The President's News Conference
The President. Thank you very much. I want to start by providing information on our response to Tropical Storm Isaias. It's a very interesting name. Last week, the storm hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and I've issued emergency declarations to support a response in both of those areas. So that's Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
This week, the storm passed just east of Florida. Got a little bit lucky. Didn't hit Florida too hard. Working with the Governor, working with everybody. But it did not hit directly as a lot of people thought it might.
It's currently off the coast of South Carolina, heading northward to North Carolina. It's expected to make landfall sometime this evening as a category 1 hurricane. Very serious. A lot of water. A lot of water coming from that storm.
I've already issued emergency declarations for Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina. And FEMA's personnel—and they are great; they're doing a job—they're already on the ground in all areas. Every single area that we mentioned is covered.
Over the next several days, there's expected to be heavy wind and rain in the coastal areas of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey. We're working with each of those States, and in particular, as it relates to FEMA, the military, law enforcement—all of the different groups that are involved. Storm surge and inland flooding are possible, and everyone needs to remain vigilant until it passes.
I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines of the State and local authorities. We're working with them. And I think the guidelines have been very accurate so far. So stay safe.
Next, let me provide an update on the path forward for our country as we continue our war to defeat the China virus. We're beginning to see evidence of significant progress. Nationwide, the number of positive cases has declined by nearly 6 percent from the week before, and the positive test rate has also dropped from 8.7 to 8 percent over that same period of time, an encouraging sign—very encouraging, I have to add—that the virus is receding.
In hotspots across the South and West, we've seen slow improvements. From their recent weekly peaks, Arizona's weekly case counts have dropped 37 percent. That's a tremendous drop. And the Governor and the State have done a fantastic job. Down 37 percent. Texas down 18.7 percent. I was there a couple of days ago. And Florida, 21.2-percent drop. So that's a tremendous job that they're all doing.
As we begin to contain the virus in these States, we must focus on new flareups in the States where the case numbers have risen, including Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri. And I think you'll find that they're soon going to be very much under control.
Meanwhile, 18 States continue to have very low case numbers and low test positivity rates, under 5 percent: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. It's under five.
Even in these States, however, where the virus is under control and at a very low number, Americans should continue to be vigilant, be careful, in order to prevent the new hotspots from opening up or any new hotspots from opening up in those States. To that end, I urge all Americans to continue to socially distance, wash your hands, wear a mask when you cannot avoid crowded places, and to protect the elderly—very, very important—protect the elderly. It's much different. Young children have very strong immune systems. We've learned how strong they are. But protect the elderly. The average age of those who succumb to the virus is 78 years old. That's the average age.
It's important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path toward producing the result that you want, or certainly not a viable path forward, and would ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent.
As we're seeing in foreign countries around the world where cases are once again surging—you have many places where we thought they were under control and doing a great job, and they are doing a great job, but this is a very tough, invisible enemy—lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future. They just don't. It comes back. Many times, it comes back. The purpose of a lockdown is to buy time to build capacity, especially as it respects to—with respect to hospitals; learn more about the disease; and develop effective treatments, as we did in the United States. We're doing very well with the vaccines and the therapeutics.
Countries where there have been very significant flareups over the last short period of time are Spain, Germany, France, Australia, Japan. And also, as you probably heard, in Hong Kong, they've had some very serious flareups. Japan has gone—yes, a lot, six-fold—six-fold flare up. That's a lot. But they'll get it under control.
In our current phase, we must focus on protecting those at highest risk while allowing younger and healthier Americans to resume work and school, with careful precautions. Ideally, we want to open those schools. We want to open them.
At the same time, we're placing an emphasis on continuing to drive down the mortality rate with improved care, treatment, and medical interventions, building a bridge to the introduction of a vaccine. The vaccines are coming along incredibly well.
Today I'd like to also provide an update on the actions of my administration and the work that we've done. We're taking—really taking an increased interest, and we're seeing numbers that nobody can even believe, in terms of percentage increase. It's telehealth for American patients. The percentage increase is being worked on right now, but it's very, very significant, numbers that you would not even think possible.
