tv Briefing on Coronavirus Task Force CSPAN January 31, 2020 9:31pm-10:08pm EST
the middle east, and would related intelligence community commercials to the decision. the would like to see prison industrial complex and military-industrial complex completely expunge criminal records in the u.s. for things like possession of marijuana, because it really shouldn't be illegal in the first place. >> one of the important issues for any candidate to address this year is climate change, and the second most important issue should be immigration. climate change is a serious issue we all need to face. that can do it in the government, we are helpless. only thing that can happen wantsituation we would not for our children to have in the future.
>> on c-span. house and -- health and human services secretary discard a public emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. he says president trump imposed a temporary ban on entry for foreign nationals who have been to china in the last 14 days. american citizens returning from mainland china will be subject to a health screening. here's the secretary briefing with other health experts. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm alec cesar, secretary of health and human services, and chairman of the president's task
force on the novel coronavirus. i'm going to start by turning things over to dr. robert redfield, director of the centers for disease control and prevention, to discuss the current situation on the novel coronavirus. >> inc. you, mr. secretary. let me give you an update on the current situation of the coronavirus. i want to emphasize this is a serious health situation in china. publick to the american is currently low. do all we can do to keep it that way.
currently, there are another 23 countries that have confirmed 132 cases. this also includes 12 individuals who have been confirmed in six countries who did not travel to china. the cdc has launched an aggressive response focused on early case recognition, isolation of those cases identified, and contact tracing around those individuals. this response is a layered response that includes both targeted airport screening, as well as heightened education and awareness of the american health-care community to be vigilant in ascertaining the possibility of recent travel to china when they are evaluating patients with upper respiratory tract infection.
today, we have confirmed six cases of the novel virus on low u.s. ally most recent case at now travel history to china, but with a close personal contact of one of the previous cases that we had identified through our aggressive contact pricing. are 191ion, there individuals under investigation. emphasize, i want to this is a significant global situation and it continues to evolve. i also want to emphasize the risk at this time to the american public is low. i would now like to invite the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious disease to discuss the rationale for the actions i will be discussing after he concludes.
>> thank you very much. the concept underlying the action y'all care about shortly is the issue of the unknown aspects of this particular outbreak let me numerate a few of these. i can put it into perspective by telling you we have an influenza outbreak. deaths,about 8000 thousands of hospitalizations. where we paying such attention, and where we doing the kinds of things we are doing right now? their eyes is despite the mortality, i can tell you all guaranteed as we get into march and april, the cases will go down. you can predict what the range of the mortality is. the issue is that there's a lot of unknowns. as you can see just from the
media, the number of cases have steeply inclined each and every day. -- in the at beginning, we are not sure there was asymptomatic infection, which is a much broader outbreak than we are seeing. now we know there are. it was not clear whether any symptomatic person could transmit it to someone while they were a symptom addict. now we know from a recent report from germany that it is absolutely the case. countriesa number of outside of china that have travel related cases. now we are seeing secondary cases from them. we also have that in this country. who has issued a public health emergency of international concern declaration. these thingsf together, i underscore what bob
said, we have a low risk to the american public. we want to keep it at a low risk. because there were so many unknowns, we are going to take the action the secretary will describe in a temporary way to make sure we mitigate as best as we possibly can this risk. >> today, president trump took decisive action to minimize the risk of the spread of novel coronavirus in the u.s. since taking office, president trump has been clear. his top priority is the safety of the american people. in addition to the steps the doctors outlined, we continue to operationalize a multilayered cross agency public health response. following the world health organization pot decision to declare the 2019 novel coronavirus a health emergency i havernational concern,
declared the coronavirus presents a health emergency in the u.s. the actions we have taken and continue to take complement the work of china and the world health organization to contain the outbreak within china. in accordance with the declaration, beginning at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time, sunday, february 2, the u.s. government will implement temporary measures to increase our abilities to detect and contain the coronavirus proactively and aggressively. any u.s. citizen returning to the u.s. who has been in who bay province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening. to be clear, this applies only to u.s. citizens who have been
in the province in the past 14 days prior to their attempted entry into the u.s. any u.s. citizen returning to the u.s. who has been in the rest of mainland china within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of to 14of entry, and up days of monitored self quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk. presidently, the signed a presidential proclamation using his authority pursuant to section 212f of the immigration and nationality act, temporarily suspending the entry into the u.s. of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel
coronavirus. result, foreign nationals other than immediate family of u.s. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled in china within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the u.s. for this time. again, these actions will become effective at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time sunday, february 2. these prudent targeted and temporary actions will decrease the pressure on public health officials screening incoming travelers, expedite the processing of u.s. citizens and permanent residents, returning from china, and ensure resources are focused on the health and safety of the american people. stress, the risk of infection for americans remains low. with these and our previous
