President Trump has arrived at Honeywell mask plant in Arizona. Find out what is happening.
After a very short drive, we arrived at the Honeywell facility at 12:26 p.m. The president is first scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion on supporting Native Americans. Then he will tour the facility and later he will deliver remarks.
Pool was called into the roundtable at the factory in Arizona at 1:25 p.m.The president was joined by Vice President of Navajo Nation Myron Lizer and Second Lady Lizer, Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor Ducey, Secretary of Labor Scalia and Senator McSally.
“Together we are fighting for everybody but we are fighting this terrible coronavirus. It is a tough opponent but we are winning,” the president said, noting the country was starting to come back.
He noted the administration is deploying the “full resources” of the federal government to help protect the Native American population from the virus, and reflected on the toll the virus has taken on the Native American community.
Lizer said that the number of cases among the Navajo Nation is still rising but hopefully will fall. He said the Navajo Nation has seen 2,400 cases of coronavirus and 73 deaths due to the virus. He said the peak was expected to be later this month.
Trump touted funding in the CARES act allocated for tribal governments.
Before the roundtable, pool was holding in a large room of the factory where an assembly line of employees could be seen making masks. Upbeat music similar to that which you might hear at one of the president’s rallies played in the factory.
Governor Ducey thanked Trump and McSally for their focus on tribal communities particularly during the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump also touted the building of the wall at the southern border, saying the U.S. had seen the lowest numbers of border crossings.
“We’ll have it completed early next year,” Trump said.
The president then signed a proclamation against Native American violence.
The president was asked about winding down the coronavirus task force and whether that was a good idea during a pandemic.
“I think we are looking at phase two and we’re looking at other phases.” Trump said the country is starting to open up and noted that the task force has done “a phenomenal job.”
Trump went on to tout the country’s testing capabilities.
“I just want to say we have done an incredible job on testing.”
Pressed further on the task force issue, Trump said he wouldn’t need to consult certain people, such as those who worked on ventilators.
“We will have something in a different form,” the president said, describing the need to focus on both safety and reopening. He said Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job.
Why is now the time to wind down the task force if there could be a recurrence?
“Because we can’t close our country down for the next five years,” the president said. “We’ve learned a lot.” The president noted that health experts believe there could be a recurrence but they would need to “put it out.”
Please check quotes against transcript. Round table still ongoing.