This has been a priority from the beginning of my administration when we launched an initiative to allow veterans to connect remotely with their VA health care team. And it worked out really well. We have a 91-percent approval rating in the VA in terms of the job we're doing. This is the first—it's the highest ever recorded.
Now telehealth is a critical part of our path forward in the VA, and it's becoming a critical path, especially with our senior citizens. You don't have to go to the doctor's office; you don't have to go to hospitals.
When the invisible enemy struck our shores, I took immediate action to eliminate regulatory barriers to telehealth, making it easier for patients to consult with doctors from safety and convenience. And really, they have great safety and great convenience right from their homes.
Today I'm taking action to ensure telehealth is here to stay. Moments ago in the Oval Office, I signed an Executive order to make many of our regulatory reforms permanent. We've done some regulatory reforms that have had a tremendous impact on what we're doing on medicine and medical and what we're doing. They can do things that you wouldn't believe, that even a year ago, 2 years ago would not have been doable. We're enshrining the right of American patients to meet with their medical providers in a way that is best for them and very, very convenient. And very talented people on the other side of the line, I have to tell you.
The order builds upon a series of actions we've all taken to make telehealth available to all. We ensured that Medicare covers telehealth visits at no additional cost. That's no additional cost. And copayments can be waived for telehealth services.
We are working very hard also on prescription drug prices. And I will tell you that the "favored nations" clause that I've signed into existence—nobody thought anybody would ever do that—has a massive impact on prescription drug prices, in addition to the three other elements of reduction of drugs, in particular prescription drugs.
But the "favored nations" clause is massive. For instance, if Germany buys a pill for 10 cents a pill, as an example—just as an example—and the United States pays $2 for the same pill, we get the same privilege, the same right as they do. We never had that before. We paid all of the expenses, all of the research and development. So the numbers are astronomical. And as you probably noticed, big ads are taken against me by Big Pharma. Very big ads. Very massive buy.
But, in the meantime, they're calling. They want to know if they can make a deal. And I say to people, "The only reason these ads are being taken is because prices are coming down for you." And they understand that. I think our people understand that.
But, in particular, when you look at the matching—you could call it "matching" or you could call it "favored nations"—call it whatever you like—it's a tremendous—it's going to have a tremendous—and I'm talking about 50, 60 percent, 70 percent. That doesn't mean it goes to 10 cents, as an example, but theirs comes up, and ours goes down. And you have many, many countries where their numbers—the numbers are so low. I mean, so low. And by that, I mean, much lower than the United States.
Another thing I'm doing is if a certain country, like Canada—Canada buys for very much less than the United States has bought. How they allowed this to happen—representatives of our country standing at these podiums or in the Oval Office—how they allowed this to happen is just, to me, incredible.
We've been working on this for a long time. I've been talking about it with Kayleigh for a long time, right? So now a Governor like Ron DeSantis of Florida—who is doing a great job—or our great Governor of Ohio or a great Governor of any State can call up and buy the drugs directly from Canada at sometimes 50-percent less. So we'll be buying from Canada.
Now, what the drug companies are going to do—maybe they'll raise them, maybe they'll lower them, or maybe they'll just give up and sell them to us directly much cheaper. So a lot of things are happening.
Also, the rebate—we have people that are very wealthy that nobody ever heard of them. Nobody knows who they are. I guess, in some cases, they can be pharmacies; in some cases, they're individuals. We're doing a rebate, and the rebate goes to the people. It lowers the price of drugs.
So we have a series of four things that we signed. And you will see, over a period—a fairly short period—drug prices are going to be tumbling down at numbers that nobody would have ever believed possible.
We have—in 51 years, the only time prices came down was during this administration. It was last year. Fifty-one years it went up. But that was just a small decline. This is a massive decline. This is a decline that nobody can believe. I was called by Senators, I was called by Congressmen, "Please don't do this." But Big Pharma doesn't mean anything to me other than we want them to do a great job. We want them to get their vaccines. We want them to do what has to be done.
So I think you're going to see drug price reductions over the next 4 or 5 or 6 months—it will probably take a little while to kick in—that are going to be at numbers that you wouldn't believe. But in the meantime—they called on Friday afternoon—they want to meet and see if they do something else. They don't like "favored nations" clauses. I understand that.
