WH COVID-19 task force to hold 1st briefing in nearly 2 months
The White House coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing on Friday, marking the first time the group will speak on camera to the public in nearly two months.
The briefing will take place at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and will be led by Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the task force, the Hill news website said in a report.
The task force has been publicly absent for the last two months after the White House halted what had been near-daily briefings on the pandemic.
The last task force briefing occurred on April 27, just a few days after President Donald Trump sparked widespread backlash by suggesting scientists study injecting light and chemicals into the body as a potential treatment for the virus.
Trump is not expected to be present at Friday’s briefing.
The briefing comes as the US continues with the world’s highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities as of Friday morning, with 2,418,570 cases and 124,355 deaths, according to thee Johns Hopkins University.
The US reported on Wednesday its largest one-day total since the start of the pandemic: 36,880 new cases, more than two months after the previous high, Xinhua news agency quoted The New York Times as saying.
The tally of new cases, based on the newspaper’s database, showed that the outbreak was stronger than ever.
The elevated numbers were a result of worsening conditions across much of the country, as well as increased testing.
The recent resurgence is concentrated largely in the South and West of the country.
States including Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas reported their highest single-day totals on Wednesday.
California, the country’s most populous state and the first to implement a statewide lockdown to combat the pandemic, has set daily records for new cases this week.
Texas, one of the fastest states to ease its shutdown, halted steps to reopen its economy on Thursday after a sharp rise in recent cases.