Today, Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with the chief executives of approximately 50 States, territories, and the city of Washington, DC, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, State, and Federal Coronavirus response and recovery best practices.
The Vice President and governors discussed the Administration’s priorities for a Coronavirus relief package including supporting American workers and providing resources to safely reopen schools. Vice President Pence also provided an update on COVID-19 response and discussed best practices with our Nation’s governors on limiting Coronavirus spread, including encouraging Americans to adhere to state and local guidelines and to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. The Vice President discussed the Federal governments support for personnel at hospitals and PPE at nursing homes, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance on encouraging schools to reopen in the Fall, and supporting States’ efforts at protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
Dr. Fauci reminded governors that universities that receive Federal funding, including funding from the National Institutes of Health, can take the burden off of commercial labs by focusing pooled testing resources on surveillance. Dr. Fauci and Admiral Giroir pressed governors to encourage those colleges and universities in their states that receive such funding to begin such testing.
Ambassador Birx thanked the governors of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia for their time during her recent travel and recapped the findings from those discussions and recent data analysis. Ambassador Birx also highlighted efforts by states to encourage social distancing and the use of cloth face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained, and to increase outdoor dining capacity.
Commissioner Hahn provided an update on the phase three clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed, the President’s vaccine event in North Carolina, and the Vice President’s recent trip to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Admiral Giroir provided an update on efforts to continue to resource state testing needs and pooled testing best practices.
Administrator Gaynor provided an update on Federal resource and support for expanding medical personnel needs. Specifically, Administrator Gaynor reiterated established processes that States, Tribes, and territories should undertake prior to requesting medical personnel resources.
Administrator Verma and Admiral Giroir provided an update on the Trump Administration recent steps to protect our nation’s most vulnerable including distributing $5 billion in funding to skilled nursing facilities and enhancing testing by distributing more than 15,000 rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices and associated tests over the next few months starting with nursing homes located in hotspot areas. Administrator Verma also discussed deploying Strike Teams to provide onsite technical assistance and education to nursing homes experiencing outbreaks in an effort to help reduce transmission, and providing nursing homes and States with substantial technical assistance and training focused on infection control and prevention best practices.
Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- The Vice President
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
- Administrator Stephen Hahn, M.D., Food and Drugs Administration (FDA)
- Administrator Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Director Robert Redfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HHS
- Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS
- Director Tony Fauci, M.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), HHS
Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has led over 325 briefings – including 31 governors’ briefings – with over 152,000 State, local, and Tribal participants.