Newt Gingrich on the $2 trillion US stimulus package

While in lockdown in Rome, Italy, the former House speaker expressed his concerns about the federal package.
5:19 | 03/26/20

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Transcript for Newt Gingrich on the $2 trillion US stimulus package
There was an article out in the "New York Times" this morning that talks about how all the doctors in the country this morning are writing their wills and having to change it because the people they're close to are either too old or fellow doctors and may die. Some people have resorted to wearing garbage bags because they don't have the right supplies or gear. I'm furious. Most Americans are furious. This seems like a referendum on many things, but especially the preparedness we have for crises like this. What went wrong, and what can average Americans watching in horror do to help? I think until you've experienced a pandemic like this, you always discount it. Without getting into politics in the last administration when we had the H1N1 virus, we used an amaing number of masks and they were told, you need to go out and buy a bunch of masks. They didn't do it, so the stockpile wasn't rebuilt. In this administration, I think they didn't really -- they didn't mobilize the first couple of weeks. I do a podcast every Sunday, and we had Dr. Fauci on in early February. He knew things were not going right. He knew there was this thing coming out of China and it was dangerous. Nobody knew yet how dangerous it was going to be, and so they were sort of caught between, we treat this like a big flu or do we treat this like a pandemic? And I think that it took a little while, and I don't think the planning system at any level -- this is not just the white house, but I think the whole planning system underestimated the scale of the conflict and how much resources it was going to take. I find it very awkward, for example, that the Chinese are now bringing masks and ventilators to Spain because the Chinese really ramped up their production once they understood how bad this was, but we should be doing that. We should be if you will, the medicine chest of the world just as we were, and I think that's going to require us to rethink some things. We allowed much too much stuff that went to China. I think 80% of pharmaceuticals are made in China. We have been importing from Italy by the way. A lot of the testing devices that you put up your nose that happen to be made here in Italy, and the air force has been flying them because there aren't enough commercial flights right now to get them to the U.S. Rapidly. But the supply chain I think is probably about six weeks behind where you would like it to be, and they are moving and they are playing catchup, but there's no question. Even though we have I think a 90-something-page document at the national security council that had been written, we didn't follow our own advice and move the speed I am David novarro. Governor Cuomo holding a brief on the response to the covid-19 outbreak. First what I try to communicate in these briefings are the facts of the situation. Facts can be uplifting. They can be depressing at times. They can be confusing at times. I think facts are empowering. You know, in a situation like this, not knowing the facts is worse because that's when you feel out of control or when you feel that you are getting selective facts or you are being deceived by the information you are getting. That is actually the worst so what I say to my people in every situation is just give me the facts first and then let me understand what the situation and the reality is. Then we'll go from there. That's what I try to do. The facts on increasingly important on two levels. Public health but also the economic facts. We have been focusing on the public health facts and the response of the public health system to the virus. More and more, we now have to deal on two fronts. We have to deal with the public health situation, but we also have to deal with the economic situation. I will get to that in a moment. Public health, we have had a two prong agenda which we have been pursuing aggressively, still are, flatten the curve. You reduce flow into the hospital system, at the same time, increase hospital capacity. What we are looking for is not reduction in the number of cases. We're looking for a reduction in the rate of the increase in the number of cases. That's what comes first, when you are starting to make progress. The rate of increase should reduce as opposed to the number

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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