Trump touts Kodak loan and purchase of PPE, defends hydroxychloroquine video

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President Donald Trump speaks at a White House press conference Tuesday.

Associated press

President Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday that the administration is using the Defense Production Act to grant a $ 765 million loan to support Eastman Kodak’s efforts to produce the active ingredients needed to manufacture generic drugs in the United States. .

“Today’s action is our final step in building the largest medical arsenal in history,” Trump said.

Eastman Kodak KODK,
-4.83%
the stock jumped 203% on Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal first announced the loan. Eastman Kodak shares rose another 63% in after-hours trading.

The president appeared for about 30 minutes during Tuesday’s coronavirus task force briefing at the White House. He has spent much of his time touting the administration’s efforts to deliver supplies, improve coronavirus testing and replenish the nation’s stockpile of personal protective equipment.

He said the combined efforts of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the private sector have resulted in the purchase of 20 billion surgical gloves, 34 million visors, 1 billion N95 and surgical masks and 354 million surgical gowns.

When asked if he supports the $ 1,000 billion stimulus bill proposed by Senate Republicans, Trump stressed the need for further discussions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump has called on all Americans to practice social distancing, to remain vigilant about hygiene, and to avoid indoor gatherings and large gatherings. He also said to wear a mask where appropriate. But when asked about a video he shared on Twitter, which has since been removed from social media sites for promoting disinformation about COVID-19, Trump asked why the video had been deleted.

“I think they are very respected doctors,” he said, referring to the doctors in the video who touted the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. “There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it. “

When a reporter noted that the woman he was referring to, Dr Stella Immanuel, allegedly made strange comments, including that alien DNA is used in medicine, Trump said: “I thought her voice was a voice. important, but I don’t know anything about it. “

When asked if he would speak in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Republican National Convention, Trump said his speech would take place on August 27, but did not disclose the location. Last week, he canceled the convention stop in Jacksonville, Fla., Which would have hosted the festivities, including his speech. Trump said delegates would still meet in Charlotte on August 24, but said the White House would announce plans for his speech soon.

Trump also defended his allegedly strained relationship with Dr Anthony Fauci, pointing out that the doctor works for the administration. He also referred to the high approval ratings of Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, jokingly contrasting them with his own.

“They are very popular, but nobody likes me,” he said. “It can only be my personality.”

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