President Donald Trump on Thursday teamed up with Dr. Anthony Fauci to emphasize the importance of recovered coronavirus patients donating their plasma to help treat other patients.
The president met at the American Red Cross headquarters with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, who serve on the coronavirus task force.
This was the first time in several weeks that Fauci and Trump have been seen together, despite some public disagreements between the two about the proper response to the coronavirus pandemic. The banner behind the roundtable panel read, “We’re In This Together”
The president and the federal doctors wore masks inside the building while they observed a Red Cross volunteer donating convalescent plasma.
“You’re very famous right now,” Trump told the volunteer.
Afterward, the president spoke at a roundtable with the doctors and experts about donating plasma and continuing to socially distance, wear a mask, and avoid crowded places.
American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern said that orders for plasma had doubled in just a month, and urged Americans who had recovered from the virus to donate.
The doctors and the president removed their masks while speaking at the roundtable.
“An important part of the process of being in it together and pulling together is helping each other,” Fauci said, praising former coronavirus patients for donating their plasma.
Dr. Deborah Birx thanked President Trump for reminding Americans about the importance of wearing a mask.
“Thank you for noting how important it is for every American to give back by wearing a mask, by socially distancing, and from avoiding crowded places,” she said, specifically referring to “parties and bars.”
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said plasma was just one therapeutic being used to treat coronavirus and announced that over 200 medical therapies were currently being tested by the agency with more than 400 others in the planning stages.
“We have a tremendous pipeline of therapies for Covid-19,” he said.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that Americans over 60 were overwhelmingly in the majority of plasma donations.
“To the young people out there, we’ve got some work to do. The seniors are showing us up,” he said.
Adams also praised the president for wearing a mask, citing a conversation with Americans he had in “Trump country” in Miami.
“They told me to tell you, you look bad-ass in a face mask,” he said.
One reporter questioned whether Americans should be wearing goggles to further protect themselves from the virus.
“I only heard of goggles for the first time about an hour ago,” Trump said, before asking Dr. Birx to weigh in on the idea.
Dr. Birx said that it was Dr. Fauci that first brought up the use of goggles, but she recommended face shields for teachers, medical professionals, and others looking for additional protection from the virus.
“If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” said Dr. Fauci in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday.