President Trump held press conference this afternoon, to review both the successes of his administration’s response and the challenges it faces in trying to end the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.

As we have noted in numerous posts, the American press conflates cases with deaths and tweaks the coverage to diminish as much positive news related to COVID-19 as possible. Trump took the opportunity to note a few statistics that may surprise some Americans:

  • The length of hospitalization stays for COVID-19 treatment  have been halved since the highs in April.
  • The mortality rates have substantially dropped as well (i.e., the deaths/week have dropped from almost 17,000 to in April just 2100 for the week starting July 11).
  • Treatments involving Remdesivir and steroids like Dexamethasone have proved effective.

The President also highlighted just how extensive testing has been, and noted that many individuals who tested positive were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that required no treatment.

Trump also stressed that mask-wearing will be a significant part of the prevention guidelines going forward.

In the briefing, Mr. Trump urged Americans to wear a mask. The president largely resisted wearing a mask in public for months and downplayed their importance, but he tweeted a picture of himself wearing one on Monday.

“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,” Mr. Trump said. He later added that he “will use it gladly, no problem with it.

Additionally, the President indicated that two vaccines were already in late-stage trials. He noted that both vaccines were in production, and would be ready for widespread distribution once either or both have been given the final approval.

Trump also stated that he had discussed the surging caseload in Mexico with that country’s leader, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The crisis in Mexico may be impacting numbers along the southern states that are seeing outbreaks.

Chris Van Gorder says he’s seeing a telling trend in the hospitals he runs.

Coronavirus patients are showing up in emergency rooms after calling 911 from the US-Mexico border.

“They’ll literally come to the border and call an ambulance,” says Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, a hospital system in southern California.

The rise in ambulance traffic from the border, which several officials described to CNN, is a symptom of the pandemic’s spread in the region — and a sign of the many connections between communities in both countries.

“There just is not a wall for viruses at the border,” says Josiah Heyman, director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. “The wall is an illusion, because the two sides are really woven together.”

An increase in cross-border coronavirus cases, which began getting public attention in May, overwhelmed some California hospitals and spurred the state to create a new patient transfer system to help.

“It’s an unprecedented surge across the border,” says Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the California Hospital Association.

Trump also took questions from the press, which behaved with its trademark sobriety and probity. Perhaps my favorite question came from one reporter, who asked if Trump should be judged by voters based on his response to the coronavirus. That query allowed Trump to list off a plethora of all his other accomplishments on behalf of the American people.

Another reporter tried to rib Trump about not wearing a mask during a recent hotel event. He responded with the variety of circumstances and choices that would have made that decision valid and safe.

There was even a question about socialite and Jeffrey Epstein pal Ghislaine Maxwell, and whether Trump would comment on the powerful men she might implicate. Because isn’t that what everyone out-of-work or ill with COVID really wants to know?

Mercifully, Dr. Anthony Fauci was nowhere to be seen, therefore avoiding needless distractions or offering the press an excuse to promote more panic.

The briefing was short, sweet and to the point. Trump ably summed up his goal: “Not to manage the pandemic but end it”.


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