that really blended period right now.

  • So just trying to get a new assessment as faras the hundreds of cases that you're referencing right now, not extremely concerned about where we are right now, but just concerned potentially about the future.

  • Well, we're concerned about where we are and where we are and what the future is.

  • This is an unknown disease.

  • And so we we we wanted this take this very seriously.

  • We prepare for the worst we hope for the best, but we've got the finest public health infrastructure in the world than what we've been saying to folks is for the average American.

  • For the average American, the risk to them is still low in certain communities, that risk might be higher, and in particular for individuals who are older or who have multiple co morbid conditions who are medically fragile.

  • This could be a particularly concerning disease.

  • One thing Lindsay that we have found globally is that for younger individuals, while they can still get the disease, we've not seen the kind of mortality that we've seen in the elderly or the individuals who are medically fragile.

  • So a lot of our efforts are gonna be to focus on on the individuals and the care and of those types of indulge, for instance, aggressive outreach to America's nursing home community for infection control, an early disease spotting so we could protect our seniors who might be a nursing homes, for instance.

  • Sure, so we've seen a little bit of confusion across the country about just who should be tested.

  • Can you clarify that for us?

  • So from the federal government level, we have made it clear.

  • Now the CDC believes anybody that a doctor or public health official should have tested should be tested.

  • So it's up to individual clinician judgment.

  • But what that means is, we don't we don't necessarily think that tens of millions of Americans should be clogging up the lab testing system simply because they they think they that they might have a cold there should be the physician's mind In the public.

  • Health officials mind a reason to suspect novel Corona virus that would be the presence of, for instance, influenza like symptoms ruled out diagnosis of influenza.

  • Something like that would be the reason why a doctor might order a test.

  • But from the CD sees perspective, we've made it clear that that that is subject to doctor and public health.

  • Official discretion.

  • And what about the vaccine itself?

  • Another medical treatments?

  • What will you do to ensure that whenever a vaccine is online, that the cost will not be unattainable to the average American?

  • Well, so President Trump This morning I was standing with him as he signed the $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriation which will add money into our vaccine and therapeutic research efforts, and I've made it very clear that where it is, federal funding and federal technology at issue were enjoying adventuring with the private sector.

  • We're going to ensure in those contracts that we have appropriate pricing for the acquisition of those products by the federal government, a CZ.

  • They would go forward if they do come to market in China.

  • We have, of course, seeing the mass quarantines here in the U.

  • S.

  • We're just doing self quarantines as cases continue to grow.

  • Is the federal government considering another scenario, perhaps where we shut down everything for a week or two?

  • Well, we look at all scenarios.

  • That's part of how we do our planning.

  • We look from the small to, for instance, may be recommending against assemblies in local schools in a particular community all the way up to larger scale, social distancing measures that can involve telecommuting or school closures or or public transportation.

  • But it has to be driven by science evidence and epidemiology, and that's what our advice will be based on.

  • Secretary is our thank you so much for your time in what we know is a very busy day for you.

  • Good to be with you.

  • Thank you.

  • Hi, everyone.

  • George Stephanopoulos here.

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  • Thanks for watching.

and joining us now to discuss the Trump administration's response to this crisis.

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衛生與公眾服務部部長迴應COVID-19危機。獨家 (Health and Human Services secretary responds to COVID-19 crisis: Exclusive)

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