The President's News Conference
The President. Thank you very much, everybody. Please. I hope it's not too hot. But it's pretty warm. Thank you.
So we've had a big day in the stock market. Things are coming back, and they're coming back very rapidly—a lot sooner than people thought. People are feeling good about our country. People are feeling good about therapeutics and possible vaccines. But we're going to go over quite a bit, and maybe at the end, we'll take some questions if we have time, if it's not too hot.
Today I signed legislation and an Executive order to hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which I signed this afternoon, passed unanimously through Congress. This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom. We've all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.
A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong, I suspect. And we're going to do a lot more business because of it, because we just lost one competitor. That's the way it is. We lost a very, very serious competitor, a competitor that we incentivized to take a lot of business and do well. And we gave them a lot of business by doing what we did. We gave them things that nobody else had the right to do, and that gave them a big edge over other markets. And because of that edge, they've done really historic business, tremendous business—far bigger than anybody would have thought, years ago, when we did this gift. We—it was really a gift to freedom.
Today I also signed an Executive order ending U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong. Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China: no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.
In addition to that, as you know, we're placing massive tariffs and have placed very large tariffs on China, first time that's ever happened to China. Billions of dollars have been paid to the United States, of which I've given quite a bit to the farmers and ranchers for our country because they were targeted. And that's been going on for 3 years. It's the first time anybody's ever done anything like that.
And prior to the plague pouring in from China, they were having the worst year, as you know, in 67 years. And I don't want them to have a bad year; I want them to have a good year, but they were taking advantage of the United States for many, many years, and that's stopping.
But then, they—then the virus came in, and the world is a different place. But we're now getting back, and one of the reasons the market is doing so—it's almost at the point that it was at prior to the plague. Almost. And we're getting very close. It's a great thing. It's an amazing thing, what our people have done and what they've endured.
No administration has been tougher on China than this administration. We imposed historic tariffs. We stood up to China's intellectual property theft, at a level that nobody has ever come close. We confronted untrustworthy Chinese technology and telecom providers. We convinced many countries—many countries—and I did this myself, for the most part—not to use Huawei, because we think it's an unsafe security risk. It's a big security risk. I talked many countries out of using it. If they want to do business with us, they can't use it. Just today I believe that U.K. announced that they're not going to be using it. And that was up in the air for a long time, but they've decided. And you look at Italy; you look at many other countries.
We withdrew from the Chinese-dominated WHO, and we fully rebuilt the United States military. The WHO—World Health Organization—we were paying close to $500 million a year. China was paying $39 million a year. And China had too much say. They worked it very hard, which is a bad thing done by our past administrations. But we were tough, and we were saying—I was asking—I said, "Why are we paying so much more than China?" China has 1.4 billion people; we have 325—probably 325 million, approximately. Nobody can give the exact count. We're trying to get an exact count. But you have, over the years, many illegals who have come into the country, so it depends on how you want to count it. But you could say 325 to 350 million people, as opposed to 1.4 billion people.
And the World Trade—World Trade is terrible. That deal is terrible. And the World Health is a terrible deal. We've been very tough on the World Trade Organization, and we've been, I guess, as tough as you can get on World Health. We withdrew our money. We told them we're getting out. It doesn't mean that someday we won't go back in. Maybe we will, when it's correctly run. But they made a lot of bad predictions, and they said a lot of bad things about what to do and how to do it. And they turned out to be wrong, and they were really a puppet of China.
And make no mistake: We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world. They could have stopped it. They should have stopped it. It would have been very easy to do at the source when it happened.
In contrast, Joe Biden's entire career has been a gift to the Chinese Communist Party and to the calamity of errors that they've made. They made so many errors. And it's been devastating for the American worker. China has taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year from our country. And we rebuilt China. I give them all the credit in the world. I don't give the credit for the people that used to stand here, because they allowed this to happen where hundreds of billions of dollars were taken out of the United States Treasury in order to rebuild China.
There's no company and no country in the world—no country in the world has ever ripped off the United States like the incredible job that they did on this country and the people that ran it. Possibly, it's one of the reasons—certainly, it's one of the very big reasons—trade and things related to trade—that I got elected in the first place. I've been talking about it for a long time, along with many other subjects, frankly.
Joe Biden supported China's entry into the World Trade Organization, one of the greatest geopolitical and economic disasters in world history. If you look at China, you look at the moment they joined the World Trade, they were flatlining for years and years and years and decades. And then, all of a sudden, they joined the World Trade Organization, and they went like a rocket ship. They were given all sorts of advantages. They were considered a developing country. As a developing country, they got tremendous advantages over the United States and other countries. And they took advantage of those advantages and then some.
Biden personally led the effort to give China permanent, most favored nation status, which is a tremendous advantage for a country to have. Few countries have it. But the United States doesn't have it. Never did. Probably never even asked for it, because they didn't know what they were doing.
As Vice President, Biden was a leading advocate of the Paris climate accord, which was unbelievably expensive to our country. It would have crushed American manufacturers while allowing China to pollute the atmosphere with impunity. Yet one more gift from Biden to the Chinese Communist Party. They took all of the advantage away from us. They took everything away. They don't have oil. We would have had to close up tremendous amounts of our energy to qualify, eventually, not too far into the future. We would've had to do things that would have been unbelievably destructive to our country, including the possible closing of 25 percent of our businesses. Think of that. And it was going to cost us hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for the privilege of being involved in the Paris climate accord.
