White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing : NPR


President Trump speaks during an event to celebrate Americas Truckers at the White House Thursday.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump speaks during an event to celebrate Americas Truckers at the White House Thursday.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has scheduled a briefing for Thursday at which President Trump said he will unveil his vision for plotting a course out of the coronavirus disaster and back to normal.

Trump was also scheduled to speak via teleconference with the governors of the 50 states earlier Thursday to outline his plan for the way they’ll proceed with re-opening and normalization.

Trump has said he believes many states could begin to re-open even before the federal guidelines for social distancing and mitigation expire on May 1, citing what he says are the low numbers of cases or deaths.

The news conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. Watch the briefing live.

Trump’s eagerness to reopen the United States is spurred by the economic paralysis caused by social distancing and other countermeasures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Orders to stay at home and avoid groups mean that restaurants, brick-and-mortar retailers, the travel industry and the energy sector are reeling; tens of millions of Americans are out of work.

Meanwhile, Trump’s claims about the power he says he can exercise over governors’ decisions in managing the disaster have brought criticism from some of them and some of his traditional political foes in Congress.

Some governors and critics argue that essential elements necessary for a responsible re-opening — especially the testing capacity they say is needed to assure that a return to normalcy won’t just bring an echo spike of infections — aren’t yet in place.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders in a letter on Thursday that he believes the world doesn’t yet have the capacity to test at the magnitude necessary to assure a safe return to business as before.

Groups of states on the West Coast, in the Midwest and along the East Coast have formed consortia to decide for themselves how they’ll re-open in view of their interconnections.

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