actions, we are working to keep the risk low. all agencies are working aggressively to monitor the continually evolving situation and keep the public informed in a constantly transparent way. the u.s. appreciates china's efforts in coordination with public health officials across the globe, and encourages the highest levels of transparency. it is likely we will continue to see more cases in the u.s. in the coming days and weeks, including limited person-to-person transmission. the american public can be assured the full weight of the u.s. government is working to safeguard the health and safety of the american people. i would now like to invite deputy secretary of state for an update. good afternoon. thank, secretary a czar. i'm the deputy secretary of state. i represent the state department
on the president's novel coronavirus task force. let me describe the role of the department of state in the proceedings of this task force in our contributions. our first responsibility is to monitor events on the ground in china, were we have the presence of u.s. diplomats, and give clear and accurate advice to american citizens and american travelers considering visiting or staying in china. in this particular case, it includes identifying any health or safety risks to which they may be subjected, but also, identifying their access to essential services, such as health care in parts of china that are affected by the coronavirus. china has an excellent health care system, but in parts of the country, it is overwhelmed. it, includingto potential infection, but also any type of accident in need of medical care, may be compromised
during the chinese government's own treatment of the consequences of this virus. finally, we make our judgments based on any obstacles, particularly obstacles to movement, that american citizens might face in the country. in china, we have seen barriers to travel within and without china, as well as between the u.s. and china. we have given prudent advice over the course of the week to american citizens to allow them to make the best possible choices for themselves. our second responsibility is to assist u.s. citizens in the affected areas as much as possible. we have a presence on the ground, we can provide advice, and in some cases, make other arrangements. we will continue to review what we can do in certain circumstances. finally and very importantly, the core mission of the department of state is to work hooky with our international partners. in this case, we are working closely with the chinese government to address a number
of related matters. let me start on behalf of the president and the secretary of state by extending our deepest compassion to the people of china. this has been a very difficult time for the chinese people. came at a point of their peak holiday season. many are affected, many have lost loved ones are enduring the illness, but i want the chinese people to know they want the sympathies of the u.s.. let me also say and echo what secretary a czar said, we are deeply appreciative of the close cooperation we have with the chinese government as we work together to try and find appropriate ways to address any risks and challenges from this virus. finally, the u.s. will continue to cooperate with china in ways that we can provide assistance, including tactical assistance, and also any critical supplies the chinese need in order to address the virus.
we are working hard to find donors and make arrangements so we can undertake a robust effort to help the chinese people get their arms around this outbreak. thank you. invite the acting deputy secretary of the department of homeland security to take the podium. thank you. i'm the acting deputy secretary of the department of homeland security. on the tasktative force led by secretary a czar. several elements of the department of homeland security are engaged in implement in the medical strategy described here, including customs, border protection, which stands at our land ports, seaports, and airports. i will come back to the airports, particular the office of field operations personnel, who you see when you come back into the country from your travels. there the first line of defense when you land and come to the
country. tsa, thelly engages security of engagement with their lines. officer, wedical are providing medical support at the airports. we are using contract authority that we have to backfill the cdc personnel so they can be freed up for other missions at the airports where medical screening is being focus. fema continues to prepare and support hhs preparations themselves. course. coast guard, of commands the ports of the u.s.. they deal with incoming shipping, which is slower than the airplanes, but coming nonetheless. we are prepared to deal with each of those. the proclamation of the president will have customs and border protection ensuring u.s. citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families continue to enter into
the u.s., those coming from the province, as you heard from the secretary, will be subject to quarantine and the others to screening. we will implement a funneling effort at the airport. this is done under the authority of the customs border protection. it will include seven airports. starting at 5:00 on sunday eastern time, incoming flights from china will be funneled through seven airports. those airports are jfk, sanago's o'hare, seattle francisco, atlanta, honolulu, and lax. this is done under cbp's authority. it will be executed by the secretary of department of homeland security consistent with the president's proclamation. in support of that effort so we can focus the expertise of the
medical professionals that will do the screening to implement this. we will continue to support the medical efforts across the country both at our ports, land sea and air, as well as with personnel standing up some of the resiliency measures that hhs has been working on for some time. thank you. at this point, we would be happy to take some of your questions. >> if the risk is really low, can you talk about why go to such an extreme as a public health emergency? if the risk is that low, where we taking such metrics? incremental fairly measured steps on top of the steps we have already been taking. you will notice many airlines have stopped direct flights from china and pulled it down.