And you just have to look at what took place this year in Paris and France, where money was being sent to countries all over the world, and the people of France didn't want to take it, and they didn't, and they did a lot of rioting. They had their taxes raised. We would have had to raise our taxes. And it was a disaster. I've been given a lot of credit for what I did there. It took a certain amount of courage, I guess, because it sounds so nice—the Paris climate accord—but it wasn't good for us at all.
America lost nearly 10,000 factories while Joe Biden was Vice President. Think of that: 10,000 factories. He wrote something today, and he made a statement today that I wrote down. It's pretty accurate.
So Biden was here for 47 years. Eight years—the last 8 years, not long ago—as Vice President, he said, "One in 5 miles of our highways are still in poor condition." Well, we're doing a good job on highways, but why didn't he fix them 3 years ago? Why didn't he fix them?
"Tens of thousands of bridges are in disrepair and on the verge of collapse." Well, it's probably not a right number, but we have bridges that should have been fixed. Why didn't he fix them? He was there for 8 years with President Obama. Why didn't they fix them? Tens of thousands of bridges. This is what he wrote: "High-speed broadband. We want high-speed broadband." Well why didn't he get it? Three years ago, it's not a long time.
And he didn't do any of the things, but now he says he's going to be President, and, as President, he's going to do all the things that he didn't do. He never did anything, except make very bad decisions, especially on foreign policy.
So Joe Biden and President Obama freely allowed China to pillage our factories, plunder our communities, and steal our most precious secrets. And I've stopped it largely, but I've stopped it. And it wasn't easy, because you talk about a certain power of the telephone and the calls, where they would call and say, "No, we don't want to do that." And other countries would call on behalf of China. But I did it. I did what has to be done. And you just take a look at what's gone on. And take a look at the kind of—at the numbers where they devalued their currency in order to pay the tariffs.
Now the Democrat Party is calling for defunding of our military. Think of that: defunding. They want to defund our military when China is building a massive military. They're building a massive military, and Biden wants to defund our military. And the world needs American strength right now more than ever, and we've got it.
We've got now, soon—as it—all this equipment comes in, all made in the U.S.A.—we've got the newest, most incredible weapons anywhere in the world. We have the best tanks, the best ships, the best missiles, rockets. We have the best of everything. We have the best fighter jets—the F-35, the F-18. All of these assets are being built. Tankers—incredible tankers. Bombers. Hope we don't have to use them, but we have the most incredible military.
When I came in, the military was totally depleted. It was at a level that was just absolutely incredible. And you know the statements. I made the statements before I told you what generals told me about our military. And I'll make them again. If somebody needs them, we'll give them to you. Very well documented. As Vice President, Biden opposed tariffs, and he was standing up for China. He didn't want to do anything to disrupt the relationship with China, even though China was taking us to the cleaners. He opposed my very strict travel ban on Chinese nationals to stop the spread of the China virus. He was totally against it. "Xenophobic," he called me. "Xenophobic." A month later, he admitted I was right.
We would have had thousands of people additionally die if we let people come in from heavily infected China. But we stopped it; we did a travel ban in January. Nancy Pelosi was dancing on the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco a month later and even later than that and others too. They all thought what I did was a terrible mistake.
We would have lost—in fact, Dr. Fauci said you would have lost thousands of additional people if President Trump had to do that. And I was a crowd of one, because even experts didn't want to do it. They thought it was a mistake. And then, I did Europe when I started seeing what was going on in Italy and Spain and France and other countries in Europe. I did a ban on people coming in from Europe. That would have been disastrous for our country also.
And we saved tens of thousands of lives, but we actually saved millions of lives by closing—by closing up, we saved millions, potentially millions of lives. Could be—a number that we're actually working on—but it could be 2 to 3 million lives. So we're at 135,000, which is terrible; one is too much. But we would have had millions of people dead from this curse that came at us.
But we did what we had to do, and now we'll put out the flames as it happens. We have to get the schools open. We have to get everything open. A lot of people don't want to do that for political reasons, not for other reasons.
But if we had listened to Joe Biden, hundreds of thousands of additional lives would have been lost. And if you look at the job he did on swine flu—I looked at a poll—they have polls on everything nowadays—and he—they got very bad marks on the job they did on the swine flu, H1N1. He calls it "N1H1." H1N1. He got very poor marks from Gallup on the job they did on swine flu. And they stopped, very early on, testing. They totally stopped it. They just said, "Stop."
And frankly, if we didn't test, you wouldn't have all the headlines, because we're showing cases. And we have just about the lowest mortality rate. But if we did—think of this: If we didn't do testing—instead of testing over 40 million people, if we did half the testing, we would have half the cases. If we did another—you cut that in half, we would have, yet again, half of that.
But the headlines are always: "Testing." Now, the testing is a good thing, but at the same time, it's fodder for the fake news to report cases. So we're doing 40 million-plus, going to be very close to 45 million people. And when I turn on the news, I see, "cases, cases, cases." They don't talk about deaths being cut down to a level that—actually, "tenfold," they use. I got that from one of the very respected media outlets—"tenfold." Cut tenfold. Yes, but they don't talk about that; they talk about cases. And the cases are created because of the fact that we do tremendous testing. We have the best testing in the world.
We now make ventilators for the world. We had very few ventilators. There wasn't one person in any hospital anywhere in this country that needed a ventilator that didn't get it. And that was because we mobilized to a level—using the purchasing act, in some cases—we mobilized to a level that nobody thought possible.
