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Members of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force hold a press briefing Friday at the White House as the outbreak continues to expand rapidly in the United States
The crisis has roiled the stock market and ground the economy to a halt amid restrictive measures meant to contain the spread.
The briefing comes after Trump signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill to help prop up the economy.
The 880-page legislation offers relief to individuals, businesses and health facilities. It includes direct payments to individuals, stronger unemployment insurance, loans and grants to businesses and more healthcare resources for hospitals, states and municipalities.
Trump initially downplayed the impact of the outbreak but has since changed his tune. Earlier this month, he declared a national emergency, a move that freed up financial resources to assist Americans affected by the health crisis.
Health officials for weeks have been urging Americans to take strong precautions as coronavirus cases multiply. Earlier this month, the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, saying it expects “to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries to climb even higher.”
Task force members include Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci and Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, among others.
The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to dozens of countries, with more than 558,905 confirmed cases worldwide and at least 25,336 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 92,932 cases in the United States and at least 1,300 deaths, according to the latest tallies.
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