We vastly expanded coverage, allowing Medicare to cover more than 135 new services—through telehealth, by the way—including physical therapy, emergency department visits, home visits, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, which is a very big priority. We brought the substance abuse—at least prior to the China plague or whatever you want to call it—we brought it down very substantially. Pediatric critical care and much more.
Thanks to our actions, an estimated $2 billion of additional funding will support Medicare patients receiving telehealth services. So a very, very big priority on telehealth. As part of the CARES Act, we secured $200 million to help health care providers and hospitals expand their telehealth. And they're all doing it. They're doing it gladly.
Prior to the epidemic or the pandemic—whatever you want to say and how you want to refer to it—but prior to the pandemic, the telehealth was fine, but it wasn't anything raging. And I guess one of the only good things that we've gotten out of this whole horrible situation is, telehealth has been incredible. And again, the increases are, you know, many hundreds of times greater than it was before. Do you have a number? It's like 2,000 percent or something like that. It's an incredible increase. You'll get the number. But it's—I think they have it now finally, and it's really an incredible—thank you, Kayleigh.
We worked with the leaders of major health insurance companies to ensure coverage for the telehealth visits related to coronavirus. We cut redtape to allow many services to be conducted by phone, rather than video, which is much simpler, providing a much easier option for many seniors in particular. Thirty-five percent of the Medicare beneficiaries who received telehealth services, or over 3.6 million seniors, did so over the phone. So you're talking about six-point—3.6 million seniors. That's something. Ten-point-one million Medicare beneficiaries have accessed care through telehealth since the beginning of the pandemic. So you're talking there 10.1 million people.
In April, over 43 percent of all Medicare primary care visits were done via telehealth and compared to less than 0.1 percent in February. Those are part of the numbers that I think—I'll have you get them. So this part, you don't have to; you'll get the other section. Thank you.
So think of that: compared to less than 0.1 percent—0.1 percent. That's an incredible number. So over 43 percent of all Medicare primary care visits were done via telehealth compared to—so you went from 0.1 percent to 43 percent. That's an incredible—that's an incredible number.
The Executive order I signed today will also expand health care access in rural America. We take care of rural America. It directs agencies to deploy strategic investments in our rural communications infrastructure. And we're working very hard with all of the people in Government that are involved with the communications infrastructure so that the telehealth gets very quick and easy access.
Additionally, revenue for rural providers vary significantly from month to month, making it difficult for many to stay in business. Many, many are having a very difficult time. To help fix this problem, my order will create a voluntary Medicare payment system that will give rural hospitals flexibility—really, great flexibility—and a more consistent income stream to better serve their patients.
Furthermore, I'm directing the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Communications Commission—we were just with the heads of each one in the Oval Office, just before I came up to the podium—to form a Task Force that will break down barriers to expanding rural health care. This order continues my administration's focus on rural health care.
We allocated nearly $165 million through the CARES Act to support nearly 1,800 small rural hospitals who have done an incredible job, as well as $11.5 million to expand technical assistance for rural and underserved areas. We allocated another $10 billion to 2,000 rural hospitals and more than 2,400 rural health clinics. We waived burdensome licensing certification and registration requirements, which took tremendous amounts of time—and these are people that had great reputations and great track records—for practitioners that serve on the frontlines in rural areas, allowing more medical personnel to serve their wonderful patients.
We're also, in terms of PPE, ensuring that the State and local areas have the supplies they need. We've been supplying hospitals and cities and States, Governors—helping Governors—at a number that nobody has ever heard of before. Fifteen-thousand-four-hundred-and-forty nursing homes have received a second shipment of personal protective equipment. They're very much stocked up; they're in great shape. They all have the ventilators—all the ventilators they need. They have, actually, more than they need. And their equipment—medical equipment is in very, very good shape. They're full.
My administration has worked with the private sector to deliver over 100 million N95 respirators, 85 million gloves, and nearly 250 million face coverings nationwide. We continue to make the extraordinary progress that we've been talking about together on vaccines and treatments.