Nothing has happened like that since World War II. Our Task Force has done a great job. Mike Pence worked so hard and gets so little credit. Sad to see that, actually. But he works so hard, and gets so little credit. The Governors would tell us—we'd be on the phone with 50 different Governors; they'd all tell us what a great job—"Great job." And then, they'll go to the media and say, "Well, they didn't do such a good job." Well, we did a great job.
We made a lot of Governors look fantastic. We did in New York—what we did in New York was one of the most incredible things: 2,800 beds in Javits Center, but the Governor used very few of them, unfortunately. Then, we moved in our great hospital ships, one of our two great. We moved one also to Los Angeles.
And we could have used that for our senior citizens. We could have used it for other people. They could have used it instead of sending our seniors back into nursing homes that were infected, where you lost thousands of people. Thousands of people in New York died because of poor management by the Governor. And it's a very sad thing to see and very sad to watch and very sad to look at those statistics.
But we have an incredible Javits Center that we built with thousands of beds. I think it was 2,800, all ready to go. And they could have sent people there, or they could have sent senior citizens there instead of sending them into the nursing homes. And after all of that work and getting it done, the Army Corps of Engineers—I mean, the job they did was incredible. They built it in a matter of days.
When it was all completed—FEMA, everybody was there—doctors. We ended up getting doctors. They said, "We can't man it." I said, "So we'll man it and woman it." And that's what we did. We brought in doctors, nurses, everything. We're all set. We said, "Where are the people?" They didn't send the people. Very few people came in. They could have sent them into the Javits Center. They could have sent them to the hospital ship, which was virtually unused, but we were there.
By contrast, my administration acted very early to ban travel from China, from Europe, saving all of these lives. Incredible. And I want everyone to know, I want every citizen know that we're using the full power of the Federal Government to fight the China virus and to keep our people safe.
Through Operation Warp Speed, we will deliver a vaccine in record-breaking time. We're doing very well on the vaccines. We have many, many different vaccines being studied right now, many of which are looking really good. And we're ready to distribute the vaccine when we get it. We're all set. Taking a risk—an economic risk—of preparing for delivery, because we feel very certain it's going to be there. But logistically, we have our military ready to go. We have generals that that's all they do is distribute things, and they're going to be distributing, hopefully, a vaccine or a therapeutic, and it's coming out really well. And I think you're going to have some good news very, very quickly having to do with the vaccines.
We're also working with many other countries on the vaccine. Many countries are working with us. We're unleashing our Nation's scientific genius to kill the virus.
Joe Biden didn't just side with China on the virus—he did; he called me, again, "xenophobic." That's what he said. You all heard it many times. He described the rise of China as, quote, "a very positive development." It's not a positive development, not for us, it's not. He said that the idea that China is our competition is "really bizarre." He's really bizarre.
He said China is "not a problem." No, nobody's ripped us off more than China over the last 25, 30 years. Nobody close. And he says China is "not a problem." Now he takes it all back now. Now he wants to be Mr. Tough Guy. But for years—47 years—he never came out against China, never said anything bad. Just the opposite.
His son walked out with $1.5 billion of money to invest, where he'll make hundreds of thousands of dollars—maybe millions of dollars a year. Walked out with $1.5 billion. I asked one of the biggest people on Wall Street—maybe the biggest—"Is that possible?" He said, "No." He's never seen it. They don't do that.
But Hunter—where's Hunter? Where is Hunter, by the way? Hunter Biden walked out with $1.5 billion. In Ukraine, he got $83,000 a month and, I guess, an up-front payment of $3 million. So he went from not having a job to getting $83,000 a month, with a lot of money paid up front to work for Burisma. And you all know about Burisma, but nothing happens. Nobody cares. And he was unemployed, as you know. He was unfortunately forced to leave the military. He was forced to leave. Didn't have a job, and all of a sudden, he's making a fortune. But nobody talks about that.
Indeed, Biden expressed more fawning praise about China on an ordinary day than about America on the Fourth of July. The last Independence Day, Biden attacked the United States and said we had, quote, "never lived up to" the ideals of our fathers, our forefathers, or our Founding Fathers—those founding ideals. And yet he enthusiastically stated that China is a "great nation" and we should hope for its "continued expansion."
Well, we all wish well to China, but what China has unleashed on the world, it's hard to even fathom. I see people now, friends of mine, they walk up, they want to say hello, and they have to keep their distance, and they're all covered up, like you're all covered up, with facemasks. It's a different world, but we're coming out on top.
Biden sides with China over America time and time again. And he said, on the Fourth of July, "American history is no fairy tale" and yet blindly celebrates China, saying, "few . . . nations in history have come so far, so fast." He's so proud of them. He's so proud of them.
Now Joe Biden is pushing a platform that would demolish the U.S. economy, totally demolish it.
So we built the greatest economy in the history of our country, greatest in the history of the world. That was a few months ago. Best unemployment numbers ever. Best for African American, Asian American, Hispanic American. Best for women. Best for everybody. Best for young people that didn't have a high school diploma, didn't have a college diploma. If they had a diploma, they were really in good shape. We built the greatest ever stock market, highest ever in history. We had 143 days of alltime stock market highs in just less than 3½ years.
And we had to close it down—because we did the right thing by doing that. As I said, we saved millions of lives. But China was saying, "This is incredible what's going on." China was, for the first time, respecting the United States. And now they want to do something that's much different: Joe Biden.
