Watch live: White House coronavirus task force holds first briefing in nearly 2 months

3 months ago 51
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June 26 (UPI) -- The White House coronavirus task force will hold a news briefing on Friday -- its first in nearly two months -- after the United States set a new record for new COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day.

Administration officials indicated Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, will lead Friday's event, which set for 12:30 p.m. EDT and will be streamed live.

It will be held at the Department of Health and Human Services rather than at the White House, as previous task force briefings were.

President Donald Trump's schedule guidance for Friday makes no mention of the task force event. It indicated he is to receive an intelligence briefing and hold a meeting with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board before a 3:30 p.m. departure for a weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

In contrast to the highly visible daily briefings hosted by the president in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force has receded from public view in recent weeks as the administration has instead focused its attentions on reopening the economy.

Task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, said June 16 he hadn't spoken to Trump during the previous two weeks, but added the task force is still making "substantial" efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The president continued to stress economic recovery Thursday, tweeting, "Coronavirus deaths are way down. Mortality rate is one of the lowest in the World. Our Economy is roaring back and will NOT be shut down. 'Embers' or flare ups will be put out, as necessary!"

Those assurances came as the United States registered more than 40,000 infections of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, according to two live trackers of the deadly and infections coronavirus. That set a new record for cases recorded in a single day.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said Thursday that more than 20 million people may have been infected in the country.

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