Under Operation Warp Speed, which is very exciting—most exciting—last week, we distributed 2,979 cases of remdesivir, which is proving to be extremely powerful and good, enough to treat more than 19,000 patients. Had great results. This includes 500 cases for Florida, 500 for Texas, 300 for California, 200 for Ohio, and 150 for Arizona and Georgia. And those numbers will be going up rapidly as we move along.
Hospitals are reporting an adequate supply of steroids, such as dexamethasone, that are used successfully in late-stage illness. They've been very good. We're also very encouraged about the prospects for plasma therapies, and that, we're working on. And that's a brilliant art. It's really an art. And we launched a national plasma drive last week—I was at the Red Cross building—with the American Red Cross and 13 other health care organizations.
I urge everyone who has recovered from the virus to go to coronavirus.gov—coronavirus.gov—and donate plasma today. We would really appreciate it. This really makes people better. But we need—what we need is, we need that beautiful ingredient that you, that got better, seem to have in your veins. You have to go to coronavirus.gov and donate plasma today. It will be tremendous. We really appreciate it if you do it, because we're low. We're low. We could help a lot more people, and it would be a terrific thing. It will take an hour, maybe a little bit more than an hour, but everybody will be very appreciative. Makes people better. And you know, you had something very special. You had something that knocked it out. So we want to be able to use it. So whatever you can do—coronavirus.gov.
As a result of improvements we've made in treatment, for Americans over the age of 18, the mortality rate has declined 85 percent from its April peak. Eighty-five percent decline.
On vaccines, last week, we announced a $2.1 billion partnership with Sanofi and GSX [GSK]On vaccines, last week, we announced a $2.1 billion partnership with Sanofi and GSX [GSK]On vaccines, last week, we announced a $2.1 billion partnership with Sanofi and GSX [GSK]* to purchase and produce 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine. One hundred million doses. This is the sixth vaccine candidate we are proactively supporting. We are supporting numerous companies that are doing very well, who are having wonderful results, and they're in final stages of testing.
There are now two vaccines in the—in that final stage of clinical trials in America, with a third vaccine likely to begin phase three almost immediately. And we have additional clinical trials scheduled over the next few weeks for a couple of the other companies. These are great companies. These are companies that are not only well known, they're well respected, most importantly.
We're balancing speed and safety, and we're on pace to have a vaccine available this year, maybe far in advance of the end of the year. And we're mass producing the most promising candidates in advance so that we're ready immediately upon approval. We have our military lined up. It's logistics; it's all about logistics. They deliver a lot of things, including soldiers. But now they'll be doing vaccine. Our general is all ready to go, and he's very excited. And once we have the vaccine approved, fully approved, he'll start the process. They will start the process, and they'll get it out very, very quickly all over the country, and maybe beyond, if it works as we think it probably will.
By unleashing America's technical and scientific brilliance, we will end this pandemic, and we will, hopefully, end it very quickly. The therapeutics are very exciting to me—where you can go into a hospital, and whether it's through a shot or a transfusion, you take care of somebody, and they get better. That's something, to me, that's very important. And we're doing really well on therapeutics and really well on vaccines.
So thank you all very much for being here. We'll take a couple of questions.
Death of Servicemembers in a U.S. Marine Corps Training Accident Off the California Coast
Q. Thank you, Mr. President. So if I can ask your response to two items in the news and ask a COVID question. First, do you have any—have you been briefed on the incident off the coast of California, where the marines and the Navy corpsman—hospitalman died in a training accident a couple day—over the weekend?
The President. They're actually briefing me in a little while. We have it scheduled for a little while from now.
Q. Are you hoping to speak to the families?
The President. Oh, it's terrible. No, it's terrible, and we'll be in contact with the families. A thing like that is terrible.
New York City District Attorney's Investigation of Trump Organization/Investigation Into Russia's Interference in 2016 Presidential Election
Q. Separately, in New York today, the city prosecutor, sort of, confirmed a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization. Do you have any reaction to that? The President. Well, I just heard about it. This is just a continuation of the witch hunt. It's Democrat stuff. They failed with Mueller. They failed with everything. They failed with Congress. They failed at every stage of the game.