So I've watched this, and I've watched it with great interest. We're building our economy again. I guess the stock market went up almost 500 points today or something thereabouts. You'll check. But it was up a lot when I left. And our economy is coming back. We're almost at a level where—even though it's long before the very important—maybe the most important ever—election of November 3. But long before that—but we're close to record stock markets again. And NASDAQ hit an alltime high for the 16th time. Think of that: for the 16th time—over the last month or so, for the 16th time. So one of our markets already hit an alltime high.
Today Joe Biden gave a speech in which he said that the core of his economic agenda is a hard-left crusade against American energy. He wants to kill American energy. He wants to reenter the unfair, one-sided Paris climate accord—which will destroy us—at the expense of many other nations who benefit. It was actually drawn, in my opinion, to take advantage of the United States, just like so many other deals that are done to take advantage of the fools running the United States. But this would do nothing for the environment, but would cripple American industry while greatly helping China.
He wants to impose massive energy taxes and job-crushing mandates to eliminate carbon from the United States economy—let him define the word "carbon," because he won't be able to—obliterating American oil, clean coal, natural gas, and the natural energy resources that supply countless American jobs.
Joe Biden put A.O.C., a young woman not talented, in many ways, in charge of his energy plan and the environment. Essentially, her and Bernie Sanders—who ran a lot of times for President, never made it. Good base, but that's about it. In other words, he wants to impose the Green New Deal on our country.
When I first saw the Green New Deal, I thought it was a joke. I said, "This will never go anywhere." Now they're trying to impose it. This will destroy our country and make us noncompetitive with other countries.
Don't forget we're in competition with China and with many other countries throughout the world. We're in tremendous economic competition, including Europe, which has never treated us well. The European Union was formed in order to take advantage of the United States. They formed, and they take advantage of the United States. And I know that, and they know I know that, but other Presidents had no idea.
Last week, Joe Biden released his unity platform, developed with Socialist Bernie Sanders, describing what he would do if elected President. The Biden-Sanders agenda is the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history. I think it's worse than, actually, Bernie's platform; it's gone so far right. And he's doing that because he's begging for their vote.
But one of the things I just asked my people to do is just draw up for me, just quickly, some of the things that we've been hearing about over the last couple of weeks. And these are actual key elements of the Biden-Sanders unity platform: Abolish immigration detention. No more detention. You come in here illegally, no more detention.
Stop all deportation. So if we get a MS-13 gang member, which we've taken out of our country by the thousands—brought them back to Honduras, Guatemala—can't do that anymore—El Salvador. Can't do that anymore. Stop all deportations. So, in other words, we'll take all of these people—many of whom are in prison for rape, murder, lots of other things.
End prosecution of illegal border crossers. Oh, okay, they come in illegally, and we have to stop the whole process. Support the deadly sanctuary cities where many of these people are protected better than the American citizen is protected.
Incentivize illegal-alien child smuggling. Give it an incentive. Because if you look at what they're saying, that's exactly what they do: incentivize illegal-alien child smuggling. They're incentivized by what this plan calls for.
Expand asylum for all new illegal aliens. How about that one? All new illegal aliens, expand asylum. Cancel all asylum cooperation agreements in the Western Hemisphere. Well, we have agreements with Honduras, Guatemala, with El Salvador. We have great agreements, where, when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say: "Don't bring them back to our country. We don't want them." "Well, we have to." We don't want them; they wouldn't take them. Now, with us, they take them. Someday, I'll tell you why. Someday, I'll tell you why. But they take them, and they take them very gladly.
They used to bring them out, and they wouldn't even let the airplanes land if they brought them back by airplanes. They wouldn't let the buses into their country. They said, "We don't want them." I said, "No, but they entered our country illegally." And they're murderers; they're killers, in some cases. And they said, "Nope, we don't want them." They'd turn the bus around, they'd turn the plane around, and they'd land in the United States, and who knows what happened to them, but it wasn't good.
Taxpayer-funded lawyers will be given to all illegal aliens. So we're going to pay now for the lawyers' lobby. And we're going to give all illegal aliens taxpayer-funded lawyers. How does that sound? Pretty good? In other words: Come in here illegally. We're going to give you a free legal advice. We'll take you up to the Supreme Court as much as possible.
Abolish immigration enforcement against illegal workers. Think of that: Abolish immigration enforcement. They're going to abolish immigration enforcement. Well, basically, as you know, what they're going to do is, they're going to rip down the wall. They're taking it down. They want to take down the wall, which we fought hard for: up to 259 miles right now of great, powerful wall that's really working, because, if you look at the numbers, in addition to the fact that Mexico, for various reasons, has 27,000 soldiers on our southern border to keep people out of our country—and I appreciate it.
We had a great meeting last week with the President of Mexico. Great guy. Friend of mine—become a friend of mine. A lot of people thought that couldn't happen, because we're very opposite, in terms of our views, maybe even in terms of our temperament. But he is a great guy, and he's a friend of mine, and they've been terrific. Mexico has been terrific. Twenty-seven thousand soldiers on our border, Mexican soldiers. And we have great, great numbers.
We got rid of so many different things: Catch-and-release is gone. So many different things have taken place. We used to catch them, take their name, and release them into our country. We don't do that anymore. We now release them back where they came from. Sometimes, we'll bring them back to their country.
Grant work permits for illegal aliens. So if you come in illegally, you get a work permit. People that live here don't get work permits, in many cases. Provide taxpayer subsidies and welfare for illegal aliens and new immigrants. So we want to provide taxpayer subsidies and welfare for people that come into our country illegally, illegal immigrants. They want government health care for all illegal aliens.
