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The White House scrambles to clarify key details from Trump's speech announcing his coronavirus response


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  • Three crucial components of President Donald Trump's nationally televised Wednesday-night address on the US response to the novel coronavirus were quickly walked back or contradicted.

  • After Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from most of Europe to the US, the Department of Homeland Security clarified that it would exclude US citizens and permanent residents. 

  • Trump also issued a tweet saying that trade of goods between the US and Europe would not be halted after saying the opposite in his speech.

  • A major US health-insurance industry group contradicted Trump's claim that major health insurers would waive co-payments on coronavirus treatments, clarifying the waivers would apply to testing.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Minutes after President Donald Trump delivered a major address Wednesday night on the US response to the novel coronavirus, his own administration and other US officials publicly contradicted three important claims from his speech. 

Trump and the officials quickly walked back his nationally televised statements that 1) the administration would ban all travel from Europe to the US, 2) the ban would also apply to trade and cargo between the US and Europe, and 3) major health insurers would waive co-pays on coronavirus treatment.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus, first identified in China, has now spread to 118 countries and regions, infecting an estimated 126,000 people and causing more than 4,600 deaths worldwide. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

There are now more than 1,300 confirmed cases and 38 deaths from the coronavirus in the US. The cases are spread throughout Washington, DC, and 38 states, many of which have made emergency declarations.

The US has been relatively slow to respond to the coronavirus compared with other nations, testing far fewer people per capita for the coronavirus and dispatching fewer coordinated resources to combat its spread as Trump has publicly downplayed its severity. 

Here are the important claims about the US coronavirus response from Trump's speech that were later clarified or walked back:

The Department of Homeland Security issued a major clarification to Trump's travel-ban announcement  

In his speech, Trump announced that the United States would take the drastic step of banning all travel from most of Europe for 30 days to limit the spread of the coronavirus from abroad. 

What Trump said:

"I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans to keep new cases from entering our shores. We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom."

Shortly after Trump's speech, however, the Department of Homeland Security issued major clarifications to Trump's remarks, announcing that the travel ban would not apply to US citizens or permanent residents abroad. 

 

A key clarification from DHS on the European travel ban - it doesn’t apply to US citizens or permanent residents.

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

The update also made clear the specific countries affected, listing the 26 members of the Schengen Area travel agreement that covers most of mainland Europe but excludes the UK and Ireland.

Trump hadn't mentioned Ireland's exemption in his announcement, prompting Dublin Airport to make clear that it was not part of the new ban.

 

Trump himself walked back his remarks on halting trade

About an hour after his speech ended, Trump sent out a tweet announcing that "trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe," a significant departure from what he said in his speech.

It's unclear whether the incorrect details about the trade halt were written into the speech or whether Trump misread his teleprompter and misspoke. 

 

Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.

 
 
 
 

 

A powerful insurance lobby contradicted Trump's comments on insurance waivers

In his speech, Trump made another major announcement, telling Americans that major health insurers would not only cover the costs of coronavirus treatment in insurance plans but also waive co-payments for all coronavirus treatments. 

What Trump said:

"Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing."

Not long after his speech, however, a representative for the insurance-industry group America's Health Insurance Plans told Politico that major health insurers had agreed to waive co-pays only for coronavirus testing, not the far more costly coronavirus treatments.

 

Trump's claim tonight that health insurers "have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments" seems to be news to them.

“For testing. Not for treatment.” a spokesperson for the major insurance lobby AHIP says.

 
 
 
 
 

Trump tonight said health insurers “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments.” WH official says Trump meant to echo what VP said yesterday that insurers “have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus *testing.”

 
 

 

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7 hours ago, Theseus said:

Trump's speech writer should be fired. Trump read strictly from the teleprompter. 

 

Trump should pre read his speeches and fact check them himself. Then if he sees the TelePrompTer is wrong pullout his fact checked speech and read it. 

 

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22 hours ago, nstoolman1 said:

 

Trump should pre read his speeches and fact check them himself. Then if he sees the TelePrompTer is wrong pullout his fact checked speech and read it. 

 

 

That would require effort on Trump's part......Whoever does the hiring an firing for that administration needs to be the one held to account. 

 

GO RV, then BV

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'Not for sale': Germany has reacted furiously to Trump's attempts to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine

8671bb20-a4bf-11e9-bf77-b045690ae315
tcolson@businessinsider.com (Thomas Colson)
,
Business InsiderMarch 16, 2020
 
coronavirus germany vaccine
coronavirus germany vaccine

Reuters

  • Germany is furious about reports that President Donald Trump offered German scientists "a billion dollars" for exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine to be used "only for the USA."

  • The German government said the reports were accurate.

  • "Germany is not for sale," the country's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, told the broadcaster ARD on Sunday.

  • The Trump administration, however, said claims the US would not share the vaccine had been "wildly overplayed."

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

German government ministers have reacted furiously to reports the Trump administration has tried to buy exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by a German firm.

An explosive report in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag cited German government sources as saying the Trump administration offered a "billion dollars" to secure exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the firm CureVac, "but only for the USA."

The German health ministry told Reuters the report was accurate: "We confirm the report in the Welt am Sonntag," a representative said.

 

Following the report, Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, insisted on Sunday that the government would not allow President Donald Trump to push ahead with such a plan.

"German researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development, and we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results," he told the media group Funke.

"Germany is not for sale," the country's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, told the broadcaster ARD on Sunday, according to AFP.

Karl Lauterbach, a senior German politician and professor of health economics and epidemiology, tweeted in response to the story: "The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits."

A US official told AFP on Sunday that the report was "wildly overplayed" and denied any vaccine would be exclusive to the US.

"We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help," the person said. "And any solution found would be shared with the world."

Florian von der Muelbe, CureVac's chief production officer and cofounder, told Reuters last week that the company hoped to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July so it could seek permission to start testing on humans.

He said a low-dose vaccine that the company hoped to develop could make it suitable for mass production within CureVac's existing facilities.

In a statement last week, CureVac said its outgoing CEO, Daniel Menichella, had been invited to the White House for a meeting with Trump to discuss strategies and opportunities for the production of a coronavirus vaccine.

"We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months," Menichella said in a statement.

CureVac denied "rumors of an acquisition" in a Sunday statement. The firm said it had been in contact with many organizations and global authorities but "abstains from commenting on speculations and rejects allegations about offers for the acquisition of the company or its technology."

 

https://news.yahoo.com/not-sale-germany-reacted-furiously-115000051.html?.tsrc=jtc_news_index

 

GO RV, then BV

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On 3/15/2020 at 10:07 AM, nstoolman1 said:

 

Trump should pre read his speeches and fact check them himself. Then if he sees the TelePrompTer is wrong pullout his fact checked speech and read it. 

 

Then why the heck do you need a speech writer? 

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