This has been going on for 3½, 4 years. Even before I got in, this was starting with the Mueller deal. Mueller started a little bit after, but it started with some of the people that you know very well, the names—Strzok and Page and all of the different people—Comey.
This has been going on. This is a continuation of the worst witch hunt in American history, and there's nothing that I know even about it. You know, they had—I had seen that today just a little while ago. And I said, "What's this all about?" I know nothing about it. But it's just a continuation of the witch hunt. It didn't work out for Congress, didn't work out for Mueller, didn't work out for anybody. So what they're doing is, they send them around to all over the country, I guess, maybe.
But it's a terrible thing that they do. It's really a terrible thing. The witch hunt has gone on long enough. Okay?
Coronavirus Vaccine Development
Q. Just one on COVID: You mentioned the vaccine development program. Could you assure the American people that politics and considerations around the election will not interfere in the science?
The President. Oh, absolutely not. Absolutely not.
Q. And do you plan on playing a role in determining how the vaccine will—if there is one—will be distributed across the country? Is that something that you would discuss?
The President. It's possible that I get involved. But no, it won't have anything to do with—we want to make people better. We want to send them to the areas that most need it. And I think we're going to have something very soon. It's going good
Jeff [Jeff Mason, Reuters], please.
Federal Coronavirus Response
Q. Mr. President, you said today in a tweet that Dr. Birx was taking bait from Speaker Pelosi. What did you mean by that, considering that she was just describing the facts about the case of the pandemic right now across the country?
The President. Well, I think we're doing very well, and I think that we have done as well as any nation. If you really look—if you take a look at what's going on, especially now with all these flareups in nations that they were talking about—and don't forget: We're much bigger, other than India and China. China is having a massive flareup right now. India has a tremendous problem. Other countries have problems.
And I notice that in the news, in the evening news, I never read about that. In any of the news, I don't read about the other countries. You're starting to see that other countries are having very big flareups, countries that thought they were over it. Like, we thought we might be over it in Florida, and then, all of a sudden, it comes back. They do come back.
But I think we're doing very well. I told Dr. Birx I think we're doing very well. She was in my office a little while ago. She's a person I have a lot of respect for. I think Nancy Pelosi has treated her very badly—very, very badly. Very nasty. And I'm just referring to the fact that I thought that, really, they should say the job we've done, whether it's on ventilators or testing—we've tested now over 60 million people. No other country is even close to that. We've tested 60 million people with great—in many cases, about 50 percent now rapid fire, meaning 5- to 15- to 20-minute test, where you get the result almost immediately. Nobody has anything like that. Nobody. And I think we're just doing very well.
Q. Does that mean—just to——
The President. Yes, go ahead.
Q. Just to follow up, just quickly: Does that mean you disagree with her characterization, Mr. President?
The President. Go ahead, please.
Q. Thanks, Mr. President. I wanted to follow up on two things that you said earlier in the Cabinet Room. The first was on TikTok, and the second was on coronavirus.
On TikTok, you said that you wanted money for the U.S. Treasury for the sale.
The President. Yes.
Q. Does that mean that you expect the Chinese company to pay the U.S. Treasury directly or are you talking about—[inaudible]?
The President. Either way. Whether it's Microsoft or somebody else, or if it was the Chinese, what the price is, the United States could—should get a very large percentage of that price because we're making it possible. Without us—you know, I use the expression, "It's like the landlord and the tenant." And without the lease, the tenant doesn't have the value. Well, we're sort of, in a certain way, the lease. We make it possible to have this great success. TikTok is a tremendous success, but a big portion of it is in this country.
Q. So from the sale directly, you would—
The President. It would come from the sale, yes. Whatever the number is would—it would come from the sale———
Q. And then, you mentioned——
The President. ——which nobody else would be thinking about but me. But that's the way I think. And I think it's a—I think it's very fair.
Q. And you mentioned——
The President. But we want no security problems with China. It's got to be an American company. It's got to be American security. It's got to be owned here. We don't want to have any problems with security, et cetera. And something could come out. I will tell you, there's a lot of excitement not only by Microsoft, but by other companies, in terms of buying it.
So we'll see what happens. But we want and we think we deserve to have a big percentage of that price coming to America, coming to the Treasury.