This is part of their plan. I'm not making this up. This is all down in their plan from last week. And this is good, compared to what I heard today.
Federal student aid and free community college for illegal aliens. What do you think about that? Federal student aid and free community college. We're going to have every person in the world pouring into our country from all over the world.
And by the way, the wall was so timely, because it stopped people coming in from heavily infected areas of Mexico. If we had that, we would be in trouble like you wouldn't believe. You wouldn't believe.
And remember, cases is different than deaths. And cases we give you, because our testing is the best in the world. And by the way, by far, the most: 45 million. Find out which country tested 45 million people. If China, if Russia, if India tested 45 million people or if they did tests like we did, check out how many cases they'd have.
But it's still—we've done a great job; get no credit for it. And I don't want the credit. I want the people that have done this great job—the people that have done such an incredible job on building the ventilators and doing the testing and building a testing platform that's been amazing. We have many platforms. Many companies have come up with different forms of tests. When we started, there was no such thing. Sign new immigrants up for welfare immediately. This is Joe Biden. So they walk off, and they come in, and they put a foot into our land, and we sign up new immigrants up for welfare. We sign them up immediately. They get welfare benefits. United States citizens don't get what they're looking to give illegal immigrants. Think of that: sign up—it's hard to believe I'm even reading that—new immigrants for welfare immediately. Not to mention the cost of this, which is incalculable. The cost of this is so crazy.
End requirement for immigrants' self-sufficiency and maximize their welfare. Now, this is us writing this. Who's not coming to the United States? Every person from South America is going to pour in, and every person from other countries, they're going to be pouring in. End requirement—think of that—for immigrant self-sufficiency and, remember, to maximize welfare. So we're giving them maximum.
Then, we have massively expand immigration during a global pandemic, taking jobs from unemployed Americans.
End all travel bans, including from jihadist regions. So now we have travel bans; a lot of you said I didn't get the travel ban, and you were wrong. We got the travel ban. We lost in the Ninth Circuit, we lost again in the Ninth Circuit, and then we won in the Supreme Court. We have a very strong travel ban. And we don't want people that are going to come in and blow up our cities, do things. And frankly, with the liberal Democrats running the cities that we do have, where they do have problems, maybe they wouldn't mind. But I would mind, and the people of this country mind.
So listen to this: End all travel bans. He's talking about the ban that I won that everybody said I didn't win. They said I didn't win because in the lower court we lost. Then, we lost in the appellate division, and then we won in the Supreme Court. So they said, "He lost." And they're right, at the lower level. But, in the meantime, we won in the Supreme Court. So it's in effect, but they didn't say that. They said, "He lost," which again, is fake news, but that's the way they do it.
So end all travel bans, including from jihadist regions. They specified that.
Grant mass amnesty. Everybody gets amnesty. Mass amnesty. Think of that. And this says: Create a roadmap to citizenship for massive, massive numbers.
And we're not talking about DACA, because I'm going to take care of DACA, much better than the Democrats did. The Democrats had their chance, and they blew it. But we're going to take care of DACA, because I'm going to be doing, in the not-too-distant future, pretty soon, I'm going to be signing a new immigration action, very, very big merit-based immigration action that, based on the DACA decision, I'll be able to do.
Vastly expand low-skilled immigration to the United States. So they want a lot of people come in with low skills; I like merit. Think of that: Vastly expand low-skilled immigration to the United States. These are the things that are in the plan. This is Biden. Biden has gone radical left.
Increase refugee admissions by 700 percent. Huh. That's a lot: by 700 percent. Nobody has ever heard of such a thing. Increase refugee admissions by 700 percent.
Abolish law enforcement as we know it. I think the police do an incredible job in this country. And you're going to have a rogue, terrible cop, on occasion, like you do in any industry, in any business, in any profession. But I think they do an incredible job. Abolish law enforcement as we know it.
End cash bail. No bail. Just, we let you right out. Look at what's happened to New York: Crime is up, shootings are up at numbers that nobody's ever seen before. Look at Chicago. What a disaster. And we're waiting for them to call us, because we're all set to go. We have the FBI. We have Homeland Security. We have everybody ready to go. We have the National Guard. They're all ready to go. End cash bail, releasing dangerous criminals onto our streets. Cash bail. New York just did that. Other places have done it. They haven't turned out to good.
Abolish completely the death penalty. And I know there's a lot of debate on the death penalty, and there has been for a long time, but sometimes, you use the death penalty, depending on the crime. You know what happened today with regard to the death penalty.
Appoint social justice prosecutors in order to free violent criminals. So they want to appoint social justice prosecutors to free violent criminals.
End mandatory minimums. And that's by empowering judges to determine appropriate sentences by fighting to repeal mandatory minimums at the Federal level and give States incentives to repeal their mandatory minimums.
We could go on for days. Incentivize prison closure. So they want to close our prisons. They now want to abolish—they want to abolish our police departments. They want to abolish our prisons, I guess. Incentivize jail and prison closures as populations decline.
Ensure the resources saved are invested directly into those communities. So they want to close them, rather than have them for some very bad people, people that are not going to behave when they get out. You see that in New York; they allowed a lot of criminals out, and those criminals are causing havoc. And then, they got rid of their incredible and legendary crime squad. And bad things are happening in New York. Bad things are happening. I love New York. I hate to see what's going on.
End solitary confinement. Free Federal housing for former inmates. So Federal housing now can go to inmates—former inmates.
