Today, Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with the chief executives of approximately 50 States, territories, and the city of Washington, DC, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, State, and Federal Coronavirus response and recovery best practices.
Vice President Pence provided an update on the modernization and enhancements to the Strategic National Stockpile and State efforts to build their own stockpiles of critical resources. Rear Admiral Polowczyk provided an update on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) modernization efforts, supply chain stability, including replenishing State and federal stockpiles, and best practices from State, hospitals, and industry. Admiral Polowczyk highlighted California’s efforts to improve their stockpile and supply chain coordination and the following governors highlighted their supply chain stabilization efforts and provide best practices: Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma.
The Vice President also provided an update on COVID-19 response and discussed best practices with our Nation’s governors on limiting Coronavirus spread, including protecting our most vulnerable citizens in nursing homes, leveraging our testing ecosystem, safely reopening America’s schools, Operation Warp Speed’s efforts to safely develop and distribute a vaccine, and encouraging Americans to adhere to State and local guidelines and to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. Vice President Pence encouraged governors to build public confidence in the eventual vaccine and to be ready to assist in distribution when a vaccine becomes available.
Ambassador Birx provided an update on data and trends from across the nation, and discussed her recent visits to college campuses in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas along with upcoming travel to additional college campuses this week.
Secretary Azar provided an update on Operation Warp Speed including Federal coordination efforts with State, local, and Tribal to plan for the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine. Secretary Azar reminded State executives to submit their vaccine plans to the Department of Health and Human Services is October 16, 2020. Director Redfield provided an update on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook and State vaccination distribution plans. Dr. Fauci provided a tutorial on the stringent process to determine efficacy, and touched on the various independent boards and committees involved in that process.
Admiral Giroir provided an update on the purchase and planning for 150 million BinaxNOW rapid tests to be distributed across the country.
Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- The Vice President
- Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
- Director Robert Redfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HHS
- Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Joint Chiefs of Staff, DOD
- Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS
- Administrator Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS
- Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., National Institute for Allergies & Infections Disease (NIAID), HHS
Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has organized and hosted 37 governors’-only briefings to drive effective communication and collaboration at every level of government.