Moratorium on Evictions/The President's Executive Authority
Q. And then, on the negotiation on Capitol Hill, you expressed some frustration and said you might take executive action to address——
The President. I might do that, yes. Q. So I was wondering if you could talk about both how you might prevent evictions through executive action and then also if there——
The President. Yes, I could do that if I want, and I want to do that. I don't want people to be evicted. And you know, when they're evicted, when they're thrown out of their, whatever the place may be, in many cases, they go to big shelters. And if you talk about pandemic, this is a pandemic, and they go to shelters. Number one, they're thrown out viciously. It's not their fault, it's China's fault. It's not anybody's fault, it's China's fault.
But number two, and if they are thrown out, they oftentimes will go to a shelter with tremendous numbers of other people. And the virus will spread, and we don't want that.
Payroll Tax Deductions/Economic Stimulus Legislation
Q. Are you considering suspending payroll—the collection of payroll taxes?
The President. Well, I can do that also through an Executive order. So we'll be talking about that.
But we're having a very good discussion with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The problem is they want to do bailouts of their various Democrat-run States and cities, and they want a lot of money. They want a trillion dollars for that. And so they want to do much more than COVID related. They want to do—they want to bail out cities and States that have been in trouble for years of bad management—in all cases, Democrat-run cities—and we don't think that's fair. You understand that. You've heard it before.
Yes, please. Go ahead.
Deployment of Federal Law Enforcement Personnel to U.S. Cities/National Guard
Q. Thanks, Mr. President. I wanted to ask you about the Justice Department sending Federal agents into cities like Chicago as part of Operation LeGend. How exactly do you envision these Federal forces working alongside local police departments to help stop violent crime?
The President. Yes. It's not a mass send, but it's sending very talented people to help them with the drugs and the shootings and the guns and the things that are happening. It's not like sending in the National Guard and stopping it cold, which, as an example, a lot of progress has been made in Portland. But you know, frankly, sending in the National Guard like we did in Minneapolis, it stopped it cold. From the time we sent that National Guard, they walked down the street, it was over in Minneapolis. Now it may be starting up again.
This is—these are Democrat-run cities and States, and it hasn't been a pretty picture to watch. We will help Chicago. We'll help New York, if they request. They have to request the help, but we want to stop the drugs. We want to stop the guns. A lot of the Chicago is guns and—but what it is, is drug related, gang related. Largely gang related.
With ICE, we send out thousands of MS-13—thousands and thousands of MS-13. We send them back or, in some cases, have to put them in prison. They're too violent. They're truly violent.
So we're helping out. When you look at what's happening in Chicago and some other cities with the shootings and the killings, they need help. And we haven't met with resistance, I have to be honest with you. I think it's good that we haven't. But we're only looking to help them. We're only looking to help.
Absentee Voting Policies/New York Democratic Primary Election/U.S. Postal Service
Q. Thank you, Mr. President. In our Nation's 243-year history, there's never been a stronger push for mail-in ballots to determine a national election.
The President. Yes.
Q. Are you considering, at any point, issuing an Executive order addressing mail-in ballots? And why do you think some people are pushing it so hard?
The President. Well, there's never been a push like this for mail-in ballots. And if you look at the New York Congressional race, which is a disaster—Carolyn—it's been a total disaster. They have—they're 6 weeks into it now. They have no clue what's going on. And, I mean, I think I can say right here and now, I think you have to rerun that race, because it's a mess.
Nobody knows what's happening with the ballots and the lost ballots and the fraudulent ballots, I guess. I think you'd probably have to take the Carolyn Maloney race and run it over again. How can you do this? And this is a small race with literally thousands of people—small thousands—and it's all messed up.
You look at Paterson, New Jersey, it's all messed up. Almost every one of these—and these are small, easy to control. They should be able to do this easy.
Now you're talking about, like, Nevada, where last—2 nights ago, they went out and in the darkness of night without people, without having any meetings of the public, without having anything, they approved a ridiculous—you don't have to look at signatures. You don't have to approve anything. You can have double mailings. You can have all sorts of things. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. It's a disgrace. I mean, honestly, it's a disgrace.