Rejoin Paris climate accord, and seek an even higher level of restrictions. Oh, I didn't notice that. Oh, I see. So they want to rejoin the Paris climate accord, and they want to seek an even higher level of restraint. In other words, make it worse than it was.
Mandate net-zero carbon emissions for homes, offices, and all new buildings by 2030. That basically means no windows, no nothing. It's very hard to do. I tell people when they want to go into some of these buildings: "How are your eyes? Because they won't be good in 5 years. And I hope you don't mind cold office space in the winter and warm office space in the summer, because your air conditioning is not the same as the good old days."
Mandate zero carbon emissions from power plants by 2035. Zero. We're talking about zero. Nothing can go in the air. Mandate net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. And I believe he's changing that. He's bringing it down. He wants no petroleum product. He wants no oil or gas. I don't think Texas is going to do too well. They're going to get rid of about 7 million jobs if you go by the Biden plan. I don't think that Oklahoma, North Dakota, Pennsylvania are going to be too happy with that—and many other States—Ohio.
Mandate all 500,000 school buses and all 3 million Government vehicles be changed to zero-emission vehicles within 5 years. I've heard it worse than that. Install 500,000 taxpayer-funded charging stations nationwide.
Here's a bad one, really bad one: End school choice. There is nothing that the African American community wants more than school choice. And mothers and fathers are going to be very happy to see him be defeated just on that alone: End school choice. So Joe Biden wants to end school choice.
End tax credit scholarships serving disadvantaged students in 26 States. Oppose 14 million Americans with education savings accounts and get rid of school choice, having to do with school choice. Eliminate school choice in Washington, DC. You know what they've done in Washington. They have some incredible example right here. Example—I know of one example. I think they have a number of them, but one is incredible.
Abolish all charter schools. Charter schools are doing great. Ban funding for charter schools in poor neighborhoods. "We don't want charter schools in poor neighborhoods." Well, that's not fair. Abolish educational standards.
Abolish—in the suburbs, you're going to abolish the suburbs with this. Enforce Obama-Biden's radical AFFH—that's the AFFH regulation that threatens to strip localities of Federal affordable housing funds unless they change their zoning laws to fit the Federal Government's demands. So what you have—I mean, I've been watching this for years in Westchester, coming from New York. They want low-income housing built in a neighborhood.
Well, I'm ending that rule. I'm taking it out, so—I had spoke with Ben Carson the other day. We're going to be taking it out. I've watched that whole thing go, and now they want to make it twice as bad in the suburbs—in the suburbs.
Mothers aren't happy about that. Fathers aren't happy about that. They worked hard to buy a house, and now they're going to watch the housing values drop like a rock, and that has happened. It dropped like a rock. So we're not going to do that; we're going to do the exact opposite.
Probably, there has never been a time—and this is just a few—this is—it's much worse than that. We did this very quickly. It's probably never been a time when candidates are so different. We want law and order; they don't want law and order. We want strong, closed borders with people able to come in through merit, through a legal process; they don't want to have any borders at all.
They're going to rip down the wall. It was hard to get that built. And now it's almost completed. It'll be completed by a little after the end of the year, and they want to rip it down. And it's had such an impact. It's incredible. It stops trafficking—human trafficking—of women and children, but women, mostly.
Human trafficking: one of the worst things ever, all at a level that has never been at because of the internet. You wouldn't think—you think of it as an ancient statement. You wouldn't think that's possible today, but it's human trafficking of women and children. And they want to let that go and continue.
The wall has stopped it so much because they will go over to a section where there aren't people—not an entry point—and they'll make a left into the United States. And they're on their way. They can't do that anymore. We have a 30-foot wall that goes 6 feet into the ground. It stops a lot of the tunneling, because they're pretty good at tunnels. But we watch the tunnels, and we have equipment for that. But you can't make a left anymore and come into the United States loaded up with human traffic.
So they want to take down the wall. They want to have open borders. Think of open borders today though, with the pandemic. I mean, the timing is sort of interesting, but—with the pandemic.
So there's never been a time when two candidates were so different. I mean, I've seen races where it's like the same exact platforms. I'm even talking about essentially Democrat, Republican. There's not that much difference. There's a little difference, but there's not much. You choose one because you like the way they look, you like the way they sound, you like the way they talk. You like something about one, and you don't like the other. But there's—you know, there's never been a difference.
Here's one of the greatest difference—this is without question the single biggest difference: If you want law and order—for instance, I enacted recently, when I saw what was going on with Federal monuments—we don't have the right to do States, although we're going—we're trying to find it. But with the monuments, where they wanted to rip down Andrew Jackson, they wanted to rip down George Washington. They were actually heading over to the Jefferson Memorial, if you can believe that. But this has been going on, and I found an act that we've used. And we have many, many people in jail right now—many, many people in jail, all over the country—because they tried to destroy or, in some cases, got it down, a Federal statue or monument.
We haven't had anybody making a move since I enacted this. I signed an Executive order a couple of weeks ago, and it says very simply, "Ten years in jail." You do it, 10 years in jail. The amazing part is we're able to catch everybody because, thanks to all of you on television—we appreciate it—but we have their pictures. We have the man standing on Andrew Jackson's horse. We have the man standing by General George Washington. We have everybody standing—you know, they were going to go for the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln, standing with a young man who was being freed. And we said: "We're going to do something. We can't let this happen."
