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.
Vice President Pence highlighted the Federal government’s recent efforts to surge medical personnel to Arizona, California, and Texas, and indicated the partnership with Florida on identifying medical personnel needs. The Vice President discussed best practices with our Nation’s governors on limiting Coronavirus spread while keeping America open, including encouraging Americans to adhere to state and local guidelines and to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. They also discussed efforts to continue to expand testing, support long-term care residents, and increase healthcare capacity. The Vice President and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield recapped the important dialogue from the previous week about safely reopening America’s schools to respect the holistic health (physical, mental and social health) of students and advance the learning goals and objectives of our Nation’s students. Dr. Birx provided an update on data and trends, and reiterated the call for pooled testing.
Secretary Azar provided an update on remdesivir and Regeneron development and distribution timelines, and urged States to be vigilant in their oversight of their remdesivir allocation. Secretary Azar also issued another request for States to increase their supply of convalescent plasma by reminding residents that they can contact the American Red Cross to determine their ability to donate.
Admiral Giroir provided an update on commercial lab testing turnaround, testing supply support, and areas where states could increase testing capacity (e.g., public health labs, which are operating at slightly more than 58% capacity). Admiral Giroir also reiterated the Administration’s reminder that States continue to prioritize the protection of seniors.
Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- The Vice President
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
- Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
- Director Robert Redfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HHS
- Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health, (HHS)
- Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense (DOD)
- Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has led over 320 briefings – including 29 governors’ briefings – with over 149,000 State, local, and Tribal participants.