So it's a very good question. I mean, the mail-in ballots, if you look at just some of the small places, the small races—congressional race in New York, it should be very easy. Normally, that would have been announced at 7 o'clock, and it would have been down to the wire and everybody would have loved it. If it was at all complex, it would have taken an extra 45 minutes or an hour, and they would have announced it a little bit later. They have no clue. This was about 6 weeks ago, and they have no clue what's going on.
They've lost ballots. There's fraudulent ballots. It's—how are you going to do that for an entire nation? They're using COVID to try and get the mail-in ballots.
Now, absentee ballots are great. Absentee ballots, they have to request them. They go through a process. They get them. But the universal mail-in ballots have turned out to be a disaster.
And what Nevada has been doing—if you look, over the last few days, you have to look at what they've done. You can have two ballots, you can harvest—it's harvesting, so you can take thousands of ballots, put them together and just dump them down on somebody's desk after a certain period of time.
They have something where, if you vote, the vote can count up to 7 days later. Well, if the vote is going to count 7 days later, that means you—you know, if it depends on the one State like Nevada, that would mean simply that you can't have—supposing it's down to that one State—it could be—it's a great State. But supposing it's down to that one State, that means you have to wait 7 days.
But they won't have it there. This is something that's so messed up. And by the way, I have to say, the Post Office, for many, many years, has been, you know, run in a fashion that hasn't been great. Great workers and everything, but they have old equipment—very old equipment. And I don't think the Post Office is prepared for a thing like this. You'll have to ask the people at the Post Office. But how can the Post Office be expected to handle? They have regular mailing, and then now, on top of that, they have the internet, where you have Amazon and these companies doing, you know, all the buying—instead of going to a department store, they go buy through mail. So you have massive numbers of purchases now going through the Post Office, purchases of items and gifts, and that's a tremendous strain on the Post Office. The Post Office loses a fortune, and it has been for many, many years, for decades.
So now, on top of it, it has this, and the Amazons of the world and the others, they pay very, very little money. They lose money on every—the Post Office loses money, which is ridiculous, on every package it delivers. But now, on top of that—and I'm not just referring to Amazon, I'm talking about all of the competitors, if there is such a thing, to Amazon. There will be. But if there is such a thing.
But now, on top of that, you'll have somebody like the Governor of Nevada come out with this massive plan, out of nowhere, to take millions of ballots and send them all over the place. You'll never know who won that State. It will get messed up just like New York and just like Paterson, New Jersey and just like many other places.
In West Virginia, they indicted a postman for doing something very bad. You know that. And—but there are many cases all over the country. If you look, you'll be able to find—there's a list of them all over the country. And that has to do with universal mail-in.
Again, absentee is great. It works. Like in Florida, they'll do absentee. It really works. But universal mail-in ballots is going to be a great embarrassment to our country.
Q. Would you consider an Executive order on this? Is that appropriate?
The President. Well, I have the right to do it. We haven't gotten there yet, but we'll see what happens. We will be suing in Nevada, and that's already been taken care of. We'll probably file something tomorrow.
I do want to say that we're going to be introducing a tremendous health care plan sometime prior—hopefully, prior to the end of the month. It's just completed now.
In addition, next month, we'll be doing the immigration plan. So we'll be doing that in September. We'll be doing, sometime during this month, the health care plan. And I think that will be before the end of the month. And I think it will be very impressive to a lot of people.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Q. Mr. President——
NOTE: The President's news conference began at 5:36 p.m. in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Gov. Douglas A. Ducey of Arizona; White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio; Gen. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit V. Pai; Gustave F. Perna, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, in his capacity as Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Government's interagency "Operation Warp Speed" coronavirus vaccine development program; former Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III; former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter P. Strzok II, in his former capacity as lead investigator of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a private e-mail server and the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 Presidential election; Lisa Page, former legal counsel to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe; former FBI Director James B. Comey, Jr.; White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah L. Birx; Gov. Stephen F. Sisolak of Nevada; and Thomas Cooper, a mail carrier in Pendleton County, WV, who was charged with attempted election fraud. He also referred to EO 13941. A reporter referred to Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., district attorney, New York County, NY.
* 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/343253