Now, it could be removed at some point. You go through a process, a legal process, go through Congress, whatever. I understand that. At the same time, some people like these statues and monuments. But it can be removed, but you have to go through a legal process.
So they were going to have 20- to 25,000 people that night; nobody showed up. Nobody. You know that, because you were disappointed to see that. The next night, I believe, 22 people showed up. They said, "We're going to make it Friday night instead," and 22 people showed up. Four were actually arrested because we have pictures of them knocking down other statues. So they're in jail now.
So there has never been an election where we've had this kind of difference. We want strong borders. Without borders—you've heard me say it 1,000 times—without borders, you don't have a country. They don't want to have borders; they want to have open borders. It's radical left, and it will destroy our country.
Twenty years ago, Venezuela was a very rich country—one of the richest, one of the richest anywhere. Per capita, one of the richest. Tremendous oil reserves. Now they don't have water. They don't have food. They don't have medicine. We do everything we can to take care of the people, but they have nothing. And that's exactly the ideology that you have going over here. If I wasn't there to stop it, if I wasn't here to say, "No way, that's not going to happen," we'd be in some mess. We'd be in some mess.
And Pelosi and Schumer and Bernie and Joe, they'll never stop it. They don't have the power, the strength to stop it. It's beyond them. But we do.
So there's never been a time like this, where you've had an election of people so different.
Okay, a couple of questions. Yes, please, go ahead.
2020 Presidential Election/National Economy/Absentee Voting Policies
Q. Sir, you just spent the better part of an hour explaining why American should choose you and not your opponent. Yesterday, you said on Twitter, "Be careful what you wish for!" I guess the question is: Do you see yourself as the underdog in this race? Do you see yourself losing in the fall?
The President. No, I don't. I think we have a really good poll numbers. They're not suppression polls; they're real polls. You look at the Intracostal in Florida. You look at the lakes. You see thousands of boats with Trump signs, American signs. You've got the Trump-Pence sign all over. You look at what's going on. You look at bikers, for miles and miles, riding up highways proudly with their signs.
I have—look, we won a race where it was the same thing: 2016. We had polls that were fake. They turned out to be fake. Not all—a couple of them got it right. Three of them, to be exact. Three of them. One of them was unsuspecting, but they got it right. They were very proud of it.
But we had, in 2016, something even more so, but we got in, and we had 306 to, I guess, 223, which was a tremendous margin of difference. You remember, they all said, "He cannot get to 270."
I went to Maine a number of times, where we just freed up lobster fishing and fishing. Just—they took away 5,000 square miles from Maine. I just opened it up. And I just got rid of tariffs in China. And we're working on European Union, which charge our fishermen tariffs. And I said, "You're not going to do that." So we freed it up for Maine.
But if you take a look, we went up there recently. There were crowds. Thousands of people lined up going over to a factory where we were opening up for—we're making swabs. A beautiful, big, new factory, making swabs.
I think that the enthusiasm now is greater—and maybe far greater—than it was in 2016. I think a lot of people don't want to talk about it. I think they're not going to say: "Hey, I'm for Trump. I'm for Trump." They don't want to go through the process. And I fully understand that, because the process is not fair. The media doesn't treat us fairly. They never have, and perhaps they never will. But maybe they will when we turn this around for a second time. And it's going to happen very quickly. When we turn it around for a second time, maybe they will.
I think we're doing very well in the polls. And I think you have a silent majority the likes of which this country has never seen before. This is a very important election. We've done a great job. We had to turn it off, as I said. Turn it off. And now we've started it again.
As you know, they announced 2 weeks ago, record job numbers: almost 5 million people. And that beat the last month, which was also a record: 2.8 million people. Nobody's ever done what we've done, and now we're doing it twice.
And I think by election day, you're going to see some incredible numbers. The third quarter is going to be really good. Fourth quarter is going to be great. But next year is going to be one of the best economic years. So hopefully, I'll be able to be the President where we say, "Look at the great job I did."
Q. [Inaudible]—at this point?
The President. I think, great. I think we have a great chance. I think we're going to have a lot of people show up. I'm very worried about mail-in voting, because I think it's subject to tremendous fraud and being rigged. You see that Paterson, New Jersey, where—I believe it was 20 percent of the vote was fraudulent. It was—all sorts of things happened. I understand a mailman was recently indicted someplace for playing games with the mail-in ballots.
You'll have tremendous fraud if you do these mail-in ballots. Now, absentee ballots are okay, because absentee ballots—you have to get applications. You have to go through a process. If I'm here and I vote in Florida, you get an absentee ballot, but you have to go through a process. Absentee ballots are great.
But mail-in voting—where a Governor mails millions of ballots to people all over the State—California—millions and millions of ballots, as an example—and then they come back; they don't come back. Who got them? Did you forget to send them to a Republican area or a Democrat area, I guess you could say?
But if you take a look at all of the unbelievable fraud that's been involved with mail-in voting over the last—even a short period of while—but look at Paterson, New Jersey. It was a massive error and a massive miscalculation, and there was incredible fraud. Look at the city council, what's happened to it. This is one place, but you have many places, and they're all over.
Q. Thank you, sir. I wanted to know: When's the last time you spoke with President Xi of China? And do you plan to speak with him in the near future?
The President. No, I haven't spoken to him. No, I don't; I have no plan to speak to him.
Q. And, sir, as a follow-up—one follow-up?
Q. Thank you so—do you want to do a follow-up? Or——
Q. Yes, if you don't mind.
Q. Okay, yes. Is it okay?
The President. Yes, go ahead.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Q. I just wanted to—Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized today with an infection. I wanted to know if you had any reaction to that news?
