Illinois State confirms 250 new cases of Coronavirus Disease: Trump offers support

Illinois State confirms 250 new cases of Coronavirus Disease: Trump offers support
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Illinois confirms 250 new cases of Coronavirus Disease: Trump offers support

President Donald Trump said that his administration is continuing to pursue a bi-partisan response to the coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, including pushing a national stimulus bill that would provide funds to every American to boost the economy which has been hit hard by negative media coverage and the spread of the virus which originated in December in Wuhan, China.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 250 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including four deaths; a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents both in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s.

Grundy County is now reporting a case.  Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,535 cases in 32 counties in Illinois.  The age of cases ranges from younger than one to 99 years.  Cases by county can be found on the IDPH website, as well as a list of local health departments who will have the most up-to-date information.

The latest numbers reported statewide in Illinois as of the time of this also identify 16 Deaths in Illinois.  Predictions from the IDPH state this total may rise to approximately 3400 cases by next week.  The current total reported cases of COVID -19 in the US are 51,542.  Worldwide COVID-19 cases now total 414,277 with 18,557 deaths. 

President Trump signs an Executive Order toughening sanctions on Cuba. June 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of the White House

President Trump signs an Executive Order toughening sanctions on Cuba. June 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of the White House

For all personal protective equipment (PPE) donations, email PPE.donations@illinois.gov.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

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President Trump also held a press conference on Tuesday <arch 23, 2020 at the White House detailing the government’s most recent actions. Trump noted he spoke by telephone with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker regarding complaints Pritzker has had of the need for face-masks and other medical supplies.

Trump said that his administration is continuing to pursue a bi-partisan response to the coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, including pushing a national stimulus bill that would provide funds to every American to boost the economy which has been hit hard by negative media coverage and the spread of the virus which originated in December in Wuhan, China.

Here are Trump’s comments.

America continues to mobilize every segment of our society to turn the tide in the battle against the virus.  I want Americans to know that we will get through this challenge.  The hardship will end; it will end soon.  Normal life will return.  And our economy will rebound very, very strongly.  But, right now, in the midst of this great national trial, Americans must remain united in purpose and focused on victory.

To every single American, please know that the sacrifice you’re making at this time is saving lives — many, many lives.  It’s very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States and all around the world.  They’re amazing people, and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form.  They’re working closely with us to get rid of it.  We will prevail together.  It’s very important.

From the beginning, we have been working closely with our nation’s best scientists and medical professionals, and we will continue to do so until we have defeated the virus.  Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation in the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time.

We also have a large team working on what the next steps will be once the medical community gives a region the okay — meaning the okay to get going, to get back; let’s go to work.

Our country wasn’t built to be shut down.  This is not a country that was built for this.  It was not built to be shut down.

My administration continues to work with Democrats and Republicans to reach an agreement on an urgent relief bill for the millions of American workers and small businesses and large businesses that were badly affected by the medical difficulty that we’ve had.

If you had a viable business in January, we are committed to ensuring the same is true in the coming weeks.  In fact, we want to make it even better than it was before, and we’re doing things to help in that regard.

America will again, and soon, be open for business — very soon — a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting.  A lot sooner.  We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.  We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.

At the end of the 15-day period, we’ll make a decision as to which way we want to go, where we want to go, the timing.  And essentially, we’re referring to the timing of the opening — essentially, the opening of our country, because we have it pretty well shut down in order to get rid of this invisible enemy.

Two weeks ago, we moved at record speed to pass paid sick leave and paid family medical leave and approve $8 billion, including money for the development of treatments and vaccines.  And we’re doing tremendous work in both — on both fronts.  The vaccines are coming along very quickly.

Now Congress must demonstrate the same bipartisanship again and join together to pass the Senate bill as written, and avoid playing any more partisan games.  They have to get together and just stop with the partisan politics.  And I think that’s happening.  I got a call a little while ago; I guess they’re getting closer.  It should go quickly and must go quickly.  It’s not really a choice.  They don’t have a choice.  They have to make a deal.  This should not be a time for political agendas but rather one for focusing solely and squarely on the needs of the American people.

We are going to save American workers, and we’re going to save them quickly.  And we’re going to save our great American companies, both small and large.  This was a medical problem.  We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.  It started out as a purely medical problem, and it’s not going to go beyond that.  We’re just not going to allow that to happen.

Our country was at its strongest financial point.  We’ve never had an economy like we had just a few weeks ago, and then it got hit with something that nobody could have ever thought possible.  And we are fixing it.  We’re fixing it quickly.  And I want to just thank the American people for what they’ve been through and what they’re doing.

Our country will be stronger than ever before, and we fully anticipate that.  And it won’t be that long.

Let me provide you with an update on critical supplies:  FEMA is distributing 8 million N95 respirator masks and 13.3 million surgical masks across the country right now, focusing on the areas with the greatest need.  We have shipped 73 pallets of personal protective equipment to New York City and 36 pallets to the State of Washington.

In the past 96 hours, FEMA has also received donations of approximately 6.5 million masks.  We’re having millions and millions of masks made as we speak, and other personal protective equipment, which we will be distributing to medical hotspots.  We’re focused on some of the hotspots across the nation.

We’re seeing an outpouring of creativity and innovative ideas widely shared between the federal health leaders, governors and mayors, the scientific community, and members of the private sector.  Really working together.  Everybody is working together.

