Trump promotes Kodak loan and EPP acquisition, defends hydroxychloroquine video

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

Associated Press

President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that the administration was using the Defense Production Act to provide a $ 765 million loan to support Eastman Kodak’s efforts to produce the active ingredients necessary to manufacture generic drugs in the U.S.

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

Eastman Kodak KODK,
+ 203.05%
Shares rose 203% on Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal first reported the loan. Eastman Kodak shares rose another 63% in off-hours trading.

The president appeared for about 30 minutes during Tuesday’s coronavirus task force meeting at the White House. He spent much of his time promoting the administration’s efforts to deliver supplies, improve coronavirus testing, and replenish national stocks 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 yielded 20 billion surgical gloves, 34 million face shields, 1 billion N95 and surgical masks, and 354 million surgical gowns.

When asked if he supports the $ 1 trillion Senate Republican-proposed stimulus bill, Trump pointed to the need for more talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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

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

When a journalist noted that the woman he was referring to, Dr. Stella Immanuel, made outrageous comments, including the use of alien DNA in medicine, Trump said: “I thought her voice was an important voice, but I don’t know anything about her. ” “

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

Trump also defended his alleged strained relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, noting that the doctor works for the administration. He also referenced Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx’s high approval ratings, joking in contrast to his own.

“They are very well thought out, but nobody liked me,” he said. “It can only be my personality.”