we see a significant move that can come on the numbers we are seeing. we have seen a significant reduction in people from the u.s. going to china, people from china coming to the u.s. already. this just helps us focus our efforts so as we are dealing with the unknown, unknown surround incubation, about the speed of transmission, the a symptom addict transmission, severity, that we take appropriate measured credentialed steps so we can focus our resources. ofis the bread-and-butter public health, identifying people who may be symptomatic or have the disease, diagnose, isolate, treat, contact trace. it's a significant undertaking, as we have already done with these individuals in the u.s. who have been positively identified. we need to focus those resources. the mandatory quarantine for
the people coming in from the province, will it be an institutional service? it will be an appropriate facility of some kind for the individuals. for the u.s. citizens returning to the u.s., they will be funneled as the secretary spoke of. they will be screened appropriately to see if they present any types of symptoms of the disease. they will be asked to self isolate over the 14 days. epicenter of the this, with such high immediate transmission, we feel the additional measures for up to 14 days are appropriate. >> have you selected specific quarantine centers? >> we have. we will announce those as dhs implements with the airlines funneling the activity. >> what does self quarantine look like for the people? how do you enforce it? you just described it as
incremental. i believe this is significant in the quarantine of citizens. what is your message to americans watching this on the by theo feel alarmed steps the administration is taking, by the spread of the virus in general? they see this action being taken, and i think people may be freaked out. >> i hope not, i hope they see the government is taking responsible steps to protect them. they are preventive steps. the risk is low in the u.s.. the risk of contracting the disease is low. our job is to keep the risk low as much as we can by taking appropriate preventative steps. let me ask dr. redfield if he can talk about -- we do this type of quarantine and self isolation, we are working closely. i want to stress something we have not mentioned. working closely with state and local health partners. just as we do with emergency
response, we serve as the backup typexpertise of a border force, but state and local authorities are the backbone of our public health infrastructure. we work with them daily to help with our quarantine stations and activities. talk about self isolation. have stratified the risk groups here. as already alluded to. there really is aggressive transmission. those individuals are going to come and be required to have 14 days, up to 14 days of institutional transmission. there's a large category of individuals coming back to china , over half of the reported cases in china are not in who bay. when you look at the history, probably over 85% of them got infected. will bedividuals actively screened when they come into one of the seven airports,
for significant risk, as well as any evidence of any symptoms. in the absence of any reason to advance them into a clinical evaluation at that port of entry, they will be allowed to complete their travel back to their home, where they then will be monitored by the global and a departments, self-monitoring situation at home. we did this in the west africa ebola outbreak. time, over 98% of the american public voluntarily accepted the importance of this. theontinue to believe american public will see this as something to their benefit, their families benefit, obviously the benefit of the community. that's the current situation. -- one aspect i think
is important, recently there was a case of a woman in china who came to germany and had a professional interaction with a professional partner. she had no symptoms at the time. she went back to china and got sick. this individual contracted the coronavirus at a time where she had no symptoms. he then transmitted it to two of his colleagues. one of the problems with when the virus is transmitted in an asymptomatic way, and its implications, it puts a terrible burden on the screening process. how do you screen somebody? ebola doesn't get transmitted unless you are actively very ill. it is very clear. when you can transmit a virus at a time when you are a symptom addict, it puts the extra burden on screening. there's a lot of people that
come in and it will be difficult. given that data you just cited, 195 people being quarantined, are they getting tested every day for coronavirus? clearly, they are all isolated, and will be for the 14 days. isolation,e virus but the current test we developed at cdc, we are not certain of how the virus is isolated. you isolate it one day, and three days later you can't. we see in cases in the hospital, people that have the detectable virus, then three days later, they had it. we are using the virus coulters right now in these individuals more to help us learn about the virus.
how much a symptom edit carriage there is. we are not using it as a release criteria, because we don't know the natural history of how the virus is secreted. thousands of people that pass through the u.s. screenings, they don't have coronavirus? >> this is why it is such a layered approach. we will see additional cases in the country. we have already seen in the six cases we defined, a number of them came in asymptomatic. this is why we have the multilayered approach and have worked hard to engage the medical community in the u.s.. of the six cases we have diagnosed, one was picked up by airport screening. up byf them were picked astute doctors, and the most recent was picked up by cdc.