I’m pleased to report that clinical trials in New York will begin existing for existing drugs that may prove effective against the virus.  At my direction, the federal government is working to help obtain large quantities of chloroquine.  And you can look from any standpoint tomorrow, in New York — we think tomorrow pretty early — the hydroxychloroquine and the Z-Pak, I think as a combination, probably, is looking very, very good.  And it’s going to be distributed.

We have 10,000 units going, and it’ll be distributed tomorrow.  It’ll be available and is now; they already have it.  They’re going to distribute it tomorrow morning to a lot of people in New York City and New York.  We’re studying it very closely, watching it very closely.

You probably saw a couple of articles today came out where a gentleman — they thought he was not going to make it.  He said goodbye to his family.  They had given him the drug just a little while before, but he thought it was over.  His family thought he was going to die.  And a number of hours later, he woke up, felt good.  Then he woke up again, and he felt really good.  And he’s in good shape.  And he’s very happy for this particular drug that we got approved in record-setting time.  There’s never been anything even close to it.

And I want to thank the FDA, which has been incredible, and Dr. Hahn — Stephen Hahn — a highly respected man.  But they’re doing everything possible to increase production and available supply of these drugs — not only this drug, but also others that are coming.  Remdesivir is coming from Regeneron.  A couple of others are also under study.

But the one that I’m very excited about right now is the one we just mentioned.  And I think there’s a real chance.  I mean, again, we don’t know, but there’s a real chance that it could have a tremendous impact.  It would be a gift from God if that worked.  That would be a big game changer.  So we’ll see.

But distribution starts tomorrow morning, early, in New York.  And I think a lot of people are going to be — hopefully they’re going to be very happy with the result.  But we’re all going to be watching closely.  It’s something we have to try.  It’s been very, very successful on malaria.  Very, very successful.

And countries with malaria have had a interesting thing happen.  They take this particular drug — it’s a very powerful drug — and there is very little semblance of the virus in those countries.  And there are those that say because this drug is very prevalent because of the malaria.  So we’ll see what happens.

I’m also announcing that we’re postponing the deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirements.  At a time when we’re asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do [not] want to require people to go with their local DMV.  We will be announcing the new deadline very soon.  It’s going to be announced in a very short moment.

Overnight, we successfully brought home 103 American citizens after they had been stranded for 10 days in Brazil, following a cruise.  We want to thank the Brazilian government and their great President.  Most of those returned were senior citizens.  My administration, in cooperation with Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and the private sector, coordinated their safe return to the United States.  So thank you to Governor Abbott.  Terrific governor, terrific man.

Earlier today, I signed an executive order invoking presidential authority under Section 4512 of the Defense Production Act to prohibit the hoarding of vital medical equipment and supplies such as hand sanitizers, face masks, and personal protective equipment.

We have a lot of face masks; a lot of equipment is coming in.  And we have some people hoarding, and Attorney General Barr is going to be speaking about that in a second.  We want to prevent price gouging, and critical health and medical resources are going to be protected in every form.

Under this directive, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to designate essential health and medical supplies as scarce.  So he’ll designate certain supplies and medical elements as scarce, and that means it will be a crime to stockpile these items in excessive quantities, which is happening to a relatively small degree, we think, but nevertheless it’s happening.  We can’t let it happen.  And we can’t let them resell them at excessive prices, which some people are doing.

Very simply, we will not allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American citizens for their own profit.  So we’re going to be watching that with our great Attorney General very closely.

The Department of Justice will be aggressively prosecuting fraudulent schemes related to the pandemic.  Yesterday, federal prosecutors took action in their first case, shutting down a website selling a totally fake vaccine — if you can believe that one.  As President, I will always fight to protect Americans from being exploited.

Thankfully, all throughout the country, we’re witnessing extraordinary acts of compassion, benevolence, and unity.  Construction companies are donating masks by the hundreds of thousands.  Manufacturing workers are transforming their assembly lines.  Citizens are volunteering to deliver food and medicine to the elderly.  We’re truly seeing America at its best.  We’re really seeing things that people never thought even could happen.  Frankly, we never thought this could happen.  But the way most Americans are working toward getting it solved and just doing what they have to do to make this go away has been incredible.  It’s been incredible.

I want to take a moment to thank the everyday heroes who are making our vast effort against the virus possible.  And thank you to the healthcare workers and the first responders.  These are very brave people.  Thanks also to the hardworking men and women of Federal Express, UPS, the United States Postal Service, and the truckers who are maintaining our supply chains and supply lines.  We thank you very much.  Great job.

We also want to give our regards and thanks to everyone at our grocery stores working the night shift so that shelves can be restocked, and the restaurant workers and delivery drivers keeping our families fed.  So many of these restaurants, it’s incredible — they’re doing service where people come and they pick it up — delivery.  I mean, it’s been incredible what they’ve been doing.  Totally different business than they were in, other than they cook food.  Other than that, it’s like a totally different business.

Most of all, I want to thank the American people for rising to the challenge and showing incredible courage, determination, patience, grace, and grit.  From New York to Seattle and everywhere in between, your acts of selflessness and sacrifice and ingenuity are a powerful testament to the American character.  It’s really being shown.  It’s really showing up at a level that people are really respecting.  All over the world, they’re respecting.  And the world has problems.  We’re at 148 countries now.  A hundred and forty-eight countries are affected by the invisible scourge.

And all of the uplifting reflections of the American spirit are out there for everyone to see.  Together, we will care for our fellow citizens.  And we will win this war, and we’ll win it much sooner than people think.  And we’ll be back in business as a country pretty soon.  You’ll be hearing about that also pretty soon.

Ray Hanania

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