Remarks by President Trump at a Fox News Town Hall | Beaufort County Now

Remarks by President Trump at a Fox News Town Hall president, donald trump, dnlds wht hs, remarks, fox news, town hall, march 6, 2020
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Remarks by President Trump at a Fox News Town Hall

Press Release:

Scranton Cultural Center  •  Scranton, PA  •  March 5  •  6:32 P.M. EST

    Q:  You've got a great crowd here.

    THE PRESIDENT: Nice audience. Nice crowd. (Applause.)

    Q:  Terrific crowd here tonight. Thank you so much, everybody.

    Q:  We'd love to get to a lot of questions tonight, and there are a lot of good questions from residents here in Scranton who want to talk about big issues.

    Q:  So we're going to jump right in with the first questioner from our audience. Thank you again, Mr. President, for being here tonight.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much.

    Q:  Catherine Pugh (ph) is joining us. She is an undecided voter and she has a question for President Trump. Catherine?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. President, at the outset of the coronavirus, your administration's response seemed to some as being confusing or minimizing. What plans are being considered on a federal level for the possibility of a long-term disruption from the novel coronavirus?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, actually, we were giving - I think really given tremendous marks - if you look at Gallup poll, you look at other polls - for the way we've handled it.

    And one of the things I did is I closed down the borders to China and to other areas that are very badly affected and really having a lot of troubles - I mean, countries and areas of countries that have had a lot of problem. And I closed them down very early, against the advice of almost everybody, and we've been given rave reviews.

    And that's why we have only, right now, 11 - it's a lot of people, but it's still 11 people - versus tremendous numbers of thousands of people that have died all over the world. We have 11. We have 149 cases, as of this moment. This morning, it was 129. And I just see - right now it's about 149 cases. There are 100,000 cases all over the world.

    So we were really given tremendous marks for having made the decision. That was a decision I made to close down the border so that people from China, where we take in thousands and thousands of people a day, they stopped coming in very early - weeks ahead of where they normally would have been stopped.

    Q:  Mr. President, you said you want to take politics out of dealing with this crisis. But in the White House yesterday, you said that - about the testing kits and the delay, you blamed President Obama.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't blame anybody. I want to get everybody to understand: They made some decisions which were not good decisions. We inherited decisions that they made, and that's fine. We undid -

    Q:  As far as regulations?

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We undid some of the regulations that were made that made it very difficult, but I'm not blaming anybody. It just seems that the Democrats - some of them, I must say - and you know it better than anybody, Bret - it's become much better. But some of the Democrats have said, no matter what - if we found a cure and everybody is better tomorrow morning at nine o'clock, they would say, "He's done a terrible job." It's just automatic. "How is the President doing?" "Oh, terrible, terrible." They don't mean it. And we've done a great job.

    Again, we've gotten the highest poll numbers of anybody for this kind of a thing. And it's - and the other thing: I'm working with phenomenal people, with CDC and all of the people involved. Mike Pence is doing a fantastic job. I mean, Mike Pence is working 20 hours a day or more on this and really doing a fantastic job.

    Q:  I guess the critics say that: Why wait until the testing issue became a crisis before dealing with it? If you want to change the regulations, want to change them - either when you took office or when you first learned of the virus in January. For example, South Korea really got their act together right away. That's what they said.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, when you say "take office," we just learned about this a very short while ago.

    Q:  Sure, or when you learned about the virus -

    THE PRESIDENT: I know, but we're not going to be thinking - I'm thinking about a lot of other things too, like trade and millions of other things. I mean, we are doing some job with the economy. So I'm not thinking about this.

    But as soon as I heard that China had a problem, I said, "What's going on with China? How many people are coming in?" Nobody but me asked that question. And you know better than - again, you know - you both know that I closed the borders very early.

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    Q:  And you were getting applause for that.

    THE PRESIDENT: We've been given A-pluses for that. You know, it saved a lot of lives.

    Q:  But I'm just talking about testing - the testing kits.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, the testing, we did it - as soon as we found out that it was a problem, we did it. It's not the kind of thing you say, "Gee, I just got elected. Let's do some testing on this." They had some bad decisions. Some bad decisions were made. We corrected those decisions.

    Q:  So, obviously, you care a lot about the economy, and we are seeing some impacts. It's kind of surprising how many conferences are being shut down and meetings are being canceled and flights. A lot of flights have been canceled. Even the James Bond movie, they're delaying because of coronavirus.

    I'm wondering what you think is the long-term - you know, over the course of the year. Wall Street says that they don't expect U.S. companies to have any growth in 2020, which is pretty surprising. What's the impact on the economy and also, potentially, on your reelection?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think people are viewing us as having done a very good job. What we have to do is do a very professional job. Nobody is blaming us for the virus. Nobody. I mean, I haven't heard that, even from some of the so-called enemies or whatever you want to call them. They're not blaming us.

    This started in China. How it started, there's question - but thousands and thousands of cases in China. And it infiltrated to almost 100 countries right now.

    Q:  But I'm not talking about the handling of it -

    THE PRESIDENT: Nobody is blaming me.

    Q:  Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt, but I'm just asking about - you know, in terms of things you can't control - right? - the impact on the economy and that potentially, you know, that could - if people feel like the economy is turning around, that that could be an election issue as you go into it.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, we were set to hit 30,000 on the Dow. This is a number that nobody ever even came close to, and already, we have the number. And even though it's down 10 or 11 percent, it's still the highest it's ever been by far. It certainly might have an impact.

    At the same time, I have to say, people are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the U.S., and I like that. You know, I've been after that for a long time. You know that. I've been saying, "Let's stay in the U.S. Spend your money here." And they're doing that. They've sort of been forced doing that.

    We met with the airline companies yesterday. They're doing a fantastic job. And they're just not flying to areas that have a big problem.

    So, it's going to all work out. Everybody has to be calm. It's all going to work out.

    Q:  But to Catherine's original question, there is a long-term plan, if it lasts longer than you think.

    THE PRESIDENT: Sure. We could have a very long-term plan. We hope that doesn't happen, but we're - we have plans for every single possibility, and I think that's what we have to do. We hope it doesn't last too long.

    Q:  We want to get to audience questions. Robert is a Trump supporter. He does have a question about rhetoric here in the campaign. Robert?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. President, thank you so much for returning back to northeastern Pennsylvania.

    THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: I've been a big supporter of you for the duration.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: And thank you for everything that you've done for this country and continue to do for this country.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.


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