White House Coronavirus Task Force provides update on battle against COVID-19

Coronavirus
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WASHINGTON, D.C (WJW/CNN) — President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force held a news briefing to discuss the nation’s battle against COVID-19.

The next two weeks will be crucial in the United States’ fight against the coronavirus, warn health officials, who are urging Americans to continue practicing social-distancing measures.

“This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Saturday. She added, “and that means everybody doing the six-feet distancing, washing your hands.”

On Sunday, the number of cases nationwide climbed to at least 331,151, with at least 9,441 dead, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of those deaths, 1,344 were reported Saturday — the most fatalities recorded in the US in a single day.

With the number of cases continuing to rise, President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a grim picture of what’s to come, telling Americans, “There will be a lot of death.”

Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the US surgeon general, likened the coming week to a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 moment, saying on “Fox News Sunday” it would be the “hardest and the saddest week in most Americans’ lives.”

Meantime, appearing Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases conceded it “would be a false statement” to say the US has the pandemic under control.

“We are struggling to get it under control,” Fauci said.

Fauci continued to stress the importance of social distancing measures. On Saturday he pointed to Washington state, where such measures appear to be paying off.

Still, modeling cited by White House officials project that, even with stringent mitigation efforts, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans will die from coronavirus. And President Trump has refrained from a nationwide stay-at-home order, preferring to leave it to states to decide.

LIVE UPDATES FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

  • President Trump is now at the podium. 
  • Offering well wishes to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is in the hospital for COVID-19 symptoms. “He’s a strong man, strong person,” said Trump.
  • First drop in death rates in New York reported. 
  • USNS Comfort in NYC was never intended to be used for COVID-19 patients, however that is starting to change due to the pandemic.
  • The ship is ready to treat those patients if needed. “Willing and able,” Trump said.
  • Have deployed over 3,000 military professionals to states in need like NY.
  • Federal government delivering 600,000 N95 masks to NYC.
  • Also deploying those masks to other areas that badly need them. 
  • He is talking about the weeks ahead — says it’s going to be difficult.
  • He thanks all of the hard working health care workers out there.
  • The US has tested 1.67 million people for COVID-19.
  • He is now discussing the different treatment options being used for patients, including experimental medications. 
  • We have the brightest minds in science. “We’re driven by the goal of getting rid of this virus,” he said. 
  • Strongly recommend staying home during this time.
  • He asks that the public pray for all the hard working individuals out there on the front lines battling COVID-19.
  • “These doctors and nurses are warriors” he said.
  • Asked for prayers for families who have lost loved ones. 
  • “We want to open up our country as soon as possible,” he said.
  • Dr. Birx is now at the podium. 
  • She says from the hopeful signs in Italy and Spain with deaths declining, it’s giving us hope of what our future could be.
  • 38 of the states have less than 50 cases per 100,000. They are testing and their lab results are consistent with that.
  • Vice President is now speaking.
  • Says they are  sparing no expense to help in the fight against COVID-19.
  • “We are seeing glimmers of progress,” said Pence.
  • He thanked Americans for responding when asked to help stop the spread. 
  • “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.


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