Town hall on FOX. Here's a link to live stream.

Donald J. Trump
Will be doing a Town Hall on @FoxNews
at 12:05 P.M. (Now). I will go on around 1:00 P.M. Enjoy!
9:04 AM · Mar 24, 2020

The President has joined the town hall.

Q: What is the moment you thought you had a hold on this?

POTUS: He says he started hearing about this virus and at the end of January and he consulted with Mike and made a decision to close off travel from China. They said it was racist what I did. Tens of thousands more people would be dead right now if I didn't make that decision.

Q: You took a lot of heat for that. What do you say to people about re-opening the country?

POTUS: Our country was not built to be shut down. You know you can tank a country's economy by shutting it down.

Q: How do you go about making that decision (about reopening the country)

POTUS: You know we lose thousands of people every year to the flu and we don't shut the country down over that. We lose thousands of people to car accidents but we don't call up the car manufacturers and tell them to stop making cars.

Q: You have members of the Senate debating a $2 trillion bill. How much concern do you have that you'll face criticism like President Obama did in 2009?

POTUS: I refused to sign that bill last night, I wasn't going to sign that. I was getting calls from all these people saying this bill is terrible. We had a deal before then they started throwing in all this new green deal stuff in, stop drilling for oil, things that were terrible. Credits for windmills. I said, I'm not signing this bill.

POTUS: Companies are the employers of millions of people and we have to protect them so they can continue to employ people. Boeing was solid like a AAA company and look what's happened. We can't lose Boeing.

Q: More than 66% of people are employed by small businesses and you keep talking about big companies. How do you shore up both? What will you do for small businesses.

POTUS: Harris is one of my favorite people but I couldn't even hear her question. The bill is very much focused on the small businesses and the small businesses added all up are about equal to the big companies. This bill is absolutely aimed at the small businesses and workers.

POTUS: Talking about people telling him to close down the country and he says, you're telling me we have to close it and people are being to go bankrupt and people are going to lose their jobs. We decided on 2 weeks and we'll reassess it because we can't stay closed down. Nothing like this has ever happened before, we never closed down the country for anything like this.

POTUS: Talks about damage to people and the country if we stay closed down. Bankruptcies, people getting depressed, more suicides.

Closing down the country was the most difficult decision I ever made. You're basically turning off the country, this has never been done. We have hot spots, we've had terrible flues, we lose 36K a year to the flu but we've never closed down the country.

POTUS: If we hadn't closed down the country, we'd have been unbelievably criticized for doing it. We never did this before, but people kept saying we had to do it but it can be terrible for the country. We have to get back to work, we have to do it.

Q: Did you screw up or did the CDC screw up (re testing)?

POTUS: I don't think anyone screwed up. Nobody ever thought this would happen. We created a new system and now we're doing more than anyone thought.

Q: You're talking about these bills, phase 1, 3 that are going to fix this but people are fighting like cats.

POTUS: He says they're working on it and they're coming together and they're going to come together. Talking about Gov Cuomo rejected buying 16K ventilators in 2015 at a low price and he turned it down, now he's blaming us (feds) for not providing enough. We're working very hard to help NY but now I hear Cuomo on TV complaining.

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Question about the stock market from Harris.

POTUS says things are going up today but he would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter.

Bill Hemmer says "That would be a great American resurrection."

Q from Allison: If you get coronavirus can it mutate and infect you again?

Dr Birx answering that it can mutate but certain parts of it stay the same so anyone that becomes positive and makes effective antibodies, you shouldn't get reinfected.

Q to Surgeon General about South Korea's death rate.

SG: When you look at data in US of all people tested so far, 90% test negative. Most people even if they have cold symptoms do not have coronavirus.

Some people will get the virus in many parts of the country but most of them will recover. He says POTUS listens to Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and I and others when we speak out and he will make an appropriate decision.

Hemmer asks POTUS if things are cool with Dr Fauci because he hasn't been at the briefings for a few days. POTUS says he gets along great with Fauci and that he has other things to do, he doesn't need to be there every day.

Q from Noah K: What do you plan to do to help people who work in the health care industry, my mother is a nurse.

Dr Birx is answering. Nurses are our first priority in getting personal equipment out there, they are the first ones who contact sick people. We're making self tests available so that will help keep health care workers safe.

Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General says he knows what it's like to b e on the front line of infectious disease, he was involved with the ebola virus and we are working very hard to get PPE supplies where they are most needed.

He's asked when and where can people get self testing kits and SG says they're prioritizing tests getting them to hospitals and health care workers first.

Dr Birx explaining that the self test is not a "home test" you're given a kit to self swab but you still have to have it sent to a lab. We transformed the testing process but we don't want people who are just worried to get a test, don't get tested unless you have symptoms or have been exposed.

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Many people had strange viruses in December. Anyone want to bet the virus was around far longer than we know?

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