>> you referenced airlines earlier. can you or your colleagues give us an update on the thinking of the administration about a travel ban, airlines in general being prohibited from flying to and from china? >> there is no travel ban. i think many of you are aware of all of the u.s. carriers between the u.s. and china announcing they taking down their passenger flights. they announced it before any action by the administration. we are working closely with our counterparts in our chinese aviation counterparts. we will be working with both the u.s. and the chinese passenger airlines about their flight plans going forward. >> are you considering more drastic action beyond the voluntary measures that airlines have taken? it is an evolving situation, but at the moment, no.
talk a bit about what we are seeing on those numbers. >> i will start it off and turn it over to the acting deputy secretary. in terms of passengers traveling between the u.s. and china, over the course of the last couple of weeks, passengers loading in the u.s. to fly to china have dropped to almost none. passengers continuing to have a high load factor. coming from china to the u.s.. represent justrs under 40% of the passenger capability. with that, we have already seen in the course of the last week to 10 days, and the department of homeland security did an excellent job tracking those numbers day to day. >> to speak to the numbers,
lockedhe chinese have down wuhan and the province eight days ago if memory serves, travel from china to the united states as of yesterday had dropped by close to 20%. travel from the u.s. to china dropped by well more than 50%. and this is with the market response joel referenced by the airlines, and voluntary actions taken by travelers. i would note for you all that it is not a lot of data, but over the last five days, the number of american citizens traveling from china back to the united states has been rising. so even while the total number is going down, it looks to us initially like americans, at least some, are returning back home. [reporters shouting questions]
are you: how confident in the accuracy of these tests? if someone is negative in later tests positive, can you have confidence? asked is oneon you of the fundamental bases for why this decision was made. if we had an absolutely accurate test that was very sensitive and very specific, then we could just test people and say, we are good to go. i want to get back to the concept i mentioned about the unknowns, we don't know the accuracy of the test. we haven't had enough people who came in were negative and were also -- all of a sudden positive. you could have the virus from secretions. it is not a test that is absolute. i spoke to a reporter yesterday talking about tests. i a person has hiv you, and
draw their blood, i can tell you 100% whether they have hiv, 100 percent. that is not even near where we are with this. talked about a gradual approach in terms of what you are doing right now. measures do you have in the toolkit if this gets worse? dr. catlett to talk about our approach. the risk in the united states is quite low for any individual. our job is to work to keep it that way. but we have public health tools we use that we exercise constantly in the event of larger scale, infectious disease outbreaks. and that is what we will rely on should we see more cases in the united states. but it is exactly these measures that help make any additional cases more manageable. thank you, -- >> thank you.
at thisis precautionary stage. my responsibilities are to work across the federal government as well as within hhs to make sure we are postured, should this virus continue to expand. domestically, we are working with private sector health care repaired this, specifically working around supply chain resilience because much of our health care products come from overseas, and we are working actively with nih and our dod colleagues and private industry to develop better diagnostics, possible therapeutics, as well as vaccines. what i woulding say is a cautious but deliberate and methodical approach to ensure we are prepared. i am going to call last question. reporter: any concerns about legal challenges?
international travel in general to the region, what is the message to people who need to travel to the region? and what benchmark do you have for when that gets fixed. let me ask dr. redfield to talk about travel generally and then dr. fauchi will be looking at factors, temporary measures to keep a pause on the situation. thank you. right now there are a lot of unknowns. almost every day we are learning something we didn't know the day before about this, and we will continue to do that. probably the most important thing from our perspective is whether there is expansion of what i call sustained community human to human transmission. right now that is limited in area ofrt to the hubei
broader china. we had isolated human-to-human transmission, 12 so far defined in the whole world. so that is important, to see if there is a broadening of sustained, human-to-human transmission. that is going to be the major thing we are going to be looking out. and these precautionary messages today, its put out really is intended to keep this virus from causing significant consequences for the american public. >> thank you, all, very much. the most important thing we can be doing is what we are doing, offering to help the chinese government and assist them in helping control the spread of the novel coronavirus and china, working with them as closely as possible, as well as with the world health organization. second, the risk to americans is low. you have a team here.
you have an experienced, first-class, world's best health care system and infrastructure and professionals looking out for you, making judgments like this, scaling them up as appropriate, to work to keep this from becoming an issue that would be of concern, to keep that risk low. thank you all, very much. [reporters shouting questions] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ journal,'s washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, we will preview the iowa caucuses murphy, des moines bureau chief. wash c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern 70
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