The President. No, I wish her the best. I hope she's better. I didn't hear that, actually. She was just hospitalized? No, that's too bad. No, I wish her the best.
The President. She's actually given me some good rulings. Okay? So you know that, right? People were surprised. No, I wish her the absolute best.
Restrictions on Travel From Europe to the U.S./Border Security/Law Enforcement Funding/U.S. Military Strength
Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. President. So you were mentioning the travel bans. And I wonder: When do you plan to review that? Because the European countries—the situation is under control—much are better place than the U.S. And there is no ban for other hotspots like Russia and India. So what will be the criteria to change that? And another question——
The President. Well, you know, we've banned for Europe, and at some point, that will come off. And we're dealing with them all the time. The relationship is very good; they just don't treat us very well on trade. They are—they have been very unfair to us over many, many decades. And we're doing that. It's very easy to solve. I was all set to solve it actually, and then we got hit with the plague.
But we have a travel ban on various countries, and that travel ban remains until such time as we say it doesn't remain.
Q. And Mr. President—— The President. We want our country safe. We don't—unlike Biden, we don't want to have criminals pouring into our country. We don't want to have open borders. We're not going to have that. And we want to take care of our police. We want to actually fund our police, not defund them. And we're not going to abolish our police. And we're not going to make our military small and weak, because probably—or, at least, at top of the level, we need our military right now.
Yes, go ahead. Please.
Q. Mr. President, so how do you think that "America first" policy can work during a pandemic? Aren't you concerned that this could actually damage the U.S. and make China more influence around the world?
The President. Okay, look, my policy is America first. We've lost hundreds of billions of dollars a year with China and many other countries. And what we're doing is just handing everybody everything. It's just a sad—I've watched it, I've looked at it.
We did the U.S.-Mexico—you saw that, USMCA. We made a very fair deal on trade. We had the worst deal ever, right? You know that. We had the worst deal ever, and it replaced that; it replaced that horrible NAFTA deal. That was one of the worst trade deals ever made.
I'll tell you, the only deal that might be worse is the WTO, World Trade Organization. May be worse.
China-U.S. Trade/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy
Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Your administration has taken tangible steps to ensure that Chinese companies are not taking advantage of our U.S. stock markets, our——
The President. It's true.
Q. ——our trade. Last week, your administration sent a letter to the Railroad Retirement Board, asking them to reconsider investments in Chinese defense fund—firms.
The President. Meaning "not to invest"?
The President. That's correct.
Q. So where is that request now? And are you taking tangible actions to ensure that U.S. investments don't continue to fund——
The President. Yes.
Q. ——defense firms in China?
The President. Yes, and you'll see more coming. This was a very important bill that we signed. But you're going to see more coming over the next short period of time. But yes, we don't want them investing in Chinese military companies. Okay?
Q. [Inaudible]—letters, I mean, what actions can be taken to ensure that does not happen?
The President. Well, you have a lot of actions we can take, including the—including the increase. You know, right now people don't know: China is paying a lot of tariffs. We made a China deal, and they bought just—I think the third highest amount of corn ever in our—in world history. They just bought from us the highest amount, which is great for our farmers. But I view it differently than I did before I made the deal. When I made the deal, I thought this was a great deal. After what happened to us—what happened to the world, coming from China—I view it much differently. But we can impose massive tariffs on China if we want—and other countries, if we want. And we'll see. We just want to be treated fairly. We want a level playing field. Our farmers were never treated properly by anybody, and they were targeted by China.
You know, I paid our farmers $28 billion over a 2-year period because they were targeted to that amount of money—to that exact amount of money: $28 [billion]*. It was $16 billion, and it was $12 billion—$28 [billion]* over a 2-year period. And we gave $28 billion to our farmers. That's why they're all here.
And now they're doing very well. Our farmers are doing very well because we made really great trade deals. USMCA just kicked in. The China deal, they're buying a lot. They are buying a lot. I will say that: They're buying a lot. A lot of people ask, "How are they doing on the trade deal?" They're buying a lot.
So I want to thank everybody, and we'll be having these conferences again.
I—we're going to be signing an immigration act very soon; it's going to be based on merit. It's going to be very strong. We're going to work on DACA because we want to make people happy. And I'll tell you, even conservative Republicans want to see something happen with DACA.
The Democrats had their chance for 3 years to do something with DACA, and they always turned it down. They always turned it down. They used it as politics. I'm using it to get something done.
But we'll be signing a very powerful immigration act. It will be great. It will be merit-based. The country has tried to get it for 25 or 30 years. It will be strong on the border, but you'll come in legally, and you'll be able to come in legally.
And very importantly, we'll be taking care of people from DACA in a very Republican way. A Republicans—I've spoken to many Republicans, and some would like to leave it out, but, really, they understand that it's the right thing to do.
So we're going to be taking care of DACA. We will be doing for DACA what the Democrats had a chance to do and they never did it. Okay?
Thank you all very much.
NOTE: The President's news conference began at 5:29 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci; Vice President Michael R. Pence; Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Senator Bernard Sanders; President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico; Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer; and Thomas Cooper, a mail carrier in Pendleton County, WV, who was charged with attempted election fraud. He also referred to H.R. 7440, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which was approved July 14 and assigned Public Law No. 116-149; and EO 13936.<p>* White House correction.
Donald J. Trump, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/343050